Project Description

Jennifer Owens-Jofré (Bolivia/USA) recently completed her doctoral studies at Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA. Her research was on devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe at a Latinx Catholic parish in Los Angeles, California, identifying its implications for Mariology and ministry. Through a postdoctoral fellowship that the Louisville Institute awarded her, she currently serves as Visiting Professor of Constructive Theology at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Austin, TX.   Jennifer co-edited From the Pews in the Back: Young Women and Catholicism (Liturgical Press, 2009).

Extract from Jennifer Owens-Jofré, “Who Will Heal the Wounds of the Church ?—Women’s Ministry and Priestly Power” in Visions and Vocations:

I remember the way my mother and my aunts used to break the limbs of the aloe vera plant when my cousins and I skinned our knees as children.  Their mother, my Mamita, had shared with them about its healing properties, as her mother had shared with her on the outskirts of Santa Cruz, Bolivia, many years before she had brought her husband and her four children to live in Southern California.  Too afraid of its prickly edges to handle them myself, I stayed away from the plant, even though I knew of its power to heal.  I remember the clean smell of the plant’s insides, how the light sting upon contact with my grazed knee would give way to the cooling that signaled healing. … As I reflect, the memory of the aloe vera plant emerges as an apt metaphor for the Church since Vatican II.  We need skilled aunts and mothers to break her limbs carefully, to cut past the prickly edges of the kyriarchy that plagues her, to bring holy and healing salve to our wounds.