Miriam Picconi and Wanda Russell, of Palm Coast, will be ordained as priests in the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests Saturday, April 14, in a ceremony at the Unitarian Universalist Society, in Ormond Beach.
The Women Priests movement, which opposes the Roman Catholic teaching that only men can be priests, points to Jesus’ teaching that women and men are to be disciples and equals.
“Nothing can stop the movement of the spirit toward human rights, justice and equality in our world and in our church,” said Sarasota’s Bridget Mary Meehan, who is the presiding bishop of the movement. “The full equality of women is the voice of God in our time.”
Both Picconi and Russell were ordained as deacons with the association last year and since have felt a greater calling to ministry, they said.
Russell has been a social worker for 25 years, and Picconi spent 25 years with the Missionary Servants of the Most Blessed Trinity, becoming certified in theology and teacher training.
Both women are members of Fighting Against Injustice Towards Harmony, a ministry working to develop funds and other assistance for the homeless. Both lead faith-sharing and Bible study groups, and both are members and occasional facilitators of the Theology Club, in New Smyrna Beach.