Church Mothers:Thinking of Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy

rose-kennedy-4 PictureI love “Church Mothers.” I appreciate their celestial confidence. I love how they designate certain church pews as their own; I love their hats, and the way they smile. They are the metaphorical waters of many church fountains. Often they hold the tears of weary members, baptizing them into wellness. Church mothers are the givers, the gatekeepers– citadels of faith.

I love Church Mothers—as idea, as institutional offering from God to His people. If I were Dorothy of the Wizard of Eyes, I’d look for the yellow brick road that leads to church. When I came upon the door leading to the sanctuary, I’d enter and find Mrs. Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, the matriarch of the Kennedy family on her knees praying.

Intuitively I have decided this: A model and symbol of how Jesus can be found in the lives of Church Mothers is Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, a woman of faith.

I think of Mrs. Kennedy often. When I was seeking instruction on the purpose of so much tragedy, I happened upon a thought by Mrs. Rose Kennedy. Years earlier I read of Mrs. Kennedy’s dedication to God. She attended MASS everyday. Once while in New York City for a summer, I found myself in need of a church. I just needed to go inside and sit and talk to God. There was so much business in New York City. And, well, at heart, I am an Alabama woman. It was a Wednesday morning; I thought of Mrs. Kennedy who went to MASS everyday. I found me a church, Catholic, went inside and prayed—

Church. As I left the church, I thought of the wisdom this Church Mother gave concerning how to deal with tragedies in a life:

 The most important element in human life is faith . . . for with faith in Him . . . I believe I could suffer the lost of my other gifts and still be happy.

 I have ask my children to . . . foster it [faith], to hold on to it because it is such a precious gift . . . don’t lose it because it is so important . . . I think that’s really the greatest gift. . . the one that I prize the most. . . .

Put simply, Mrs. Kennedy is a model of a Church Mother. She knew how to talk church. She was a Church Mother who lived a life of faith. In life, her model encouraged me; in death, her model sustains me. In memory of her, I invite you to Church—be it a building or a quiet place where you can come away and rest awhile. And indeed, find a seat beside a Church Mother.


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