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Catholic Women Speak Symposium, Rome – 1st October 2018: four days of discussion and action
Catherine of Siena College partnered with Catholic Women Speak (CWS) to organise a symposium on Women in the Catholic Church at the Pontifical University Antonianum in Rome on 1st October. The symposium was promoting a new collection of writings by members of Catholic Women Speak - Visions and Vocations (Paulist Press, 2018). This was published to coincide with the start of the Synod of Bishops on Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment, and it brought together theological essays and personal reflections by more than 60 Catholic women from 20 different countries. The youngest contributor was 14, and the oldest was 86.
About 58 members and friends of CWS gathered in Rome for the Symposium and surrounding events. Their time together started by participating in the monthly Laudato Si' Mass in the wild and beautiful gardens of the RSCJ in Trastevere on Sunday, 30th September. Contributors to the book were invited to a reception hosted by the Australian Ambassador to the Holy See, HE Melissa Hitchman, that evening. The Symposium on Monday, 1st October attracted an audience of about 100.
Videos and photographs of these events, as well as more information about the book, can be found on the Catholic Women Speak website at this link.
On Wednesday some of the participants attended the papal Mass, and a group of CWS members joined a demonstration outside the Vatican in the afternoon organised by Kate McElwee of Women's Ordination Conference, as the cardinals and bishops gathered for the Synod. They were asking that women religious be given the same voting rights as their male counterparts at the Synod. Details are also on the Catholic Women Speak website at the above link, including a video of a rather challenging run-in with the Italian police! The campaign #votesforcatholicwomen went viral, and a petition with nearly 9,000 signatures was delivered to the bishops.
The organisers of the Symposium were able to deliver 300 copies of the book to the Synod venue for participants to take a copy free of charge. Cardinal Bo of Myanmar held up a copy of the book at a Synod press conference, mentioned Catholic Women Speak, and said he had started reading it!
A six week course based on the book is currently being offered by Catherine of Siena College - "Catholic Women Speak: Contexts and Cultures". We are willing to make this course available for parish groups. If you are interested in finding out more, including costs, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"I Believe in You" book launch by Dr Luca Badetti- 30th November 2018 in Chicago
Luca Badetti is a doctor in Disability Studies, with background in Clinical Psychology and Theology. He approaches human growth and transformation holistically and inclusively.Luca teaches at Loyola University Chicago's Institute of Pastoral Studies, DePaul University's Peace, Justice and Conflict Studies program, and Adler University. He has done research at the Institute on Disability and Human Development (University of Illinois at Chicago) and has been a Fellow at the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis.Luca is involved with L'Arche, inclusive faith communities of shared life between people with and without intellectual disabilities. He has been part of the Boston North, Greater Washington DC, Trosly (France) and Rome (Italy) communities, and has been Director of Community Life at L'Arche Chicago.