We live in a world that would have us think our Church is backwards, sexist, and antiquated because women aren’t Priests, because we don’t marry same-sex couples, and a plethora of other reasons. But we must hold on to the truths in our Church and continue to honor the strong and faithful women who came before us, reaching as far back as the Old Testament, and live our lives on the path they forged for us.
Our Church began with a resounding YES from our Blessed Mother Mary. That young girl, long ago, who gave her resounding yes to carry Our Lord in Her blessed womb. She helped start our Church, the first Church that all others have sprung from. She is our guide for what Women should be in our Church. She is our model in our Faith and how we live our lives.
We may not always get it right, like she did, but in our striving to do so, we change the path of our Parish Churches, by living our lives faithfully in our Domestic Churches.
In the CWBN BlogHop this month, on Allison’s Blog, we are challenged to share our opinions on Strong and faithful women in the Catholic Church. I would encourage you to read articles like these:
- Ten Catholic Women Who Changed the World
- Female Saints: Heroic Examples of Our Faith
- List of Female Saints – Catholic Online
When we think of Our Blessed Mother and all the Catholic Female Leaders who came before us, we think about things like their Faithful Example, Comforting in Motherhood and leadership, the way they forgave others, and their humility; but, mostly we admire them for their tenacity, integrity and their focused YES to Our God’s direction and plan for their lives.
Probably my two favorite Catholic women role-models that formed my faith, besides Our Blessed Mother, have been Mother Angelica and Mother Teresa, now Saint Teresa of Calcutta. I watched these women live their faithful lives (of course, from afar)… but I will never forget their examples. The way they reached out to the poor, the way they taught us to love the Lord, the way they admonished themselves and therefore our sinful nature and brought the reality of Christianity into our hearts, souls and our decisions in our Domestic Churches.
Christ ordained men to be Priests, so I will not discuss any chance of ANYONE in the True Catholic Church ordaining women Priests. I pray it never happens. And, if I am being honest I don’t like to see women serving on the Altar at all, beyond the position of Cantor or Eucharistic Minister. HOWEVER, because of the shortage of men/boys to serve, I get that in some areas, for many reasons these things take place. And I will not speak out against it, except to say, it’s not my preference.
There are MANY choices for women to influence our Church in leadership positions. Women can become Nuns/Sisters. Women can serve on Financial Advisory Councils and other councils in our Church. In fact, there is a National Council of Catholic Women (and I’m assuming other groups as well). I am involved at the Parish/Diocesan Level in this group. There are many more ways we can serve as great role models, and I urge you to get a list and pray about what ways you can serve best.
Since 2011, I have taught 3rd Grade Religious Education, they call the position a Catechist. Through this position, I have had the awesome task of teaching children about Our Lord and Our Faith. I have volunteered through serving on the Altar Society, and in the Religious Formation Office as a Volunteer to help organize various church functions. I have volunteered with Catholic Charities and the local food bank. We all have great roles we can play when we say YES to God and lead with love.
However, I think my most important function in our Church, as a woman… My biggest and most important role in the Catholic Church is the responsibility that God has given me is as WIFE and MOTHER.
Do I get it right all the time? – NOPE. But I try. Is this about fancy meals and art and comparing myself to other mamas? – NOPE, not all the time. LOL It’s about teaching my child about our faith in a way that weaves that faith into EVERY LITTLE THING WE DO. And sometimes it’s exhausting and more than I could manage if I was doing this by myself. BUT the Good Lord and many mamas I know – have been integral to a) my knowing what to do and b) my not losing my mind.
My free advice —
Find a small group of like-minded mamas and their like-minded families who understand what you are trying to accomplish by raising your children in your faith. Give your children good examples of friends to play with, learn from, etc. AND give yourself the gift of women who understand and won’t challenge everything you are trying to accomplish. This is a sanity saver. TRUST ME.
Those same women could be the women who build you and your marriage up when society doesn’t understand what you are trying to accomplish in it.
What do I do? Amongst other things…
- Love my husband, their father. Do right by him. Pray for him.
- Love my children. Pray for them. Spend time with them. Listen. Talk. Pray more.
- Over the years I have —
- Introduced Feast Days.
- Read Catholic Children’s Stories.
- I read the Bible to my child every day, starting with Children’s Bible stories for infants and toddlers – over and over again. As he got older, the stories got more detailed. Virtues and Commandments were introduced.
- Read Books on Virtues for children – and discussed them with my children (age appropriately).
- Participated in Catholic Art projects.
- Homeschooled (though this is the last year).
- I am involved in our Parish, Diocese and Philanthropy. And therefore, so is he.
Most importantly – I lead by example and apologize when I get it wrong. LEAD THEM! Just so you know, my husband has three children from previous marriage who I include as my children. We went through an annulment process, for those who may be concerned with the integrity of our marriage. I really owe no explanation, but I do intermittently use plurals when speaking of children. So there you have that.
I don’t need to give you countless examples of how to raise your children and how to live out being a good wife and mother, because you’ve read blogs, books, etc.
Sisters, you have many options to lead and grow in the Catholic Church. Find what you love and do it. But while you are having children – I implore you to concentrate on your husband and on them, and you will be doing exactly what God had lead you to do.
This includes those who work, run businesses, write books, etc. Bottom line – they put their family first. For sure. It’s the way God intended it.
We must all learn to say YES to God. And to stand firm in our roles in the Catholic Church.
Lastly, I want to say that God does not ask me to deny I have more talents in addition to being wife and mother. I just want to put that out there, lest anyone not get where I am coming from.
I think I will go write a post about what I’ve learned since becoming a mom… about myself, the world, etc. I mean – the laughter that has ensued and the wisdom I’ve gleaned. HA! It’s like Joan of Arc and Lucille Ball mixed with Saint Teresa of Calcutta and The Good Witch from the Wizard of Oz. Am I right? HAHA
Many blessings ALL!
3 thoughts on “CWBN BlogHop – The Role of Women in the Catholic Church”
Beautiful!! I love so much about this, Em…This is my favorite: \”As a mother, I am everything to my child. In this way, I can only hope to imitate our Blessed Mother in preparing my child for his life.\” Wow, so true. and thank you for the article recommendations. I clicked over to read.Thank you, girl.
I am an Irish Catholic mother and grandmother writing in the days after our people voted to introduce abortion into our country. Thank you for this post. There is no role more important than that of a mother and it seems no role less honoured in our modern world.I remember a time when we sang a hymn about \”when wicked men blasphemy thee, I'll love and bless thy name… At that time I couldn't imagine what that meant…Now I resolve to keep that promise
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