Mercy through the Eyes of Women

Here you can find extracts from some of the articles found in Women's Voice issue 39.

Editorial, Virginia Rivero Lozada

On the 8th December 2015, Pope Francis opened the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy which will end on the 20th November 2016. To mark the Jubilee, the 39th Edition of Women’s Voice is dedicated to “Mercy through the Eyes of Women” which is a very apt title for women who are seeking to meet the needs of the family, young people and those who are suffering throughout the world, indeed, these are the priorities of WUCWO for the 2014-2018 term. “Mercy: the fundamental law that dwells in the heart of every person who looks sincerely into the eyes of his brothers and sisters on the path of life. Mercy: the bridge that connects God and man, opening our hearts to the hope of being loved forever despite our sinfulness” (Misericordiae Vultus 2). ...continued in Women's Voice

President General's Message, Maria Giovanna Ruggieri

The parable of the prodigal son and the dutiful son can be seen as the main theme for this year of the Jubilee of Mercy. The painting by Rembrandt also helps us to recognise in the merciful Father the feminine side of mercy: if you look carefully at his hands you can see that one of the hands is that of a woman. It is the same feminine figure who, in the other parable, finds the drachma; she is so joyful and wants to share her joy with her neighbours. As Pope Francis states: “God is joyful! And what is the joy of God? The joy of God is forgiving, the joy of God is forgiving! The joy of a shepherd who finds his little lamb; the joy of a woman who finds her coin; it is the joy of a father welcoming home the son who was lost, who was as though dead and has come back to life, who has come home. Here is the entire Gospel! Here! The whole Gospel, all of Christianity, is here! But make sure that it is not sentiment, it is not being a “do-gooder”! On the contrary, mercy is the true force that can save man and the world from the “cancer” that is sin, moral evil, spiritual evil. Only love fills the void, the negativechasms that evil opens in hearts and in history. ...continued in Women's Voice

Women and MercyFr. Gerard Whelan

The interest that Pope Francis expresses in the theme of mercy is closely related to his interest in encouraging the voice of women to be heard within the Church. This has been evident in many of his statements, and finds expression also in the book recently published of interviews with him entitled, The Name of God is Mercy. I explore this point in two steps: first by noting the three women that the Pope most associates with the theme of mercy; secondly, by noting how the pastoral method of the Pope can be understood as influenced by a feminine quality of empathy.

The first of the three women who most inspire the reflections of Pope Francis is the obvious one: Our Lady. Faithful Romans who want to catch a glimpse of the Pope without lining up at the Vatican, have come to recognize that there is one place where he makes unscheduled appearances. ...continued in Women's Voice

Information from the Secretary General, Maria Lia Zervino, Servidora

These months have been marked by the Jubilee of Mercy. What we’ve done, how and why we’ve done it, demonstrates the providence of the divine Father for WUCWO.

By the mercy of God, the Secretariat has been working in Rome since 2015. This has granted us a presence and close collaboration with the Holy See, with the joy of knowing that we have the opportunity to participate more closely to what Pope Francis proposes to the whole Church.

-Reflection on women who work and the difficulties that poses: the President General, Maria Giovanna Ruggieri, took part in a seminar Women and Work, organised by the “Women” section of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, directed by Dr. Ana Cristina Villa Betancourt. ...continued in Women's Voice

Mercy is the Product of the Heart, Fruit of Love, Marie-Madeleine Mwifi Bodibatu, Branche Féminine Bondeko President, Congo

Genesis, in the Bible, presents God the Creator, of GOOD, to us, because everything that he created was GOOD, God is presented as the model of mercy. But Adam preferred to obey Satan. Man sinned. He flees from the Garden of happiness. They hide themselves, ‘evil is born, the world changes’. It is here that divine mercy intervenes. God promises a Redeemer and Saviour, the One Saviour. Jesus is the Merciful Love of the Father for man.

Jesus became man, God made him incarnate to bring Man to God, his Creator and Father. 

After immense suffering, Jesus will sacrifice his life to save man. “My Life, no one takes it, it is me who gives it to redeem all my brothers” Jn 10, 17-18. The woman who follows Jesus is invited to love in the same way as God the Father and Jesus Christ. ...extract continued in Women's Voice. You can read the whole article here (the full article is only available in French)

Mercy through the Eyes of Women in Venezuela, María García de Fleury, FUNDEMUL, Venezuela

Venezuela is a country where the feminine side of mercy shines, has shone and will continue to shine. Countless are the names of the women who have played an enormously important role in this field. Starting with the mother and the simple housekeeper that we find throughout our country who, whilst busy with her own biological children, still finds time to be with the children of other mothers, who she thinks are more in need like the sick, elderly, prisoners and the neglected.

The woman who inspired and continues to inspire these women is the Holy Virgin, Mother of God, the Mother of Mercy. No other woman in history has been hailed as much as the Virgin Maria and Venezuela is actually known as the Land of the Blessed Virgin. We see her inspiration and support in numerous dedications throughout the country, but most particularly in the dedication of Our Lady of Comoroto, Patroness of Venezuela...continued in Women's Voice

Mercy through the Eyes of Women in Cameroon, Jacqueline Nkoa, Secretary General of Association des Dames Apostoliques du Cameroun

The holy year which takes place from the 8th December 2015 until the 20th November 2016 will happen under the guise of mercy. To take ownership and to give it meaning, we must build on the love of God that goes beyond all human fairness. How can we demonstrate this mercy towards others? The woman who fears God, knows how to forgive and put herself at the service of others. But how does God’s mercy change the way women are women in the Church?                 

Before responding to this concern, we shall look to the definition Pope Francis gives to mercy, then  we will build upon women and mercy in the Bible and in history, before finally considering how women in our Church in particular in Cameroon show mercy.

Pope Francis, in Misericordiae Vultus Bulle presents a mission to the Church to proclaim this Juibilee to be “merciful like the Father”. The term highlights the more spontaneous aspect of love. The Church beholds in Jesus the invisible face of the Father, through the life and words of Jesus we see the heart of the Father. ...continued in Women's Voice

Report from the National Board of Catholic Women of England and Wales, Marueen Meatcher, President

The National Board of Catholic Women of England and Wales has spent some time since the General Assembly in Fatima reviewing the aims and objectives of the organisation and preparing a plan of action that will make our work in this year of mercy more effective. The purpose of this Strategic Outline is to set out the strategic direction for NBCW for the next three years. It is based on an element of continuity with the Strategic Plan written in 2010 – 2013 and embraces all of the feedback and responses from consultation exercises taken over the last twelve months.

What are the advantages of preparing a strategic outline? First of all, it emphasizes that it is not so much joining an organization as engaging in a way of living the Gospel. Secondly it emphasizes the unity among membership groups, and that we are all partners in carrying out the Church’s mission in the world. Thirdly, it helps bring out an aspect of our thinking, namely that we are a spiritual movement of women who are all working to renew the Church in a secular age. ...continued in Women's Voice

The Ruquis Mercy Shrine at Mt. Hagen Papua New Guinea, Mary Mennis, CWL Australia

The Divine Mercy Diocesan Shrine is thirty kilometres from Mt Hagen at Ruquis and was opened by the Apostolic Nuncio on the Feast of St John Paul II, October 22, 2015 in the presence of three bishops and two archbishops. Thousands flocked to the celebration in the church, built mostly by the village people themselves.

Fr Bogdan the Parish Priest from Kuli Parish celebrated Mass in the Shrine 6th December 2015. This Mt Hagen Shrine began after a big celebration of the Divine Mercy in St Mary’s Cathedral in Port Moresby in October 2005. The movement gained momentum when Crescentia Anderson and two other members of the St Mary’s Cathedral group went to Kracow in Poland to attend the Second International Congress on the Divine Mercy message and devotion. The group lit a candle from one originally lit by Pope John Paul II in 2003. ...continued in Women's Voice