The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


A sign from God

As the ELCA celebrates 30 years of women's ordination, women in the Roman Catholic Church wonder whether they'll ever be able to follow their calls to the priesthood.

Years ago, Chicagoan and Catholic Katy Scott heard the words "You are called to be a servant of the servants of God" at a retreat and knew it as her call to enter the priesthood. But the Catholic Church doesn't ordain women. So Scott found other areas of theological study and service.

To push the envelope on women's ordination, the Chicago chapter of the Women's Ordination Conference (a national advocacy group on whose board Scott sits) raised money to erect a billboard on a busy Chicago interstate. Its message: "You're waiting for a sign from God? This is it! Ordain women."

The billboard responds to a $1 million Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago campaign to recruit priests with billboards such as: "If you're waiting for a sign from God, this is it. Consider the priesthood."

The archdiocese needs to recruit — it now has 1,458 active priests, down from 1,838 a decade ago. The advocacy group sees this need as an opportunity for further dialogue on women's ordination.

The billboard effort is part of Scott's ministry. "We want to give women a message of hope," she says.


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