Today, I picked up my press credentials and headed over to the Antonianum, a pontifical university where Sr. Mary Melone, the first woman ever to be appointed as a rector to a pontifical university, welcomed Catholic Women Speak and Voices of Faith members. These kind of appointments matter, because where others might bulk at inviting a group of progressive Catholic women to hold a two day conference, Sr. Melone is a gracious host, welcoming everyone gathered to the book launch event and providing a place for women to meet to strategize about our common work for the future.
During the strategy meetings today, we listened intently to the voices of Catholic women from the global South. They spoke of the hardships women face daily. Poverty creates its own set of priorities. But these women also recognized the importance of creating more space for women in the institutional Church. They understood the intimate connection between the make up of the governing body and the policies they put in place for reaching out to those on the margins. In other words, a more diverse and inclusive governing body will be more effective in the work of the Gospel.
Zuzanna Radzik, a journalist and writer from Warsaw who contributed to Visions and Vocations and spoke at the book launch, sat addressing postcards to her bishops, inviting them to purchase a copy of her new book, Women’s Leadership Then and Now. Sweet subversion.
There is a song running through my head that I heard when I went to Washington D.C. for the women’s march in 2017. “I can’t keep quiet.” And as the women gather, “We can’t keep quiet.”