More than 85 Catholics, mainly women, from around Australia attended the Office for the Participation of Women’s (OPW) and the Council for Australian Catholic Women’s (CACW) Colloquium Wisdom at the Gate on 16-17 August, 2013.
Held at the resting place of Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop, the gathering brought together mostly women from dioceses around Australia for dialogue, reflection and renewal.
Also present was the Bishops’ Delegate for the CACW Bishop Peter Ingham who was inspired and challenged to understand better the perspective of women about the Church.
Director of the OPW Donella Johnston said that the event aimed to give people from around Australia an opportunity to develop friendships, dream for the Church and engage in “sacred conversations”.“Personally, I found the event very inspiring and uplifting. It was a rich opportunity to see the diverse range of gifts held by women in the Church who show leadership and wisdom across so many areas.”
“The colloquium was attended by pastoral associates, teachers, journalists, artists, religious sisters, academics, lawyers, doctors, theologians, wives, mothers, sisters, friends”, said Donella.
Keynote addresses by life coach and teacher Amanda MacKenzie and academic Lynette Riley-Mundine were highlights, bringing together the themes of learning, growth and enhanced participation.Feedback was received from the delegates and included comments such as “have faith, be persistent, keep hoping”, “Stop, look, listen, communicate, respect, share”, “resilient, prayerful women up for a challenge” and “embracing the feminine face of God.”
For others, the opportunity to “drink at the well of wisdom” was a welcome opportunity to hope and encourage more active leadership of women in the Catholic Church.
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