MOTHER Effect founder Carrie McCormack wants motherhood to be more visible in the Church, saying it should be embraced as a blessed and dignified vocation.
“There’s this song we sing with the children, it’s called, ‘Come, Lord Jesus’, and I think we need to be praying that every day in our motherhood,” she said.
Mother Effect, an Emmanuel Community ministry in Brisbane, was started so mothers could come together to engage in their faith and embrace their role as leaders and first evangelisers for their families.
Eloise Bird, a leader of a Mother Effect group in Brisbane’s western suburbs, had about 20 mothers join the events in the past six months.
“It’s a chance to come together, sing a few songs, do a little teaching – this term we focused on Advent and Christmas,” Mrs Bird said.
“So we made little Advent wreathes and little Christmas activities and (told) the nativity story.”
Mrs Bird said it was lovely just to share motherhood with others.
“It’s nice to know you’re not alone in the good and the bad of motherhood,” she said.
Isolation was an issue for mothers.
Mrs McCormack said Mother Effect broke that maternal isolation and empowered parents.
“So when mums are home with their young, they don’t disengage with the mission of the Church but they actually have formation in the very important work of being a mother,” she said.
Mrs Bird said she would love to see the Church doing more to help mothers.
“I think motherhood can often be a really lonely journey and I think that’s something that does need to be embraced a little bit more by the Church, especially just young families in general – I think there is a need there,” she said.
“I would love to see churches come up with something that engages families from when their kids get baptised because I think big faith events happen to people when their children are born and when someone close to them dies.
“I think that’s an opportunity for the Church to really connect those families that are disconnected from the Church.”
Mrs Bird said sending a message that families were loved and wanted in the Church was crucial.
Mrs McCormack said she would love to see more child-friendly ministry spaces in every church across the archdiocese.
Coming to Mass was difficult because families found it too hard, she said.
“If we could create churches with profound welcome for children and families, we would see the Church grow,” she said.
“We need to be creative. We need to take some risks.
“We need to look at what other churches are doing that do these things well.”
Ultimately, Mrs Bird wanted mothers to be equipped to be Catholic in their everyday life and help their children become saints and know what it meant to be Catholic and that that didn’t have to be something separate but part of everyday life.
Mother Effect recently hosted a Christmas event including carolling, a Christmas play and a playing of the children’s classic The Grinch on December 15.
“There’s so many Christmas events across Brisbane, we just want this to be one that has Jesus at the centre and the Holy Family at the centre,” Mrs McCormack said.
And she said Advent was a special time to invite Jesus into motherhood daily.