Monday, July 29, 2013



You are pearls.
You began
as irritants.

                                                                    The ocean pushed
                                                                     your small, nearly
                                                                           rough body
                                                                 through an undetected
                                                                      crack in the shell. 
                                                                        You got inside. (Cont.)
                                                          by Alla Renée Bozarth
Read Alla"s post on the occasion of the ordinations.

From Deacon Leilani Nelson at The Daily Office:

I can tell you where I was 39 years ago today, when 11 women were ordained as Episcopal priests in Philadelphia. It was that kind of historic, cataclysmic event. I’d just turned 23 and was attending the National Institute for Lay Training at the General Theological Seminary in New York.
Read all of Deacon Leilani's eye-witness account at the link above.

The names of the Philadelphia 11:

Merrill Bittner
Alison Cheek
Alla Bozarth (Campell)
Emily C Hewitt
Carter Heyward
Suzanne R. Hiatt (deceased 2002)
Marie Moorefield
Jeanette Piccard (deceased 1981)
Betty Bone Schiess
Katrina Welles Swanson (deceased 2006)
Nancy Hatch Witting

Ordaining Bishops:

Daniel Corrigan
Robert L DeWitt
Edward R Welles
Assisting: Antonio Ramos

H/T to The Lead for the names.


JCF said...

Do you remember this, Mimi? (Did it make any impression on RC women?)

It was a *Big Deal* for 12 year-old cradle Pisky Moi. Possibilities!

Grandmère Mimi said...

I have a rather vague memory of hearing about the ordination and thinking the women and the bishops had a great deal of courage. I'm sure it was a much bigger deal for Episcopalians.

whiteycat said...

I was Roman at the time. Since I live in the Philadelphia suburbs this was a BIG DEAL to me! I remember seeing it reported on the news and reading about it in the newspaper. I could not wait to someday meet a priest who was female. I felt this was the greatest thing that could happen in the church. It jump started me on my journey from the RCC to TEC. I have been a proud Episcopalian for nearly 31 years. For this ex-Roman the ordination of the Philadelphia 11 was a VERY BIG DEAL!

Grandmère Mimi said...

whiteycat, you were closer, and the event probably was more widely covered by the media in your area. Though I was much slower in stepping out of the RCC, I remember thinking positively about the Episcopal Church for quite a while. When I attended the Baptism of our neighbor's baby, I liked the liturgy very much.

At the time we were rather heavily involved as a family in the Catholic Student Center here in Thibodaux, and my leaving would have been a wrench for the whole family. The priest was quite progressive for the time, and we were generally satisfied with our parish, so long as we didn't pay a lot of attention to what went on in the wider church.

Alla Renée Bozarth said...

Thank you so very much for your remembrance, Grandma Mimi, and for your wonderful blog!
You provide a tremendous service of positive communication. You give voice to What Is in such a good way. Loving Blessings All Over You and Throughout Your Life and Ministry~ Alla

Alla Renée Bozarth said...

Your readers might also like to see this current piece about the Philadelphia Ordinations and Pope Francis in Rio, posted on Feminism and Religion:

Highlight the link, right click, select "Open Link."

And they might also enjoy this relationship between Judy Chicago's "The Dinner Party" and the Philadelphia Ordinations:

There is a tribute to the fifteen women Nobel Peace Prize laureates, including Wangari Maathai and Aung San Suu Kyi and three African American Episcopal women priests (including Bishop Barbara Harris) on my main blog: