Welcome, protect, promote and integrate walking towards Assisi 2023.
Days ago I was at the presentation of the autobiographic book of a woman who spent 30 years risking her life to create a space in which the victims of war and conflicts were protected. There I heard again the four verbs that Pope Francis gave us to address the problem of migrants and refugees: welcome, protect, promote and integrate. In the prayer of this morning, spontaneously arose inside of me a prayer that sounded like this:
«Mary, in this Advent and Christmas 2022, WELCOME me in the manger together with your Son and Saint Joseph, so that I can welcome who is in need and call at the door of my conscience, of my home, of my country.
Mother PROTECT me with your mantle, so that I can also be a mother while I meet women and children who are suffering or who are at risk of abuse and discrimination to protect their rights, their life, their families, their faith.
My Mother, PROMOTE in me the talents I have received and the faith, hope and love, so that my capacity to promote women who, for many, seem invisible due to the globalisation of indifference is reactivated.
Dear Mother, INTEGRATE me more and more in the Church, so that I can collaborate integrating and embracing brothers and sisters who are “out in the open”, who do not experience the warmth of the family of God’s children, so that each one of them can develop himself/herself fully as a person, both in the Church and in society.»
Welcome, protect, promote and integrate. These are actions that require putting into practice deeply maternal attitudes; I believe they draw the profile of an evangelisation with feminine traits. If we want to increase our participation as women in the Church, we need to grow in conjugating these four verbs in our daily life and in the work of our organisations.
I suggest that we walk towards Assisi 2023, from the hand of Mary, our Mother, to reach the General Assembly – whose registration not only is open but is also about to conclude (visit our website for more information) – asking Her please to strengthen these 4 verbs inside WUCWO.
For this, for example, we can ask ourselves:
Have I facilitated to the women of my organisation their participation so that, in Assisi, WUCWO can welcome them and they can enjoy the next General Assembly, perhaps for the first time?
Have I gone out to meet the members of WUCWO organisations of the countries that need our support and protection, for economic or political reasons, to participate in our world meeting in May 2023?
Have I searched for the youth of my organisation who need to be encouraged to participate in this extraordinary experience of a WUCWO assembly, that can even improve the focus of their lives?
Have I invited the leaders of Catholic organisations who, not yet belonging to WUCWO, may wish to participate to this rich and innovative General Assembly to know more about WUCWO and who may be interested to join us?
These provocative questions only try to contribute to a greater commitment of each one of us to participate in the General Assembly and knowing that, if for some reason, surely very valid, it is not possible to come to Assisi 2023 in person, we can always lend a hand so that other women can receive this grace in this moment when the universal Church is committed to listening to women and promote their participation, as an act of justice. I think that IT IS A STRONG TIME FOR WUCWO WOMEN.
Pope Francis, on the threshold of the Assembly, in May 13 2023, during the audience for WUCWO women and their families, in Rome, will listen to us and give us his message. Following this flow, we will get to live an Assembly in fullness, with the hope of developing it in a synodal atmosphere, in the oasis of the city of Assisi, cradle of peace, ecology and fraternity. Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of this immense gift of God!
With this challenge, I greet you wishing to each one a fruitful Advent and a merry and holy Christmas,
María Lía Zervino, Servidora
WUCWO President General