So what do we do about that? Here’s the good news: Catholic women have not been idle for the past thirty years. There’s a vibrant generation of women, particularly young women, who are well schooled in their faith, with hearts truly on fire for the Lord. Some of them are already hard at work, some of them are waiting to see where the Lord is calling them, and many more need our support to make a difference. In my work with the Catholic Women’s Forum, I’ve been in contact with hundreds of women leaders—leaders of different apostolates and leaders of efforts that, while secular, support a moral culture. I'm struck by the wide range of efforts that women have undertaken to evangelize the culture—and so often with little support, little fanfare.
Some incredible efforts include Kathleen Eaton Bravo’s Obria Medical Clinics, which provide a full-service alternative to Planned Parenthood; CanaVox, where mothers learn how to reach their peers to support and defend marriage; and ENDOW, a program founded by Terry Polakovic that educates women in parishes about the nature and dignity of women. We see at the same time the brilliant work being done by female theologians—women like Margaret McCarthy of the John Paul II Institute and Sr. Sara Butler, one of the first women on the International Theological Commission. They are contributing greatly to the church’s theological and pastoral thinking. Then we have the leadership of journalists like Kathryn Lopez and legal scholars like Helen Alvaré —they are powerful voices in the culture, speaking up for the dignity of women and the importance of family and religious freedom.
But it’s not enough. We need to do more. We need to amplify within the culture the voices of Catholic women who do support the teachings of the church; women who see the Church’s teachings as the path to women’s happiness, equality, and authentic freedom; who know that women flourish when they live according to the truths of our faith. These are the women whose voices need to shape our culture. These are the women we need to raise up.
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