Last week's story of Norma Jean Coon publicly renouncing her association with RCWP and attempt at ordination to the diaconate really moved me. It was a bright light of hope in a week of dark, despairing news. Perhaps it's the initial sign that the womynpreest movement is beginning to crack. Thus, we should all help it along.
That's why I've decided to launch the "Adopt-A-Priestess Project", which is not all that dissimilar from "Adopt A Seminarian" initiatives some dioceses have, or the Spiritual Adoption of Unborn Human Life that had been encouraged by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen.
Here's how it will work: I have a list of the names of 75 women, taken directly from the website of Roman Catholic Women Priests. They are from the US, Canada and a few from Europe. The list will get longer, as I am sifting through a similar roster from the Women's Ordination Conference site (I'm checking for duplication). If you wish to participate, I will assign you one of the names - or more, if you so desire, just let me know. I'm asking you to pray for that woman's conversion and return in full communion to the Church. How you do that is entirely up to you. Masses, rosaries, Divine Mercy chaplets, adoration, fasting - whatever devotion or means that works for you. If you're a priest, and you want to participate, perhaps you could say Masses for that woman (a few for the success of this project would be cool, too!)
If you are interested in joining, leave your name in the combox with the number of women you can commit to pray for. I'll assign names in the comment box (you can make personal requests, too if you know one in particular - and please be patient if I don't respond immediately to your request). If the entire list is exhausted - and wouldn't that be great? - I'll just cycle through a second time, until everyone who wants to participate has someone to pray for. It's my hope that every woman will have at least one person praying for them. Given that I have 253 followers and 445 Google subscribers, I think chances are good. I've taken the first two names from the list - who wants the next?
Please - prayerfully consider taking part in this project. This movement can be defeated, one woman at a time. It won't be won through argument or persuasion (least of all snarky blogposts), but only through the power of the Holy Spirit, invoked through prayer and sacrifice. Conversion doesn't happen in a vacuum - as Catholics, we must stand in the gap and assault heaven with prayer. We might not see tangible results, but God answers every prayer in His way, in His time.
So -if you blog (which is not a prerequisite to participate, btw), or do the Facebook thing, please help out and swipe the "Adopt-A-Priestess Project" button for your site, whether you choose to participate or not, and link back to this post (You can modify the button's HTML code so it automatically links to this post. If you don't know how, ask and I'll walk you through it). Please spread the word. This is one of the reasons why we belong to the Catholic blogosphere community - bloggers, readers, commenters, lurkers - to further the kingdom of God and to build up the body of Christ.
I know that most of the time I'm poking fun at these women's misguided beliefs...okay, make that all the time. But this is serious business. You might think that the womynpreest movement isn't the most pressing issue facing today's Church. Well, that argument can take place some other time. Nevertheless, their movement does in fact wound the body of Christ, it makes a mockery of the holy priesthood, and it serves to undermine Church authority. It's leading other souls astray, and thus, it must be stopped. And while it's true we can pray in a general sort of way for the Holy Spirit to convert these women, I believe it's more efficacious to pray for each individual specifically. Christ died to save each of us, not in groups or teams, but as individuals, uniquely created in the image and likeness of God. So when there's an opportunity to pray for people by name, we ought to.
I'm placing this project under the intercessory protection of St Therese of Lisieux, St John Vianney and Venerable (soon to be Blessed) Pope John Paul II. And St. Michael the Archangel for good measure.
Thanks for your participation.
UPDATE 3/1 at 9:30 PM EST - at this point, 26 women have been adopted. What an awesome response! If you've requested a name, check back in the combox after a few hours - that's where I'm posting the names.
UPDATE 3/2 at 9:00 AM EST - we've crossed the half-way point! 38 women have been adopted now. Thanks!
UPDATE 3/2 11:00 PM EST - up to 53 adoptees! Way to go everybody! More than two-thirds there!
UPDATE 3/3 2:00 PM EST - 58 women have been adopted to date. Also, Fr. Cory Sticha has some advice for those considering making contact:
I'm reluctant to advise anyone to contact the "priestesses" they've adopted before they've spent some time praying specifically for them. I would think that spending a week praying for them, asking the Holy Spirit to move in the prayer's heart so that they can reach out to their adopted "priestesses" with the true charity of Christ. Once they have prayed for them (and fasted - remember what Our Lord said about prayer and fasting), then they can reach out to those they are praying for.Thanks, Father.
Now, this is just my advice, but knowing how easily Internet communication can be misunderstood, it's probably best to allow the Holy Spirit some time to work in our lives before contacting them.
UPDATE 3/4 9:00 AM EST - more than 90% of the members of the RCWP have been adopted - only 7 left. If you've been considering participating - now is the time. Oh, btw - 3 of these are men - which proves, I suppose, that the RCWP truly is inclusive...
UPDATE 3/4 9:00 PM EST - well, each person (I have to say that because some RCWP members are men) has an individual committed to praying for them! That's right - 100% have been spiritually adopted - in fact, four now have two people praying for them. What a fantastic response! Deo gratias! That doesn't mean you're "late" if you want to participate. The more pray-ers the better! Let me know if you want a name - I'll respond with one.