Monday, June 1, 2009

Magdalene Graduation 2009

The first day of June marked the beginning of a new era for five women who celebrated their graduation from the two-year Magdalene program. With music provided by singer / songwriter Marcus Hummon, the ceremony reflected the women's successes, struggles, heartaches and triumphs.

Carole Hagan, a two year full time volunteer, shared a reflection with the community:

"When given the honor of speaking today, it came with one commandment.
Thou shalt not use the words:
I, me, these women, they and them.

You might be thinking this restriction is a strange request, but in truth,
it makes perfect sense.
The pronouns are divisive, separating us.
The story of the women of Magdalene is our story. The tragedy is our communal tragedy. When one woman suffers, we all suffer. When one woman is brutally ravaged, we are all brutally ravaged. Injustice is universal; it not only belongs to us, it crushes the shoulders of the world.

We are all pieces of a giant tapestry, a continuum that was begun so long ago in Genesis, in the beginning. This human tapestry grows as we are interwoven in our different shapes and radiantly different colors. Some pieces are fragile, torn, marginalized. Some are ripped from us. At times we attempt to complement each other in accord. Eventually, we may come to realize that alone our part is just a minute fragment, a mere thread, that we can only be whole when we embrace each other in the circle, bound by human kindness. Only then will our tapestry become the sacred work that it was meant to be by our Creator."

And with no further adu, may we present the 2009 Graduates of the Magdalene program:

Cathy Woodcock

Kristin Vaughn

Gwendolyn Cockrell

Beverly Mandina

Rossana Pagnada
(not present, but here in spirit)

It was a jubilant gathering indeed.

For more pictures of the celebration, click HERE!

Photographs by Carolyn Snell.


  1. Congratulations, ladies!

  2. I was compelled to observe this special celebration. I had been receiving emails about this day for a month before. I truely believe God sent me that day and I am thankful. The room was energized with gratefullness and grace not only by the women graduating but those humble observers working their way to the day they too will be acknowleged when they reach the 2 year mark and the families present in support or these women. I left feeling truely touched by angels. What a wonderful feeling. I hope to continue to be moved to spread the word of this organization.