CNWE 2013 National Conference Press Release


Media inquiries:
Atlantic Canada: Cathy Holtmann, (506) 476-1080,
Central Canada: Mary Ellen Chown,
Western Canada: Therese Koturbash, (204) 648-5720,

The Catholic Network for Women’s Equality (CNWE) will host its 2013 National Conference at Cambrian College in Sudbury June 21-23, 2013. Over 85 participants from across Canada will gather to collaboratively shape CNWE’s action for the coming year. Participants will also have the opportunity to hear keynote addresses from Louise Akers, SC, and educator Catherine Cavanagh and to explore primacy of conscience and its importance in living the Gospel in our times.

Louise Akers, a Catholic Sister of Charity had been working for social justice in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and elsewhere for 40 years when, in 2009, Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk informed her that she would not be permitted to teach for credit or make presentations in archdiocesan related institutions (all part of her ministry) unless she publicly disassociated herself from supporting the ordination of women in the Catholic church. Akers states:

“For four decades I have devoted my ministry to advocating on behalf of the marginalized through religious congregations, justice organizations, ecumenical and interfaith groups. Women’s ordination is a justice issue. Its basis is the value, dignity and equality of women. I believe this to my very core. To publicly state otherwise would be a lie and a violation of my conscience.”

Catherine Cavanagh has worked in education and ministry in Canada and Africa for over twenty years. Author of Women Priests: Answering the Call and Soul Side: Articles of Faith, Catherine believes that “we are all God’s beloved and the we come closest to God when we reach out to others, especially those most marginalized.”

The conference will also feature the premiere public screening of its new promotional video telling the CNWE story. The video’s premier represents the culmination of CNWE’s “Reaching Out” tour which included gatherings of Catholic women in six cities across the country.

Louise Akers, Catherine Cavanagh and CNWE National Coordinator, Mary Ellen Chown are available for interview.

For over thirty years members of the Catholic Network for Women’s Equality have shared a faithful commitment to social justice for all women. We celebrate the fact that we are part of a long history of women’s contributions to the Christian faith. Our movement embraces a broad range of Catholic women and men across Canada for whom an inclusive church that is accountable to all of its members is important. Our work for women’s equality in church and world is internationally respected and part of a network of pro-change Catholic movements around the globe. For further information, see or visit us on Facebook at “Catholic Network for Women’s Equality – Canada”.

June 17, 2013