Spill that Tea: Catholic Nuns, Meghan Markle, and Theological Feminism by Anjeanette LeBoeuf

I wrote a piece in March 2021 regarding the British Royal Family and their horrendous treatment of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. On August 23, 2022, Meghan released her first podcast episode for her series titled “Archetypes”. The first episode had guest speaker, famed legendary tennis player Serena Williams. They talked about the misconceptions of ambition and the two-edged sword that women have to endure in society when striving to be their best in a male centric world. And for many of us within Religious and Theological spaces, the disparities that women, queer folk, and non-binary peoples have endured in society are also tied into the misconceptions and harmful archetypes found within religious spaces.

Continue reading “Spill that Tea: Catholic Nuns, Meghan Markle, and Theological Feminism by Anjeanette LeBoeuf”

Who Are You to Tell Me I’m Not Really a Catholic? by Jamie Marich

            Many opinions are flying around during this election cycle about what makes a Catholic a Catholic. Yes, Joe Biden is a practicing Catholic, only the third Catholic candidate to ever run on a major party nomination in the United States (the first being President Kennedy, the second John Kerry). Yet for conservative Catholics who support President Trump, declarations abound that Joe Biden isn’t really a Catholic, especially due to his support of a woman’s right to choose and full civil rights for LGBTQ+ individuals. In the eyes of such commentators, including many priests, people like me are no better— Feminist Catholics who openly support a Democratic candidate. If you’re reading this piece, maybe you are a confused Catholic who is feeling bullied by your own priest or other American Catholic thought leaders right now. Rest assured, not all Catholics are the same, and how you identify in your faith is truly between you and the God of your understanding. Be cautious of anyone who is promoting a theology of exclusion, making you feel less than for practicing your faith authentically and in a way that lines up with all of your values and points of identity. Continue reading “Who Are You to Tell Me I’m Not Really a Catholic? by Jamie Marich”

Dissent by Gina Messina

71517_10200316462096891_2039548303_nI often share that what I’ve learned about strength, perseverance, and responsibility, I learned from my grandmother and namesake, Gina. In November we celebrated her life and said goodbye to the pioneering woman who overcame the greatest of obstacles to lead a life of dissent.   

Gina Sr. was born in Camaiore, Italy in 1926. She lived through WWII, was captured and escaped from Nazi soldiers three times, and walked 200 miles to find safety. Following the war she found herself on a boat filled with war brides headed to the U.S. and never saw her family again. She divorced in the early 60’s becoming a single mother and social pariah, and survived the loss of three of her children. Continue reading “Dissent by Gina Messina”

Wonder Bread by Natalie Weaver

Natalie Weaver editedIt is a difficult thing to wake up and realize you are living a life you do not recognize. This happens for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes, it happens dramatically as in the case of death, job loss, personal trauma, or illness. Other times it is a slow and insidious transition from what you knew to what you have become, as you find yourself looking at your workplace and recognizing no one or wondering who these people are in your home. Sometimes it is as simple as getting a haircut or a pair of contact lenses, when suddenly you see some wrinkle or skin mark you didn’t know had been forming while you slept. I find this experience shockingly regular now, and while I am no longer surprised that it happens, I am consistently surprised at what I discover.

For example, my son is now an altar server in the Roman Catholic Church. This has occurred concurrently with my very unexpected involvement in an annulment case, which has revealed an outrageous lack of pastoral sensitivity on the part of the Church. Witnessing the hurt this process causes, I could run from the Church. But then there is my son in the choir and serving at Mass, trying to understand this world that I both introduce him to and also roundly critique. I was chatting with a colleague at lunch over such matters and noticed her quieting after a time, eyes cast off into the distance. After a long pause, she murmured, “How did I get here again?” Continue reading “Wonder Bread by Natalie Weaver”

Francis: My Holy Conundrum by Linda Pinto

Linda PintoChicago enjoys a long history of women whose voices echo a call for dignity and equality.

Jane Addams was a pioneer American-settlement social worker, public philosopher, sociologist, author, and leader in women’s suffrage movement. In an era when presidents such as Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson identified themselves as social activists, Addams outshined them as one of the most prominent reformers of the Progressive Era.

Ida Bell Wells was an African-American journalist and newspaper editor, a sociologist, and an early leader in the women’s as well as civil rights movement. Notably and disturbingly, she courageously documented lynching in the United States, showing that it was often used as a way to control or punish blacks who competed with whites.

Frances Xavier Cabrini was an Italian nun, who founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart, serving the Italian immigrant population in Chicago. Despite the lack of support by bishops and clergy alike, her groundbreaking outreach to the poor and marginalized, earned her the privilege of being the first naturalized citizen of the United States to be canonized by the Roman Catholic Church.

More contemporary Chicago feminist prophets include Tina Fey, Jennifer Hudson and Chaka Kahn. And, I would be remiss not to invoke the names of the Holy Trinity of contemporary Chicago women saints….Hillary Clinton, Michele Obama and Oprah Winfrey.

So, now we focus on Francis, who I call my Holy Conundrum.

His words are, indeed, impressive….listen to what he says…..

The best wines come from every person who risks everything on love.

Things have a price and can be for sale, but people have a dignity which is priceless.

Let the church always be a place of mercy and hope where everyone is welcomed, loved and forgiven.

It is vital that government leaders and financial leaders take heed and broaden their horizons working to make sure that all citizens have dignified work, education and healthcare.


Let us not be afraid to say it: we want change, real change, structural change. We want change in our lives, in our neighborhoods, in our everyday reality. We want a change which can affect the entire world, since global interdependence calls for global answers to local problems. The globalization of hope, a hope which springs up from peoples and takes root among the poor, must replace the globalization of exclusion and indifference!

Makes one wonder….

Does Francis truly intend to inspire the church to become the open window of John XXIII, letting in the fresh air of the Spirit or does he represent an institutional dose of air freshener; hoping we would smell the roses rather than the stench of a clerical system which, at best isolates women and at worst, renders them invisible? Continue reading “Francis: My Holy Conundrum by Linda Pinto”

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