The women have surprised me. I keep running into them around campus, figures of stone, wood, and bronze sweeping their dresses through this land full of Our Fathers, poured concrete blocks of monument. I love the monks with their welcome gliding quietly in their robes, deft hands placing prayer books as Brother John’s eyes twinkle like Holy irreverent Santa Claus in Chacos. The deep monotone of thrumming voices reminds me that someone is praying when I am tired. The dark lacquered choir stalls hold my frame, if awkwardly. Yet is it any wonder that Mary and her sisters are the ones who have captured our hearts all these generations, off in the shadows to the side, tucked down a path of mosquito-swatting pilgrimage, no accessible carpark. The detail of their fabric is textured with care like the drape of a seamstress, the caress of a mother running her fingers along [delicate] arms. St. Kateri Tekakwitha’s scarred cheek and worn flower, Stella Marris’ small sad eyes, hair brushed back, smooth bare toes. Madonna’s notched brow (nose like my grandmother’s) holding Jesus-child squarely in her lap as he learns to speak —what gentle correction of diction, manner, (theology?) does she whisper in his ear as he shrugs at the tickle of breath— And she…that sculpture, hands open as she stands on a small altar with red plumed bird watching; she lifts her chin to the light and twirls. The women have filled me. Gentle movements of revelation and I want to press my lips to their cold stone feet.