For Immediate Release:
June 23, 2011
216-228-0869, ext. 3 (work)
Unheard Homilies: End the Silencing of Catholic Women
On Wednesday, July 20, at 7pm, FutureChurch will be celebrating the Feast of St. Mary of Magdala with an evening celebration at Independence Civic Center, 6363 Selig Drive, Independence, OH 44131. Three women will share the homilies they would love to preach at Sunday Mass.
At present, women’s voices are silenced in our churches. Stories of female biblical leaders are omitted or made optional in our lectionary and women, indeed all lay people, have recently been forbidden to preach at Mass even though canon law allows it. This deprives both women and men of hearing the Gospel’s life-giving message through the lens of female experience.
The focal point of the St. Mary of Magdala prayer celebration will be listening to the “unheard homilies” given by women who refuse to be silenced. They have been asked to preach the homilies they have longed to preach at Mass if they were only permitted -without restraint and without fear of criticism. Woven into the context of prayer, we know these homilies will be inspiring!
The homilists are: Diana Culbertson, O.P., Ph.D., professor emeritus at Kent State University and former president of the Colloquium on Violence and Religion. She is a member of the Dominican Sisters of Peace and lectures and publishes extensively. Theresa Hafner, CSJ, is a member of the Congregation of St. Joseph who has taught Theology, and worked in the Health Care and Food Service fields. Patricia Shullick is a Pastoral Minister at parish in Lorain, Ohio who is passionate about justice and peace work and is committed to service to the poor.
No charge, but a free will offering will be accepted.
To educate about women leaders and to model gender balance in scripture proclamation, FutureChurch began special international celebrations of the Feast of St. Mary of Magdala in 1997. Each year between 200 and 300 such events are held in mid July. Participants hear presentations by biblical scholars about early women leaders and experience prayer services at which competently prepared women preach and preside.
The program in Cleveland is one of over 275 international celebrations organized by FutureChurch for the July 22 Feast of St. Mary of Magdala in 2011.
Aside from the United States, celebrations will occur in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Great Britain, Ireland, Jamaica, Mexico, and New Zealand. They will engage between 10 and 300 people in parishes, convents, Catholic schools, Protestant churches, private homes and small faith communities.
FutureChurch, headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, is a U.S. coalition of 3,500 parish based Catholics striving to educate fellow Catholics about the seriousness of the priest shortage, the centrality of the Eucharist (the Mass), and the systemic inequality of women in the Catholic Church. FutureChurch makes presentations throughout the country, distributes educational and informational packets and recruits activists who call on Catholic leadership to open ordination to all baptized persons who are called to priestly ministry by God and the people of God.
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