On Saturday, after a relaxing morning of taking her ACT exam, Molly will head over to St. Thomas More Church to be confirmed.
She celebrated this Catholic rite of passage by firing off a letter to our pope, encouraging him to consider a more active promotion of gender equity within the global, Catholic community.
I asked her to hold off on mailing the missive until after Saturday as it might prove unseemly to be excommunicated before being officially confirmed, though we’re both encouraged by Pope Francis’ mission to build a more inclusive church.
For her confirmation name, Molly chose Judith, a Biblical heroine who dramatically saved her people and lived to be 105. Treat yourself to the book of Judith sometime; it’s a real page turner.
For her confirmation sponsor, Molly chose her Uncle Steve, with whom she shares a dry wit, a keen intellect, and an admiration for Jane Austen. Neither suffers fools gladly, and both appreciate an earnest debate. In her uncle, Molly found a kindred spirit, a phrase she picked up several years ago after a summer spent reading the entire Anne of Green Gables series, thanks to Steve’s challenge to do so.
Steve taught Molly to put her faith in context, which has been enormously helpful as she wrestles with age-old religious tenets in a rapidly changing world.
Molly’s grade school teacher once told her class that we all live in the same church, we just look out through different windows. We both love that image, and our pope seems to agree.
“This is important: to get to know people, listen, expand the circle of ideas,” he said. “The world is crisscrossed by roads that come closer together and move apart, but the important thing is that they lead towards the Good.”
Guided by an able mentor, inspired by a kick ass saint, and encouraged by a humble pope, Molly can step confidently through the crisscrossed roads of her life, and enjoy a steady expansion of the circle of her ideas.