If you thought catholicism and feminism could never be reconciled, sr margaret gonsalves will prove you wrong. here she speaks about a personal experience of this reconciliation
I first ran into Sr Margaret a few months ago when Fr Prashant Olalekar, whose Interplay we wrote about in the April 2007 issue, organised a two-hour Interplay session to which I was invited. The participants were mostly what I would have called nuns, but who call themselves women religious now. And that’s not all that’s changing in their world. I was awestruck and humbled to observe their sincere engagement with spirituality and quest for growth, despite the limitations of belonging to an institution which told them what to believe, and in which they were subordinate to men.
I have never quite heard the term ‘patriarchy’ uttered so often, or with such vehemence, as during those two hours. As they poured themselves into the dance movement, sharing after each episode with touching vulnerability, I was moved by their womanliness, which was by no means masked by their role as nuns. These were real women, striving to be themselves, and through that process, striving to transform the church. Sr Margaret is a leading light in this magnificent mission. She completed her Doctor of Ministry (D. Min.) from the US (2005), and is the programme coordinator for Streevani (Voice of Women), Pune. A former president of CRI (Conference of Religious, India), Vasai unit, she has conducted several workshops to empower women religious in the dioceses of Karnataka, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.
- Suma Varughese
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