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January 2014 news from the National Office for the Participation of Women.
Dear Friend
 
Welcome to the New Year’s edition of Women Matter. In this edition we have some interesting reflections on what kind of a year 2013 was for women in the Church and in society. With International Women’s Day coming up on 8 March, there are a number of events happening around the dioceses of interest to women. To inspire you we have four stories of amazing faith-filled women and their achievements. Finally, for prayer, reflection and more resources for discussion groups check out the Resources section. Happy reading!
2014 prayer
PRAYER FOR THE NEW YEAR
Adapted from the prayer on the home page of Patmos Abbey – the Celtic order of St Columba
 
Loving God, You who live outside of time,
and reside in the imperishable moment,
we ask Your blessing on this New Year
upon Your gift to us of time.
 
Do what you love, love what you do
WELCOME TO 2014!

Written by Donella Johnston
 
I’m hoping that 2014 is a lot better year for women and girls than the last few years have been. It would seem I’m not the only one to be in this hopeful mind-set.
 
Catholic Women's League logo
CWL INSTALLATION MASS
Installation mass of the national executive of the Catholic Women's League

WHEN:    06.02.2014
WHERE:  Hornsby, NSW
 
Celebrating Our Faith Gospel series 2014 - The Gospel of St John
CELEBRATING OUR FAITH GOSPEL SERIES 2014
Celebrating Our Faith Gospel series 2014: The Gospel of St John

WHEN:    10.02.2014 - 18.02.2014
WHERE:  Sale, VIC
 
Beliefs and Practices graphic
PASTORAL RESEARCH OFFICE 2014 CONFERENCE
Beliefs and Practices of Australian Catholics – what we know and why it matters

WHEN:    19.02.2014 - 21.02.2014
WHERE:  Melbourne, VIC
 
Sisterhood graphic
THE SISTERHOOD NATIONAL CATHOLIC WOMEN'S CONFERENCE
A National Catholic Women's Movement event

WHEN:    07.03.2014 - 09.03.2014
WHERE:  Sydney, NSW
 
Sacred Heart Cathedral
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY 2014 CELEBRATION
An International Women's Day celebration by the Diocese Of Maitland-Newcastle CACW Contact Group

WHEN:    09.03.2014
WHERE:  Hamilton, NSW
 
Dr Krista Maier
DR KRISTA MAIER
Outreach doctor

First appearing in Catholic Church Insurances Publication Securitas, Summer Edition Issue 69 2013  Pg 20 (PDF 1.23 MB)
 
“It never ceases to amaze me how, in the face of despair, people can just put one foot in front of the other, trusting in an uncertain future with some optimism and often a wry sense of humour” Dr Krista Maier.
 
Sr Mary Garnier
SR MARY GARNIER
Humble handmaid

Written by Robin Williams and first appearing in The Catholic Leader, 4th December 2013
 
Handmaids of Our Lord Sister Mary Garnier celebrated her golden jubilee of religious profession not long ago, but sees no reason to slow down.
 
Beth Doherty
BETH DOHERTY
Musician and social justice advocate

Written by Donella Johnston
 
In any one week, Beth can be found playing music at mass, writing a media statement, taking a photo or filming an event. Beth was raised in Canberra and from an early age, her interests were always more on the creative side of things..
 
Karla Quinn
KARLA QUINN
Woman of Courage and Compassion

Edited by Donella Johnston
 
Karla Quinn was stabbed in the abdomen on Christmas Eve 2013, walking to St Canice’s Jesuit Catholic Church in Elizabeth Bay, Sydney, to attend Midnight Mass.
 
Giulia Scardia and her parents with Pope Francis
POPE TELLS MOTHERS TO BREASTFEED IN CHURCH

Written by Philip Pullella and first appearing in the SMH
 
Vatican City: Pope Francis baptised 32 babies in the Sistine Chapel on Sunday and told their mothers, including one who was married in a civil service rather than in church, to have no qualms about breast-feeding them there.
 
Stott Despoja
STOTT DESPOJA TO BE WOMEN'S AMBASSADOR

First apperaing on news.com.au
 
AUSTRALIA'S new ambassador for women and girls will be former Democrats leader Natasha Stott Despoja, in a surprise appointment by the Abbott government.
 
Melinda Tankard Reist
WOMEN TREATED WITH SHAMEFUL DISREGARD IN 2013
 
Written by Melinda Tankard Reist and first appearing in the SMH

When pictures of the female players with full-forward breasts were splashed everywhere following Legends (aka Lingerie) Football League games in Sydney and Melbourne this month, it underscored what has been a losing year for women.
 
Sr Joan Chittister OSB
YES, BUT ISN'T IT ALL OVER NOW?
 
Written by Sr Joan Chittister OSB and first appearing in NCR Online
The Shriver Report, the multimedia effort by Maria Shriver to document one of the most important social trends of our time -- the emergence of women into all areas of society -- will issue its third set of findings in a few days.
 
'Pilgrim' by Rene Sutherland
THE CAMINO - A DREAM COME TRUE
 
Written by Donella Johnston

A long-held dream of walking the Camino de Santiago is finally coming true this year for one of my work colleagues, Irene Sutherland. Rene will be walking The Way of St James in April/May with her husband Chris. This venture will be a watershed for them both as it will be a milestone in their marriage.
 
A nun reads through an anti-trafficking leaftlet
RELIGIOUS WOMEN LINK UP TO FIGHT HUMAN TRAFFICKING

Written by N.J Viehland and first appearing on NCR Online

A formidable multi-billion-dollar human-trafficking industry has driven Catholic religious women to collaborate among themselves and with other sectors of society to stop what Pope Francis has called "the most extensive form of slavery of the 21st century."
 
Philomena promotional material
PHILOMENA FILM REVIEW

Written by Peter W Sheehan and first appearing on the ACBC website

Although the film is essentially a drama about the scandal of forced adoptions in the Irish Catholic Church, both Dench and Coogan imbue their performances with insight, tenderness, and intimate attention to detail.
 
Bread 4 Today logo
BREAD4TODAY – A DAILY PRAYER RESOURCE

Written by Matthew Howard from Bread4Today

The Redemptorists of Australia and New Zealand have released a wonderfully accessible resource for daily prayer and meditation. Bread 4 Today provides prayers for whenever you can spare a moment during the day. 
 
Mrs Lyn Horner (Chair), Bishop Peter Ingham (bishop delegate), Donella Johnston (OPW Director), Sr Josephine Armour OP, Ms Lorraine Barker, Dr Helen Belcher, Dr Gemma Tulud Cruz, Ms Carole Gan, Ms Sarah Lentern, Fr David Pascoe & Dr Carmel Suart 
Bishop David Walker (Chair), Bishop Peter Ingham, Bishop Bill Wright, Bishop Vincent Long OFMConv, Bishop Les Tomlinson, Bishop Peter Comensoli
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Disclaimer
The Office for the Participation of Women facilitates this newsletter in good faith. Its aim is to promote ongoing dialogue and create a sense of an Australia wide community. Factual information is presumed free of error. If this is found to be incorrect please contact the OPW for purposes of rectification. The reference to news items and the provision of links to other websites is solely for the user's convenience. The OPW assumes no responsibility for, nor does it necessarily endorse, these items or websites, their content, or their sponsoring organisations.
Women Matter is a publication of the National Office of the Participation of Women and distributed monthly. Our aim is to provide news of interest to you. If you have suggestions or feedback about Women Matter please don't hesitate to get back to me.

Donella Johnston
Director
National Office for the Participation of Women
director.opw@catholic.org.au
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