Catholic women mark IWD with mentoring launch


ONE HUNDRED-and-forty women and men gathered in Canberra on International Women’s Day (March 8, 2018) to explore what more can be done to ignite the ‘feminine genius’.

The Archdiocese marked the day with the launch at Merici College in Braddon of Catholic Women’s Mentoring.

Panel members Senator Jacinta Collins, Giulia Jones MLA and disability advocate Sonia di Mezza discussed issues of gender balance, parental leave, the role of mentoring as well as their unique responses to career, motherhood and faith.

Media personality Genevieve Jacobs was the panel host.

Archbishop Christopher Prowse spoke of his delight at the mentoring program being introduced to the Archdiocese.

He commented that the meeting of Mary and Elizabeth, as described in Luke’s Gospel (1: 39-45), “is a profound example of the yearning we have for mentoring, particularly at times of challenge”.

Ms di Mezza promoted ‘getting the priorities right’ which for her are, “Number one, God, number two, my family, friends, those I care about, number three work.” She said in her experience other things then fall into place.

Opened doors

International Women's Day 2018


Mrs Jones acknowledged that the changes initiated by other women in politics opened doors for her participation in the ACT Assembly.

She spoke of her two grandmothers, her mother and Mary MacKillop as Catholic women who have been her models and inspiration.

Senator Collins, who entered the Australian parliament first in 1995, spoke of the absence of political women mentors in her early career. Her Catholic formation influences her ongoing concern for social justice.

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“Women’s participation, in all the ways that are possible, is key to shaping the church and to building a better church,” she said.

Loretta Wholley, Principal of Merici College which hosted the event, said “We are 100% committed to creating a culture of mentoring”.

Merici’s hospitality students prepared food and served guests during the proceedings.

Encouraging the voice of women


Archbishop Prowse said he hoped the project would draw up, in the Archdiocese, the voice of Catholic women in a more prominent way.

“My desire is to re-establish a Commission for Women and I’m sure that the many voices of women tonight will help us all to see where God is leading us in this particular way,” he said.

Archbishop Prowse prayed for the project’s success and thanked Andrea Dean, the Director of the National Office for the Participation of Women, for her efforts in coordinating the night.

Ms Dean said women from all over Australia were signing up to Catholic Women’s Mentoring with a launch having been held in Sydney Archdiocese.

“Once women have been matched in a mentoring relationship they arrange to meet face to face or to use telephone or Skype for their regular conversations,” she said.

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And to read Archbishop Prowse’s address in full go to this link.


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