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An open letter to Rev. Ludmila Javorova: a priest of the Roman Catholic Church. (Paid Advertisement).

Ludmila Javorova was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in the late night hours of December 28, 1970 by Bishop Felix Maria Davidek, in the presence of his brother, Leo. Following the rite of ordination, Ludmila celebrated her first Mass--simply, quietly, together with Felix and Leo, Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and all the angels and saints of God."

--from Out of the Depths: The Story of Ludmila Javorova, Ordained Roman Catholic Priest, by Miriam Therese Winter, MMS (Crossroad, 2001)

Dear Ludmila,

We write to you as church, for we are People of God. We affirm and celebrate you as our priest, Ludmila, and we salute with gratitude your 20 years of service as a priest in the underground church of Czechoslovakia. We also acknowledge the ordination of other women and married men who helped keep the Roman Catholic Church alive during perilous times.

We publicly celebrate your ordination and we invite others, including our brother bishops, to attest to your priesthood. We know that our God of radical love, who recognizes the goodness and equality of all persons, women and men, called you, and you obeyed God's call to discipleship.

In the depths of our hearts, we know that the ordination of women is just, consistent with the spirit of the Jesus of the gospels, and in line with our finest traditions. We know, too, that many more priests are needed to meet the urgent pastoral needs of our church worldwide. And we read the signs of our times as we see women around the globe claim their full humanity for the good of humanity.

Your life, Ludmila, stretches our church beyond theological arguments to the reality of God's action. You risked your freedom and your life to say "yes" to God's call in an act of prophetic obedience. Your ministry is a faithful witness to the gospel, a sacrament nourishing the community, a prayerful call to do justice. Your story joins today's church to our spiritual forebears: Prisca and Lydia, Thecla and Phoebe, and other ordained women who served the early church of the Mediterranean. We now can assert that women have been ordained in our day! You have gone before us, and we pray--indeed, we know--that many more women will follow. God's call to prophetic obedience will not be denied.

Ludmila, you are a priest forever!

Sponsored by
CATHOLICS SPEAK OUT
a project of the Quixote Center
PO Box 5206 * Hyattsville, MD 20722
301.699.0042 * 301.864.2182 fax
www.quixote.org/cso

WOMEN'S ORDINATION CONFERENCE
A Voice for Women in the Church
PO Box 2693 * Fairfax, VA 22031
703.352.1006 * 703.352.5181 fax
www.womensordination.org
woc@womensordination.org


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Publication:National Catholic Reporter
Date:May 31, 2002
Words:1730
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