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My Journey with WATER

Posted on June 1, 2022, by Catherine (Kitty) Madden CoL

It all began with a simple request from Kathleen Tighe, “We would love to have you join the Outreach Committee team that helps prepare the quarterly Zoom rituals for the equinox and solstice.” Next followed my first assignment to design the summer solstice session.

Almost immediately, I remembered a solstice ritual from years past by Diann L. Neu of WATER (Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual). A note to Diann introduced me to her newer award-winning book published by Liturgical Press in 2020 in celebration of WATER’s 35th anniversary. “Stirring WATERS” is a collection of 52 feminist liturgies for justice and, sure enough, one of these was just what we needed for our Loretto summer solstice ritual. Diann gave her permission to use all or part of it. Robin Marlow and Lisa Reynolds put it into its final attractive form for our June solstice celebration.

If you are looking for a resource to nourish your spirit and strengthen your commitment to social justice, I highly recommend “Stirring WATERS.” You will find liturgies that help you and your community celebrate powerful women of faith, develop a richer and deeper spirituality and act for justice.

A sampling of liturgies includes Julian of Norwich, Witness with Mary Magdalene, Solidarity with CoMadres and Martyrs of El Salvador, Return to Life for Earth Day, Praying to End Human Trafficking, Cherishing Friends on Friendship Day, Grant Me Healing, Thank ReSisters Worldwide, MeToo: Reclaiming our Voices in an Age of Violence and Meditation for Wellness.

An additional perk of saying “Yes” to Kathleen has been the deepening of my connection with Diann and Mary E. Hunt, who brought WATER to birth in 1983 when they gathered 13 women from various faith backgrounds and created a place where women’s religious needs could be met. How much I have been nurtured in my ministry in Nicaragua since 1986 by the monthly mailings of WATER that always included a ritual. In addition, WATER’s cross-cultural work has brought women together in Nicaragua and other Latin American countries. I value my tattered copy of “A Shared Garden” that provides powerful rituals in Spanish and English.

For information on the extensive work of WATER, past and present, see the website, and get your copy of “Stirring WATERS.”


Catherine (Kitty) Madden CoL

Catherine (Kitty) Madden CoL, continues to work as a volunteer in social work and international outreach with Casa Materna, which provided services for high-risk pregnant women from rural communities in the northern Matagalpa region of Nicaragua., to help reduce maternal and infant death. Kitty helped to develop a fund-raising group called Friends of Casa Materna to support Casa’s mission. She resides in Matagalpa.
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