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 she was in a Catholic high school, she 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 was suggested that Mary alter her own name so as not to be confused with her, so she added her middle initial. She is Mary O. Daly
She was loathe to leave the to the other Mary Daly the first claim to a name that represents both the Emerald Isle and the Queen of Angels. With your help, she hoped to redeem it.
She lived in South Dakota where she raised five children, meantime sending a few little ones on, and where she sought to undertake her own 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 she always wanted while teaching her own children. There are also math and history materials and among others. She also printed some of the writings of her immediate family, on poetry and science both.
One more piece of background she felt was relevant to her science materials, which some people find controversial. She was out of the Church for a period of time, and although she did not discount the role of plain sinfulness in that episode, she maintained that some part of it was related to the incoherence of the common presentation of the relationship between faith and science. After her return to the Church, she resolved that nobody in her circle of influence would suffer that particular temptation.
She saw that as a seminal part of her mission, and not only her, but one that family connections made particularly salient because those connections have provided her with an unusual collection of insights that are not generally available together, although each one is in the public domain.
Mary's writing was orthodox, both in her own estimation and that of the local diocesan censor. Many of her publications carry the Nihil Ostat and Imprimatur of the Bishop of Eastern South Dakota.
Mary passed away November 21, 2020 of cancer. She renewed her blog in her last days as she traveled a short road with the cancer and said goodbye to so many who were dear to her. Her blog was Meg on Fire. Eternal rest grant unto Mary, O Lord, and may her soul rest in peace.
Mary's thoughts on Patriarchy:
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.