After 25 years, The Oprah Winfrey Show comes to a close today on network television. Will you be watching her final episode?
In the weeks leading up to this moment, dozens of A-list celebrities have been singing Oprah’s praises, anointing her with grand titles and crediting her with mammoth achievements.
When it comes to single Catholics, Oprah is notable for two reasons.
One, she has never married her long-time, low-profile boyfriend Stedman Graham. The two were engaged in November 1992 but later decided they would rather have a “spiritual union.” Odd language for those of us who believe a Catholic wedding confers sacramental grace, creating a true spiritual union.
No doubt Oprah’s decision to forgo marriage influenced some fans to do the same. She is among a growing number of Americans – now reaching nearly one-third – who never marries.
Two, Oprah has eschewed traditional religions in favor of an expansive spirituality. She talks about meditating more than praying. She has expressed a belief in a higher power but has opted to not define it. She’s made a point to avoid the word “God,” describing instead “the voice inside myself” as a source of guidance.
(For the record, Oprah invited the Dominican Sisters of Mary in Ann Arbor on her show last year and presented them in a fair, sometimes positive light. Oprah acknowledged their peaceful temperaments and her correspondent Lisa Ling described their lives as “liberating.”)
How do you see Oprah? Has she influenced you? What is her legacy?