<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> Program of Study: Sacramental Orders for Women ARCC
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Sacramental Orders for Women
in the Roman-Catholic Church
Program of Study
(draft -- press version)


1. Goal, conditions, and basic principles of the program of study

1.1 Goal of the program of study

The goal of the program of study is a spiritual and practical preparation of women for ordination in the Roman-Catholic Church.

1.2 Prerequisites for participation 

  • The personal faith of each participant is obviously a prerequisite.  Those in charge of the program of study will never presume to conduct an “examination of the faith.”
  • Each participant is expected to have completed appropriate theological training.
  • Each participant is expected to be psychologically stable.  The training group is not a self-help group.
1.3 Basic principles of the program of study
  • The program of study is not a makeshift substitute for theological study (prior theological training is a prerequisite), but is an “on the job training program.”
  • Participants are competent - women train one another.  Additional staff will be invited if needed.
  • The core of the program of study consists of 10 program units, each of which is to be scheduled for a weekend. 
  • Each unit of the program of study deals with an individual topic.
  • Course content will not be limited to the program units but derives largely from practical experience in the outside word.
  • The program of study extends over 3 semesters, and is consequently somewhat longer than one church year.
  • Each participant will specialize in two areas of pastoral emphasis which should not only reflect her personal educational goals but also flow into the overall training via processes of group dynamics. 
  • Each participant will provides a comprehensive personal documentation of her training.
2. Course content
  • Spirituality:  Investigation and experience of the priestly life; each participant selects for this unit one other person to accompany on a spiritual path; practice of spiritual exercises and forms.
  • Sacraments:  Theology, spirituality, and practical exercises concerning all Catholic sacraments and sacramentals.
  • Liturgy:  Theology and practice of different forms of service; function of the presider;  practice primarily outside of the program of study units.
  • Pastoral:  All pastoral areas with their special demands; death and grief counseling; ecumenical issues; rudimentary familiarity with data processing, bookkeeping, and the media.
  • Rhetoric and Homiletics: Instruction, skills and suggestions for the liturgy of the word; practical exercises concerning various topics; deepening of revelation.
  • Psychology:  Learning to listen; conflicts: permission, accomplishment, solution; polarization; group dynamics; teamwork, guidance and counseling.
  • Creativity:  Sacraments for all the senses; creativity within all areas of the pastoral care.
  • History of being called: Each participant writes her personal history of being called; passing on of personal experience; intensification of one’s own reflection over the vocation.
3. Structure and topics of the units of the program of study

3.1 Basic structure of the program of study units

The components for each of the units will in each case be listed beneath a general topic, which serves as a node to link a network of numerous individual strands.

The units are structured as follows:

    • - Evening:  common spiritual space
    • - First half day: working in groups in theory and practice
    • - Second half day: personal exposition of issues and preparation
    • - Third half day: Practical pastoral exercises
3.2 topics of the units of the program of study:
  1. Unit: “I stand before you with empty hands at the beginning of a path”
    Beginning of the program of study
  2. Unit: “Prophetess by virtue of baptism”
    Baptism and Easter
  3. Unit: “Women go before us”
    Anointing in baptism, confirmation, ordination, illness
  4. Unit: “The fire of the ruach drove me here”
    Pentecost and confirmation
  5. Unit: “You hand me the bread and fill my cup”
    We are invited to the meal - Eucharist, Holy Thursday, Corpus Christi, Eucharistic Adoration
  6. Unit: “Capable of a new beginning”
    Penance, Repentance, Ash Wednesday, Lent, Advent, Renewal, Pilgrimage
  7. Unit: “God gave me a dearest one”
    Human relations, marriage, living alone, high and low times, being mother, father, parents, childlessness, Evangelical advice
  8. Unit: “You transformed my tears into dancing”
    Death and life, dying and resurrection - life crises, illness, anointing of the sick, “getting well,” dying, burial
  9. Unit: “You called me, and I have come”
    Vocation to holy orders, prayer of the hours
  10. Unit: “I spread out my hands and know that you fill them”
    Ready for celebration, ready for service

    The program is available in the German original and a French translation in the Austrian WAC  site.  If you want to get in touch with the author, please contact  Christine Mayr at  mmcml@ping.at or c.mayr@mail.asn-linz.ac.at.

Translated by Ingrid Shafer, 23 May 1999
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Webpage Editor: Ingrid H. Shafer, Ph.D.
e-mail address: facshaferi@mercur.usao.edu or ihs@ionet.net
First posted: 30 May 1999
Last revised 30 May 1999
Electronic edition Copyright © 1999 Ingrid H. Shafer
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