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PAPAR – St Joseph Parish-level celebration of International Women’s Day drew 190 participants on 11 March 2017.
The celebration, organised by the parish Women’s League, was held at Fr John Tsung Hall here.
Themed Will You Be Bold for Change? the event began with a Bible enthronement by Father Thomas Yip who then gave a brief catechesis.
This year’s celebration focused on promoting health awareness among women living in the rural areas, providing an opportunity for every woman to gain knowledge on health-related concerns, and publicising the benefits of health consciousness.
Dr Jiloris Dony, a consultant at the Health Ministry, touched on 10 key health-related issues: Cancer, Reproductive Health, Motherhood Health, HIV, Sex Infectious Diseases (SID), Cruelty towards Women, Mental Health, Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), Young Motherhood and Old Age.
He stressed the need to obtain immediate counselling and consultation for women affected by the issues concerned from either the nearest hospital, rural clinic or health centre. He noted the importance of the parish Catholic family support group in assisting the affected family in identifying the issues.
Father Yip gave a reflection on Pope Francis’ Lenten message “The Word is a gift. Other persons are a gift” as well as on the parish Lenten theme Be a Gift of Love to Others, inviting those present to contemplate and experience God’s love that is self-sacrificial, unconditional and outpouring in their lives and in their families. He dwelt briefly on Paul’s meaning of love in 1 Corinthians 13. – William Charles Mindus, SOCCOM Papar-Limbahau