|Church of the Advocate - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
July 29, 1974
The First Eleven WOMEN Ordained as PRIESTS
Forty Years Later...
...It seems incongruous to some who don't remember before, that women being ordained is such a big deal. And it is still heretical to many others, for reasons I will NEVER understand, that on that July 29 in 1974, the Feast of Mary and Martha, 11 women became Priests for the Church and for all of us. The rest of the world, Anglican and otherwise, is still catching up, wrestling with the issue, or completely denying Holy Orders to women.
I don't have any profound statements or pronouncements to add to what has been said in many places elsewhere including two articles below, but I am posting the names of each of these courageous women. The hardships, the triumphs, the travesties, and travails they endured are beyond imagining, yet each one felt the strong call and forged the seemingly impossible path for those who have followed. How many of us will ever be faced with such challenges? Here are those women, some of whom have now left this earthly plane. Please pause at each name and pray a thanksgiving and let us also pray for those in this world still denied their opportunity simply because of their gender. Let us remember and thank:
~ Merrill Bittner
~ Alla Renée Bozarth (Bozarth-Campbell)
~ Alison Mary Cheek
~ Emily Clark Hewitt
~ Isabel Carter Heyward
~ Suzanne Radley Hiatt
~ Marie Moorefield Fleischer
~ Jeannette Ridlon Piccard
~ Betty Bone Schiess
~ Katrina Martha van Alstyne Welles Swanson
~ Nancy Constantine Hatch Wittig
God of ALL Genders, Races, Colors, Ethnicities, Heights, Weights, Sexual Orientation, Ages, and all Other Categories,
Please grant a special place in heaven for all of these women, who struggled to answer your call, and for all of those who supported them in their quest. Also bless the Bishops who defied the status quo and helped make this ordination day possible. Sanctify all those with the courage to push the barriers knowing many obstacles will not yield easily if at all, and that their own suffering for the cause will make the road easier for those that come after. Open the eyes, hearts, and minds, of those who continue on a path of needless discrimination without justification that prevents others from fulfilling their own destinies. We have all been blessed by these women, and their legacy will last as long as faith in You continues. amen.
Here are the links to 2 articles and the entire celebration service in Philadelphia:
Here is the Liturgy as it was recorded live on Saturday, July 26, 2014 at The Church of the Advocate in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where The Eleven were ordained 40 years ago:
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