Julie A. Ferraro, a journalist for more than 30 years, is a Benedictine Oblate of the Monastery of the Ascension, Jerome, Idaho. She currently uses her communication and other skills in service to various organizations within the Benedictine family.
As the number of available volunteer programs — including those sponsored by women's religious communities — decreases, Catholic Volunteer Network has seen the need to seek other viable models in a time of transition.
It might not seem that tattoos are a subject connected with women religious, and 20 years ago I would have agreed. That was before I got my first tattoo, at age 42 — I now have 10 of them.
As religious communities find many of their rooms unoccupied, they should open their doors to the people. After all, the crow soaring on the wind must land sometime, and work together with the other birds to survive.
Women should refuse to do the lion's share of support work in the church while men accept the credit. Men in the church need to be forced to open their eyes, minds and hearts and acknowledge the equality of women on every level.