Year 2020: WUCWO going forth.
by the grace of God, we begin a new year of life. WUCWO itself is called to give birth to a new year of life. Based on our long trajectory and on our very rich history, we are heading towards the 110th anniversary of our foundation, which we will celebrate in 2020. It is a propitious time for us to grow. As the present pontifical magisterium requires of us, a growing WUCWO means: "WUCWO going forth".
Going forth in a horizontal way, expanding like the horizontal beam of the cross: this means a growth towards the interior of each one of our organisations and of WUCWO itself. First of all, how wonderful it would be if every woman belonging to our organisation felt loved, blessed for being part of our World Union of Catholic Women's Organisations! If this has always been a grace, in this time of networks and connectivity, consciously and gratefully belonging to WUCWO is an even more precious gift. I invite you to renew communication within each one of your organisations, so as to enable us to communicate this grace like "communicating vessels".
Secondly, the new year requires us to grow in the bonds that unite our member organisations to each other. How grateful must we be to the Lord, for he gives us such enormous wealth in each organisation’s being and working! We are in front of a sample of good practices that will allow us, if we are able to improve our mutual communication, a remarkable enrichment and a true, effective synergy. Therefore, a fundamental step in our growth consists of evolving, as for constantly showing our experiences and making available the resources that we are generating so that they can arrive, through WUCWO, in the hands of other organisations that can benefit from them. At the same time, it is necessary to improve the habit of feeding on what WUCWO does today step by step, following in the footsteps of the Holy Father. For us to grow, we must give and take.
In addition, WUCWO’s all-encompassing going forth means reaching different peripheries: for example, going out into the international arena, with a greater, more relevant presence in those international agencies where we are officially represented. Our face of Catholic women is present at the CSW64 (Commission on the Status of Women) in New York in March 2020, on the year of the 25th anniversary of the United Nations Summit on Women (Beijing 1995). WUCWO, together with other entities, organises a parallel event to show our responsibility in the prevention of different types of violence and abuse against women and children. We hope that this going forth will be followed by others of a similar nature.
If we are to go forth towards the peripheries, how can we not try to reach out to new organisations, from every Region, continent or country, that can join WUCWO? Moreover, how can we not open ourselves to women of other faiths or with no faith who do not know the face of Jesus’ tenderness and the motherhood of the Church? To move in this direction, we must intensify our capacity for listening, dialogue and creative alternatives for action, always supported by prayer.
To be able to go forth, with the joy and strength of the Gospel, we need to grow in depth and in transcendence, like the vertical beam of the cross.
Growing downwards, in depth, means growing in our formation. By being spiritually formed women and developing all our talents through conceptual, attitudinal and operational training, we will be able to better serve our own organisations, the Church and society. That is our goal: to be co-responsible for evangelisation and integral human development. Furthermore, Pope Francis proposes that women should be involved in the decision-making process in the Church and we have to be well-prepared for that.
WUCWO wishes to take a step forward in its formation using new methods. We are already in a position to meet some training requirements. This year, we will do this by means of: a) on-line seminars, held each time in one of our languages; b) live-streaming (via the Internet in our three languages) of the formative moments we hold generally in Rome; and c) sharing the resources and materials each organisation sends us because it considers that this may favour the formation required by other member organisations. I call upon each organisation to collaborate in the in-depth growth of our formation.
Finally, I point out the most important thing, that is, our upward growth, towards transcendence, which is nothing other than our path to holiness. This requirement is not new, but in this WUCWO period we have it demanded by one of our resolutions: "Let us educate to respond to the call to holiness". I propose this expression to you: "self-educate to educate" in that call. That is why I urge you to move forward in understanding and applying Gaudete et Exsultate, where we can find all the elements for our self-education.
A special beacon will illuminate us in this regard in 2020: Pilar Bellosillo, whose cause of beatification and canonisation we have started. Pilar's life and dedication, especially as President of WUCWO, must be known, loved and taken as an example insofar as it can strengthen our steps in educating ourselves to educate in holiness. I invite you to know her more closely, to invoke her as an intercessor and to expand her devotion.
How many decisions we have to make if we want to belong to a WUCWO going forth! To do this, let us say with Mary, our Mother: "Fiat" and "Magnificat".
Message of the President General
María Lía Zervino, Servidora