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August 2, 2014

This week Roman Catholic Womenpriests-USA joyfully celebrates the 8th anniversary of the first ordination of Roman Catholic Women in the United States.

On July 31, 2006, Eileen McCafferty DiFranco, Olivia Doko, Joan Clark Houk, Kathleen Kunster, Bridget Mary Meehan, Roberta Meehan, Dana Reynolds, Kathy Sullivan Vandenberg were ordained as Roman Catholic priests. Four deacons were also ordained at the ordination. The ordination took place on a riverboat in Pittsburgh, PA.

On the day of the ordination, Joan Houk said she hoped that as priest she would be able to “Connect with people who are Catholic who have walked away or are not participating…” Today there are approximately 180 RCWP members worldwide; more than 150 of these women are located in the United States. Roman Catholic Womenpriests are ministering in house and parish communities, perform weddings, baptisms and funerals; are chaplains and offer sacraments to the sick and elderly, serve the homeless and provide spiritual direction and retreats.

The movement within the Church began in Germany with the ordination of seven women on the Danube River in 2002, by male Roman Catholic Bishops and in 2003 two of the “Danube 7” were ordained Bishops.

RCWP rejects Canon law that does not allow women to be ordained priest today. Many historians and theologians can provide evidence that women were ordained Deacons, Priests, and Bishops in the early church. In addition, in 1970, because of the Soviet Bloc, a Czech Bishop ordained women to serve in the women’s prisons where men could not go.

Read More about the Historic Day:

Pittsburgh Post Gazette: Group Ordains 8 Women as Priests.

The Washington Post: Reclaiming the Feminine Spirit in the Catholic Priesthood



May 27, 2014

Bishop Paul Bradley of the Catholic Diocese of Kalamazoo is warning Catholics not to participate in a ceremony Saturday in which a Three Oaks woman will be ordained by the group Roman Catholic Womenpriests.

The May 31 ceremony for Lillian Lewis, 75, will be held at First Congregational Church in Three Oaks. The ceremony will be conducted by Joan Houk, a Womenpriests bishop…



Roman Catholic Womenpriests
PBS, July 11, 2012


Less Pope, More Jesus
Call to Action Conference, November 2012


An article written in Spanish by Eusebio Valand translated by ZoomBookmarkSharePrintListenEnglish

A bishop and a priest Catholic dissidents explain their defiance of the Vatican

The two former nuns were not allowed to take communion in the church of San Pedro and were asked to leave the basilica. They are staying in one of the numerous Roman convents operated as hotels, five minutes walk from the Vatican. But they hide their status to avoid problems with the nuns. They put the collar on when entering the streets.

The Austrian Christine Mayr-lumetzberger, 56, is a founder of the dissident movement Roman Catholic Women Priests (RCWP)-Roman Catholic priests, and has already reached the rank of bishop. The American Juanita Cordero, 70, is serving as a priest in a worshiping community in Los Gatos (California). They are tourists in Rome, but take the opportunity to contact the press and made public in its sole discretion. “Our main goal is to testify that the priests are here to stay, we have been called to the priesthood, which are equal to men,” Cordero says with conviction. “God has called me, I know we can not wait for Rome to change,” drives home this petite and energetic widow. From the age of 17 to 27 years Cordero was a nun. Then she married a former Jesuit. They had four children and adopted a fifth African American. Cordero was always very active in her Catholic parish. She cannot earn money in the Church but just wants to do pastoral work, and continue her commitment to serve the people. Nothing more.” The Bishop was between 20 and 25 years, a Benedictine nun. Then she left the convent and got married. She clarifies that, despite its rebellious stance, she is still paying the voluntary levy that exists in Austria for Catholics. According to Cordero, the relationship between RCWP and the official Church is uneven. Both say they receive much support from the religious orders, especially the Jesuits and Franciscans, and less from diocesan priests, “but this support is growing quietly.” Mayr-lumetzberger warns that diocesan priests are afraid of reprisals, of losing their parishes and their salaries. – Where does the Church, after seven years as Pope Benedict XVI? -We asked. – Backward-answer, without hesitation, Cordero. The bishop and the priest of RCWP complain about the diminishing role given to women in the liturgy, including by deleting altar girls. Mayr-lumetzberger attributes it “the ministry of dictatorship,” which, in her view, overlooking the Church. “There is much fear of being thrown out of office,” she says. Both are convinced that there will be a collapse of existing structures, but that will be healthier for the faithful. “The issue is not only priests, but gays and lesbians, divorced Catholics, contraception, are closed questions for discussion.” laments Cordero. Mayr-lumetzberger confident that in the future, little by little, the Vatican accepts exceptions by the back door, as it has done with the inclusion of Anglican married priests or special status for traditionalists Lefebvrists. According to the bishop, the successor to the current pope may open hands with women. And remember: “The mission of the bishops, also the bishop of Rome, is to unite, not divide.”


Recent Liturgy in Calgary
Summer 2012

Celebrants and Celebrations



Religious Ed Congress – March 2011
Anaheim, California

Call to Action – November 2011
RCWP-USA Booth in Exhibit hall
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Recent Liturgy at Church of the Beatitudes
Santa Barbara, California



July 16, 2010



The following articles have been published regarding the Ordination of WomenPriests in PHiladelphia in April, 2009. Please note that copyright is held by individual sources.

Roman Catholic Womenpriests Ordain Two Women in Philadelphia
April 26, 2009 By David O’Reilly, Philadelphia Inquirer
Robed in floor-length white linen and purple stoles, two Roman Catholic women will kneel this afternoon i n a spare Roxborough sanctuary, in a liturgy both ancient and audacious….

N.J. woman ordained as a priest in controversial ceremony
April 26, 2009 By Jeff Diamant, The Star-Ledger
Last July, Mary Ann Schoettly was automatically excommunicated from the Catholic Church after a ceremony that she says made her a deacon — a ceremony conducted in willful defiance of her religion’s ban on ordaining women. Today, in the eyes of a small group of renegade Catholics who believe women should be allowed into the Catholic priesthood, the 66-year-old Sussex County resident was ordained a priest, in a controversial ceremony held at a synagogue.


RCWP Episcopal Ordinations April 19, 2009

YouTube movies of
ordination ceremony of first womenbishops ordained in the
United States by Roman Catholic Womenpriests Entrance Procession:

Clips of Bishop Patricia Fresen’s homily at Ordinations of Women Bishops – three parts:

Examination of Bishops-Elect before the Community

Prostration of Bishops/Litany of the Saints

Laying of Hands

Anointing of the Bishop’s Head

Presentation of Book of Gospels

Investiture with Bishop’s Staff

Bishop Patricia Fresen presents first women bishops
to be ordained in the United States to the Community



The following articles have been published regarding the Ordination of WomenPriests in Boston (July 2008), in Lexington (August 2008), and in Chicago (November 2008). Please note that copyright is held by individual sources.

List of National Catholic Reporter’s Articles on Fr. Roy Bourgeois support of ordination of women
See Bridget Mary’s Blog Spot for a complete listing with links to National Catholic Reporter’s Articles on Fr. Roy Bourgeois and his support of the ordination for women in the Roman Catholic Church.

Articles-Radio-TV Coverage of Janice Sevre-Duszynska’s Ordination as a Roman Catholic Womanpriest
See Bridget Mary’s Blog Spot for a complete listing with links on media coverage of Janice Sevre-Duszynska’s Ordination

Roman Catholic Womenpriests Ordained in Boston on July 20, 2008
See Bridget Mary’s Blog Spot for a complete listing with links on media coverage of RCWP Ordinations in Boston, July, 2008.

In the first Roman Catholic Womanpriest (RCWP) ordination in Chicago, Barbara Zeman (Chicago) was ordained a priest, and Alta Jacko (Chicago), Linda Wilcox (Afton, MN), and Mary Styne (Milwaukee, WI) were ordained deacons by Bishop Dana Reynolds of California in St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Chicago, Illinois.


Videos on YouTube
RCWP Ree Hudson speaks at Press Conference: Pope Benedict’s Visit
RCWP Elsie McGrath speaks at Press Conference: Pope Benedict’s Visit
RCWP Bridget Mary Meehan announces first US RC Womanbishop: Dana Reynolds
RCWP Bridget Mary Meehan shares Bishop Dana’s Reynold’s Visit at Press Conference
Aisha Taylor from Women’s Ordination Conference
RCWP :Andrea Johnson’s Homily
Inclusive Catholic Mass presented by Catholic Women : Pope Benedict’s Visit
Opening Hymn for Catholic Mass




Contact: Theresa Padovano  (973) 539-8732

VOTFNJ Responds to the Roman Catholic Church’s Decree that Automatically Excommunicates Women Ordained to the Priesthood

In response to the Decree of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith (CDF) against Women’s Ordination, we the members of Voice of the Faithful New Jersey support the following statement issued by CORPUS – National Association for an Inclusive Ministry.

Priesthood serves the People of God by bringing healing and hope through sacramental celebration and pastoral care. It is God’s People who must discern their leaders and it is the bishops of the Church who are called to validate this in the normal course of events. When that validation is withheld for reasons which have nothing substantial to do with ministry, then the baptized community must call bishops to respect biblical norms and Gospel imperatives. The life of a community and of the Eucharist cannot be held hostage to Church policies which undermine them. A baptized community has a human and evangelical right to community, pastoral care and Eucharistic celebration.

            For these reasons, CORPUS stands in solidarity with those ordained women who followed their calling and were selected for priesthood when bishops rejected them. When rejection is based on weak theological reasons and on a refusal to dialogue with or hear these women, then the community must act against what is sees as an injustice, indeed discrimination, and behavior which Christ could not endorse.

            To excommunicate all these women, “latae sententiae”, automatically, without a hearing and due process, is the mark of a frightened and absolutist leadership. No democracy or humane government in the world employs its harshest penalty automatically against its citizens, without due process, redress, appeal, open courtrooms, judicial restraint and equity. It astonishes us that a Church we love can act in so desperate and destructive a manner. We, therefore, in the conviction that the future church will find this action shameful and unworthy, stand in solidarity with our sisters who seek to serve God’s People and are treated as criminals. They are branded as sinners to be excluded from the very sacramental life of the Church which their ordination was intended to make more abundantly available. Irony is too weak a word to describe this; tragedy is a more accurate description.

In addition, we offer the following points:

1.      The Papal Commission on the ordination of women found no biblical justification for the exclusion of women from Holy Orders.

2.      The National Review Board set up by the bishops in Dallas in 2002, made clear that the “clerical culture” of the Roman Catholic Church was a root cause of the sex abuse phenomenon.  The ordination of women and of a married priesthood would help reform that culture.

3.   History informs us that ordained women ministered to their faith communities in the early Church and throughout the first millennium.

4.   As the faithful we have a responsibility in Church law to express our needs to our pastors.  The Holy Spirit has spoken to women among us.  They have courageously responded.

We know from our historical experience that silence implies consent.  Catholic theology and tradition teach that an unjust law must be resisted and that a dubious law need not be obeyed.

We believe the elements above are in accord with all the goals of VOTF.

– END –


RCWP Episcopal Ordination – April 9, 2008
Asemwald, Stuttgart, Germany
Episcopal Ordination and Priest Ordination

Left to Right: Christel Hildebrand (Lutlevan Minister); Bishop Gisela Forster; Bishop dana Reynolds (newly consecrated bishop); Suzanne A. Thiel (newly ordained priest); Bishop Ida Ramin; Bishop Patricia Fresen; Unknown Luterhan Minister; Regina Laedwig (German deacon)



The following articles have been published regarding the United States Ordinations in Summer, 2007. Please note that copyright is held by individual sources

A year later, woman priest sees growth
July 31, 2007 · by Marylynne Pitz, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
On a brutally hot morning this month, Joan Clark Houk was preparing for out-of-town journeys, first to New York City and then to Minneapolis, Minn. .

A Place at the Altar
June 24, 2007
by Jan Jarboe Russell, The New York Times
On a late winter Sunday in San Diego, Jane Via, dressed in the traditional garb of a Roman Catholic priest.led the 100 or so congregants of the Mary Magdalene Apostle Catholic Community in a forbidden Mass.

Canada Catholics ‘ordain’ women
May 28, 2007 · by Lee Carter in BBC News, Toronto
An ordination ceremony that openly defies Roman Catholic doctrine has taken place in Toronto. Five women and a married man, all Roman Catholics, have been ordained as priests and deacons by Patricia Fresen, a female Catholic bishop. However, the Vatican says it will not recognize either the ordinations or the group carrying them out.

Catholic Bishops Say No to Women Priests, Yes to Hookers
November 9, 2007 by Angela Bonavoglia · The Huffington Post
That about sums it up. In yet another empty defense of the Catholic Church’s blatant discrimination against women who it refuses to ordain, St. Louis, Missouri Archbishop Raymond Burke promised to excommunicate two Roman Catholic women who will be ordained priests in St. Louis on Sunday, November 11.

The Church Ladies
November 7, 2007 by Kristen Hinman · The River Front TImes
Two St. Louis women will soon become ordained Catholic priests – and in a Jewish synagogue, no less. The usual ordination of a Roman Catholic priest takes place in a cathedral and includes a vow of obedience to clerical superiors.


Roman Catholic Womenpriests Celebrate Eucharist at
CALL TO ACTION 30th Anniversary Conference
in Milwaukee, Wisconsin



The following articles have been published regarding the Ordinations in 2006. Please note that copyright is held by individual sources

Reclaiming the Feminine Spirit
July 30, 2006 · in The Washington Post
Washington Post: Reclaiming the Feminine Spirit in the Catholic Priesthood: N.Va. Woman, Bridget Mary Meehan is among 12 to receive an ordination not recognized by Church

Making a stand for the Church
July 28, 2006
in Boston Globe
Boston Globe: Making a Stand for the Church: Archdiocesan Official, Jean Marchant quits, saying she was ordained. Jean Marie Marchant, who for the last four years has been director of healthcare ministry for the archdiocese, offered her resignation to Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley

Going against Catholic law, 12 women seek ordination
July 30, 2006
in San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle: Going against Catholic law, 12 women seek ordination:  Kathleen Strack Kunster, Juanita Cordero, Dana Reynolds, and Olivia Doko are from California. They are willing to risk being excommunicated to try to change church doctrine.

Twelve women ordained in Pittsburgh on riverboat
August 6, 2006 · in National Catholic Reporter
National Catholic Reporter:Twelve women ordained in Pittsburgh on riverboat: ”I am utterly convinced that our ordinations are valid,” she said at an earlier news conference. “Although they break the [church] law, we believe we are breaking an unjust law.” Bishop Patricia Fresen 

Women ordained as priests in riverboat rite
August 1 , 2006 · in The Post Gazette
Women ordained as priests in riverboat rite by Annie O’Neal and AnnRodgers. Testimony of Julie, daughter  of Kathy Sullivan Vandenberg telling story of her mother who blessed the school bus.

Catholic Women Claim Ordination as Priests
August 17, 2006 · on National Public Radio
NPR: Catholic Women Claim Ordination as Priests: Radio clips feature Bridget Mary Meehan’s first public Mass and homily. “Jesus was a rule-breaker, so are we. All are welcome at this table.”

Defying church, 12 Catholic women to be ordained here
June 15, 2006 · in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

 National Public Radio: Weekend Edition Sunday
April 16, 2006 Inscriptions and images found on tombstones, frescoes and mosaics throughout the Mediterranean show that women held respected roles in the early Christian church that were identical to those held by men. They were apostles, priests, deacons and bishops.  by Sylvia Poggioli, NPR


Justice For Women

Victoria Rue, an ordained womanpriest who was ordained on the St Lawrence Seaway in July of 2005. She spoke about her call to ordination and her work as a …


The Ordination of Roman Catholic Womenpriests and Womendeacons

June 24, 2006 in Bodensee, Germany

Presiding bishops: Gisela Forster,
Patricia Fresen and Ida Raming


The Ordination of Roman Catholic Womenpriests and Womendeacons
July 31, 2006 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Presiding bishops: Gisela Forster, Patricia Fresen, Ida Raming of Germany



BBC NEWS | Americas | Nine ‘women clerics’ defy Vatican

Four of the nine women were ordained as priests and five as deacons aboard the Thousand Islander III boat that sailed on St Lawrence River. …

The Hindu : International : Vatican’s scourge

… be ordained on July 25 in a public ceremony on a boat on the St. Lawrence … The Vatican says that it is God’s will that women should not be priests. …

Nine Defy Vatican’s Ban on Ordination of Women

GANANOQUE, Ontario, July 25 — Nine women in white robes knelt on the deck of a … left, is congratulated by a supporter at rite on the St. Lawrence River. … content/article/2005/07/25/AR2005072501586.html



The Ordination of Roman Catholic Womenpriests and Womendeacons

July 25, 2005 on a Boat on International Waters

St. Lawrence Seaway, Canada

Presiding Bishops Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger,
Gisela Forster, and Patrica Fresen



The Ordination of Roman Catholic Womendeacons
on the Danube River, 2004

Ida Raming, reading the
Gospel, Danube 2004

Six women ordained to the diaconate,
Danube 2004

Genevieve Beney, Bishop Gisela Forster,
Danube 2004

Catherine Rue blessing
her daughter Victoria,
Danube 2004

For current news and articles related to the women’s ordination movement and renewal of the Catholic Church, please visit our Facebook, Twitter and Bridget Mary’s Blog. Bridget Mary’s Blog and the Association of Roman Catholic Womenpriests operate independently of Roman Catholic Womenpriests-USA, Inc. This third party blog is for informational purposes only. For semi-monthly news relating to the RCWP in Canada see RCWP Canada’s publication, The Review, at

This website was created and is maintained by Roman Catholic Womenpriests-USA, Inc. (RCWP-USA, Inc.), a California 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation, as an educational and informational service to the public. RCWP-USA, Inc. promotes and supports the ordination of women and men in a renewed priestly ministry in the Roman Catholic Church. This website provides information about RCWP worldwide, with special focus on RCWP in the USA. Every ministry convened by a RCWP member operates separately and independently from Roman Catholic Womenpriests-USA, Inc. RCWP-USA, Inc. disclaims any responsibility for the operation of these ministries. The biographical information and descriptions of the ministries are for informational purposes only. This website also contains links to third party sites. Such links do not constitute or imply an endorsement and/or sponsorship by RCWP-USA, Inc. RCWP-USA, Inc. is not responsible for such third party websites and is not liable for the contents therein.