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Women pioneer new models of church: reflections and activities

Michele Frankeni  |  23 August 2018

Read Women pioneer new models of Church in the Australian Catholics spring edition and take part in the following activities.

Questions

  • Why are lay women needing to take up pastoral roles?
  • What do these roles entail?
  • The drought in NSW and Queensland is exhausting the land and people. How does visits from people such as Mary Anne help?
  • It is noted in the article, Mary Anne is doing the job of a deacon, and more, but so far the Church has said it will not officially recognise women as deacons. Do you think that will change? Why?
  • What are the problems in trying to visit people in such a large area? The Wilcannia-Forbes diocese is 414,398 square kilometres, which is larger than NZ (267,710 sq km) and the UK (241,930 sq km).

Activities

Mary Anne is pioneering a new way of helping bring the Catholic faith to others. Can you think of other pioneers in Australia or women pioneers in general? What about pioneers in the Church? The Acts of the Apostles describes the experience of pioneers in the early Church. Choose a pioneer and research their lives? Prepare a short presentation. What was their life like? What hardships did they have to face? Were there points in the journey they wanted to stop? How would you feel if you were in their place?

For younger students

Pioneers are people who prepare a path for others. The people of the early Church were pioneers of our Christian faith. Can you think of other kinds of pioneers. Can you match these Australian pioneers with their accomplishments?

  1. Matthew Flinders
  2. Jessica Watson
  3. Robert O’Hara Burke and William Wills
  4. Emily Caroline Creaghe
  5. Tim Flannery
  6. Alan Warild
  7. Sir Douglas Mawson
  8. Linda Beilharz

A. Award-winning scientist and Australian of the Year
B. First Australian woman to walk South and North Poles
C. Youngest person to sail non-stop and unassisted around the world
D. First person to South Magnetic Pole
E. Led the first expedition to cross Australia from Victoria to the Gulf of Carpentaria
F. First to circumnavigate Australia. Confirmed Tasmania as an island in 1798-99
G. Explored parts of the NT in 1882 and later wrote an account of the hardships
H. Solo and rescue caver

Talk to the children about how the Apostles were put in jail and flogged for teaching others about Jesus Christ (Acts 5:17-42). Ask them if they would be willing to stand up and continue to teach after such a humiliation. Explain that these pioneers’ bravery allows us to live and proclaim our faith in public and without fear.

Photo by Jon Toney on Unsplash

 

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