Mary of Magdala's connection to Jesus

Rooney Mara plays Mary Magdalene in the film named for the famous female follower of Jesus. (Transmission Films)

Mid-July always reminds me that it is Mary of Magdala season. Over 20 years ago, I helped launch what would become an annual event hosted by FutureChurch designed to honor this preeminent "Apostle to the Apostles."

nspired by the global women's marches, this year's theme is "Celebrating Feminism and Faith in Union." A special prayer service includes optional readings from feminist theologians such as Elizabeth Johnson, Miriam Therese Winter, Diana Hayes and Emily Maynard. Since Mary's feast lands on a Sunday, July 22, special resources offer ideas for honoring this great woman witness at Mass.

It has been gratifying to watch the Mary of Magdala celebrations explode in popularity. An amazing 250 to 400 events are held around the world every year. FutureChurch leaders, Deborah Rose Milavec and Russ Petrus are reaping the rewards of their faithful perseverance.

Why has celebrating St. Mary of Magdala become such a hot ticket?

I suspect ordinary Catholics are attracted to the idea of helping correct an egregious wrong. Plus, there is something intriguing about the hiddenness of the women in Jesus' discipleship. After all, most of us are pretty much "hidden disciples" ourselves. We don't think of our Christian witness as anything special, even though it is what gives our lives meaning and drives our decision-making.

Read the full story at National Catholic Reporter.

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