Windsor’s 1st Roman Catholic Woman Priest to be Ordained as Canada’s 1st Woman Priest Celebrates 10th Anniversary

On Saturday, July 25, 2015, at 2 p.m., the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests will ordain Barbara Billey a priest, (519)735-3943. The ordaining bishop will be Bridget Mary Meehan. The ceremony will be held in the Chapel of Cardinal Smart Retirement Living, 3140 Peter St., Windsor, ON (519) 254-1112. Parking at St. Michael’s School. A dinner will follow at 6:30 pm, 140 Bridge Ave., Penthouse (Buzz #6). Street parking only. All are welcome.

Barbara is a registered psychotherapist and art therapist who has a private practice working with children, youth and adults. She enjoys using the creative arts as part of her healing ministry in order to facilitate encounters with the Sacred. Barbara holds graduate degrees in education and counseling/art therapy as well as a Doctor of Ministry. “We, God’s beloveds, the sacraments, and the Church cannot be truly whole without women at all levels of ministry, including priesthood. While I’ve had many challenges in this sacred calling, deep within is a steadfastness that sustains my going forward. I’m gripped by this grace.”

July 25th is also the 10th anniversary of Canada’s first woman priest, Michele Birch-Conery, (519) 962-7016 who was ordained on the St. Lawrence River in 2005. A retired professor of English Literature and Women’s Studies with a focus on Women and Religion, she lived and ministered on Vancouver Island, British Columbia with outreach to the GLBTQ Dignity Vancouver community. In 2014, she moved to Windsor where she collaborates with Barbara and their Heart of Compassion Faith Communities in Ontario and Michigan.

As urban priests and compassion activists, Michele and Barbara presented the Charter for Compassion for adoption by the City of Windsor and are currently supporting the empowerment of young women of various faith traditions through their Wisdom Women Circles of Compassion initiative. In Detroit, Michigan and area, they also partner with Deacon Jeni Marcus in activism with GLBTQ communities and an ecumenical Call to Action community.