cynthia1960: me from Wiscon Chronicles v. 3 (Default)
via [personal profile] onyxlynx:

a moving essay by Cynthia-Marie O'Brien discussing the recent address in St. Louis given by Sr. Pat Farrell, the current president of the Leadership Council of Women Religious.

As I've said before, I stand with these women of faith proudly, and my namesister puts in words what I've been living with in my spirit for many years now.
cynthia1960: (religion and politics)
Ok, I couldn't resist clicking on the link on sfgate.com that said "Oh daring, oh fiery wenches of God!" because I knew I was in for a bit of tasty fun from Mark Morford.

Sister John Marie of blessed memory is probably up there chuckling.
cynthia1960: me from Wiscon Chronicles v. 3 (Default)
Fred Clark at Slackivist pointed me to this fine post by Scott Paeth* about religion in the public square. Scroll down to the bits about Santorum and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops for the stuff that made me want to jump up and holler yeah!

IMO, The Bishops ought to spend more of their time talking about unjust war, extrajudicial murder, and gross economic inequality (just to start), but I guess they have more fun beating up on women. Color me a little bitter this International Women's Day.

*who incidentally is a professor of religious studies at DePaul University, a Catholic school
cynthia1960: (religion and politics)
Sady Doyle of Tiger Beatdown has some sage words about bravery and St. Joan of Arc.

Not that my homegrrl Clare of Assisi fails to rock, she truly does (patroness of my university (which came in handy during finals for sure), the Valley where I thrive, television), but there's something to be said for Jehanne d'Arc, who Doyle says is the unofficial patron saint of "victims of gender policing, people and especially women who come out of nowhere to exercise political voice and/or get violently assaulted or killed for their political action, ..., lapsed Catholic women, women who have huge-ass troubles with the sexism of Catholics, and feminism."

Sounds like a good one to have around for backup. Jehanne, keep Gabrielle Giffords in your prayers.

ETA to thank [personal profile] wired for the link via twitter.
cynthia1960: me from Wiscon Chronicles v. 3 (Default)
[personal profile] hederahelix notes that Mary Daly, the radical feminist theologian, died this past Sunday at the age of 81. I first read her when I was in college, and was still operating under the premise that I could be a feminist observant Catholic (oh, those days of long ago learning from the Jesuits). Her thealogy (spelling deliberate) can be problematic, but she did make me think.

Of course, some of you out there may be able in your belief system to reconcile feminist with observant Catholic, but I haven't been able to do a good job of pulling it off for years now.
cynthia1960: me from Wiscon Chronicles v. 3 (Default)
If this essay by Deacon Keith Fournier is what passes for theology in the US Catholic Church right now, I'm quite glad I'm not spending time on Sundays there. Love the way Fournier classes both being gay and being fat as "disordered appetites". I wish I had a Jesuit-grade Clue Smiting Stick at hand.

Hat tip to Shapely Prose.
cynthia1960: me from Wiscon Chronicles v. 3 (Default)
No, she didn't get the official designation from the Vatican, but Sister John Marie Samaha of the Sisters of the Holy Family was the closest thing I've seen to one to date. And, if there's any such thing as a Catholic version of a bodhisattva, she'd probably fit the bill. I've got a whole lot of issues with the Church as an institution, but Sister John Marie embodied the very best ideals of Christian living.

Sister John Marie died last Wednesday at the age of 84, and she spent sixty-four years as a nun. I met her over twenty years ago when she became a pastoral associate at my home parish; she was a great comfort to my family when my maternal grandmother died in 1985. Besides her duties in the parish, she established a pantry where people, and particularly families, in need could get some extra supplies or a little help with the bills to get by when money got tight. It didn't matter what religion you were or even if you were religious at all, if you were in need, she was willing to help. As the Pantry grew, it worked in close coordination with local agencies serving the poor and homeless. My late father worked with Sister on toy drives and at the local free dining rooms.

Sister John Marie approached her work with smiling enthusiasm; you couldn't help but be willingly carried along with her. She became bedridden in these last few years, but she was always a presence behind the scenes, and the guiding principle would be "what would Sr. John Marie do?". I figure this will remain the case now that she's no longer here. May her work continue, and her memory remain forever unwithered.

Eternal rest grant her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her.

May all sentient beings have happiness and the causes of happiness.
May all sentient beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.
May all sentient beings never be separated from the happiness that is free from suffering.
May all sentient beings abide in equanimity, free from attachment and anger that holds some close and other distant.

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