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Parishes in Texas Sign Union Contracts

On July 3 United Farmworker Organizers announced the signing of union contracts between the UFW, AFL-CIO and four Catholic parishes in the diocese of Brownsville with five more pending. Earlier, parish employees had met with Bishop Pena to request that seven milliion dollars remaining after he terminated their pension fund be returned to the employees. The response from the chancery was unsatisfactory according to pastoral minister Ann Cass who is connected to the FutureChurch/CTA Women in Church Leadership project and aided the organizing effort. The contract provides job security for parish employees and a pension fund. It is believed to be the first ever signing of union contracts in parishes.

A vibrant group of “anchors” for the FutureChurch/CTA Women in Church Leadership project met in April in South Bend to strategize ways of educating about the inclusive practice of Jesus and advocating in behalf of women ministers in the church. There are now over 60 such “anchors” all over the U.S. and Canada. They sponsor educational programs and prayer services about biblical women and historical women of witness to keep women’s roles in the church on the front
burner. A new “anchor” in Texas was instrumental in organizing union contracts for pastoral ministers.


Summer 2002



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