Cecilia A. Ranger is a Sister of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. With a lifelong commitment to education, philosophy, theology and spiritual direction, she taught and did spiritual direction at several colleges, universities and seminaries, and served in university administration and on boards. Other ministries included pastoral ministry, facilitation, and consultancies for leadership groups; she also served as president of the Oregon Sisters of the Holy Names. One of her primary interests was dialogue among religious traditions; she was spiritual and retreat director for persons of many faith traditions. She is now retired at Mary's Woods in Lake Oswego, Oregon, where she does some teaching, parish or personal retreats, and writing.
I have heard remarks about sisters' "easy" lives: job and retirement security, just having to pray, free summers and vacations, no responsibilities for children or finances. Here's a reality check.
Could it be that God's time is now, that "our time is now"? Is it God's time and our new time to effect both public and personal restorations in civic, church and educational organizations, all pledged to serve the common good and make Mother Earth a more beautiful, safe and humane place to live?
In my 30s, I was ready to encourage women to refuse to serve the institutional church in any way. But I have learned to keep on in the church I both love and sometimes feel very angry at.
Mary Magdalene has gotten a lot of bad press, it seems to me. Every July 22, on her feast day, I dread listening to homilies at church; in Scripture study groups, I shudder at the accusations against her.