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Ordination of Jane Kryzanowski as Bishop for RCWP Canada

Roman Catholic Women Priests movement at it’s core a commitment to adopt the mind of Jesus the Christ

Marie Bouclin, RCWP Canada Bishop Emerita | July 21, 2018

“Mary stood up and, addressing her brothers and sisters, said, ‘Do not weep and be distressed nor let your hearts be irresolute. For the grace (of Christ) will be with you all and will protect you’”.  I commend Jane for choosing a gospel reading from the Gospel of Mary, the Magdalene, for this celebration today, the vigil of her feast day. Mary Magdalene is both model and patron of women who accept a ministry of leadership, in prophetic obedience to Christ and the Holy Spirit.

We thank God for calling you to be the bishop for RCWP Canada, Jane, and as the church, companion disciples of Jesus and People of God, we thank you for answering that call.

Mary stood up. She greeted the disciples, and then invited them and us to use Paul’s words, to “be united in our convictions and united in our love with a common purpose and a common mind”. We too must stand up: for justice and equality and we must “be of the same mind as Christ Jesus”.

Our Roman Catholic Women Priests movement is at it’s very core, a commitment to adopt the mind of Jesus the Christ:

    * to follow Jesus where the Spirit of God leads us;
    * to provide a Christ-like model of leadership within of our church;
    * to build communities of equal companions;
    * to empower one another so that together we explore and deepen our relationship with the Divine;
    * to be of the same mind as Christ Jesus is;
    * to do what Jesus tells us to do -- stand with the oppressed, reach out to the broken-hearted, feed the hungry, welcome refugees, free captives of all kinds, care for the sick and comfort those who mourn.

But we Roman Catholic Women Priests are also an instrument of reform and renewal within our church. And this means urging it forward, courageously forging ahead. It also means, as many of you heard last evening, migrating. We are on a migrational faith journey as a movement for reform within our Church, even if we’ve been marginalized by its authorities and deemed to have excluded ourselves.

As a movement, we are deeply aware of some “mind places” we have left behind.

First, we have had to move out of our comfort zone in a church that gave us moral and spiritual certainty, comforting rituals, and for many of us fulfilling and gratifying employment.  We seek a Christ-centered spirituality with new rituals still to be created. The future at times may look uncertain, but as we journey we are been blessed with the solidarity of a small and very diverse company of friends and supporters. We are truly grateful to you all.

We have also migrated from an institutional mindset that excludes women and LGBTQ2+ and divorced persons and all heretics (defined as those who think differently) to a community spirit which is inclusive and accepting of differences. This is symbolized in our all-are-welcome communion table.

We have migrated from imposed, infallible doctrine to asking questions and “doing” theology, liturgy and pastoral practice based on our Baptismal priesthood, our personal experience of life and prayer, and our listening  to voice of the Spirit speaking both within and through the People of God.

We have migrated from a narrow Roman Catholic Christianity to authentic ecumenism, finding support and learning from other Christian churches and their prophetic voices.

We have moved away from pyramids of governance based on descending domination to circles of leadership which strive to model transparency, accountability and collegiality.

We have moved from dogma to dialogue, engaging in conversation with people of other faiths or of no faith because we don’t preach about how to get to heaven but rather the Hebrew Tikum Olan or healing of this world, and we honour all wisdom paths because they too, to quote the book of Proverbs, “are blessed with insight and understanding.” 

You will have already noticed that we have migrated from all-male God-language, along with calcified and repetitious rituals, to inclusive language, re-discovered biblical metaphors and a multitude of ways of naming the Divine. We try to breathe life into our worship by making space for both silent reverence and joyous spontaneity.

We are also moving away from a religion of sacrifice and “suffering for” (called atonement theology) to a religion of gratitude, compassion, non-violence and “suffering with” (called Eucharistic theology), meaning a religion of thanksgiving.

To follow Jesus the Christ, we have let ourselves be instructed by Scripture scholars and liberation theologians and mystics and pastoral exemplars.

We have simply chosen – or more aptly, been chosen -- to put the Gospel of Jesus above Canon Law.

This is our call to prophetic obedience to Christ and the Spirit.

Of course we know that prophetic obedience comes at a price. Where Jesus has gone, we too must go. But rather than dwell on the risk of being badly treated by our church and deeply disappointed by its leadership, we put our trust in God whose Word reassures us: “With Wisdom your journey will be secure and your feet will not stumble. You will not be afraid.”

The gift our Women Priests’ movement is offering our church is to call upon  an institution  built on force and fear to become a community built on courage and hope.

Our mission as women priests and bishops within the church is to give hope because we believe the promise of Jesus to be with us always.

Today, with Jane as our spiritual leader, we re-commit to doing justice, loving tenderly and walking humbly with our God even as we wait in JOYFUL hope.

This is the day our God has made. Let us rejoice and be glad. AMEN!

[Homily given by presiding bishop, Marie Bouclin, on July 21, 2018, in Calgary, AB, on the eve of the feast of St. Mary of Magdala during the Eucharistic Celebration before the Episcopal Ordination of Jane Kryzanowki as bishop for RCWP Canada.]

Jane Kryzanowski ordained new bishop for RCWP Canada

Editor, RCWP Canada Monthly Review | July 25, 2018  

On July 21, 2018, in Calgary, AB, on the eve of the feast of St. Mary of Magdala, Jane Kryzanowki of Regina was ordained bishop for RCWP Canada.

At the conclusion of  the ordination liturgy, the new bishop made the following remarks:

Allow me one brief message especially with the younger women and girls who are present -- and to others who feel marginalized in society and especially in the church:  Listen for the Divine voice resounding in your soul to understand who you are.  Don't let others define you as “different” or “less than,” -- for each person is a beloved one of God. 

For too long women and LGBTQ+ persons, indigenous people and other social minorities, and mother earth herself, have been exploited by the forces of hierarchical, patriarchal, and economic powers which define us for their purposes. Violence and abuse, exploitation, diminishment and exclusion hurt.  So, stand tall in your truth and dare to follow your dreams and visions to walk the path of justice and compassion. 

We in RCWP Canada will walk with you as sisters, as companions.

In conjuction with the episcopal ordination, the RCWP Canada community invited the public to a presentation by bishops from Canada and the United States on the growth and development of the women's ordination movement.

Roman Catholic Women Priests serve small faith communities in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchwan, Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick. Jane Kryzanowski is the first Roman Catholic Woman Priest to be ordained bishop on Canadian soil.

Jane Kryzanowski, Episcopal Ordination Dinner Remarks | July 21, 2018

I find it delightful to have this opportunity to linger a bit after the amazing ordination liturgy this afternoon.  Our conversations relish that experience and forge our bonds of friendship and solidarity in the renewal movement we lead in the church we love.  As Roman Catholic Women Priests are called from among the people of God, by you, to be leaders of vision and imagination to read the signs of our times, and of courageous daring to respond to the promptings of God's Spirit among us. 

The public presentation last night brought home ways that this is happening in the United States as well as in Canada.  We are people on the move like our ancestors in faith who knew exodus and exile. 

Hildegard of Bingen once said, “We cannot live in a world that is not our own, in a world that is interpreted for us by others... is not a home.”  For too long, our religious world has been interpreted for us.  Especially as women in the Church, we have been told who we are and what role we can play - and not play.  And, to a large part, we have accepted that over the years. 

Hildegard encourages us “to take back our own listening, to use our own voice, to see our own light.”  And so, together, we are.  We are moving from calcified ritual to contemporary faith expression; from authoritarian leadership to collegiality; and from living by archaic rules and regulations to living by love; as just a few examples.  We do not know where it will take us, but we do know that by attentive listening to the voice of God and daring to say “Yes” we are following the One who is Light – the light of the world. 

Recently Chief Marie-Anne Day Walker-Pelletier of the Okanese First Nation, Saskatchewan was named to the Order of Canada, our national order and honour of merit.  She has been leading her community for 37 years, making her the longest serving indigenous chief in Canada. 

She spoke about her philosophy of good leadership earlier on when she was recognized by the Assembly of First Nations in 2016.  She said, "I walk shoulder-to-shoulder with them. I see myself as a leader to work with my community and to be with my community."

She went on to say, "When I came home, everybody was saying congratulations to me, and I said, 'You know what, you got to congratulate yourselves for allowing me to be here.' "

It is those sentiments I want to reiterate, “To be with you and to work with you.”  Our model of leadership is a discipleship of equals. We work collegially, we are partners, we empower one another to be the hands and feet of Christ and preach by our lives the good news Jesus preached, the loving tenderness and compassion of God. 

And with Marie-Anne I say, “Congratulate yourself for allowing me to be here.”  Congratulations! And Thank you, to each and to all of you for being here, for your love and support of our movement and me personally. 

I wish to leave you with this familiar quote from Albert Camus:
Don't walk behind me; I may not lead.
Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow.
Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Episcopal Ordination Symbols


The anointing of the Bishop on the head symbolizes a sharing in the fullness of the priesthood of Christ.


The Book of the Gospel was held over Jane's head by two of her Godchildren.  It is the Illustrated Book of the Gospels, Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN.


The ring is a gift to Jane by her family as an expression of their solidarity with her.


The cross Jane received illustrates the works of mercy. It was given to her by Bishop Marie.


Jane's staff is bound with ribbons symbolizing areas of her pastoral concern:  gender justice, indigenous justice and environmental justice. These areas are intertwined in their suffering from patriarchal dominance and exploitation.  The top represents the Trinity as source of passionate fire of justice.


Women's Ordination Worldwide (WOW) inaugurated the painting, "Longing for the Sun of Justice" by Dr. Annette Esser, on the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene in 2017. The painting symbolizes women’s call to priesthood, not granted by men in the church, but through Christ. It shows two dissimilar hands varied in shape and colour, joining together to resemble a chalice, illuminated by a blazoned sun in the place of a host along a horizon. A small cross appears in the middle of the sun. Made whole and Holy by one another, the hands are united in the Sun, in Christ.

With this painting WOW reaffirms our call for the institutional Church to rid itself of the sin of sexism and model unconditional equality by opening up all ministries to Catholic women who have the talent and vocation to serve their communities as Mary Magdalene did.

On the Feast of the Apostle to the Apostles, which is celebrated on July 22nd, we are reminded that Mary Magdalene followed Jesus' call to go and tell the Good News of the Resurrection, inspiring women for centuries to answer God's call to preach, minister, and live the Gospel message of equality.

Used with permission of www.womensordinationworldwide.org

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