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Tue Oct 20, 2015, 10:22 AM

Spiritual/religious leaders who are also mothers?

Wow...it is very weird posting in this group again after years, I believe.

I want to give everyone a big hug.



It's really been bugging me that I can't think of any women, who are also mothers, considered spiritual leaders.

I can think of Pema Chodron, though she left her children when they were in their early teens to follow her path. Marianne Williamson comes to mind as well. But I can't think of others who are more well known and have written books.

I'm trying to find guidance/wisdom/inspiration specifically regarding motherhood, from those who have experienced it.

Thanks.

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Reply Spiritual/religious leaders who are also mothers? (Original post)
OneGrassRoot Oct 2015 OP
Sanity Claws Oct 2015 #1
Cleita Oct 2015 #3
OneGrassRoot Oct 2015 #9
Cleita Oct 2015 #2
Sanity Claws Oct 2015 #4
Rebkeh Oct 2015 #5
OneGrassRoot Oct 2015 #10
southerncrone Oct 2015 #6
OneGrassRoot Oct 2015 #8
Rebkeh Oct 2015 #7

Response to OneGrassRoot (Original post)

Tue Oct 20, 2015, 12:05 PM

1. Interesting question

Would St. Elizabeth Seton qualify?

It took me a while even to come up with her.

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Response to Sanity Claws (Reply #1)

Tue Oct 20, 2015, 02:45 PM

3. Ha. I just posted the same while you posted this. Like minds and all.

Of course there is also Dorothy Day, who pioneered social work and charity, although she is a controversial figure because she had an abortion.

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Response to Sanity Claws (Reply #1)

Wed Oct 21, 2015, 08:08 AM

9. Thanks, SC and Cleita...

I replied in more depth to southercrone below, reply #6.

Thanks for the input.

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Response to OneGrassRoot (Original post)

Tue Oct 20, 2015, 02:41 PM

2. Well there is the Virgin Mary, who is also a mother. She is considered a spiritual leader

among Catholics.

There were some of the Catholic saints who were mothers. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton comes to mind, a mother with five children before she was widowed. She subsequently founded the Sisters of Charity, one of the Catholic teaching orders who taught me for awhile. Since I shy away from organized spiritual groups or Churches for the most part, I can't think of any others off hand.

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Response to OneGrassRoot (Original post)

Tue Oct 20, 2015, 04:04 PM

4. Myrtle Filmore and Mary Baker Eddy

The former is one of the co-founders of Unity Church. The latter founded Christian Science.

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Response to OneGrassRoot (Original post)

Tue Oct 20, 2015, 04:54 PM

5. Goddess/Dianic Wiccan traditions are

full of these heroines. Many of their writers are also mothers, though I'm not sure they would count as spiritual leaders.

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Response to Rebkeh (Reply #5)

Wed Oct 21, 2015, 08:09 AM

10. Indeed...

That is where I certainly found more writings by moms since the goddess is celebrated.

Please see my reply #6, to southerncrone, for more info.

Because Patriarchy.

Ugh.

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Response to OneGrassRoot (Original post)

Tue Oct 20, 2015, 11:48 PM

6. In most cases, aren't all mothers spiritual leaders?

It seems to just come w/the territory.
I think the reason they aren't idolized as such in our society stems from the fact we live in a PATRIARCHAL society: Men are adored, women are ignored.
Not to mention the amount of personal giving of time & attention necessary to raise children, leaves little time or energy to promote ones self or garner outward attention (unless it is negative). Women go about doing extremely important work, while never being given the kudos for their effort. We do much for little (or no) monetary or public reward, because it is inborn in us to do so. Men, on the other hand, require massive amounts of ego-stroking & strive for attention to spotlight their accomplishments. Let's face it, women hold down the fort, while men go off to slay dragons. Which gets the attention?

I am sure there are noted, female spiritual leaders, but the above is why I think we have a hard time recalling them. There are probably many, many more than male, but the men get the attention because much of what women did was ignored in the history.

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Response to southerncrone (Reply #6)

Wed Oct 21, 2015, 08:07 AM

8. Exactly...

This is precisely my point and why I had to ask for names, as I couldn't think of any -- including modern-day "leaders."

Pema Chodron is a prime example of this. She literally abandoned her role as mother to pursue her spiritual path. Certainly most moms do practice a practical spirituality day in and day out, but to be fully immersed in spirituality as their calling -- writing books, giving speeches, etc. -- seems to be in direct contradiction to being a mom.

I'll research some of the others above, especially Dorothy Day. But most are famous for something else and just happen to be spiritual (Maya Angelou is considered more of a poet than a spiritual leader, but her work is infused with spirituality, of course).

I was looking at this because I was specifically searching for spiritual leaders who are moms who have given VERY SPECIFIC advice about motherhood.

Even if they are moms, I haven't found much in the realm of spiritual advice in the realm of motherhood.

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Response to OneGrassRoot (Original post)

Wed Oct 21, 2015, 12:24 AM

7. Maya Angelou? n/t

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