Women Renew the Church: Reflections of a Roman Catholic Woman Priest
This week I had the pleasure of visiting Rev. Dr. Bridget Mary Meehan, Bishop in the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. In 2007, after I first heard her speak at a Mass in someone’s home in Southwest Florida, the world of Roman Catholic Women Priests was opened to me. She had been ordained a Roman Catholic Woman Priest in 2006 in the first ordination in the USA. An excellent, impassioned and dynamic speaker and homilist she talked of her call and how the Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement began.
It started on the Danube River in June of 2002 when seven extremely well prepared qualified women were ordained on a ship on the Danube River by a Roman Catholic Bishop in good standing with apostolic succession. Two women were ordained as Bishops shortly thereafter as the identity of the male bishops will be revealed after their deaths and the line will be passed on through the women bishops. There are many more bishops and ordained priests now and they are part of the international movement of Roman Catholic Women Priests.
It is twenty-one years after the Danube Seven were ordained and there are almost 300 ordained women priests and deacons throughout the world . I was ordained in 2008 and with Rev. Judy Beaumont,ordained in 2012, developed Good Shepherd Ministries of Southwest Florida that exists to the present time. It became a large ministry and church with the poor and homeless and formerly homeless of Fort Myers, Florida along with many supporters. Each of the almost 300 ordained priests has her own church or ministry and the movement continues on. You may wish to find out more about it.
Please see RCWP-USA- https://www.romancatholicwomenpriests.org and https://www.arcwp.org for information ; and see bridgetmarysblogspot and judyabl.blog and also judyabl1wordpress.com for many stories of the ministries of Roman Catholic Women Priests.
There are several books written about the RCWP Movement by now but I will note two here: Women Find A Way: The Movement and Stories of Roman Catholic Women Priests by Elsie Hainz McGrath,Bridget Mary Meehan and Ida Raming, (Virtualbookworm.com, 2008) and Womanpriest: Tradition and Transgression in the Contemporary Roman Catholic Church by Jill Peterfeso, (Fordham University Press, 2020).
Here are some RC Women Priests in action:
Bishop Patricia Fresen ordaining Diane Willman in South Africa
Below are some Members of the Eastern Region of RCWP after and Ordination in Morristown, New Jersey
The baptism of Mr. Robert Swanson, one of 30 people baptized by Pastor Judy and Good Shepherd Inclusive Catholic Church
Below we have Rvda Marina Teresa Sanchez Mejia in Ecuador
Mass in Ecuador
Christ Be Our Light, with Pastor Judy Beaumont, RCWP
Below we have Good Shepherd members Brenda, Ellen,Stella, and Pearl gathering outside with Pastors Judy and Marina Teresa during Covid
Some Members of the Good Shepherd Community in Fort Myers, Florida
I hope your interest is sparked and that you will go to the websites and books noted above and others to find out about the Roman Catholic Woman Priest Movement.
Rev. Dr. Judith Lee, RCWP
Pastor Good Shepherd Ministries, Fort Myers, Florida