Simple Dream of St. Mary Magdalene

I dream of a way that both men and women in our church can act with power, toward the good of others. To begin again and again, to boldly push women into the history as well as the future of our church.  I believe that the ordination of women as deacons, will speak volumes and over time, heal some of the wounds of the sin of clericalism.

I dream of a time when everyone has the courage to surmount our fears.  I dream that as a community committed to inclusivity, we can find the conviction to follow the gospel.

I dream of more inclusive church, by way of taking a narrow path.  A path that will lead toward giving ALL a voice at the table. My dream will be realized when a group of persistent and faithful followers will pound on the doors of heaven to answer our prayers for a place at the table.

I dream of a church where all members of the community have a voice and a place at the table. What if we all take a humble role as minister – not one of position, or privilege – but of power to persist? I dream of a world that fulfills the prayer of Mary in the Magnificat: to scatter the proud-hearted, cast the mighty from their thrones and raise up the lowly. I dream of a church where structures are not based on rank but simply different roles. I dream of a Church that puts the gifts of all to change any ecclesial structures that imply that some people of God have more value than others.”[1]

I dream of a church that defines the role of deacons as those who do ministry to the poor, the imprisoned, the outcast and all marginalized members of our communities, rather than those dressing up on Sunday standing on the alter.  When we wake up, we find the faces and hands of women already doing God’s work and restoring social justice through many ministries of our parish.

I dream of a church that would officially bless and ordain these daring and fearless efforts of women of our church today. I dream that the patriarchal church could share the sacred strength given through the sacrament of ordination.

This is what we have learned from St. Mary Magdalene, the apostle to the apostles: that Christ is alive, risen from the dead, and the source of life.


[1] August 2018 edition of the Gifts and Tasks, quoting Susan Vogt, representative for North America, Asia, Australia and Ireland to the International Organization of Marianist Lay Communities.

4 thoughts on “Simple Dream of St. Mary Magdalene

  1. I love your reference to the Magnificat! It was speaking volumes to me during Lent. For a Church that reveres Mary so much, it seems to be afraid of Mary’s prayer and what it would mean for the institution. It saddens me that so many in the Church, not just those in power, seem to have lost sight of the fact that throughout Scripture, God continually calls people to new ways of living, worshipping, and being in relationship and community with one another. The role of women and gender diverse folks in this dream is crucial, and it’s time for them to be recognized for the transformative work they’ve already been doing for millennia. What do you think it would take put the Church onto that narrow path of inclusion?

  2. Hi Barbara, thank you for this powerful post. As I read it, this line stays with me, “This is what we have learned from St. Mary Magdalene, the apostle to the apostles: that Christ is alive, risen from the dead, and the source of life.”

    As you re-read what you wrote, where do you see Christ alive in our world today?

    How has Christ risen from the dead in the midst of so much death around us?

    How might St. Mary Magdalene help us to stay in touch with Christ, the source of life?

    I love how you highlighted that Mary was the apostle to the apostles. Aside from Jesus and his mother, Mary, I’m not aware of a more important role in all of scripture. What can we learn from Mary Magdalene’s experience and actions as she experienced the grace of the resurrected Jesus?

  3. Thank you so much for this new prayer for vocations–
    “When we wake up, we find the faces and hands of women already doing God’s work and restoring social justice through many ministries of our parish.
    I dream of a church that would officially bless and ordain these daring and fearless efforts of women of our church today. I dream that the patriarchal church could share the sacred strength given through the sacrament of ordination.”
    May God hear your prayer. May God hear all our prayers. AMEN

  4. “When we wake up, we find the faces and hands of women already doing God’s work and restoring social justice through many ministries of our parish.”

    This line! So much of the conversation about women deacons involves encouraging the hierarchy to get it together and approve them already. What can we all do despite the inaction of the hierarchy to make these dreams a reality? What can we do to manifest this vision even without Vatican approval and institutional ordination?

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