In Praise of the "Philadelphia 11"
Let us remember them by name. For the faithful ministry of Merrill Bittner, Alison Cheek, Alla Bozarth (Campell), Emily C. Hewitt, Carter Heyward, Suzanne R. Hiatt (deceased 2002), Marie Moorefield, Jeanette Piccard (deceased 1981), Betty Bone Schiess, Katrina Welles Swanson (deceased 2006), and Nancy Hatch Wittig, and for Bishops Daniel Corrigan, Robert L. DeWitt, Edward R Welles, and Antonio Ramos, let us give thanks to the Lord.
This is the iconic photograph from that service -- with Bishop Welles of West Missouri as chief consecrator.
A young woman named Barbara Harris served as crucifer at that ordination. She later became the first female bishop in the Episcopal Church.
This is my personal favorite photograph, for this Godly priest -- Nancy Wittig -- and her friend Pamela Darling engaged me in spirited conversation through the 1990s that moved me out of the "Spiritual But Not Religious" camp into happy membership in the Episcopal Church. I will be forever grateful for the ministry of the Rev. Nancy Hatch Wittig.
If you want to remember how things looked in the summer of 1974, read this article. Or read Alla Bozarth's account here of the ordinations ... through the consecration of Barbara Harris ... up through the installation of Katherine Jefferts-Schori. Twenty-five years after that glorious ordination day, the "Philadelphia 11" gathered. I love this photo! My friend Nancy Wittig is third from the right.
I am deeply grateful to these woman and the bishops who ordained them. Tomorrow is the 38th anniversary of their ordination.