Association of Roman Catholic
WHO: Validly ordained women and men dedicated to gender equality in the Roman Catholic Church, inclusiveness, and a contemporary theology of joy and ministering to the marginalized.
WHAT: Christ's message is one of love, not a plethora of rules. We attempt to concentrate on the joyful, giving nature of God.
WHEN: Women priests, first ordained by a Roman Catholic bishop in apostolic succession, have existed since 2002. See ARCWP.com
WHERE: We have representatives throughout the USA ,Canada, Colombia and Spain.
WHY:Our prophetic calling is to renew priestly ministry in the Roman Catholic tradition. The Church needs re-forming, and also needs to recognize the position and gifts of women.
"There is neither . . . .male nor female because we are all
one in Christ." St. Paul.
We must return to the simple ways of Christ, who 'came and pitched his tent among us'. Christ was a carpenter, a working man . . . who surrounded himself with fishermen, ordinary working people, not the Pharisees, and reached out to the unbelieving, the marginalized, and all those in need.
I was born in Utica, New York, and raised in Albany by wonderful parents, who valued independence, a positive attitude, and diversity. They encouraged me and my two sisters to be self-sufficient, but never at the expense of seeking a safe life.
They taught that 'those to whom much is given, much is expected'. Also influenced by the Sisters of Mercy who educated me, I entered the convent in 1950, and taught at every level . . . elementary, high school, and college. In 1966, I was sent with three others as missionaries to Beruit, Lebanon, where we worked in a Palestinian camp. The Six-Day War broke out and we were evacuated in June, 1967.
Two years later, overwhelmed by our country's racial injustice, and attitude towards segregation, I left the Order, joined the Boston Public School System, and studied for my Master's Degree in Counseling. The faculty's radical and racial diversity served us and our pupils well, and we teachers are still friends. At that time, I also met my future husband, Ed Blanchard, a widower with five children.
After raising the older five, who were scattered across the country, in 1992, Ed and I retired to Albuquerque with our son, Michael. I worked as a Licensed Professional Counselor, and served as an Eucharistic minister in our parish church for twenty years. My husband died after a long illness and I, again, retired.
However, God never gives us a minute's peace. If we are still breathing, the Divine always has something in mind. While lunching with and congratulating a former student, who recently had been ordained a woman priest, she casually asked me, "Why don't you become a priest?"
Why not indeed! A Divine invitation! I had been complaining and writing for years about the lack of gender equality in the Roman Catholic Church.
I was ordained a priest in the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests on May 24, 2014, at age eighty-two.
How fortunate I am to have my health, my friends, and my family, and the opportunity to be a witness and a participant to a prophetic movement within the Roman Catholic Church.
Father Aunt Mary...