May 7, 2017 marks the 54th annual World Day of Prayer for Vocations — a day when the global Church prays for the ministers of the Church and for “young men and women to hear and respond generously to the Lord’s call to the priesthood, diaconate, religious life, [and] societies of apostolic life.”

While seemingly inclusive, this language neglects to footnote those ministries where women are rejected, silenced and punished for following their call to ordination.

WOC and Women’s Ordination Worldwide will be marking this day a little differently…

Together with Women’s Ordination Worldwide we pray…

That our global Church may transform and renew its institution and practices to become a prophetic voice and witness for global gender justice. We pray that our Church will uphold the Gospel message of equality and honor the vocations and ministries of all its members.

Click here for Prayer and Liturgy Resources 

And we take action!

Join Catholics around the world as they raise their voices and move their feet for women’s equality in the Roman Catholic Church! WOW offers these planning tools to help your witness:

Organize a witness in your community:

Ask 2 – 3 people you know who are supportive of the cause if they can help you organize. This is a great way to feel supported and make sure that you don’t take on too much responsibility in the planning. Divide responsibilities (publicity and media, local arrangements, day-of rituals or speakers, etc.)

Logistics:

  • What: Witness for Women’s Equality on World Day of Prayer for Vocations
  • When: May 7th, 2017. Find your local Cathedral or parish to check the timing of Sunday mass. It is best to start at least 30 minutes before Mass begins.
  • Where:  Your local Cathedral or parish. Visit the site and evaluate where your group might witness. Learn about your local regulations and apply for local permits if necessary.
  • Who: Advocates for women’s full inclusion in ordained ministries around the world will be witnessing in their communities.
  • Why: While the Roman Catholic Church prays for vocations, the institutional Church denies women’s access to ordained ministries, rejecting women’s vocations and silencing those who support them. The Church’s stance that women are unequal to men contributes to global oppression of women, perpetuating and legitimizing sexism

The goal of this global witness is to amplify the global voice for women’s ordination, exposing the Church’s participation in oppression against women, and support those women who are discerning or have identified a vocation to ordained ministry.

Materials:

    • Be seen: Visuals are imperative. Bring your banner, logo and signs to make sure your message is clear.  Encourage the group to wear purple or purple stoles – the international symbol for women’s ordination. If you are planning a ritual, make sure you have what you need. Some groups bring bread and wine, others use oils to anoint each other on the hands or forehead.
      • Praying for vocations? Ordain Women!
      • Women priests are here
      • Priestly people come in all genders
      • Equal Rites for Women
    • Be heard: If you plan to have speakers or a group leader, make sure you arrange for a sound system or bullhorn. This may require special permits. Otherwise, chanting and singing are always good! You may want to print out song lyrics to pass around to your group.
    • Be read: Have the WOW statement or your own leaflets ready to give to passers-by. This should be a short but comprehensive message about who you are, why you’re there, and how to find you. Include social media links.

Publicity:

Get the word out about your event to bring supporters and alert the media.

  • Create an invitation or announcement on facebook and email. Hang flyers in your community centers. Make announcements and tell you friends. Share your event on social media using @OrdainWomen and #OrdainWomen.
  • Write a media advisory to local news outlets. Many communities have online calendars where you can easily add your event. Let WOW know of your event and we will include it on our website and in our e-newsletter to supporters.
  • Write a letter to the editor, discussing the purpose of your event, its global support, and the wider effects of inequality in the Catholic Church.
  • After asking permission, take lots of photos of your event! Share them on social media, and follow up with media outlets to let them know of the success of your event. Tag photos using #OrdainWomen.  Don’t forget to tweet your photos to @Pontifex and your local bishop.