By Jessica Easthope
Pope Francis has taken more steps toward inclusion of women than any other pope in history. His commitment has flowed down from the Vatican all the way to Brooklyn.
“Pope Francis has definitely paved the way, he’s refreshing with his ideas and his approach,” said Jasmine Salazar, the Vice Chancellor and Victim Assistance Coordinator for the Diocese of Brooklyn.
Jasmine is the first ever lay-person and Latina to hold the position.
“It’s always been a dream of mine from a young age to be able to incorporate my faith with my profession and so when the opportunity came to be able to do that over here in the Diocese of Brooklyn I was like, This is always what I wanted to do,’” she told Currents News.
In her role, Jasmine solves problems for anyone who calls on her and gives a voice to those who need it most as Victim Assistance Coordinator for the Diocese.
“We fall back on our faith when anything bad happens in our lives, but that is taken away from someone who has been abused and we need to rectify that,” she explained.
Jasmine’s all-women team is the support system she needs to succeed. For them, she’s an inspiration.
“She sets the tone for many of us women who would like to follow her path. She holds everything together and is the rock of this place,” said America Granillo, the executive assistant for the Office of the Moderator of the Curia.
At one point, Jasmine never thought a full life and career was possible. Of her many titles, the one she’s most proud of is “mama bear.”
“Being a single mom, this is not something I thought I would ever be welcomed into to be honest, so I never even imagined something like this. I was honored and in a lot of ways,” she said. “It was healing for me to be placed in this position, because I had those things in my background that I thought ruled me out.”
Jasmine says to be the first is an honor, but she makes the most impact by being someone others can relate to: a woman who has overcome adversity through faith.
“I would tell that single mom that there’s no limit to what you can do,” Jasmine said.
While women everywhere are still carving their own paths to being the first, Jasmine is opening her own doors.