While looking forward to the future with confidence in our centenary year, we also continue to remember the past with gratitude and live the present with enthusiasm! Our “cover woman” for 2016 is Dr Sr Mary Glowrey JMJ, Servant of God.
Dr Sr Mary Glowrey’s only regret in her final days was: “I have not done enough. I could have done more.” In her recent months, her witness has galvanised us many times into action in the service of life and the protection of the weakest in our midst, and to protect fundamental human rights including freedom of religion, freedom of political speech and freedom of conscience. More battles loom on the horizon.
Catholics across Australia are being urged to learn more about the nature of euthanasia and the dangers it poses to society, with the launch of a new pamphlet exploring the truth and the myths of this life and death debate.
A pamphlet, called Real care, love and compassion – the alternative to euthanasia, has been released by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference. The Bishops are responding to a fact sheet released by the National Church Life Survey late last year, which found 22 per cent of church-going Catholics are neutral or unsure what they think about euthanasia.
It’s hard to imagine a more community minded person than Maureen Mannion. The current secretary of the League’s Nathalia branch has served in many roles in this and other organisations in her own region.
‘I like doing my bit,’ she laughs.
In the lead up to the League's centenary celebrations in 2016, we have chosen a series of annual themes from St John Paul II’s Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte (At the Beginning of the New Millennium).
In 2015, we will "live the present with enthusiasm" as we reflect on the work of the League today: how we, as Catholic women, live our lives as disciples of the Risen Jesus in the wide range of places and ministries where the League is active today.
I have been saddened in recent years watching the constant erosion of the freedoms that we once took for granted. I have not written on this before, as it did not concern education directly.
In this State election, one issue stands out clearly, and that is the ability of like-minded people to choose to educate their children as they feel appropriate. The issue is faith. There are many in our community for whom faith is not a part of their concept of self, but there are still many for whom their faith defines who they are.
Papal selfies – the trend to take self-portrait photos with Pope Francis - is taking off, but one League member is doing her best to make Cardinal selfies the next big thing!
Kairos Catholic Journal journalist Rebecca Comini met Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, at Resurrection Parish in Kings Park, in Melbourne’s western suburbs. The Cardinal was the principal celebrant at the parish’s regular 10.30am Sunday Mass.
Daniel O’Donnell is one of Ireland’s most famous singers. The 52-year-old from Donegal, first stepped on stage with his older sister Margaret’s band in 1982, ‘with an electric guitar that he couldn’t play’. More than 30 years later, he has sold 12 million albums, including half a million in Australia, and has won a string of music awards. In 2012, he made UK chart history by becoming the first artist to have at least one album feature in the UK charts each year since 1988—25 years in a row.
The theme of the inaugural Australian Catholic Youth Festival (ACYF), ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me’ (Luke 4:18), was brought to life as more than 3000 young people from around Australia gathered for the opening plenary at Festival Hall in Melbourne this afternoon.
The event kicked off the three day celebration of what it means to be young and Catholic. It is the largest national gathering of Catholic young people since Sydney’s World Youth Day in 2008.
On Tuesday 12th November, Dr. Claudia Mollidor joined our Social Questions Committee to talk about her PhD research on the representations of teenage motherhood in the UK. Her work was based around the ‘Teenage Pregnancy Strategy’ and various policy updates published during the period of the strategy between 1999 and 2010. Although there was a strong focus in the policy regarding the reduction of teenage conceptions, Claudia’s work highlighted those aspects concerned with the support for teenage parents, in particular teenage mothers.
One of our League members attended the annual March for the Babies on Saturday in Melbourne. Her photos show the real story of what happened on that day!
She had thought this would be a “peaceful gathering” with families (including babies and young children), men and women of all ages, from across Victoria walking to promote a culture of life and love, and to respectfully voice their opposition to the Abortion Law Reform Act 2008 (Vic) which legalises abortion up to birth, and also imposes constraints upon the fundamental human right of freedom of conscience of our health professionals.
This is the fifth in a series of reports by photo-journalist, and Catholic Women’s League of Victoria and Wagga Wagga member, Fiona Basile who attended the 57th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations in New York in March. The theme of the session was: ‘The elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls’.
Reggie Littlejohn is a woman on a mission. As founder of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers (WRWF), the San Francisco-based attorney has made it her life’s work to put an end to what she calls ‘the war against women and girls in China,’ where violence in the forms of forced abortion and forced sterilisation, gendercide and sexual slavery is an horrific reality.
“I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.”
August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a genetic defect that changed his face. And this year he’s starting grade five at a new school. He’s nervous, but excited, too. His family are petrified.
Each chapter we hear alternatively from Auggie himself, his family, his new classmates (some of whom are bullies), and his teachers. None of them approach Auggie in the same way; for each of them he is a challenge, and for some a turning point.
Austin Ruse is a man full of energy and passion, who is fuelled in his daily work by ‘righteous anger’. He is president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), a non-partisan, non-profit research institute that has for the past 15 years provided expertise in international social policy—in particular, matters pertaining to the United Nations (UN).
JOHANNA Patti is the proud mother of one-year-old Raffael Richard Antonio Patti. She and husband John named Raffael after the archangel who is known for ‘happy meetings’ and because they liked the name. Richard is the name of Johanna’s father and her eldest brother, who died of cancer at 25, and Antonio is John’s father’s name. Having enjoyed almost a year with Raff at home, Johanna has recently gone back to work part-time at Anglicare Victoria, where she is a social worker in refugee services. Johanna shares some of her thoughts on life as a mum.
I had been in a sea of international diplomats at the United Nations (UN) for a week by the time I had an opportunity to meet with the Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Francis Chullikatt, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN. Jane Munro, Catholic Women’s League of Australia (CWLA) National International Secretary, was with me.
By this stage, my head was swimming with information, having finally grasped the processes of the UN and the Commission on the Status of Women, and also having attended three or four side events each day hosted by state delegations and non-government organisations (NGOs), each addressing the issue of violence against women and girls.
What a wonderful experience! An unexpected pilgrimage to India to witness the declaration of the beginning of the Diocesan Inquiry for the cause for canonisation of the woman who may become Australia’s second Saint: Sr Dr Mary Glowrey JMJ. A medical doctor, and founding president of what is now the Catholic Women’s League of Victoria & Wagga Wagga, Mary left her thriving practice in Melbourne in 1920 to serve as a medical missionary and consecrated women in Guntur, India.
I’m in Guntur, India, and in a few hours will attend the Chrism Mass at the historic Infant Jesus Cathedral in Phirangipuram, India, where Dr Sr Mary Glowrey JMJ will be declared a ‘Servant of God’ by the Most Rev. Dr. Gali Bali, Bishop of Guntur. Accompanying me is Fr Dan Strickland MGL.
I’m pleased to report that both Jane and I have returned safely home after spending two intense weeks at the United Nations in New York for the 57th Session of the Commission for the Status of Women. What a steep learning curve... this was certainly NO HOLIDAY!!
The theme for the session was ‘The Elimination of All Forms of Violence Against Women and Girls’. It’s tragic that we even need to have such an ‘event’ to discuss this topic, however, the reality is, violence against women and girls is rife in many (if not all) nations, and the magnitude of the violence, the forms in which it is manifested, and its causes are MANY! And sadly, it seems we have a LONG WAY to go to alleviating this horrific problem.
More than 4000 people are expected to attend the Chrism Mass tomorrow at the historic Infant Jesus Cathedral in Phirangipuram, India, where Dr Sr Mary Glowrey JMJ will be declared a ‘Servant of God’ by the Most Rev. Dr. Gali Bali, Bishop of Guntur.
Being declared a ‘Servant of God’ is the first of four official approvals on the path to sainthood, and signals the commencement of the Diocesan Phase of the Inquiry.
News from the Trenches: Week 1, 57th Session of the Commission of the Status of Women at the United Nations, New YorkWritten by Fiona Basile
Hello from ‘snowing-one-day, sunshine-the-next’ New York City! I’m happy to report that both Jane and I have survived week 1 of the 57th session of the Commission of the Status of Women at the UN. And what a week it’s been!
While it has become very apparent that a lot of good work is being done by grass-root NGOs and governments from all over the world in their efforts to eliminate violence against women and girls, it is also clear that there are many organisations and government delegations that have very specific agendas which are contrary to protecting ALL human rights.
At the beginning of this New Year, as we begin to take up the work of the League for another year, I would like to share with you all the following reflection about the Gospel of the day on 30th November 2012. (Mt 4:18-22)
“What is God's call in your life? When Jesus chose his first disciples, he called ordinary people. Peter and Andrew were brothers and fishermen by trade. Like the other apostles they were non-professionals who had no wealth or position. In choosing ordinary people Jesus made extraordinary claims—to leave all—family, kin and occupation—for the kingdom of God. When the Lord calls us to follow him, he makes the same claim—let nothing stand between you and Jesus.
Halfway through 2012, our theme ‘Things both New and Old’ seems to have infused much of our work and put a spring in our steps! New initiatives are underway and our members, both old and new, continue to put out their ‘hands to strong things’. (Proverbs 31:10-31)
On a sunny autumn morning on May 20th 2012, the Immediate Past National President of the Catholic Women's League Australia (CWLA), Madge Fahy, was conferred with the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice medal (also known as the Cross of Honour) by the Most Rev. Denis J Hart, DD, Archbishop of Melbourne.
TWO hundred and thirty students and alumni attended the 2012 Australian Catholic Students Association conference held at Queens College in Parkville last weekend.
The students and past students, including numerous priests and religious, came from all over Australia to attend the conference which addressed the theme ‘Defending Human Dignity’.