Thursday, April 12, 2012

Female Priest

I was assigned by Swerve magazine to photograph Calgary's only female priest who is part of an international group trying to reform the church. They call themselves the Roman Catholic Womenpriests (RCWP).
But how to photograph this? In a church? Yes, that makes sense. Dressed in her vestments? Another option. Things like that are necessary to show that she is a priest.
But how to illustrate the fact that she is a women performing rites that the Catholic church only allows men to perform? And that she risks severe censure for what she's doing?
Since women priests are still in the shadows and not recognized by the Vatican, I thought the best way to illustrate this was to photograph her half in shadow. 
Here are a few of the pix I took, some from the mass I attended where I could not identify members of the congregation because they feared being ostracized by family or other devout Catholics in their community.

 Calgary's only female priest Monica Kilburn Smith
Saint Brigid's cross

 Calgary's only female priest Monica Kilburn Smith performs Easter mass for the Saint Brigid of Kildare Catholic Faith Community at St. Andrew's United Church, where they rent space.

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