Day 17: The Love of Women Healed Me

Day 17: The Love of Women Healed Me

Today’s Readings

The holiest hour I spend each month is where I minister and am ministered to by Catholic lesbian and queer women. One Friday evening a month, we crowd into an upper room in the administrative offices of our church, bringing Fritos and Milano cookies to break bread, coffee or seltzer standing in for drinking wine.

We meet in Manhattan, but hail from Queens, Nebraska, Cuba, the Philippines, Ireland, Hawaii, and many places in between. Some of us are married and some are single, some of us have children or even grandchildren. Some of us are just starting (or restarting) our careers, others are long retired.

We pray together, share one another’s joys and sorrows, and love our God in a way that is entirely our own.

We celebrate our lives and our love as fully Catholic, refusing to be defined by an authoritarian Church that does not recognize our priesthood or its patriarchal culture that views our pronouns as unfit to attach to the name of God.Day 17: The Love of Women Healed MeThis spiritual community is the foundation of my faith. Jesus said, the stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. Audre Lorde said, “perhaps I can say this all more simply—the love of women healed me.”

When our monthly meeting concludes and the church locks up for the night, a bunch of us usually go across the street to a diner to snack on grilled cheese sandwiches and continue the laughter and fun. There’s often about twelve of us or so, but the waiters know by now not to try to seat us in groups—at our request, they cobble together one long skinny table and scrape an assortment of chairs across the diner floor.

Without the love of lesbian and queer Catholics I would not fully understand my worth and my power as a woman. Our communion has taught me to take up space, trust my voice, and know that no one and nothing can take that away from me.

For Reflection:

  • What spaces and communities allow you to feel “fully Catholic,” to understand your worth and power as a person of faith, whatever your faith tradition may be? 
  • How are you being called to build spaces and communities that allow all people to feel “fully Catholic”—fully loved by God?
11 replies
  1. Dallas McQuarrie
    Dallas McQuarrie says:

    I am a Catholic who is also a ‘conscientious objector’ to my Church’s policy of only ordaining men. I have searched diligently and can find no valid theological or other reason not to ordain women. Indeed, when I read the gospels, I find Jesus welcoming women, treating them as equals, and inviting their participation in his ministry.
    Jesus reminded Martha that Mary had “chosen the better part” by sitting with the disciples to receive instruction from the Lord. Jesus chose to reveal his Messianic identity first to a Samaritan woman who then went and told her village – thus the first evangelist was likely a woman! It was women who financially supported Jesus during his earthly ministry, and there’s no dispute that the risen Christ choose to first appear to women, and that those women became the very first to proclaim the good news of the resurrection to the (unbelieving) apostles.
    Paul records women as full participants in his ministry, and even names a female apostle (Junia) whose name was later changed to the male form by male editors of Paul’s original text. It was also Paul who declared that in Christ there is “no longer male or female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” Paul had no trouble understanding that a patriarchal hermeneutic was not appropriate for followers of Jesus, and neither should we.
    I have immense respect for the institution of the papacy, but can find no rational basis to justify the patriarchal hermeneutic that some insist supersedes Scripture, the example set by Jesus, principles of natural justice and reason itself on the issue of the ordination of women. I also note that more than once I have heard priests proclaim that women should be ordained. I wonder how my Church can succeed in re-evangelizing the developed world when it begins by declaring half the population to be unfit to stand in the sanctuary and proclaim the good news.

  2. Sister Odessa Stanford, SFCC
    Sister Odessa Stanford, SFCC says:

    How are you being called to build spaces and communities that allow all people to feel “fully Catholic”—fully loved by God? Thank you Theresa for being a woman who is willing to share and stretch each of us in our call “for others.” I hope that I am helping to create and build spaces within the school community for every person to seek their best potential and be their best selves.
    Sister Odessa

  3. sonja
    sonja says:

    Powerful words. Without the love of other women I would not fully understand my worth and my power as a woman. “Where two or three are gathered together in prayer there am I in their midst.” Even if it is only sharing my joys and sorrows with one other woman and praying together, I have learnt to trust in God and know that no one and nothing can take my faith away from me.

  4. Jean Kennedy
    Jean Kennedy says:

    I am so proud of my parish that accepts ministers from the LGBQ community, also others that have been divorced and remarried. We are all created in God’s image.

  5. Susan Fox
    Susan Fox says:

    I struggle w my friends who are Pre-Vatican II Catholics. Good people all at core but full of judgements and fear. I can’t change them but share my Jesuit flavor of faith with them. Frustrating…

  6. Dr.Cajetan Coelho
    Dr.Cajetan Coelho says:

    Life is a beautiful gift. Human beings are made in the image and likeness of the divine – declare Scriptures.

  7. Jennifer Riggin
    Jennifer Riggin says:

    I think I know the church and meeting you are talking about. I attended once for the Dorothy Day talk a few years ago. What a wonderful and beautiful group of women. It really is such a healing fellowship. I too agree that is a tragedy that our church refuses to let us participate in the liturgy as priests and hope in my lifetime that this will change.

  8. rudoy medical
    rudoy medical says:

    This quote is a reminder of the power of love and the positive impact it can have on our lives. It encourages us to seek out and cherish meaningful connections with others and to recognize the role that relationships can play in our personal growth and well-being. Thanks!

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