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December 3, 2009

Insights and Outbursts: Spirituality woven by women

Did you ever spend an entire day filled with gratitude, simply because you were in a place where you felt not only welcome but happy to be a part of something so incredibly meaningful that you didn't want it to end?

That's exactly how I felt on Saturday, Oct. 31, as I joined 150 women in a program called "Weaving Spirituality where Women Gather" held in the colorful sunlit chapel of the Sisters of St. Joseph Convent in Brighton.

It was presented by, an organization founded by Marie LaBollita, SCl, and Rosemary Mulvihill, RSM. I'd known both of them since 2003.

Rosemary, director of campus ministry, I first met at a Regis College workshop, where she was addressing the crisis in the Catholic church. Marie, an outspoken advocate of clergy abuse victims, I met when she spoke at a Voice of the Faithful meeting in Gloucester.

With a vision to "create together what we need based on new models of inclusion, collaboration and empowerment," Sacred Threads offers a variety of programs "for women to voice their experiences, to imagine possibilities, and to create pathways that connect more deeply with self, others, creation and the holy."

And that is exactly what happened, beginning with the opening prayer that concluded with a blessing for the keynote speaker, the Rev. Liz Walker, whose dynamic talk on "The Risk of Love" touched us all with an energy from her "tradition" as an elder in the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Jamaica Plain. I know I wasn't the only one who shouted "Amen" several times during her talk.

For 21 years, Liz Walker worked as an anchorwoman on WBZ television. In the early 1980s, I lived in Boston and drove a cab for Town Taxi. Located on Yawkey Way in the Fenway at the time, the company had a contract with WBZ and, though I enjoyed driving sportscaster Bob Lobel and arts and entertainment anchor Joyce Kulhawik, never met Liz Walker until she spoke at the Sacred Threads Conference.

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