The Making of a Women’s Lectionary

Ashley Wilcox joins FutureChurch for this Women Erased Series presentation, sharing the story behind her best-selling book, The Women’s Lectionary: Preaching the Women of the Bible throughout the Year.  

Ashley Wilcox is a graduate of Candler School of Theology, The School of the Spirit, and Willamette University College of Law. Before going to seminary, Ashley worked for appellate courts in Washington and Oregon. Her writing has been published in Working PreacherFriends JournalQuaker Religious ThoughtWestern FriendFidelia, and various Quaker anthologies. She founded Church of Mary Magdalene and Preaching with Confidence, an online preaching class and preaching coaching.

Ashley preaches, speaks, and teaches across the U.S. and internationally. She has been teaching and leading workshops on women and spirituality for more than a decade. She also taught preaching to Candler School of Theology students for five years.

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Black Catholic Women in 18th and 19th Century New Orleans

Professor Emily Clark joins FutureChurch to discuss the lives of Black Catholic women such as Venerable Henriette Delille in the context of late 18th century and early 19th century life in New Orleans, offering background on the many unique features of life in New Orleans. The region’s development under French and Spanish rule brought the enslavement and transport of African people, Code Noir, color labels such as quadroon, the creolization of culture and religion. Dr. Clark will explore the history and discuss how free women of color such as Henriette Delille, Juliette Gaudin, and Josephine Charles were able to found the second successful religious community of Black Catholic women, the Sisters of the Holy Family, in the United States.

Emily Clark is the Clement Chambers Benenson Professor in American Colonial History at Tulane University. She specializes in early American and Atlantic world history, with a focus on the French Atlantic. Her research interests include slavery, race, gender, religion and historical memory.

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FutureChurch Summary and Review of the Final North American Synod Document

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) issued the North American Final Document for the Continental Stage of the 2021-2024 Synod: For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission on April 12th. Along with the contributions of the six other Continental Assemblies, this document, will form the basis of the Instrumentum Laboris to be released by the General Secretariat of the Synod in June 2023 which will guide the Synod Assembly in Rome in October 2023/2024.

FutureChurch co-director, Deborah Rose, shares information about how the document came together, synthesizes and reviews the important points in the document, and discusses what’s next in the synod process.

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Just Church with Dr. Phyllis Zagano

Dr. Phyllis Zagano joins FutureChurch to discuss her new book, Just Church Catholic Social Teaching, Synodality, and Women(Paulist Press)Dr. Zagano also address the news that Pope Francis has opened up full voting membership in the October 2023 Synod Assembly to women and takes questions from the community.

Dr. Zagano is Senior Research Associate-in-Residence and Adjunct Professor of Religion at Hofstra University. On August 2, 2016, Pope Francis appointed her to the Papal Commission for the Study of Women in the Diaconate, which convened in Rome November 2016. Visit her website to learn more about Dr. Zagano’s extensive body of work and for study and teacher guides of some of her recent books.

Catholic Women Preach book offers hope for the future of the Church

Excerpt: Catholic Women Preach meets a sacred yearning to have and hear the voices of women in the church through the unique perspective of their own preaching. This book was born out of the good work of organizations like FutureChurch and Catholic Women Preach that answer a call to lift up the voices of women in the church — one of the primary themes emerging from the synod on synodality called forth by Pope Francis. The timing of this is not a coincidence.

Theologians praise expanding synod to lay voting members as ‘very significant’


In 2018, groups including FutureChurch and the Women’s Ordination Conference organized a petition with nearly 10,000 signatures advocating that women religious superiors should be able to vote in synods. The Women’s Ordination Conference also staged a peaceful protest outside that year’s meeting of the synod, which was focused on young people.

“This is the result of sustained advocacy, activism and collaboration and witness from the grassroots,” Kate McElwee, executive director of the Women’s Ordination Conference, told NCR.

Deborah-Rose Milavec, co-director of FutureChurch, said: “I have a great sense of hope and see that this could really open the doors for lots of important conversations in the church that we haven’t been able to have for several decades now.”

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