Anne Miller fmm
I joined the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary in September 1948 There were eight young lively women who entered with me. My one ambition was to be a missionary and bring the Good News to the poor.
I worked first of all in India and enjoyed teaching younger children but at first found the names rather confusing. Soon I was asked to become part of the formation team, responsible for the training of the young women who wished to join us. I was also fully occupied in the many self-help projects we started at the request of the people in the villa es around and in Hyderabad Deccan.
I grew to understand the struggles that the women had. I also became very aware of the inequalities between men and women and I resolved to try and do something about it.
This awakening made me look more critically at the role of women in the Church. I questioned and suffered from the fact that women could do all the hard and lowly tasks such as cleaning the church, looking after the altar linens, cooking and cleaning for the fathers but nothing further.
I was still in India when the Vatican Council took place and like Pope John XXIII felt it was indeed a new beginning, a Spring. The Church had opened its doors and windows for fresh air to come in. Now I thought there will be so much more inclusiveness, teamwork and collaboration between the clerics and the lay people. It was about this time that I read John Wijngaards' book "Did Christ Rule Out women Priests" and was captivated. I did not feel called to be a priest myself but I came to know a number of women who truly had a priestly vocation. I had the dream that one day they too would be ordained and celebrate the Eucharist.
I was invited to be a founder member of Housetop and my work still continues today. I feel that God has blessed our work and we are part of a world-wide movement for the ordination of women priests. I look forward to the day when mass will be celebrated in the churches and communities with women presiding.
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