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2023 Annual Mary Magdalene Celebration

Rethinking Women’s Participation: Stories of Synodality Then and Now

Prayer service written by Kelly Meraw for FutureChurch. Shared leadership from Kelly Meraw, Kathy Maher, Olivia Hastie, Monika Hyatt, Rose Lue, Lucy Reiger, Eleanor Mears, Svea Fraser, and Anne Mears. Music displayed and streamed under OneLicense #A-737115.

More Media from This Prayer Service

 

SynodWatch Series Session Three

FutureChurch hosts a 3-part online series exploring the Instrumentum Laboris (Working Document) for the October 2023 Assembly of the Synod on Synodality which was released on June 20, 2023.

Session 3: Participation, Governance, and Authority

This third session covered the third priority in the working document – “Participation, Governance, and Authority” FutureChurch co-directors, Russ Petrus and Deborah Rose, were joined by Sr. Lynn Jarrell, OSU; Ellie Hidalgo; and Rev. Joseph Healey, MM who offered their own insights and commentary from their experience and expertise.

  • Deborah Rose provides an overview of who will be attending and voting at the October Assembly.
  • Sr. Lynn Jarrell, OSU, a canon lawyer, addressed how canon law could be used to promote synodality.
  • Ellie Hidalgo, co-director of Discerning Deacons, will discussed her recent journey to the Amazon to learn how synodality is taking shape there.
  • Rev. Joseph Healey, MM spoke about synodality in the African context from his own decades-long experience as a Maryknoll missioner – mostly in Tanzania and Kenya – in a number of capacities.

View Deb’s Slides

 

SynodWatch Series Session Two

FutureChurch hosts a 3-part online series exploring the Instrumentum Laboris (Working Document) for the October 2023 Assembly of the Synod on Synodality which was released on June 20, 2023.

Session 2: Co-responsibility in Mission

This second session covers the second priority in the document – “Co-responsibility in Mission.” FutureChurch co-directors, Russ Petrus and Deborah Rose, are joined by Kate McElwee and Luke Hansen, who will offer their insights and commentary.

  • Kate McElwee is the executive director of the Women’s Ordination Conference, a grassroots-driven movement that promotes activism, dialogue and prayerful witness to call for women’s ordination and gender equity in the Roman Catholic Church. Kate earned a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and a Certificate in Buddhist Studies from Mount Holyoke College, in South Hadley Massachusetts, USA, and a Masters degree, with distinction from the School of Oriental and African Studies in (SOAS – University of London) in International Human Rights Law.
  • Luke Hansen is a campus minister and religious studies teacher at St. Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco. He has a master’s degree in social philosophy from Loyola University Chicago, a Master of Divinity degree from the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, California, and a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. Luke has worked as a journalist, prison chaplain and advocate for social and ecclesial change. He is a former co-director of the Discerning Deacons project, which engages Catholics in the question of women and diaconate. He also worked as an editor for the Jesuit journals America and La Civiltà Cattolica. He has reported from the Vatican, Honduras, El Salvador and Guantánamo Bay, and he has won several awards from the Catholic Press Association for his writing.

View Deb’s Slides

SynodWatch Series on the Working Document

FutureChurch hosts a 3-part online series exploring the Instrumentum Laboris (Working Document) for the October 2023 Assembly of the Synod on Synodality which was released on June 20, 2023.

Jump to:

Session 1: A Communion that Radiates

This first session covers the overall structure of the document and discusses the first priority addressed in the document – “A Communion that Radiates.” FutureChurch co-directors, Russ Petrus and Deborah Rose, are joined by:

Session 2: Co-responsibility in Mission

This second session covers the second priority in the document – “Co-responsibility in Mission.” FutureChurch co-directors, Russ Petrus and Deborah Rose, are joined by Kate McElwee and Luke Hansen, who will offer their insights and commentary.

  • Kate McElwee is the executive director of the Women’s Ordination Conference, a grassroots-driven movement that promotes activism, dialogue and prayerful witness to call for women’s ordination and gender equity in the Roman Catholic Church. Kate earned a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and a Certificate in Buddhist Studies from Mount Holyoke College, in South Hadley Massachusetts, USA, and a Masters degree, with distinction from the School of Oriental and African Studies in (SOAS – University of London) in International Human Rights Law.
  • Luke Hansen is a campus minister and religious studies teacher at St. Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco. He has a master’s degree in social philosophy from Loyola University Chicago, a Master of Divinity degree from the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, California, and a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. Luke has worked as a journalist, prison chaplain and advocate for social and ecclesial change. He is a former co-director of the Discerning Deacons project, which engages Catholics in the question of women and diaconate. He also worked as an editor for the Jesuit journals America and La Civiltà Cattolica. He has reported from the Vatican, Honduras, El Salvador and Guantánamo Bay, and he has won several awards from the Catholic Press Association for his writing.

View Deb’s Slides

Session 3: Participation, Governance, and Authority

This third session covered the third priority in the working document – “Participation, Governance, and Authority” FutureChurch co-directors, Russ Petrus and Deborah Rose, were joined by Sr. Lynn Jarrell, OSU; Ellie Hidalgo; and Rev. Joseph Healey, MM who offered their own insights and commentary from their experience and expertise.

  • Deborah Rose provides an overview of who will be attending and voting at the October Assembly.
  • Sr. Lynn Jarrell, OSU, a canon lawyer, addressed how canon law could be used to promote synodality.
  • Ellie Hidalgo, co-director of Discerning Deacons, will discussed her recent journey to the Amazon to learn how synodality is taking shape there.
  • Rev. Joseph Healey, MM spoke about synodality in the African context from his own decades-long experience as a Maryknoll missioner – mostly in Tanzania and Kenya – in a number of capacities.

View Deb’s Slides

 

2023 Mary of Magdala Celebration on Synodality

Thank you for your interest in celebrating the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene with us. Celebrating and lifting up Mary’s true role as Apostle of the Apostles is one of the most important things we can do for our Church and world.

For 2023, we have chosen to highlight synodality. We are grateful to Kelly Meraw, who developed and compiled this year’s prayer service. Kelly is Director of Liturgy, Music, and Pastoral Care for St. John – St. Paul Collaborative in Wellesley, Massachusetts. She is also the primary facilitator for her Collaborative’s Committee for Synodality.

Jesus himself practiced synodality and sought to teach it to his disciples – both women and men – through example: teaching through parables; seeking out those on the periphery, whose voices had been ignored or silenced; placing each person he encountered on his path at the center of his ministry.

Perhaps the greatest ‘miss’ in the history of Synodality was that of the courageous witness of Mary Magdalene, who was commissioned by Jesus to “go and tell” the good news. And we live with the wound of that ‘miss’ in our Church to this day. Through this prayer service, as we recover her witness and honor the impact it continues to make, we gather our prayers together for all women who continue to be ignored, discredited, and disbelieved.

The voices of Catholics around the world calling for greater equality for women in the Church in “Enlarge the Space of Our Tent” will guide us through our prayer service as we highlight women’s synodal encounters with Jesus, then, and the synodal encounters in the heartfelt sharing of the People of God, now.

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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.

More Resources

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.

Letter to North American Writing Team

Approximately 150 Catholics from the United States and Canada came together for two gatherings hosted by FutureChurch in January 2023 to pray and reflect on the Continental Stage Document.

These responses were offered after two evenings of prayer, listening to Scripture, a review of the Continental Stage Document, small group discussions, and written reflections. The participants were guided by the three questions posed in Part IV of the Continental Stage Document:

  1. After having read and prayed with the DCS, which intuitions resonate most strongly with the lived experiences and realities of the Church in your continent? Which experiences are new or illuminating to you?
  2. After having read and prayed with the DCS, what substantial tension or divergences emerge as particularly important in your continent’s perspective? What are the questions or issues that should be addressed and considered in the next steps of the process?
  3. After having read and prayed with the DCS, looking at what emerges from the previous two questions, what are the priorities, recurring themes and calls to action that can be shared with other local Churches around the world and discussing during the First Session of the Synodal Assembly in October 2023?

Letter to Continental Synthesis Writing Team with Addendum