In June, I started a mother’s ministry at my 10,000 person parish and the response has been overwhelming. Though we began meeting over five weeks ago, every week I receive more requests from women who have heard about us and want to join the group.
Here’s the thing I already knew, but my experience has confirmed: women are hungry for community, for support, and for friendship. Women feel isolated and alone.
At the end of almost every session, someone approaches me and confesses a private pain. There are marital issues, parenting challenges, the death of children and spouses. I pray to hold back my tears as these women tell me their stories.
I’m ashamed to admit this, but these women I’m befriending? I’ve been sitting next to them in the pews for years. Until recently, I didn’t even know their names, let alone their sufferings. Though I’ve seen them almost weekly for the last six years, my efforts to get to know them have not exceeded a polite nod and a weak smile as we file into and out of Sunday Mass.
Isn’t it strange I would never forget to leave my iPhone at home but I can’t be bothered to ask the woman sitting next to me at Mass every Sunday her name?
Isn’t it strange that I live in a über technologically connected society, but I remain so emotionally disconnected from the people around me?
Read the rest at ICL.