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Called and calling to holiness.
“A saint is a masterpiece of God”, used to say my father and master of spiritual life, the Servant of God Luis María Etcheverry Boneo, founder of the Servidoras. It is by God’s Spirit working in us and with us that we can respond to the call to holiness and, in turn, call others to walk together towards that goal (4th resolution of the Dakar General Assembly, 2018).
The face of Christ reflected in women of the Roman Curia.
Until now, the offices of prefect and secretary of the dicasteries of the Roman Curia could only be held by those in Holy Orders. Obviously, women were excluded.
Since the recent apostolic constitution Praedicate Evangelium, women, lay or consecrated, as well as bishops, priests, religious or lay persons, can serve the Church in the position of a prefect or secretary of a dicastery.
The Preamble of the document says: “The Pope, bishops and other ordained ministers are not the only evangelisers in the Church... Every Christian, by virtue of Baptism, is a missionary disciple to the extent that he or she has encountered the love of God in Christ Jesus”. From this derives the participation of lay men and women in the positions of governance and responsibility.
Women builders of peace in a Church which goes forth.
At this time, it seems of vital importance that we take up our position as women builders of peace in a Church which goes forth.
Let us work as a laboratory for peace and dignity
“Peace and dignity” are characteristic of the efforts of so many women, even more so if we are Catholics. “Catholic” means “universal”: concretely, we want to express that we have “a global heart” that embraces people and communities of the planet, especially those who are suffering most from violence and those who live where their dignity is trampled on, knowing that this situation has been exacerbated by the pandemic.
The fabric of our resilience.
This morning, on Vatican News I read an article that made me shudder: “Every minute, 15 people die in the world due to lack of access to healthcare, the impacts of the climate crisis, hunger and gender-based violence” (source: Oxfam report, The Pandemic of Inequality). In the face of this dismaying information, God forbid that we become entangled in the “globalisation of indifference” that Pope Francis repeatedly denounces!
Let us plan a year of synodal learning.
There have been many milestones in the history of the Church. The major one in the last century was the Second Vatican Council. As a consequence of it, the Church has entered another turning point: the Synod 2021-2023, whose theme is “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission.” Never before in human history has there been a greater consultation. It is the Catholic Church that is calling together - not just a group of bishops to speak on behalf of their flock as in other synods - the 1.4 billion baptised members of the People of God. It is an authentically “Catholic” process, that is to say, a universal process, to be led by the Holy Spirit.
Let us tune in to the heart of our Mother this Christmas.
“The great temptation in times of crisis or difficulty is to shut oneself away to take care of the little one has, waiting, hidden and cherishing memories, for better times to come” (Letter of Pope Francis to IFCA, 9 November 2021). Living an Advent and Christmas “as usual” can be a strong temptation this December 2021, when the pandemic - which has not completely left us - has forced us to withdraw into ourselves and, in a certain sense, to slow down the progress of our organisations.
Family, home, dignity.
This month will be marked by the World Day of the Poor. In his message for this day, 14 November 2021, Pope Francis explains that there is a “powerful ‘empathy’ established between Jesus and the woman”.
We, the women of WUCWO, should be filled with deep joy and gratitude meditating on this empathetic relationship with Jesus. Empathy is a positive attitude that allows us to establish a particularly affective and healthy relationship of coexistence with Jesus and of identification and affinity with Him, at the same time as it assures us reciprocity, that is to say, the knowledge that He listens to us, understands our problems, emotions and longings and makes them His own.
Let's make the invisible women visible.
In Gaudete et exsultate, Pope Francis talked about the saints “next door,” referring to people who, on a daily basis and without anyone noticing, live responding to the call to holiness. Often these are women who, because of their low profile, are “invisible” not only to the press but also to many of those around them. The same is true for the most vulnerable women. The situation of pain, deprivation and anguish in which they are immersed is not visible, it does not make the news. We live with women who carry out good practices and with women who suffer from modern day slavery, but for most of their contemporaries they are “invisible” women.
WUCWO President's message of September
The power of prayer and penance
we have seen with horror the pictures of Afghan mothers throwing their children through barbed wire fences to save their lives... heart breaking gestures of love of the women from such a suffering land! Afghanistan is rich in gold and other minerals; it has a strategic geopolitical position that has suffered several foreign occupations, and its territory is plagued by land mines that produce about 120 deaths per month, among other sufferings. How can we not commiserate with such tragedies!
How and why to love the poor
On 13 June, Pope Francis gave us his message for the 5th World Day of the Poor, which will take place on 14 November 2021. As all the women of WUCWO, who wish to sentire cum Ecclesia (“think and feel with the Church”), we have to prepare ourselves and our organisations; that’s why I recommend you to read and meditate on the Pope’s message. We can pray with it.
About the so-called “human right to abortion”
July 1st, 2021
“Let us save both lives!” The life of the unborn child and the life of the mother are both a gift that humanity, not only Christians, must strive to save and care for throughout their development. With the advances of science, it is increasingly evident that the euphemism “voluntary termination of pregnancy” is a crime. We are not dealing with a truth of faith, but with a reality that any conscious and upright human being can recognise: the life of an innocent person, evolving in the womb, and the life of the mother which, often for justified reasons, is at risk.