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Religious sister expresses desire to see more women in church and societal leadership role

Sr Dipal

SANDAKAN  – A religious sister expressed her desire to see more women taking up a leadership role in church and society in a recent interview here.

“I would like to see more women taking up leadership in the Church and society at large,” said Good Shepherd Sister Maria Dipal,  in response to Pope Francis’ address to the Plenary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue in Rome on 9 Jun 2017.

In his address, the pope said, “There is a need for greater recognition of women’s capacity to educate in universal brotherhood.  When women have the possibility of fully conveying their gifts to the whole community, the way in which society understands and organises itself will be positively transformed.”

The sister underscored that it is “time for women to make a difference, to be present, to speak the truth, to share wisdom, to recreate the world with love, beauty and harmony.  I feel that such issues as interreligious dialogue, justice and peace, health and education, human trafficking, etc, are important for all.”

Sr Dipal, who works with the “wounded and marginalised,” added, “In my experience, as I encounter their pain and suffering, I see the suffering Christ in our midst.  My own faith and relationship with God are challenged.  I am called to go deeper into the heart of the matter.  There is more that just a problem.”

She believes that women have the capacity to make a difference.  She said she is challenged to be “the change” that she would like to see in all the people she is accompanying or journeying with.

“Many a time in my difficulties and down moments, I realise that God is there with me, and continually revealing himself in the unexpected places…leading me to live out the spiritual path of ‘acting justly, loving tenderly, and walking humbly with God’ (cf Micah 6:8)” she said.

Sr Dipal serves in multiple areas undertaken by her congregation, including faith formation, family and community building, especially women and youth empowerment, as well as working with and for migrant communities. – CS


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