St. Joseph Sr. Christine Schenk, an NCR board member, served urban families for 18 years as a nurse midwife before co-founding FutureChurch, where she served for 23 years. Her recent book Crispina and Her Sisters: Women and Authority in Early Christianity (Fortress, 2017) was awarded first place in History by the Catholic Press Association. She holds master's degrees in nursing and theology.
Simply Spirit: I owe my learning to the women and men with whom I have walked and am walking. Their solidarity helps me to first accept and then join together to alleviate the wounds of our world.
"Mary Magdalene" is a perfect way to celebrate the "Apostle to the Apostles" on or around her July 22 feast day. It is both cinematically beautiful and well-grounded in contemporary scholarship about the religious and political context in which Jesus and Mary sought God and God's reign.
It is difficult to ignore ever-mounting evidence that the clerical system governing the Catholic church is in a significant state of decay. Yet, I can't help believing that the Holy Spirit — who loves creating something new out of chaos — is summoning us to build a new church governance.
All Christians were understood to image Christ: "There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus," as Paul reminds us in the beautiful Galatian baptismal hymn. So what happened? A struggle with the larger patriarchal culture is what happened.