First Chinese Woman Ordained a Roman Catholic Priest

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On Saturday July 29th 2017 at 2PM Gertrude Y. Chen from TaiWan, and presently mainland China, was ordained to the Roman Catholic Priesthood in Catonsville, Maryland. The Ordination was held with the congregation of the Living Waters Inclusive Catholic Community at the St. John’s UCC Church on Rolling Road in Catonsville. Rev. Andrea Johnson, Bishop of the Eastern Region of Roman Catholic Women Priests, the RCWP Region that accepts international candidates under the direction of Rev. Caryl Johnson, was the presiding Bishop. Many priests of the region and guests attended this spirit filled sacrament of Holy Orders. Rev. Gertrude Chen has studied theology and pastoral ministry and has served the Catholic community in TaiWan for many years as a religious Sister. Rev.Chen described the experience as a fabulous gift of the Holy Spirit filled with love and unity. She has gone home to TaiWan before returning to mainland China to continue her studies in Chinese Medicine.
We are so happy to welcome Rev. Gertrude Y. Chen as Priest and as our Sister who opens the door in TaiWan to women called to serve God in the Roman Catholic church as priests.
BLESSINGS AND CONGRATULATIONS REV. GERTRUDE Y. CHEN,a woman of deep faith and courage who is well prepared for the priesthood by study and experience! May our loving God who chose you for priestly service continue to guide your every step.
Love and prayers,
Rev. Dr. Judy Lee, RCWP
Good Shepherd Inclusive Catholic Community, Fort Myers, Florida


laying of hands-andrea

30 responses to “First Chinese Woman Ordained a Roman Catholic Priest”

  1. Lathe Snyder says :

    Not a criticism, just a question. Based on pictures I has seen, bishops associated with Roman Catholic WomenPriests never wear miters, while maintaining use of the other generally used post VCII Catholic vestments. Is there a particular reason for this?
    Best Wishes for RCWP’s ministry,
    The Rev. Lathe Snyder.

    • judyabl says :

      Thank you Rev. Lathe Snyder,
      We tend to veer away from the non-essentials of power. Our bishops also are spiritual guides and sacramental leaders not power decision makers or administrators. We are now in the spirit of Pope Francis as well who veers away from the gold symbols of wealth everywhere preferring that our resources be given to the poor. You are correct too that we use the Sacrament of Holy Orders as it is in all other ways though without vows of obedience for the same reasons. Our relations are meant to be collegial more than subordinate. But the primary essence of bestowing Holy Orders for those called and prepared for the priesthood holds. Thank you for asking. Rev. Dr. Judith Lee

  2. Lathe Snyder says :

    A miter would clash with that theology of a bishop’s ministry.
    Thanks for your reply.

  3. Klaus Beisswenger says :


    • judyabl says :

      There are over 250 ordained Roman Catholic Women Priests and transitional deacons world-wide now and the early women were from Germany.
      We are indebted to their courage, preparedness,vision and faith.

  4. faithgoddess says :


  5. Mr True Faith says :


    • judyabl says :

      The word “heresy” comes from a Greek word meaning meaning “choice”. We choose to follow the call of Christ and if we are therefore heretics what good company we are in! St.Joan of Arc, Galileo, Hans Kung, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Mary McKillop and so many others! Hooray for those with courage to speak truth to power. And by the way in so many words, Jesus was seen as a heretic too! So glad to be in this company, if only in your eyes.

  6. The Rev. Lathe Snyder says :

    One might also add Jesus and Mary Magdalene to the list of heretics.

  7. Haroon bashir says :

    Big encouragment for the women who are will to serve the people of God as Priest. I appreciate the Bishop and his colleagues who took this bold step in the Roman Catholic Church.
    My heartly congratulations goes to the woman ordained Priest.
    Fr.haroon. from Pakistan

  8. zimesmuziba says :

    Hi! I just wanted to ask – is that not somewhat misleading to state it as a Roman Catholic ordination? After all, it is not quite the Roman Catholic Church that is generally understood by this name, but rather one of the groups outside it. The quest for female ordination inside the Roman Church is far from being over.

    • judyabl says :

      We are in the line of succession of a RC bishop in very good standing with the church whose name will be released after his death. Hence the Ordinations are valid and Roman Catholic. They are illicit due to the man made rule about males. Now, Mary of Magdala is recognized as the Apostle to the apostles- Jesus said to her “go and tell…” so some day the church laws will catch up.

      • zimesmuziba says :

        Ok, I got it, thanks for the reply. Congratulations on the ordination and God bless your ministry!

      • Eet Yeo says :

        Odd. Biblically and in the history of Christianity, those who spoke truth to power had no need to conceal themselves. Instead, they accepted martyrdom.

      • judyabl says :

        Obviously, Mr. Eugene, we are totally open-nothing to hide. Blessings as you try to understand that God can call whomever God wants to be priests, prophets and servants. And now we simply proceed with God’s work, hopefully with those who agree with us and with those who don’t as well. Blessings.

      • The Rev. Lathe Snyder says :

        Well, to be fair the bishop from whom you derive your orders has not been open. Also, while you regard your orders as valid, the Roman Church does not and will not. As a result, I am puzzled by the use of the word “Roman” in your name. Wouldn’t just Catholic WomenPriests be more accurate?

        I am a former Roman Catholic priest myself (Archdiocese of Cincinnati, ordained in 1991.) Although I am an Interfaith minister now, and attend a Unitarian Universalist church, I understand concerns about valid orders. While the concept doesn’t mean much to me now, if did would have no issues with yours. I support your ministry and ecclesiastical activism completely, and would be delighted if RCWP grew into a numerically significant denomination. I am just not that Mr. Eugene’s point is entirely wrong

  9. Joseph R Balderrama says :

    I could link any number of sources that will validate my saying that you are indeed heretics, but I hope that the Catechism will suffice.

  10. judyabl says :

    So was Jesus and St. Joan of Arc and Mother Mary McKillop and many more-what good company we are in!!

  11. Thomas Cusack says :

    The Federation of Christian ministries supports Roman Catholic women priests. We stand for the equality of the sexes, and of all human beings. Please go forward with your prophetic witness.

  12. Luis Manuel Molina says :

    This is BLASPHEMY! NO, these women don’t have valid orders and Rome will not recognize these pretenders. Neither will the Orthodox. For all I care, they can take their fake priests and unite with the Church of England. They deserve each other!

    • judyabl says :

      Blasphemy is exactly what Jesus was accused of!!! God calls whomever God calls to serve in whatever ways God wants-so who are we to limit God’s call-in the name of “Church”??? Our own ministry ( now and long before our more formal priesthoods) is with the poor and homeless and outcast (of the world and of the Church- and we find Jesus ever present there and we also experience CHURCH in a very special way-. Our prayers and blessings on all, especially on those who can not see this light…the Light will shine on it for you in time as you continue to love Jesus the Christ even more than any man-made constellation or organization. Bless you.

  13. Jig Alejo says :

    Hi. A question coming from curiosity: Why do you call yourself “Roman Catholic?” Do you wish to associate with the Roman Catholic Church, whose head is the pope?

    I understand that your church also ordains women, and I find that inspiring. That practice, however, is not done by the Roman Catholic Church, and I doubt it will be taken up this century (literally).

    Why not just establish your own church? Why choose to associate with the Roman Catholic Church?

    • judyabl says :

      Hello Jig,
      We love the essence of the Church and are ordained in a valid line of apostolic succession of a Bishop still in communion with the Pope and the church. Ours is part of a loyal church renewal and we love all that is basic and good about the church. Some of the exclusionary policies are in need of renewal including who can be ordained, who can receive Holy Communion, who can marry, who can be baptized etc.Many within the church are concerned about these issues and remain within, not without the Church standing for compassion, love and justice. Blessings, Pastor Judy

  14. Protas Kigozi says :

    Are you married or strick prohibited marriage? What opinion of men priest in Canada?what is the flow of vocation toward women priest?

    • judyabl says :

      Our priests may be married, single, divorced, gay or straight. God calls people in all states of life to serve in many ways, including as priests.
      We have some male priests in RCWP and ARCWP. While we now have over 250 priests world wide there are many in the pipeline. There is steady growth even though this necessitates courage and great faith. Thanks for asking.

      • Protas Kigozi says :

        Thanks where is your headquarters in the world?I would like to learn your life are you living as community or every one live in their place?do you have the church of your or?

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