I read with delight and interest Nick Welsh’s “What Hath Dog Wrought?” about Bishop Dr. Patricia Fresen and the content of her public presentation at Trinity Episcopal Church: “Missing: Women in Priestly Service in the Catholic Church …Will the Next 10 Years Bring About Change?” In my estimation and in that of my colleagues, Patricia Fresen has led an heroic life, not only because she is recognized for her prophetic role on behalf of women and women’s ordination in the Catholic Church, but also for her stand, as a young Dominican sister and school principal, against apartheid, which led to her arrest and imprisonment in her native homeland of South Africa.
Patricia Fresen is one of the forerunners of an organized movement for women’s ordination that has risen in the Roman Catholic Church: Roman Catholic Womenpriests (RCWP). More information about the movement can be obtained at the organization’s website romancatholicwomenpriests.org”. At that site one can discover much about the depth and breadth, throughout the world, of the dedicated ministries of women priests and the worshiping communities with whom they serve.
Locally, if anyone would like a rich experience of Catholic liturgy and community, a community pastored by women priests, the Catholic Church of the Beatitudes, cosponsors of Patricia Fresen’s public talk, meets each Saturday at 5:30 p.m. at First Congregational Church, 2101 State Street, Santa Barbara. I invite readers to visit the website beatitudes-sb.org and its community. They correctly describe themselves as “a new way to be Roman Catholic”.
Thank you, Nick and The Santa Barbara Independent, for being forerunners who publish news articles about a myriad of issues and challenges, both local and global in nature.
Olivia Doko currently serves as bishop of the Western Region of RCWP-USA and as International Representative of RCWP to the Women’s Ordination Worldwide Steering Committee.