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3/20/2012 9:15:00 AM
Pray for women to be steadfast
Catholic News Service photo
Women lie prostrate during an invalid ordination ceremony on a boat on the St. Lawrence Seaway in 2005.
Catholic News Service photo
Women lie prostrate during an invalid ordination ceremony on a boat on the St. Lawrence Seaway in 2005.

To the Catholic Sentinel:

Recently I was reminded of the question of women’s role in the Catholic Church, both by my cousin and another woman who was seeking a theology degree. The words “women priests” came to my head. I had often wondered why I could not become president of my own school at Gonzaga.  In Medjugorje I heard one of the children, who is now an adult, discuss her visions of the Virgin Mary and how the biggest problem today is the disintegration of the family. At the time I was more concerned with the fact that women were not priests. Now at age 32 I am beginning to see things differently. 

Most women I know work full-time and are either unmarried or dating with no children, well into their 30s. Secondly, women who are mothers are often expected to work almost immediately after birth, limiting bonding with their children. In my “MOMS” group at Sunset Presbyterian, one of the first questions I find myself asking other mothers is, “Do you work?”  Most say yes; the few who don’t say no like it’s a sin.  But secretly, most do want to stay home, I’ve found.  After having a successful career in Hollywood in my 20s, I am beginning to wonder why mothers cannot proudly “be.”  When did we become “free” enough to lose such a simple calling?

I am of course not referring to human trafficking and slavery which deprive humans of the basic necessities of life.  My question is this:  what is the role of lay women in the Church, and has it changed?  Is it necessary to become “equal” in order to have a prolonged influence on the world, which I’m supposing is the “goal?”  Do women chose careers because we can,  because we must, or have we simply forgotten how to be, without many to teach us?

Our Blessed Mother, Mother Teresa, St. Monica, and St. Thérèse of Lisieux each pray for the souls of all women and the steadfast keeping of your special calling to each.

Anna Heifetz, Portland

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