Originally posted on Ray Grosswirth’s blog, My World of Religion, Politics, Entertainment and Social Issues
Ray Grosswirth has a M.A. in Theology and an M.Div (Master of Divinity) from St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry. He is certified as an officiant by the Federation of Christian Ministries for baptisms, weddings and funerals and minister independently of the Rochester Diocese. His life has encompassed many interesting paths: broadcasting, free-lance writing, video-production, music, ministry and a secular job in government. In addition to his blog, he has a YouTube site at www.youtube.com/priestray and a Facebook page.
Dear Blog Visitors:
I have noticed that the Women’s Ordination Conference has been very successful with its efforts at recruiting young members, in addition to maintaining its long-time base. Sadly, this has not been the case with the married priest movement. At age 62, I am still one of the youngsters at annual gatherings of male, married priests. Most of my colleagues are in their seventies and eighties.
I continue to feel gratitude for all who continue the fight for inclusivity at the altar. As I grow older, I must continue to ask myself whether or not I will be making the best use of my time by trying to change the mindset of the Roman Catholic hierarchy, or if I am better off by simply continuing with my ministries independently of the RCC. A possibility I continue to ponder is that of continuing my ministry as a wedding officiant, while at the same time joining an inclusive community in my neighborhood, such as the United Church of Christ. Some married priests have indicated to me that they have found spiritual fulfillment with such dual affiliations. The only way I can be a member of a Roman Catholic diocesan parish is by renouncing my married priesthood, which I am unwilling to do at this point in time. The Spiritus Christi community (independent of the Rochester Diocese) continues to be available to me. However, as I grow older, I seem to be more drawn to smaller faith communities.
Women who continue the fight for equality at the altar continue to inspire me, and I want to applaud their efforts. The fact that they have attracted so many young recruits is a sign that the reform movement will go on for an indefinite period. I am not sure what will happen with the married priest movement, but hopefully, young recruits will eventually be enticed to join this worthwhile effort.
In conclusion, my congratulations to the Women’s Ordination Conference for its success at bringing a new generation of members on-board.
Peace to all,