Kinship: A Pastoral Approach
An exquisite example of kinship between women is in Luke 1:39-45 when Elizabeth, pregnant through miraculous means, greets Mary, also miraculously blest with child. This encounter is replayed today as homeless women and their caretakers are greeted and welcomed into a room where they listen to scripture of God’s love for them and a reflection of daily hope. We provide an environment of comfort and trust as a setting for these women to share their life’s stories. This is the foundation of a new ministry at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament. The theologies of Edward P. Hahnenberg, Maria Harris, Michael Horan and Rosemary Radford Ruether provide foundational evidence that support the development of this ministry and provision of ministerial leadership. Establishing a ministry for women can be challenging due to the male only construct of the Church hierarchy to include the pastor and parish priest. The theologies of Augustine, Aquinas and Balthasar are rooted in human dualism favoring men over women. This view does not favor equality for women within the confines of church structure but rather views them using classical Christian theology. Protestant theologian Paul Tillich envisioned a practical scrutiny that theology is most effective if viewed within a contemporary context. It is evident to me as a Pastoral Associate candidate for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, that the theology of Paul Tillich would allow women to become Pastoral Associates and Parish Life Directors unlike classical Christian Theologians.