Women in Church Leadership
Mary of Magdala
Plan a St. Mary of Magdala Celebration

Download the St. Mary of Magdala Feast Celebration Organizing Kit with prayer resources

Tips for Planning Your Celebration

  1. Gather a small group together to help plan and share the work. If possible, include a lay minister or leader from your parish who will help negotiate parish politics and parameters.
  2. Decide who your "target audience" will be. Some examples include: disaffected women (and men), young adult Catholics, the people in your parish, all Catholics in the diocese, etc.
  3. Decide if you want to have a lecture and a prayer celebration, simply a prayer celebration featuring a woman presider and preacher, or perhaps a prayer service utilizing resources and vignettes from FutureChurch about various "women witnesses."

    If you have a prayer service only:

    1. Make sure the presider and preacher are well prepared and inspiring
    2. If you decide to feature women leaders in early Christianity or other women witnesses, look at the FutureChurch website for additional resources
    3. Have a worship aid and make sure the music is known to most and well done.

    If you have a lecture and a prayer service:

    1. Ask a theologian or biblical expert from the religious studies department of your local Catholic college or university to give a presentation on Mary of Magdala and/or a related topics. Topics may include: Women Leaders in Early Christianity (FutureChurch's 2010 Mary of Magdala prayer service), Women in the Ministry of St. Paul (FutureChurch's 2009 Mary of Magdala prayer service), or Hidden Women of the Lectionary (based on FutureChurch's Women and the Word project and the 2007-2008 Mary of Magdala prayer service).
    2. Make sure the presider and preacher are well prepared and inspiring.
    3. Have a worship aid and make sure the music is known to most and well done.
  4. Depending on your answer to numbers two and three above, decide where to hold your celebration: a small faith community in your home, your local Catholic Church, the Newman Center, your local convent etc.
  5. Decide how you will publicize your celebration. Some ideas: email notification of friends, family, fellow parishioners etc, notices in the parish bulletin, notices in the religion section of your local newspaper, public service announcements, flyers at your local libraries, notices in women's newsletters, Newman Centers, retreat center, religious communities etc. Begin to publicize six weeks in advance.
  6. Ideally, send a your sample op ed article and media release at least one month in advance, and at worst, no later than two weeks in advance.

What details should we remember?

  • Who will provide the music?
  • Sound system
  • Program or handout with responses and songs on it
  • FutureChurch information/brochures to have at a table
  • Comfortable and adequate seating
  • Environment- ex, liturgical linens, centerpieces, flowers, greeters at the doors, name tags, refreshments afterwards
  • How can we encourage participation?

Please refer to the sample prayer services developed by FutureChurch.