How One Spirit~One Call Started
On August 11, 2010, eighty-year-old Jennifer Sleeman of Ireland called on all women in Ireland to stay home from Mass on September 26, the week of her eighty-first birthday, to raise awareness of the unjust and unequal treatment of women in the Catholic Church. This was prompted by the Vatican’s decision to include ordination of women in a list of “grave offenses” that also named such sins as pedophilia. Mrs. Sleeman said, “I think this might give people who perhaps feel voiceless in the church a voice. There are lots of women who feel very strongly about being able to do more within the church but are simply not allowed to do so.”
Many women of St. Andrew Parish in Portland, Oregon were moved by Mrs. Sleeman’s call to bring attention to the injustices to women in the Church. We were inspired to invite others across the Northwest to join us in promoting awareness of the Church’s treating women as second-class citizens by staging a public event on September 26, 2010 to pray, sing, and give testimony to the need for change in the Church. Our intentions were not to be divisive or disrespectful; rather, with great hope, peace and prayerfulness, we desired to make a strong statement for justice for women and the need for change in the Catholic Church.
In the year since, momentum has continued to build the grassroots movement that is One Spirit ~ One Call. More than six hundred women from fifty-four parishes in the Archdiocese of Portland and beyond have attended circle meetings, leadership workshops or educational events.
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The statements and opinions expressed here are solely those of the organizers and not those of any parish or other organization.