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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