Catholic women called to be modern prophets

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Catholic women called to be modern prophets

Archbishop Julian has called upon the Catholic Women’s League to be prophets to modern society during his homily at the recent CWL state conference in Hobart.

Speaking about being a committed Catholic in the current culture, Archbishop Julian noted that prophets can expect to be an unwelcome source of challenge, not be lauded or appreciated.

“Our society is changing rapidly in its social mores. It is abandoning its Christian foundations as it embarks on a form of society without any serious moral or spiritual roots,” His Grace said.

“To be silent is to be complicit and to fail in our responsibilities. We cannot afford to be silent … Women of faith have a real contribution to make in the critical debates of our time. A woman of faith has an understanding of the truth of things, particularly those associated with marriage, family and the protection of human life.

“We need the prophetic voice of women of faith to rise up. I encourage you to take on the mantle of being a prophet. Though I warn you it will not come without some cost.”

One of the guest speakers, Dr Deirdre Little, spoke to the women about life and bioethical issues, including abortion.
Tasmania’s CWL president Deirdre Reid says that the league has been engaged with those issues.

“When those bills have come before parliament, we’ve written to our ministers,” she said.

As well as advocating on social issues, the CWL raises funds for various causes as well as practically running projects to meet needs.

“We all have great faith in the Holy Spirit. He’s always there beside us. All of us are older, most of us are over 80, but that doesn’t stop us. We just still get on with things. We’re still just as passionate as ever,” Mrs Reid said.

President of the Launceston branch of the CWL, Jenny Smith has been involved with the league for five years.

“I’ve found the women wonderful, welcoming, very friendly and it’s renewed my faith and it’s made me a much stronger person,” Mrs Smith said.

Mrs Smith commented that the Archbishop’s homily “said what was in our hearts”.

“There’s issues that are facing us that are overwhelming, but we’ve got to not lose the main theme that we are Christian women … no matter what all these issues are, we keep to the facts and our faith.”

Patricia Zapotocky, a long-time parishioner at the Parish of Bridgewater-Brighton, was encouraged to come along to her first CWL state conference.

“My life is very, very busy,” she said, “You need a prayerful background to keep sustaining you, which is part of the reason I said yes.”

She says her first encounter with the CWL has left her “wanting more”.

“It’s grassroots Catholicism … I just think it’s very beautiful and they genuinely care for each other,” Mrs Zapotocky said.

One longtime member, Jan Lawler, was presented with a life membership of the CWL by Archbishop Julian during the conference dinner.