Advocates for women’s ordination to witness for equality on “Vocations Sunday”

Media Advisory

Contact: Alicja Baranowska: (Belgium & Poland)  +32 488 67 60 20

Pat Brown: (UK) +44 7950048628

Colm Holmes: (Ireland)  +353 86 606 3636

Kate McElwee: (Italy & USA) +39 393 692 2100

Women’s Ordination Worldwide advocates will mark “Vocations Sunday” (May 7th) with prayerful witnesses around the world -- from Dublin to Des Moines -- calling for women’s inclusion into all ministries of the Roman Catholic Church.

May 7th marks the 54th annual World Day of Prayer for Vocations — a day when the global Church prays for the ministers of the Church and for “young men and women to hear and respond generously to the Lord’s call to the priesthood, diaconate, religious life, [and] societies of apostolic life.”

While seemingly inclusive, this language neglects to footnote those ministries where women are rejected, silenced and punished for following their call to ordination. WOW recognizes that women are called to serve at every level of the Church, including the diaconate as well as priesthood.  The Roman Catholic Church’s exclusion of women perpetuates the inequality of women around the world.

On this day, WOW prays that our global Church may transform and renew its institution and practices to become a prophetic voice and witness for global gender justice. We pray that our Church will uphold the Gospel message of equality and honor the vocations and ministries of all its members.

At a time when women are leaving the Church more rapidly than any other group (Pew Research, 2015), and many go without the Eucharist because of a “priesthood shortage,” WOW calls the institutional Church to model equality and open all ministries to women.  


Women’s Ordination Worldwide (WOW): Founded in 1996, WOW is an international network of groups whose current mission is the inclusion of Roman Catholic women in all ordained ministries. WOW currently includes representatives from Austria, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, India, Malta, Poland, Spain, and the United States. For details of witness locations visit: