“When parishes celebrate their centennials and create books to tell the history of their communities of faith, these books unfailingly feature their pastors. If the parish has a school, the history may single out its principals by name and with photos as it does the pastors. Who else such books feature is up for grabs.
Telling our history or decorating our walls with the photos of pastors, principals, CEOs, and mother superiors equates the parish, the student body, a company, or a religious community with its official heads.
In the case of parishes, especially small parishes and rural parishes, pastors come and go. The parish community has its own less visible leaders who animate its continuing practice of Christian life. Many of these leaders are women. Most don’t make the parish history book or get wall space.”