PressRelease: Historic Ordination of Miriam Picconi and Wanda Russell as Roman Catholic Women Priests
Release date: March 14, 2012
Contact: Janice Sevre-Duszynska, 859-684-4247, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan, 941-955-2313, 703-505-0004, email@example.com
Miriam Picconi, 502-320-6817, MIRIAMPICCONI@gmail.com
Wanda Russell, 502-320-6814, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dorothy Irvin, 612-387-3784
On Saturday, April 14, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. Miriam Picconi and Wanda Russell of Palm Coast, Florida will be ordained priests in the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. The presiding bishop will be Bridget Mary Meehan of Sarasota and Falls Church, Virginia. The ceremony will take place at the Unitarian Universalist Society, 56 North Halifax Drive, Ormond Beach, Florida 32176 www.uuormond.net/ (Check their website for directions).
From 12:30 – 1:30 p. m. Catholic theologian and archaeologist Dorothy Irvin, whose ground-breaking research reveals evidence of women deacons, priests and even bishops, has provided a historic foundation for our movement, will give a lecture with slides of Women’s Ordination in the Early Church. All are welcome to the ordination and pre-ordination lecture.Media are invited to a pre-ordination press conference at 12:30 p.m. with the candidates and Bridget Mary Meehan. Call Janice (859-684-4247) to schedule an interview.
The ordinands are theologically prepared and have many years of experience in ministry. Miriam (Mary Ann) Picconi spent 25 years with the Missionary Servants of the Most Blessed Trinity, becoming certified in Theology and teacher training, while earning a degree in Special Studies and a Masters in Religious Studies, in addition to completing over 400 hours in Clinical Pastoral Education. She has administrated and directed a variety of parish programs. Wanda Y. Lavinghouse Russell has one married daughter, Monica Leavitt. She has a B.S. degree in Psychology, coursework in Parish Ministry and a Masters in Education, Counseling. She has been a social worker for 25 years and has volunteered in a variety of parish ministries.
Both Miriam and Wanda are Associates with the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, Kentucky. In Palm Coast they lead a bible study group and advocate for the homeless. They also participate in ecumenical ministry, Miriam sometimes preaching and teaching at a local Episcopal church, and they host a theology club.
The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests rejoices in a “holy shakeup” that millions of Catholics worldwide welcome. The good news now is that male priests, bishops, a cardinal as well as theologians have expressed their support of female priests. They are following in the footsteps of Maryknoll Roy Bourgeois whose prophetic call for a dialogue on women priests is being heard in more and more places today in our Church.
“Nothing can stop the movement of the spirit toward human rights, justice and equality in our world and in our Church,” said Bridget Mary Meehan. “The full equality of women is the voice of God in our time.”
The Women Priests movement in the Roman Catholic Church advocates a new model of priestly ministry united with the people with whom we minister. We stand in prophetic obedience to Jesus who calls women and men to be disciples and equals. The movement began with the ordination of seven women on the Danube in 2002. Today there are over 130 in the movement worldwide. ARCWP is in the United States and Latin America. Our specific charism within the broader global Roman Catholic Women Priests initiative is to live Gospel equality and justice for women in the Church and in society now. We work in solidarity with the poor and marginalized for transformative justice in partnership with all believers. Our vision is to live as a community of equals in decision making both as an organization and within all our faith communities. We advocate the renewal of the vision of Jesus in the Gospel in our Church and world.