On 8 March 2017, people all over the world will celebrate International Women’s Day - a day to acknowledge the outstanding accomplishments and continuing struggles of women.
It’s a day for women and men alike to come together and recognise the contributions women have made and continue to make to our society.
But as Pope Francis said on International Women’s Day 2015, it’s also a day to reflect on those women who are still vulnerable, shunned, and oppressed. ‘A world where women are marginalized is a sterile world’, remarked Pope Francis.
We can’t deny the crucial role women have played throughout Catholic history. From Doctors of the Church and canonised saints to the countless sisters and lay women who have for generations kept the Catholic faith thriving, our history shows us that women are an integral part of the Church. Yet we also know that more needs to be done to ensure all women feel like full participants in Catholic life and ministry. Indeed a group of women are meeting at the Vatican today to discuss how that can happen.
On his way back to Rome from World Youth Day 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Pope Francis told reporters, ‘A church without women would be like the apostolic college without Mary. The Madonna is more important than the apostles, and the church herself is feminine, the spouse of Christ and a mother.’
In honour of International Women’s Day, Australian Catholics magazine would like to announce that we’ve dedicated our Winter edition to women in the Catholic Church, specifically focusing on Mother Mary, modern motherhood, and women leaders in the Church.
But we also want to hear from our female readers about their experience of being a Catholic woman. What does it mean to be a Catholic woman today?
Please send us your stories and experiences, in around 200 words or less, to firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to feature some of the submissions in our Winter edition.
By Clare Deignan, Assistant Editor.