In my study of Christian Spirituality we just barely looked at the problems within women’s spirituality and how much it has been oppressed and restricted in not just the Catholic Church but much of Christianity. When asked which statement resonated most with my sentiments I referred to Mary Joe Weaver “…Reduced to the simplest terms, many Catholic women find themselves in a double bind: living with misogyny and oppressive institutional structures is torture, but rejecting a church suffused with rich spiritual symbolism and a sacramental reality is starvation”. I don’t want to leave my church, although I have considered other denominations where women are treated equally in all ways, but I also feel like I am adding to the sexism staying in it. I don’t want to leave the Catholic Church I believe in the sacraments, the trinity, the creed, and the mission of the Church. It’s like my daughter says, “I don’t want to be a priest but I want the opportunity for all to fulfill their callings.” Like my Dad says, “What does gender have to do with serving God?”
Two hundred years from now when there are priestesses and deaconesses and people read the history they will think why on earth did that many women stay within the Catholic Church at the time of sexism? I think Joann Wolski Conn says it best in her article Dancing in the Dark: Women’s Spirituality and Ministry, “For this darkness is not divine abandonment or simply the effects of a dysfunctional church, but the Spirit’s gradual transformation of our desires accomplished precisely through what means most to these women: their spirituality and ministry. Finally these women grasp the reason why they are able to keep dancing in the dark, to keep attending to their call to ministry. They can trust that they are in the midst of a dark transition into a more inclusive and mature church.” So, perhaps the transition is coming in the Pope’s granting of a commission to research the scriptures and deaconesses. Maybe, change is coming. No matter what I will not abandon my faith. I will serve God to the best of my ability through whatever ministry he calls me to at different times and stages of my life.