President General's Messages
Message for the Advent
We are entering the Advent time. After the Jubilee of the Extraordinary year of Mercy we continue to experience God’s mercy in our daily life. Advent is the time of memory, invocation and expectance of the coming of the Lord. Advent brings us to the heart of the Christian mystery. We need to be vigilant and ready to enter Christ’s mystery of His incarnation, his dwelling among us.
Celebration of the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene (July 22nd 2016)
As you know, Pope Francis has decided to elevate the celebration of the Memorial of St. Mary Magdalene (July 22nd) to the dignity of a liturgical feast.
His decision was taken, according to the Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship, Archbishop Roche, to “reflect more deeply on the dignity of women, the New Evangelization and the greatness of the mystery of the Divine Mercy.” He also stated that “Saint Mary Magdalene is an example of true and authentic evangelization; she is an evangelist who announces the joyful central message of Easter,” and added that “the Holy Father Francis took this decision precisely in the context of the Jubilee of Mercy to signify the importance of this woman who showed a great love for Christ and was much loved by Christ.”
WUCWO, whose aim is to spread the Good News worldwide, rejoices at this decision and wants to give a special emphasis to this feast. We request that during the celebration of Holy Mass on that day, we have a special intention to remember our Presidents General who have passed away, asking them to support WUCWO in its commitment. They were tireless women who worked so much in the vineyard of our Lord, ready to contribute to the building of the Church all over the world.
Another woman we should hold in memory during the celebration is Jacqueline Stuyt, an English lady, who left a bequest to WUCWO at a very delicate moment. We may also add to our intentions all officers of our local organisations who work so hard for the promotion of the dignity of all women.
St. Thomas Aquinas referred to St Mary Magdalene as the “Apostle of the Apostles” (Apostolorum Apostola), “ therefore it is right that the liturgical celebration of this woman receives the same grade of feast that is given to the celebration of the Apostles in the General Roman Calendar, and shines a light on the special mission of this woman, who is an example and model for every woman in the Church.”(ibid)
Have a holy and joyful feast of St Mary Magdalene!
Maria Giovanna Ruggieri
WUCWO President General
Letter to mark International Women's Day
March 8th 2016 International Women’s Day
The annual celebration of the International Women’s Day on March 8th invites us to reflect about women in the various realities where WUCWO has been committed for more than 100 years for the respect and promotion of the dignity of women in every field. Many steps have been taken but there is still a long way to go.
Pope Francis is encouraging us very much, we are aware that his message is addressed to everybody and asks everyone to make a deep change of sensitivity: “The Church acknowledges the indispensable contribution which women make to society through the sensitivity, intuition and other distinctive skill sets which they, more than men, tend to possess.”(EG 103)… stressing that “demands that the legitimate rights of women be respected, based on the firm conviction that men and women are equal in dignity, present the Church with profound and challenging questions which cannot be lightly evaded”. (EG 104)
The presence of Mary among the apostles is also seen by Pope Francis as an evaluation of the contribution of women: “In the Church, functions “do not favour the superiority of some vis-à-vis the others”. Indeed, a woman, Mary, is more important than the bishops. Even when the function of ministerial priesthood is considered “hierarchical”, it must be remembered that “it is totally ordered to the holiness of Christ’s members. Its key and axis is not power understood as domination, but the power to administer the sacrament of the Eucharist; this is the origin of its authority, which is always a service to God’s people. This presents a great challenge for pastors and theologians, who are in a position to recognize more fully what this entails with regard to the possible role of women in decision-making in different areas of the Church’s life”. (EG 104)
This Magisterium interpellates us, we cannot remain in standby, how can we participate actively in such a process? As WUCWO women we want to interweave meaningful relationships with all women and men to contribute to the globalization of tenderness wished by Pope Francis.
We are women who work daily both in our Christian communities and in our societies for the respect of the dignity of each single person, we are women who take care of our families, who contribute to development and progress in trying to build, in all contexts, bridges of reconciliation and forgiveness in the most difficult realities.
From such a perspective we address our thoughts especially to those women who are persecuted, who are the object of violence, those women who because of a state of destitution and poverty are victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation, undergo maternal surrogacy in the name of a false freedom of action.
We want to express our solidarity to those women who are obliged to leave their own country because of wars, persecutions, climate change and poverty.
We wish to dedicate our March 8th to the four Mother Teresa sisters brutally killed in Yemen, martyrs of our time, martyrs of mercy.
Maria Giovanna Ruggieri
WUCWO President General
Angelus 6th March 2015
Dear brothers and sisters,
I express my closeness to the Missionaries of Charity for the terrible loss they suffered two days ago with the killing of four sisters in Aden, Yemen, where they helped elderly people. I pray for them, for the others that were killed in the attack, and their family members. These are the martyrs of today! They do not make the front page or the headlines: they give their blood for the Church. These people are not just victims of the attack but also victims of indifference, of this globalization of indifference… May Mother Theresa accompany her martyr daughters of charity in Heaven, and intercede for peace and sacred respect for human life.
Message 5th March
Message of condolence from the Holy Father, signed by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State, for the four Missionaries of Charity and the other victims of the attack in Aden, Yemen
His Holiness Pope Francis was shocked and profoundly saddened to learn of the killing of four Missionaries of Charity and twelve others at a home for the elderly in Aden. He sends the assurance of his prayers for the dead and his spiritual closeness to their families and to all affected from this act of senseless and diabolical violence. He prays that this pointless slaughter will awaken consciences, lead to a change of heart, and inspire all parties to lay down their arms and take up the path of dialogue. In the name of God, he calls upon all parties in the present conflict to renounce violence, and to renew their commitment to the people of Yemen, particularly those most in need, whom the Sisters and their helpers sought to serve. Upon everyone suffering from this violence, the Holy Father invokes God’s blessing, and in a special ways he extends to the Missionaries of Charity his prayerful sympathy and solidarity.
Cardinal Pietro Parolin
Secretary of State