A woman empowered by the Catholic Church


By Leilani McDonald


I was 9 years old when my mother, a cradle Catholic, stopped attending Mass and removed me from our parish school. This pause in my religious formation lasted 21 blind and bumpy years before I ended up at a local CEW (Christian Experience Week­end) event that culminated in my confirmation. Despite that weekend’s spiritual high, more years passed before Catholic spirituality began to transform my life in authentic, personal ways.
At 43, I still experience random doubts about God and the immortal soul; but I forge on by attending Mass, seeking reconciliation and stumbling through daily prayer. These habits have filled me with the lofty notion that life as a practicing Catholic woman empowers me physically, professionally and intellectually — a notion that I often find annoys or even angers those being fed a Church-driven “war on women” diet by the dominant media.

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