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My name is Mary O. Daly, a common name, because all the Irish families in the world, for several hundreds of years, have named their daughters, and sometimes their sons, after our Lady. When I was in a Catholic high school, I once took a math class with 12 students, five of whom were named Mary. Although the name is less common now, it is a fashion not likely to die while Jesus lives. 

Among the innumerable host of Mary Dalys, there is one writer of enviable competence and considerable fame who has a poor reputation among orthodox Catholics. It has been suggested that I alter my own name so as not to be confused with her. I am Mary O. Daly

Still, I cannot leave her the first claim to a name that represents both the Emerald Isle and the Queen of Angels? With your help, I will redeem it. 

I live in South Dakota where I have raised five children, meantime sending a few little ones on, and where I have also undertaken my small part towards cultural renewal, first by writing books about sentence diagrams so people can think more clearly, and then by writing the science texts I always wanted while I was teaching my own children. There are also math and history materials and other things in the works. I also print some of the writings of my immediate family, on poetry and science both.

    One more piece of background is relevant to the science materials which some people find controversial. I was out of the Church for a period of time, and although I do not discount the role of plain sinfulness in that episode, I maintain that some part of it was related to the incoherence of the common presentation of the relationship between faith and science. Since my return to the Church, I have resolved that nobody in my circle of influence will suffer that particular temptation. They don't.

    That is a seminal part of my mission, and not only mine, but one that family connections have made particularly salient because these connections have provided me with an unusual collection of insights that are not generally available together, although each one is in the public domain. 

    My writing is orthodox, not only in my own opinion and intention, but in the opinion of the diocesan censor where I live. Many of my publications carry the Nihil Ostat and Imprimatur of the Bishop of Eastern South Dakota.

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    Patriarchy is the first major step, historically, in the liberation of women. A woman always knows she is the mother of her child, and at the moment of birth, so does everyone else. Men can always say, "Who, me?" leaving the woman with the task of caring for the child in every way. It is when a man says, "This one's mine; I'm going to see that he's okay," that a woman gets the support she needs and can have a full and rich life. 
    It can happen that patriarchy goes astray and becomes mere chauvinism, leaving the woman under the doormat, but as a first step, it is liberating, and we ditch it at our peril. 

    I also have a strong opinion about women in the sacred precincts.

    Again, a major step in women's liberation was accomplished when temple prostitution was rejected by a major world religion, and the cunning idea that sex, particularly sex outside family, is actually a "religious" experience was flatly rejected. 
    Many women now seek to "enter the temple precincts" as ordained ministers. Part of the reason for this is that women do have religious leadership charisms which are not well able to function in a culture of divorce and Protestantism. The founding of religious orders and the depth of the family or intellectual vocation may be rendered all but impossible in these cultural vacuums, so that the only visible road for women's religious leadership is the men's. 
    But the great Catholic women of our own and other times in history seem to keep busy without ordination. Catholicism offers women certain opportunities that are hard to come by elsewhere. 
    There is a solution for those who live "elsewhere": cross the Tiber. 

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I make good granola and good bread. I greatly enjoy housekeeping for about 2 hours a week, not enough to earn me any titles. Like other homeschool mothers, I do many other things, draw, learn languages, knit — in a small way.

I’m generally hospitable if you're crossing the country, and I live close to an interstate highway when I’m not traveling. One summer I drove from California to New Hampshire. 

I like bonfires.

I like Chesterton. I love Tolkein and believe he is the greatest writer since Shakespeare, that wonderful dissident Catholic writer of the late 16th and early 17th century. I delight in Hopkins; you know that if you have the diagramming book.

I usually teach once a week in the homeschool educational cooperative sponsored by St. Margaret’s Fellowship. We are a diocesan Catholic group, open to non-Catholic members, but on our terms and not open to being taken over or shushed by non-Catholics. After (and while) I teach, I write. Geology, chemistry, and astronomy books, history and psychology, all began this way.

I am a Galileist.

Martha Tulane O’Keefe, the third child of Swedish immigrants in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, married John Aloysius O’Keefe, the astronomer whom she met while he was studying at Yerkes Observatory nearby. Of the nine children they raised, I am the fourth. 
Here is some information about my father’s work.

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He was sometimes known (in my childhood) as pear-shaped O’Keefe — not because of his stomach but for his discovery of the earth's slight pear shape: 
Linked here

Although my mother's immigrant family was repeatedly cheated out of everything they had earned, and was therefore always poor, she went to college partly through the kindness of Mary Frost. Every year Mrs. Frost went to the local high school and asked for the name of the smartest person in the class who would not be going to college for want of money. Then she’d collect enough funds with her friends to give that student a start. That is how my mother started her college education.

My father's father was a medical doctor in Boston, a specialist in allergies, and a friend of the Kennedy family. It is difficult, even now, for me to identify with the Republican party, but I oppose abortion, defend the family, defend private property as essential to defending the family, and I love my country, so wherever that leads is where I go... 

The hand-carved cross you see on the upper left of the heading banner is a picture of the cross that was given to my Grandmother as a gift of thanks from the inmates in the prison where she worked on the parole board. The prisoners wanted something to do and she asked them what they would like to do. They wanted to carve crosses. She saw that they got tools and materials. This is one of those crosses.

    The other side of the family also has interesting family background interacting with prisoners. My great, great grandfather and his wife-to-be were on board a ship going from England to Australia, she as a passenger to visit her married sister, and he as the ship's captain.  En route they were becalmed and fresh water ran short. Very terrible things could happen in these circumstances. My great, great grandmother observed the justice and care the Captain extended to all his passengers, including prisoners also en route to Australia. She admired him, and he fell in love ...

Click here for a full page view of the cross in another window. 

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Patriarchy opinion
What Else about Mary
The Hedge School Cross
Dr J A O'Keefe
​Mary Daly?   Should you be reading her stuff?
What is a Hedge School?
For many years, for a few hundred years, the Irish who were faithful to Catholicism were forbidden to receive an education, not in literature, not in history, not in math, and certainly not in catechism. Nevertheless, they remained an educated people, thanks to traveling teachers, probably sometimes priests, who taught all subjects behind hedges, in caves, or in other hidden places. These were actually called Hedge Schools, and they were very successful. 
    In our own time, school is legal for everyone, but what a school! Home education is the rightful inheritor of the Hedge School tradition. We will be educated!