Toward the late 1950s, my mom had purchased a cardboard replica of a Church altar for my brother Paul. While he played the role of priest, my twin-sister Pat, and I acted as two parishioners attending mass. Of course, we both also wanted to play the role of priest, but I still remember my brother, Paul, telling us, “you are girls, you can’t be priests.” After Paul finished playing priest, Pat and I would resume that role. A milk-bone pitcher was perfect, it even resembled a chalice, and inside of it was Necco Wafers, which closely resembled the size and shape of the Communion hosts. Wow! were we ever ahead of the times.

Nothing Ever Changes.

Moving ahead to our present moment in time, everything has changed for women, with new evidence of women’s actual roles in our Church; although, in stark reality, nothing has changed for women with Rome’s continuation of its sedentary inaction of doing nothing at all. Just where did Jesus say that women could not assume the roles of deacons, priests, or bishops?

The Compass of Past Presence

Echoing throughout our Church’s history is the compass of past presence. Yet, over the compass of time, within that same past presence has been the virtual disappearance of women’s actual service to our Church. It is very much akin to the phrase, “out of sight, out of mind.” This fact has turned for all practical purposes, into a secret buried virtually in perpetuity over the centuries of time.

Rekindling the Compass of Past Presence

Let us indeed rekindle the compass of past presence to unearth the actual foot-prints of men and women’s roles within our church’s actual history. First, we uncover the men’s footprints, finding married apostles and yes, even married popes. The women’s footprints bring alive their equal positions of being deacons, priests and bishops. The answer to our present-day Priest / Shortage/ Communion Issue is right there in front of our eyes, has been hiding in plain sight.

Author's Bio: 

Margaret Mary O’Connor has a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Buffalo, and a Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry from Christ the King Seminary, in East Aurora, NY.

She is a former Chaplain and currently is a Eucharistic Minister at Our Lady of Charity Parish in Buffalo, NY. She literally walks the walk, on picket lines to help keep the issues of Women’s Ordination and Church Accountability on the Priest Sexual Abuse Issue, at the forefront of any Catholic’s attention.

As a fellow member of the Laity, herself she believes any Catholic, deserves at minimal at least the truth from Rome, as opposed to the continual out right deception they are receiving. She also is a member of Call to Action, Future Church, Roman Catholic Women Priests, Women’s Ordination Conference, and SNAP, (Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests.) Buffalo Central Terminal, Restoration, Preservation Buffalo Niagara, and Western New York Land Conservancy. Margaret Mary is the recipient of the Special Award for Achievement from the Dale Carnegie Public Speaking Course. She also enjoys Gardening, Pilates and reading Mystery books.

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