FR ROGER PURCELL MSC | Catholic Church of PNG & Solomon Islands
WITH THE THEME ‘Empowering women in the journey of faith’, about 1,000 women from the dioceses of Lae, Madang, Wewak, Aitape and Vanimo (collectively known as the Momase region) gathered at Vanimo for a week last month to discuss a range of social issues.
At the conference there were speakers on women, law and justice, moral values in family life, commerce, HIV/AIDS, natural family planning, pastoral theology and anthropology. The Bishop of Vanimo presided at the opening Eucharistic celebration.
The core of the conference involved critical issues and core problems facing women in society today. In these sessions the women spoke strongly and passionately not only about women but about families and communities in our society today.
There was great awareness of the social issues they face and the concerns for justice and peace.
There was a sense of the need to act to change the situation, but some lack of confidence and certainty of how to go ahead. However, there was also a great sense of the capacity and power they have as women for creative change in family, community and society.
The Momase women look forward to ongoing programs of help and support for their members, outreach to all women in their dioceses and activities to strengthen faith and life, to raise awareness of critical social issues and strengthen the association.
Such a gathering and organization is a movement of change and renewal in the Church with great energy and enthusiasm worthy of our support and respect.