A mother and blogger weighs in:
I just don’t find it necessary. In general, I am rather offended by the concept that in order for a woman to be empowered, she must stop doing women’s things and do men’s things instead. It’s a misunderstanding of our dignity as women and our place in the world God created for men and women to share. …I have no interest in devaluing traditional women’s roles and suggesting that women can have purpose only in trying to be men. I think what we’re really missing at most parishes is a good way for young women (and adult women) to be involved in a helpful and fulfilling way in the life of the parish, like the old altar societies. Let’s bring those back! My mom is part of one that cleans and decorates the church, I’d love to see something like that as an option at more parishes. We’re actually particularly lucky that our church is one of the historic California Missions, and has an active ladies’ organization that gives tours and whatnot, and also sells coffee and donuts after Mass. Betty is a (the) junior member of the group, and she really enjoys getting to sell donuts with the ladies after Mass. (I’m still wrangling too many little ones to participate, so it’s just Betty and the old ladies.) Altar serving is a beautiful, meaningful thing. It is more beautiful and meaningful than selling donuts. But selling donuts IS fun and useful. Anything one does in such close proximity to the Holy Eucharist as altar servers are would have to be especially important. But serving the needs of the parish in other ways is still service, and that’s what I hope my kids will be concerned with: How they can be useful where they are needed, not how prominent or ceremonial the position might be.