Sunday, October 20, 2013

Women at the Ambo: Homilists for the Homeless

In the latest issue of America Magazine (on women in the life of the Roman Catholic Church) Jean Molesky-Poz ("At the Ambo") wonders what we might gain if we could hear homilies from a broader range of voices, if we permitted women — and lay men — to preach occasionally at the Eucharist.

The latest volume from Deacon Jim Knipper's project Homilists for the Homeless, Naked and You Clothed Me, offers a chance to imagine what it might sound like if lay women and men were permitted to preach on the Sunday readings. Of the 21 contributors to this volume, eight are women and three are Roman Catholic lay men.  Full disclosure, I contributed two reflections to this book:  for the 2nd Sunday of Lent and the 7th Sunday of Easter.

All of the proceeds from the book, while contains homilies for each of the Sundays for next year (Cycle A) are going to the poor, including Newborns in Need, which provides infant clothes and other supplies to needy families with new babies.  I'm privileged to be alongside contributors you might hear preaching from the ambo at a Roman Catholic celebration of the Eucharist:  Dan Horan, OFM (who blogs at Dating God and is a columnist at America), the prolific James Martin, SJ; Rick Malloy SJ (my neighbor's son, who blogs at a Jesuit's Jottings and writes on occasion for the Huffington Post) and those you would not:  Rev. Jan Richardson (a fellow sometime contributor at RevGalBlogPals); Michael Leach (whose sometimes haunting, sometimes funny, always beautiful essays grace NCR these days) and the inestimable Fran Szpylczyn of There Will be Bread.

"This is the garment of glory we weave for ourselves — the cloak we wrap around the shivering man in the street, the tablecloth we spread on the table at the soup kitchen, the blanket we tuck around our dying spouse." — from Naked and You Clothed Me, 7th Sunday of Easter, Cycle A.


The book can be pre-ordered at Clear Faith Publishing, shipping November 1.

11 comments:

  1. The book sounds good. Hearing thoughtful lay reflections outside of Mass is wonderful. Lay homilists sounds like a really bad idea to me. I hope that doesn't happen.

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    1. The last volume was wonderful, I'm looking forward to reading the other contributions to this volume.

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  2. So excited for you!

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    1. It's such an terrific venture, I'm excited to be a part of it!

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  3. Word verification for above: anymss, which I translate as any mass and interpret to mean: How wonderful if women could preach at any mass!

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  4. Thanks for posting this Michelle. That article from America has been resting in my heart. The voices that would be heard if lay people could preach more widely. May it be so one day.

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  5. Thanks for posting this, Michelle! I've ordered 10 copies already!

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  6. The book sounds excellent. Congratulations to you and Fran!

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