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Newsletter Summer 2001

WICL anchorsWomen (and Men) Witnessing, Taking Leadership

The FutureChurch/CTA Women in Church Leadership (WICL) organizing drive to advance women's leadership in the Church is gaining both depth and breadth. From April 19 -21 thirteen WICL 'anchors' gathered at St. Mary College in South Bend to share strategies, network and learn new ways of raising consciousness at the parish level. The group heard Sr. Mary Catherine Hilkert's Madeleva address on St. Catherine of Siena and for the next two days shared perspectives from the pews. Together with 37 other anchors all over the U.S. and Canada these local activists create new ways to advance women's roles and visibility in their home parishes. They are: starting parish women's groups, taking leadership in parish worship, spirituality, and social justice commissions, and encouraging religious educators and diocesan women's commissions to use the WICL project resources.

The new Celebrating Women Witnesses (CWW) resource packet is bringing even more energy to the movement. Thousands of essay reprints about twelve historic women who countered the patriarchy of their day because of belief in Jesus will be included in parish bulletins from Michigan to Massachusetts in the coming year. Over 1400 packets have already been distributed with most recipients organizing monthly prayer services in their parish or small faith community. One Michigan mother of two will create twelve vignettes complete with costumes to present at diocesan youth gatherings. An excellent late April wire story by Cleveland religion writer David Briggs appeared in the religion section of newspapers all over the country leading to even more requests for CWW resources.

Call To Action (CTA) regional groups in Baltimore and Pittsburgh have chosen the women's issue in the Church for their focus in the coming year. Recent presentations by Sr. Chris Schenk in both places drew parish pastoral ministers and activists from over an hour away as well local leaders. CTA Pittsburgh conducted a pilot survey of women's roles in the Pittsburgh diocese. Both regions plan Mary of Magdala celebrations.

Hundreds of St. Mary of Magdala celebrations are being planned for July 22nd and many others were held during Lent and Holy Week this year. Email and telephone follow up is under way at press time. Please notify info@futurechurch.org if you plan a celebration this year. Or if you are interested in becoming a WICL 'anchor' in your area please email chris@futurechurch.org.



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