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WOC Celebrates 30th Anniversary

One woman’s thought-provoking Christmas card started the women’s ordination movement in the United States. In 1974, Mary B. Lynch posed a question to each of the women on her Christmas list. “Is it time to publicly ask, should women be priests?” Lynch was overwhelmed when 31 women and one man answered with an enthusiastic “Yes!” This small act prompted a gathering of 1900 people in November 1975 for the first ever Women’s Ordination Conference.

Thirty years later, WOC is still going strong despite many sorrows, challenges and yes, joys along the way. After the Vatican attempted to squelch conversation about women priests, the WOC board created three ministries that best fit the organization’s contemporary realities and priorities. Executive Director Joy Barnes describes the ministries this way: “The Ministry of Irritation challenges church policies regarding women through public actions that advocate women’s ordination. The Ministry of Walking with Women Called identifies women called to priesthood offering support, community, and resources as they prepare for their vocation. The Ministry of Prophetic Obedience identifies women and communities wanting to move forward with ordinations and helps put these ideas into dramatic action.”

WOC celebrated the year with a series of international, regional and individual actions and events including a March conference in Philadelphia and leadership training at the July Women’s Ordination Worldwide Conference in Ottawa, Canada. On November 14, the celebration will close with a prayerful protest and presence at the US Conference of Catholic Bishops meeting in Washington, DC. Individuals participate via monthly prayer and actions suggested through the Action Alert E-mail Network. For more information contact Aisha Taylor at 703-352-1006 or visit www.womensordination.org

Summer 2005



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