Mother Cathy Bickerton
The Rev. Dr. Cathy Bickerton celebrates 40 years of ordination
to the priesthood on February 5, 2017.
February 5, 2017 is a BIG DATE at Christ Church! We celebrate the 40th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood of The Rev. Dr. Frances Catherine Baur Bickerton. Mother Cathy was one of the first women ordained as priest as the following remembrance from the archives of the Episcopal Church reminds us: In 1976 the General Convention approved the ordination of women to the priesthood and the episcopate in the Episcopal Church and stated that such ordinations might begin on Jan. 1, 1977. Similar resolutions had been narrowly defeated at the 1970 and 1973 General Conventions. A 1967 General Convention resolution had opened the diaconate to women and recognized that women currently serving as deaconesses were members of the diaconate. On July 29, 1974, three bishops, claiming that "obedience to the Spirit" justified their action, ordained eleven women deacons to the priesthood. The ensuing controversy surrounding these irregular ordinations highlighted divisions evident in the church over this issue. After the 1976 vote, most dioceses accepted the ordination of women, and ordinations of women proceeded at a rapid rate. The 1997 General Convention revised the canons to prevent any diocese from denying access to the ordination process, or refusing to license a member of the clergy to officiate, solely on the grounds of gender. We have been blessed by the many, many years of dedicated service to Christ Church by Mother Cathy!