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Catholics Call for a Church that Includes Women Priests

The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests will ordain 3 women bishops, during Pope Francis’ visit.

As Pope Francis arrives in the United States, members of the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests will gather near Philadelphia, PA.

On September 24, 2015, 2:00 pm at a retreat center in Pendle Hill, PA,  ARCWP will ordain 3 new women bishops from Latin America, Canada and the United States; meeting the growing needs of women called to priesthood.

ARCWP members serve inclusive Catholic communities where all are welcome to receive sacraments including gays, lesbians, and transgender as well as divorced and remarried Catholics.

According to Call to Action, 1/3 of all adults who were raised Catholics have left the church. One of the main reasons is disillusionment with the church on the treatment of women.

According to one survey, 70% of U.S. Catholics support women priests.

Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan said, “The good news is that the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests is forming a new community of equal partnership with the people of God. We would love to meet Pope Francis and share our hopes and dreams for gender equality in a discipleship of equals, not a new hierarchy.”

The bishops-elect are:

Olga Lucia Alvarez of Medellin, Colombia. Olga was educated by the Dominican Sisters of the Presentation. She did USEMI Missionary work with indigenous and Afro communities and was secretary of CELAM Medellin 1968. Her formation included religious studies, pastoral ministry, catechesis superior, liberation theology and an emphasis on popular reading of the Bible. Olga was ordained a priest in Sarasota, FL on December 11, 2010. She accompanies several communities and strengthens the ecumenical base primarily of the itinerant. She works with women who are former (ex) convicts and with ASFADES (Association of Families of the Disappeared). Olga is author of several books and articles in biblical-theological reflection and is a Collective Member of the Ecumenical Bible Scholars.

Michele Birch Conery of Windsor, ONT Canada. Michele celebrated her 10th anniversary as Canada’s first woman priest on July 25th. She was ordained a deacon in Passau, Germany in 2004 and a priest in 2005 on the St. Lawrence Seaway. A retired professor of English Literature and Women’s Studies with a focus on Women and Religion, she lived and ministered on Vancouver Island with outreach to the LGBTQ Dignity Vancouver community. In 2013, she moved to Windsor where she collaborates with priest Barbara Billey and Deacon Jeni Marcus of Detroit with their Heart of Compassion Faith Communities in Ontario and Michigan.

Mary E. Collingwood of Hudson, OH has served for over 40 years in church ministry. With an MA in Theology from St. Mary Seminary and Graduate School of Theology in Wickliffe, OH, she served as Director of Religious Education, Coordinator for Marriage Preparation, Pastoral Associate, Director of the Diocesan Pro-Life Office and on various boards and councils. Mary and her husband, Rich, continue to be blessed with seven children and are grandparents. Weekly celebration of Eucharist, administering the sacraments, pastoral counseling, and supporting women in ordained ministry is her calling and passion. Mary was ordained a priest in Brecksville, OH on May 24, 2014.