FutureChurch home About FutureChurch Join FutureChurch Request a packet Projects Newsletter Site map Other languages Links Coming Events

Women’s Witness, Leadership Flourish

“I introduced my small faith community to Dorothy Day last night ... They really liked the prayer service. Our group brings food and other supplies to a home that takes in homeless women. They can really identify with Dorothy Day. The service gave them a background into the work of this great woman. I intend to use the entire series, continuing with the prayer service for St. Mary of Magdala. Thank you for all you do.” (Kathy Herrington from San Jose)

Kathy Herrington is just one of thousands of people, including pastoral ministers, priests, youth ministers, educators and just regular Catholics from all over the U.S., who are sending for the FutureChurch/CTA Women in Church Leadership (WICL) and Celebrating Women Witnesses (CWW) resources. WICL educates about the inclusive practice of the historic Jesus and promotes the July 22nd feast of St. Mary of Magdala, while CWW celebrates twelve other women of faith who resisted the patriarchy of their day because of belief in Jesus.

Celebrating Women Witnesses is especially popular with retreat centers and women’s groups who appreciate the easy programming afforded by the bright red packet and original artwork by Eileen Cantlin Verbus. Many retreat centers study and celebrate one woman witness each month, using the essays and specially prepared prayer services for each woman. Other groups request multiple reprints of the essays and services to individually celebrate Mary of Nazareth, Teresa of Avila, Dorothy Day, Prisca, Therese of Lisieux, Sor Juana, Angela Merici, the Beguines, Thea Bowman, Julian of Norwich, Claire of Assisi and Catherine of Siena.

Sr. Chris Schenk gives presentation on Mutuality in the Scriptures at March workshop for the Precious Blood Community, O'Fallon, MO (stay tuned for in depth article next issue).

Mary’s Pence ordered 600 of the packets for their monthly prayer and faith sharing groups, while in England, an American spiritual director requested the Women in Church Leadership and Celebrating Women Witnesses Resources resources for a program given by Tina Beatty on “Women and Discipleship in the New Millennium.”

Many parishes find the Mary of Magdala resources are perfect for Lenten prayer services. Jeanne G. Hidalgo offered a Good Friday “women who stayed at the cross” prayer service featuring the women who remained with Jesus from the anointing at the Passover supper through crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection. Other parishes use a Mary of Magdala vignette to help worshipers fully appreciate the power of Easter morning.

We now have 60 WICL “anchors” who are initiating creative events in their locales. Jo Young organized a “Musical Liturgy Honoring Mary of Nazareth” at her church in Toronto and writes: “It certainly gave the BVM a new look in our parish! The message was liberation and social justice!” Nadine in Michigan gave a presentation at a “fantastic” diocesan women’s workshop for a gathering of Catholic youth and distributed many project materials. Diana from St. Louis worked with a local repertory theatre who did a play on women’s ordination which opened to a packed house and received a standing ovation. She made resources available and noted that “this town is really hoppin’ with activity around the women’s issue in the Church.”

Joanne McGrath (second from left) organizes three day scripture
program on Jesus’ inclusive practice for her parish in Mesa, Az. Songwriter Jaime Cortez (first on left) provided beautiful musical accompaniment.

Joanne M. in Arizona organized a parish education program and invited project coordinator Sr. Chris Schenk to give a three-part series on the historical Jesus, Jesus and Women, and the Christ of faith. Over 300 people attended. Meanwhile Pat from upstate New York designed a first-ever parish Lenten program featuring the Celebrating Women Witnesses resources, and Mary from Michigan faithfully writes and prints a monthly synopsis of a woman witness, complete with original art in her parish bulletins. Jeanne from Cleveland has started a women’s retreat at her parish and hopes to train women leaders from other parishes to do the same.

With this kind of energy at work, can the birth of a more inclusive Church be far behind?

Again this July 22nd, hundreds of St. Mary of Magdala celebrations will happen throughout the world. Email and telephone follow up will begin soon. Please notify info@futurechurch.org if you are planning a celebration and haven’t told us about it yet. If you are interested in anchoring the Women in Church Leadership effort in your area, email: chris@futurechurch.org.

Spring 2002



Home | About us | Join FutureChurch | Request a Packet | Projects |
Newsletter | Site map | Other languages | Links | Privacy policy


17307 Madison Avenue
Lakewood, Ohio 44107 USA
Phone: 216.228.0869 | Fax: 216.228.4872
E-mail: info@futurechurch.org

Copyright © 2001-2008 FutureChurch
all rights reserved