I can’t count the number of times in my lifetime that I ask myself, “Why do I care about the Catholic church?” It’s not as much that I love the church as it is about the women I know and love who give so much to their church and to the people in their community. Like many of my role models, I am committed to God because I am in love with our God. I’ve always known that God loves me; but recently I realize that I want to love God back!
It’s not my personal calling to be a deacon (at least not yet) but it is my dream for all women that there is a choice. Professor Cecilia González Andrieu suggests that women become better aligned with the poor and marginalized “because we are closer to the ground (than the priests and bishops) of our church and more dependent on God.”
Twenty years ago, when my husband died at age 50, it was a WAKEUP “call.” to reinvent myself. Little did I know that was going to be the point when a brand new opportunity became available to me. There really was a Divine Voice, calling me to go to Hawaii to work and teach. Ten years later, when I retired and moved back to the Mainland, the Marianist Social Justice Collaborative held a “Changemaker” retreat and an issues team was born for Women’s justice. Answering this call was going to allowed me a great leadership opportunity.
I learned how to align with marginalized; like so many women throughout time have continually done. But the much bigger challenge was to decide how to change the minds of those around me. The “tone death clergy” were not listening. Many good Catholics have refused to engage the world’s pain. They could talk about change but there was no action, only empty promises.
When this workshop was offered, I again made a commitment to find time to stop and listen intently to my heart. DISCERN: Go deeper…why does this really matter to me? DREAM: refine my vocation and seek God in all. SCHEME: By finding a group of like-minded and prayerful people, (much like the vowed religious of our past) we pray and keep trying. I have been reminded; I don’t do this for my own calling but to accompany, to live in solidarity, to really recognize the possibility of transformation.
I was a student of the sisters who were motivated by the Vatican Council. I thought that as adults became better educated, the church would realize the potential of ALL members, not just males!? Here we are many years later, I thought the Amazon Synod was that time for some to be transformed. I was discouraged but have not given up. At this point, I humbly pray for my Spirit to fully engage that robust imagination, to help me know what God has imagined.
I have done a little work with women in prison, I have no problem imagining a new possibility for them returning to society. I tell them, all women need to act with power, (not the power that corrupts) but the power that pushes through, that comes when every voice is counted.
Jesus respected the women who pushed forward. Women know Christ intimately…through those who have been marginalized by our society and our cultures. The Sisters of my past and those today, keep announcing our work will continue because we know we are loved.
This workshop calls me to compare what we see now, to dreams of a perfect world as described in our sacred scripture. I am still lacking but I persist! May we continue to be robust women with voices that are indispensable to the church. #minetoo