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U.S. Catholic Book Club - From the Pews in the Back: Young Women and Catholicism

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October 2010:
From the Pews in the Back: Young Women and Catholicism
Edited by Kate Dugan and Jennifer Owens

Review: The church does not have an excellent record of seeking or listening to the voices of young women, a fact that makes us lacking as a community. From the Pews in the Back offers a remedy. In personal, heartfelt, and sometimes heart-wrenching essays, 29 women offer a glimpse into how they’ve been navigating the Catholic faith and struggling with the limited expectations for being a woman in the church, finding them tricky, confusing, and sometimes all wrong.

As they share their stories and struggles of ministry, motherhood, and everything in between, they show us that faith still exists for young adults and the church still matters to them. But we may have to go to the very back pews to hear them. -Meghan Murphy-Gill, Assistant Editor, U.S. CATHOLIC

Selected questions from Liturgical Press:

What makes this generation of young adult Catholics Catholic, in spite of their differences from other generations? What unites them/us?

There’s so much for us as high schoolers, and we come back as visitors in college, but there doesn’t seem to be much for us as young adults in parishes. Where is our place in the church?

Kate Dugan and Jen Owens write about “the tension between the institution’s gender norms and our twenty-first-century expectations of being a woman.” What are the tensions that present themselves in being women, being Catholic, and being Church?

How does the Millennial generation’s experience of being women (“be all you can be”; “girls can do anything they want to do”) complicate our experience of being Catholic women?