Marion, Indiana: Suzette Wingfelder, of Mary, Queen of the Angels Church, announces a "Come and See" weekend for women discerning the vocation of motherhood to her three kids, ages 6, 4 and 1.
"I'll be honest--I can't find babysitting," declared Mrs. Wingfelder in an interview with the IC. "It's the dog days of summer, the kids are bored out of their gourds, and we need to mix things up. I saw all these Come and See weekends advertised in our local diocesan paper, and I sort of wanted to go--you know, just for a weekend. Obviously, my husband had concerns in that regard. My kids are too young to send. So--everyone keeps saying I'm living a vocation, right? You come here and see it! And if I trust you, I really hope to go out and get my hair cut."
The announcement, placed in many parish bulletins before the pastors noticed, advertised a weekend of free room and board for discerning women, ages 18-25, no strings attached. A typical day includes grace before meals, the rosary (warning: can take an hour unless 1 year old is napping), some kind of hot dog at some point in the day, and lots of sunscreen applications. Otherwise, Wingfelder notes, "anything can happen!"
When asked if this really honored the fullness of the vocation to motherhood, Wingfelder sighed. "Hey, I know how this looks. And I do love being a mother--I'm not trying to shuffle off my darlings on strangers; my husband or I will be there. But all these religious groups live in community, and I think that's got to help. Our families live far away, and our parish friends are busy with vacations and stuff. I think a taste of Christian community and The Holy Spirit may give us the boost to get us through till Vacation Bible School in two weeks. I'm tired of living out motherhood like a hermit."
One young woman, Carolyn Ann Johnson, has signed up. "I'm open to God's work, and super excited," she bubbled. "Especially when she said I could wear a stained bib like a veil. That's so symbolically cool, I can't stand it."
The diocese offered no comment.