For a few years, now a dear friend of mine has been inviting me to the Ladies Sodality meeting at our church. This ministry has been together for almost 66 years (which is a long time for our fairly new church) and serves the parish and community in a variety of ways. I spoke to the ministry as a guest when I started the Mom's Ministry and again when I helped get our Women's Study program up and going at our parish.
But becoming a member? The meetings were nice, and the ladies were lovely, but the description of the ministry didn't sound all that appealing:
Women of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel who are above the age of sixteen and registered in the parish interested in serving our parish through hospitality and fellowship in a variety of ways. This year Sodality celebrates 64 years at OLMC; our volunteers host bake sales – raising money for the parish Easter candle and an annual scholarship for one young woman graduating from OLMC and attending Catholic high school; cleaning the Sacristy Friday mornings; washing and ironing small table linens; making baptismal bibs; and providing delicious refreshments for RCIA and other parish programs and events.
All I read was bake, clean, wash, iron, sew, bake again. And all I could think -
I already have those jobs.
I don't want them in my free-time too.
But my friend kept inviting me and I kept coming. And slowly Our Mother worked on my heart and opened my eyes.
First of all the description of the group is lacking. If I were to describe this ministry it would be as such:
Women of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel who are above the age of sixteen and registered in the parish are invited to join our parishes longest running ministry. The Sodality is a lifelong commitment to join the Army of Our Blessed Mother Mary. A multi-age group, we are a community of women who meet regularly for community building, fellowship, food, and prayer. We care for the needs of the parish and larger community though our personal service, through our prayer groups, and by raising funds for the church (for items such as the Easter Candle, as well as for incidental gifts such as student scholarships).
The ministry is not about washing and cleaning, although those tasks do need to be accomplished at every parish.
Rather, Sodality is a group of people striving to be holy. The word sodality actually means Union of prayer, or fellwoship or friendship. These women in our parish's sodality are single, married, young and old. Some have children others do not. But we all share a devotion to Our Blessed Mother and God's Holy Church. Sodality members have been saints and even popes, but mostly they are people just like us.
I have wondered a bit what took me so long to say yes to this ministry and officially become a "Church Lady".
And it is pride.
At our parish this ministry has a reputation of being a group for the old ladies - you know - the "Church Lady" played by Dana Carvey on SNL. Hilarious, but not something I want to be.
After attending for a while I found myself asking -why wouldn't I join? These are awesome and holy women whose ages span from teens to 90 years olds.
During the induction ceremony (yes I got "jumped in" by the ladies), I had to commit to strive to be a woman of virtue, who practiced Faith, Hope, and Charity. I am to be held accountable for my actions to Our Mother, and to these women for life. They will serve as mentors and guides as I navigate my own path to holiness, and someday perhaps I will be able to follow their lead and grow to be a worthy mentor myself.
We meet one Saturday morning each month... won't you consider joining us?
What is stopping you right now? What is holding you back from taking that next step on your journey to Christ? Have you invited others to join you on your journey? Ask today, ask tomorrow, and keep asking. Someday we will say yes!
Thanks for stopping by to think with me!