It is always important to remember what the times were like when Jesus was physically present to humanity. Biblical scholars, including our own Fr. André Dargis, know that Jesus challenged the cultural mindset of how women were viewed. Women would sit at the feet of Jesus the Teacher, which was amazing for that time. Women were to be seen as equal to their husbands, as marriage was to be a mirror of divine love. Women were also disciples of Jesus and the first to see the empty tomb. Church historians
would also acknowledge that the Roman Empire found it strange that early Christians treated women with respect and a place of sharing in the mission of Jesus. Some of the persecution towards Christians by Romans happened because of how they valued the role of women.
Tension is part of our world as some women want to remind others, that women have value and are to be treated with dignity and respect. For others there is a tired feeling of what can be called political correctness and a feeling of mistrust as to what people really want. The Gospel of Jesus does remind us that women have an important role in serving the Kingdom of God. There is strong evidence in scripture to support this understanding.
Today, women serve St. Patrick Community in ways that are important to the mission of serving God’s people. Women in leadership, is alive in our Church. The majority of our Parish Staff are women, beginning with Mary Permoda, our Director of Pastoral Activities, who really runs the Parish. She serves the community in working with personnel, ministry leaders, budget matters, being present to the community activities and making sure all levels of the Parish mission run correctly. Barb Nicol, Coordinator of Social Justice/Outreach. When she first arrived last year she was overwhelmed with the magnitude of what we do in Social Justice/ Outreach and we told her it would take a year just to see how things work. She coordinates and collaborates with SJO work in the Parish. Diane Kar is Coordinator of Stewardship, involving Praying, Giving and Serving. Whatever increase that is happening in these areas, are in part because of the leadership she brings. The Parish scheduling is under the direction of Carol Campbell as we are open 365 days a year with space being very tight.
There are more women involved in leadership through either being staff members or serving in leadership roles in the many ministries (135+) of the parish. There are too many to mention by name but are still valued.
The Church misses out when we see pictures of just men gathering for important meetings to make decisions. One could think where are all the women? Well one could simply look around and see many women in leadership roles, doing simply what Jesus encouraged centuries ago.
Peace in Christ,