On Friday 11th May 2012 the Catholic Women’s League Diocese of Wollongong held the WUCWO Mass at St Patrick’s Church Port Kembla.
The Mass was celebrated by Father Patreick Vaughan, the CWL Diocesan Chaplain. The event was organised by Mrs Mary Smith, Diocesan International Secretary.
After Mass the ladies adjourned to the Parish Hall for lunch and entertainment.
The following is Mary’s report of the WUCWO Asia Pacific Regional Conference which she attended with Catherine McGrath and Sue Meehan.
The Theme of the Conference was “Love in Action” – Education for Women. There were nine delegates from Australia, six from Korea, three from Indonesa, two from Tonga, one each fromJapan and many from the Philippines. We were all made to feel very welcome.
We were the largest group from overseas and I do not know if it was because Australia begins with A or the table we sat at for all sessions was right at the front or we were just more obvious than others but we seemed to be in the thick of it all.
Catherine who is the WUCWO Board member for Australia seemed often to be asked to introduce speakers, thank speakers etc. She did a great job.
I would like to comment on the sessions on Ecological Stewardship by Jane Munro, National International Secretary, CWL, ustralia. Jane explained that environmental scxience is not her field of expertise, but Ecology of Humans is. She spoke about the need for good stewardship, to see humanity as the apex of creation and that care for the planet can never be at the expense of people.
At the workshop on ecological stewardship one of the points of discussion was population growth – we were advised that suggestions are being made on limiting the world’s population which are quite frightening, that we need to be vigilant, to be pro-life, opposed to euthanasia etc, both in Australia and overseas.
The final session that day was on Lectio Divina given by Mrs Grace Madamba-Padilla. I was tired, almost exhausted by the time it started but it proved refreshing and spiritually illuminating and uplifting. Mrs Madamba-Padilla was on a different spiritual level to me but helped me work my way through the exercise to come to a better understanding of my relationship with God.
An important part of the conference was the opportunity of getting to know other deldgates both from Australia and overseas, the chance to listen to their viewpoints, to appreciate the different cultures and know we are all striving for the same ends.
The President General of WUCWO – Maria Giovanna Ruggieri attended all sessions and activities. She is a gracious , intelligent woman totally committed to the aims of WUCWO and the needs of women. She stressed that we need to be informewd, to be aware of the Church’s teachings ands doctrines. That we are called to a commitment to Justice and Love. That justice is not enough on its own – it needs love.
Traffic in Manilla was chaotic, we were often late gerttring to activities outside the hotel but this was not a problem. A different concept of time!! Limousine taxis were designed for smaller people than us. I felt like a giant.
Security in Manilla was very serious and very obvious. At our hotel and everywhere , especially at the airport when we were leaving. We were even checked to make sure we were not carrying any explosives before we could check in our bags.
It was a wonderful experience.
The Filipino Members of Port Kembla Branch entertained us with their traditional songs and dances.