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The Rev. Katrina Swanson  

GTS photo
The Revs. Debra Ann Shew, Canon for community ministry in the Diocese of Atlanta, and Susan Davidson, rector of All Saints Church in River Ridge, LA., chat with Executive Director of Enrollment Toni Daniels.   (GTS photo)

[Episcopal News Service] 
  • Episcopal Migration Ministries adds to staff
  • Tribute set for Katrina Swanson
  • Antoinette Daniels embarks on new journey after 14 years at GTS
  • Jonathon Solomon, a cultural champion, dies at 74

Episcopal Migration Ministries adds to staff
[ENS - Source: EMM]

Richard Parkins, director of Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM) recently welcomed Esther Fajo to EMM as administrative assistant.

Fajo, who is fluent in both English and Spanish, holds a B.A. in business administration. 

Prior to joining EMM, she served as the senior administrative assistant and office manager for Fundacion Amistad, an organization that promotes understanding between the people of Cuba and the USA.  Fajo is also a notary public. 

"EMM is delighted to add Esther to our staff," Parkins said.

Tribute set for Katrina Swanson

[ENS] Five of the first 11 irregularly ordained women priests are coming to Bar Harbor to bury their sister, Katrina Swanson, on July 30, 10 a.m.,  at St. Saviour's Parish, 41 Mt. Desert Street. 

Swanson died last August at the age of 70 after a 16 months bout with colonic cancer.  Her family and friends have scheduled a four day political weekend in her memory beginning July 27 and ending with her funeral on July 30.  Everyone of any or no religious faith is invited to the weekend.
Swanson was one of the "Philadelphia 11," the first women priests ordained irregularly in 1974, breaking the gender bar in the Episcopal Church and parts of the Anglican Communion.

In a letter to Swanson's husband George, Presiding Bishop-elect Katharine Jefferts Schori, wrote: "Dear George,  Oh, how I wish I could be with you to celebrate the life of one of the church's pioneers!  It sounds like you have put together a remarkable tribute to her life's work, work that is ongoing and will continue to flourish.  My prayers will be with you that weekend.  I am very much aware that I never could have embarked on my journey toward ordination in this church without the witness and the blood, sweat, and tears of Katrina and her sisters and brothers.  May each of us be able to come to the judgment seat knowing that others are following behind us in the path of God."

Honoring Swanson's wish that her sister priests and bishop stand together as equals at God's altar, Bishop Chilton Knudsen, the Rev. Merrill Bittner, the Rev. Alison Cheek, the Rev. Marie M. Fleisher, the Hon. Rev. Emily Hewitt, and the Rev. Dr. Carter Heyward will conduct the funeral.
Swanson's Godson, Jonathan Dubay, a violinist with the Oregon Symphony, built a web site in her honor at  He along with a variety of musicians, from classical to string will perform.

The public is invited to speak out on a blog and a forum on the web site:  How can America achieve full liberty and justice for all?  Ideas put on the web site will be considered at the Open Congress of July 29.

The weekend will begin at 6 p.m. on July 27, with an art show opening followed at 7 p.m. by an open mic for poems, songs, and memories of Katrina.  At 7 p.m. on July 28 some of the "Philadelphia 11" will speak in a Symposium on Liberty and Justice.  On July 29, the 32nd anniversary of the Philadelphia Ordination, there will be an Open Congress on Liberty and Justice for Women from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Everyone is invited to suggest ideas and form action groups to move America and the world toward complete justice for women.  At 5 p.m. there will be a Mass on the Feast of Sts. Mary and Martha.  At 6 p.m. the public is invited to a Pot Luck Buffet.  At 7 p.m. everyone is invited to sing-a-long in a rehearsal for the music at Sunday's funeral.  At 8 p.m. there will be a concert and open mic where people may share a song and a memory of Katrina.

The readings will include excerpts from the eight books that influenced Katrina's life, concluding with Jesus' promise of paradise to the dying thief.

Antoinette Daniels embarks on new journey after 14 years at GTS

[ENS – Source: General Theological Seminary] After 14 years, Antoinette Daniels will be leaving General Theological Seminary (GTS) to join the Episcopal Church Foundation (ECF) in the newly created position of director of Learning and Leadership.

Ward B. Ewing, dean of GTS, made the announcement saying "we are sad to lose Toni from the Seminary."

Daniels has served at GTS in the capacities of director of Admissions, Registrar, director of Financial Aid, and most recently as executive director of Enrollment Management.

Ewing said Daniels has contributed to the "quality of our common life in many ways" but cited her greatest contribution as being in admissions, where her faithful and persistent efforts raised the M.Div. enrollment to over 100.

"She has been particularly effective in recruiting minority students, insuring that General Seminary's student population would be reflective of the diversity found in our world today," he said. "We will miss her indomitable spirit, her beautiful smile, her care for our children, and her faithful service to Christ's work through this Seminary."

In her new position with ECF, Daniels will be responsible for creating synergistic relationships with Anglican and Episcopal entities by developing programs, products and services which include education, research, and leadership initiatives.

Jonathon Solomon, a cultural champion, dies at 74

[ENS – Source: Anchorage Daily News] Jonathon Solomon, a giant among Alaska Natives who spent much of his life fighting to protect caribou end prevent oil drilling on the Arctic coastal plain, died July 22 of kidney failure related to diabetes. He was 74.

Born March 10, 1932, in Fort Yukon, Solomon quit school when he was 10 years old to help his father, Paul Solomon, earn money trapping.

Following Athabascan tradition, he was picked to be a future leader as a child. Early in his life, his father sent him to live in different villages in the Interior to learn Gwich'in traditions from uncles and elders.
He got his start in activism leading the effort that blocked construction of the Rampart Canyon Dam in the 1960s. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project would have flooded the Yukon River at the canyon to create electricity. It would also have flooded several villages in the Yukon Flats.

Solomon was an early leader of the Native sobriety movement. He served on boards of some of Alaska's most important Native organizations, including the Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) and RuralCAP, created to fight poverty in Alaska.
He fought for the historic federal land claims settlement given to Alaska Natives in 1971, and he served on the first board of directors for the Doyon Corporation., the regional Native corporation created by the act for the Interior.

"He's just one of those people who when he stood up, demanded your attention and your respect, just by his eloquence and passion," Mike Irwin, AFN vice president, said.

AFN named Solomon Citizen of the Year in 2002 for his lifelong commitment to Alaska Natives.
Solomon first got involved in protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in 1978.  To protest drilling along the coastal plain and calving grounds, Solomon rallied Gwich'in villages in Canada and Alaska and members of the Episcopal Church. He helped fashion a Canada-U.S. agreement to protect the Porcupine herd.
Solomon is survived by a wife of 50 years, Hannah, and an extensive family.
Solomon's memorial service was held July 17 in Fairbanks and his funeral July 18 at Fort Yukon.