I find it difficult to give a precise answer as to who I am. I enjoy life. I love my glass of wine. Listening to classical music is one of my delights. I spend the evenings of all 26 Sundays through winter by going to chamber concerts. I visit Saxon and Medieval churches with like-minded friends. I am also a cradle Catholic.
In 1930 I was born in Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia. I have lasting memories of my secondary education in a Marist Brothers school. I vividly recall the occasion when my friend Colin who had just learnt that his father had gone missing as a soldier in New Guinea, looked despondently out of the classroom window. An austere Brother whipped his cane out of his long-sleeved habit and slapped him twice across his hand. Colin had 8 blood blisters as a result. I was speechless with fury, and I have always retained my passionate commitment to justice and mercy.
I have wandered through jobs and countries. 7 years employed as fitter & turner for the Australian Railways. 14 years as store man, and later manager, of an engineering warehouse. Then, as a true Oz:zy, I left Australia to "see the world". I spent a year in Canada and months in Europe. I landed up in England where, in time, I looked for a new job.
I applied at the Pontifical Mission Societies. I worked 22 years for them, eventually as office manager.
At my 'retirement', in 1995, I joined Housetop as a volunteer. Housetop is a centre for faith formation. I enjoyed the experiences it gave me. The real challenge came when Housetop began to focus on the ordination of women.
I feel strongly about this issue. Half of the human race, with all their unique God-given qualities, are being barred from enriching the Church. The wholeness of the Christian community, is incomplete. When the Church of England began to ordain women, it became even more apparent how much grace we are wasting in the Catholic Church.
My task in our campaign lies in doing research. I spend a lot of time in the British Library and other libraries digging up key publications. I was delighted when I found the ancient Latin text by Valens Acidalius in the rare books' section. It is the notorious 17th_ century pamphlet that spells out why women are not human beings! I located precious ancient rituals for ordaining women deacons. In 8 massive volumes on the archaeology of Turkey I sought out the sections describing 40+ headstones of women deacons. All this is now on our web site. The search goes on, and the sowing of seed!
I remember how my mother got parsley seeds from a friend. They grew profusely and my mother harvested them often. One day she pulled a little too hard. Up came the entire plant, with a carrot as its root. It gives me hope!
This website is maintained by the Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research.
The Institute is known for issuing academic reports and statements on relevant issues in the Church. These have included scholars' declarations on the need of collegiality in the exercise of church authority, on the ethics of using contraceptives in marriage and the urgency of re-instating the sacramental diaconate of women.
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