Everything Old is New Again

I am a 70 year old radical feminist. I came of age during Pope John XXIII, Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi and John Kennedy. I became transformed when I was 13. My parents raised us catholics to the core. I had decided in second grade to become a Franciscan nun (and eventually did!)

But, as I was about to graduate from St. Patrick’s Elementary School, I became aware of a strange phenomenon. My father never went to Mass; my mother attended weekly mass with my sister and me but never received communion. One glorious day in May, my mother and I were walking on the streets of our local city. She stopped and pointed to a man on the opposing sidewalk. “You see this man”, she asked. I responded “yes” but with a puzzled look. “He is my first husband” she responded. I was in shock! How could my mother, a devout caring woman, be condemned to hell because she is divorced and remarried? I struggled for some time to come to terms with what my church emphatically defined for her eternity.

About a month later, my father began to join us at Sunday Mass. I was so happy. Then, he died suddenly of a massive heart attack. After the funeral service, the family entered the limo. Our pastor came over and asked my mother to roll down the window. He mentioned that now she could receive communion because she was no longer married!!!

I eventually entered the Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Heart. After several very rewarding adventures and assignments, I was stationed at an elementary school in West New York, NJ. As God would have it, I fell in love with Ralph, a priest of the Diocese of Newark, NJ. We married in 1975 and have been involved in CORPUS, the National Association for an Inclusive (originally Married) Priesthood.

My heart, soul, strength and stamina is given to a reformed and renewed church which is rooted in Vatican II’s call for inclusion, equity, and justice.

4 thoughts on “Everything Old is New Again

  1. Thank you for your sharing. I can imagine you as a strong, courageous woman, whom I would love to imitate! Thank you for your courage and witness! Blessings to you. May I ask your name please, as I didn’t see that in your bio?

  2. Wow, what a unique perspective you have on the church. From your mother’s experience to your own, I am grateful for your stories. I am looking forward to learning from you!

  3. It is hard to imagine the deeply embedded pain an institution spreads when it denies inclusion, equity and justice.Thank you for your sharing and your stamina to be present to our continuing demand of the church to embrace us all. Diane

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