Working together for a culture of care.
we begin this year with a strong and tender call from the Holy Father: “I ask everyone to […] become a prophetic witness of the culture of care, working to overcome the many existing social inequalities. This can only come about through a widespread and meaningful involvement on the part of women, in the family and in every social, political and institutional sphere. […] Promoting a culture of care calls for a process of education. The ‘compass’ of social principles can prove useful and reliable in a variety of interrelated contexts. Let me offer a few examples:
- Educating people to care begins in the family, the natural and fundamental nucleus of society, in which we learn how to live and relate to others in a spirit of mutual respect. Yet families need to be empowered to carry out this vital and indispensable task. […]
- Once more I encourage all those engaged in public service and in international organizations, both governmental and non-governmental, and all those others who in various ways are involved in the areas of education and research, to work towards the goal of a ‘more open and inclusive education, involving patient listening, constructive dialogue and better mutual understanding’.” This message for the World Day of Peace of January 1, 2021 deserves our reading, reflection and prayer.
When I spend time praying and reflecting on how we can apply the magisterium of Pope Francis in WUCWO, I clearly discern that we can only end the globalised culture of indifference and move to a culture of care if we work more in a network, helping each other as organisations and deepening our formation.
Obviously, the starting point is our intimate union with Jesus, hand in hand with Mary, to grow in faith, hope and charity. Moreover, we must be convinced that to move forward in responding to the call to holiness today, the pastoral conversion of our organisations is an indispensable requirement.
Why not reflect together, during this special WUCWO Anniversary Year - extended to the whole of 2021 because of the unexpected pandemic - on what it means for us, the women of WUCWO, to have an integral ecological conversion that promotes a culture of care, as the Pope has asked us to do?
“This exercise – encountering one another aside from all legitimate differences – is the first step towards any change that can help generate a new cultural and consequently economic, political and social mentality. For you will never be able to undertake great things solely from a theoretical or individual perspective, without a spirit that drives you […] to personal and communal activities” (Video Message of Pope Francis, “Economy of Francesco,” 21 November 2020).
I propose that we receive our formation in the months of February and March 2021 with full awareness of our resilience as Catholic women, taking advantage of the fact that during the Covid 19 emergency we have learned how useful digital media can be for us. In this, we will be supported by two Dicasteries: the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life (DLFL) and the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development (DPIHD).
In February, we will present the platform for achieving the Laudato Si Sustainable Goals, to be developed over the next seven years, as the Pope requested, starting from the local level. The Dicastery for Promoting Integral Development has chosen us as a worldwide Catholic association to initiate the pilot experience together with them. Those responsible for the Ecology sector will be in charge of these webinars.
We will offer four webinars, different according to languages and time zones, exclusively for women members of our organisations and their ecclesiastical assistants. In February: on Tuesday 16 in Spanish, Thursday 18 in English (2) and Thursday 25 in French. We hope you will not miss this opportunity. Taking this first step hand in hand with the Dicastery is crucial to start the process in the right direction.
In March, we will continue to form ourselves to be protagonists of the culture of care, in one of its fundamental aspects. With the support of Prof. Linda Ghisoni, Subsecretary of the DLFL, who accompanied us to Dakar for our General Assembly, we will present our recent publication on the prevention of abuse in families and schools. In addition, in these webinars we will launch WUCWO's Special Anniversary Year, so we will provide a brief presentation of several projects of various of our member organisations.
The March webinars will be open to special guests. I recommend inviting leaders of other Catholic organisations who are interested in getting to know WUCWO. In addition, I suggest you invite your family members. It is important that we understand that we are co-responsible and that we will get out of this crisis only if we are united.
I leave in your hands, dear friends, the dissemination of these unique events, which will help us to grow, share and serve better in our commitment to evangelisation and integral human development, collaborating with the gestation of a culture of care.
I wish you a fruitful Lent 2021!
María Lía Zervino, Servidora
WUCWO President General