Just a Thought…
I need to apologize. In case some of you are wondering, it is my fault and I take the blame. Traditionally on Mother’s Day at Old St. Patrick’s, we have invited women from the Old St. Pat’s community to give a witness talk on the significance of mothering and the journey of faith. At times, those who have given testimony have been mothers, grandmothers, and daughters, all uniquely talented with a special message to share. For those who may have been anticipating this tradition on Mother’s Day today at Old St. Patrick’s, I apologize for bursting your bubble. To be very honest, this late Easter celebration in 2011 has thrown a lot of things off, including my responsibility to invite speakers on this Mother’s Day. I totally forgot! Sorry about that!
Some of you may be wondering why I am devoting this column to an apology and my personal lamentation about the Mother’s Day speakers slipping my mind. The reason I am acknowledging this mistake is because I do not want you to get the wrong impression! I have very much appreciated the tradition handed on to us at Old St. Pat’s on Mother’s Day and making the invitation to various women to share their reflections. Not only do I value this local custom, but more importantly I value the voice of women being heard. In our Church and in our culture where gender issues have become a source of great tension, I certainly do not want that to be reflected in this local church of Old St. Patrick’s. Where there are opportunities such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Mission appeals, para-liturgies, presentations, and the like, I do not want to miss such moments for more voices to make known the message of faith. So as I appeal to you today for your forgiveness, please know of my commitment to the women of this community. I stand with all of you today with a deeply grateful heart for the women in my life and yours. When I think about those heroic female figures (and not just my own mom, although she’s #1) who taught and still teach, loved and still love, who formed and still are forming, who worked hard and are still working hard, who “put-up-with” and still “put-up-with,” who showed us manners, held our head during the flu, who corrected, who forgave… it is literally endless. And when we all think about those incredible women who handed on the faith to us, who taught us how to pray, who opened schools, who started hospitals, who were and still are on the front-lines with the poor, who educate so incredibly well because they are so smart, who are so deeply spiritual and organize women’s spirituality groups, who sing, who organize volunteers, who support us, and who “stick with it” in an often-times difficult church environment, I cannot help but be humbled. So I apologize for not having the reflections this year, but I am so thankful for those great women who give such powerful witness and testify with their lives each and every day!
Happy Mother’s Day,
Fr. Tom Hurley