Cordelia Frances Biddle

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[Episcopal News Service] The Church of England made history July 14 when its General Synod, meeting in York, approved legislation to enable women to serve as bishops, possibly by 2015.

The vote ends centuries of tradition and follows more than a decade of often-emotional debate accompanied by various stages of legislative action.

One synod member read out a message from Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town Desmond Tutu. “I’m thrilled to hope that our mother church, the Church of England, will do the right thing today … to allow women to become bishops as we have in Swaziland and in Cape Town,” said Tutu. “Wow, you are in for a great surprise and treat should you do this. Your church will be enriched no end … Just look at what we have denied ourselves. God be praised. Yippee.”

“Creation – a moment by moment expression of love.” Saint Katharine Drexel

Those words are Katharine Drexel’s gift to us in the midst of a verdant summer. God’s love is omnipresent: in every sunrise and sunset and gilded afternoon, in friends and family and each stranger we encounter. We’re at one with creation in these days of renewal and peace. Let us remember that we’re God’s beloved children, and embrace one another.

“Think it; Desire it; Speak it, Act it.”

Social justice lies at the core of my writing. In my Martha Beale series of novels, I examine the chasm between rich and poor in the mid-nineteenth century. My biography of Saint Katharine Drexel is a natural next step for me as an author. “Think it; Desire it; Speak it, Act it.”  was Mother Katharine’s credo. It has become my own.
     History shapes us; how we adapt or rebel, are crushed or transcend is a matter of good or ill fortune, and relentless hope. My fictional Martha Beale is an iconoclast; Katharine Drexel embodied the word. She forged her own history. In Philadelphia, where she was raised, and where my historical novels are set, breaking the mold is cause for alarm. Katharine shattered it.
       In the words of poet, Mary Oliver, from Have You Ever Tried to Enter the Long Black Branches: “Listen, are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?”

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