At the Church of the Holy Family, four women take places at the altar together.
It is called the Church of the Holy Family, and this is most evident at Christmas. The pews are jammed with families—some broken, some evolving, some dearly remembered. At the top of the center aisle, Mary and Joseph are up to their knees in poinsettias with just a small parting of the red sea for the babe between them. His small arms are lifted, his hands open. His parents are bent in adoration.
Four women appear next to the altar: two from the pews, two from scripture.
These women are breaking down walls in more ways than one.
They crowd together in the narrow kitchen—septuagenarians and octogenarians, Millennials and Generation Zs—preparing lunch for guests in an El Paso house of hospitality known as Casa Vides. The three Irish Catholic sisters and four lay volunteers currently cohabitating in this old, two-story building share one mission: to serve immigrant families. Yet every morning they gather upstairs in the cramped dwelling for reflection, regardless of their religious affiliation, as Christians, non-Christians, and “Nones” alike.
For Gen X women, there's a disconnect between expectations and reality.
The explosion of the space shuttle Challenger was a defining moment for my generation. We remember where we were when the shuttle exploded on January 28, 1986, killing all seven crew members. Most of us were watching the launch on live television. I was 9 years old and at home, sick with a January cold, convalescing in my older sister’s bed, which she’d never have allowed had she been home. When something had clearly gone wrong, a “major malfunction” as the announcer had said, I called for my mom.