LABUAN – Today a woman’s role in the Catholic Church has been acknowledged to play an important role alongside the man. The Second Vatican Council’s Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity stated that men and women are equally responsible in their participation of serving the church.
In the final document of the Council, among other affirmations is found the following: “The hour is coming, in fact has come, when the vocation of women is being acknowledged in its fullness, the hour in which women acquire in the world an influence, an effect and a power never hitherto achieved. That is why, at his moment when the human race is undergoing so deep a transformation, women imbued with a spirit of the Gospel can do so much to aid humanity in not falling.”
Some 38 members of the Catholic Women’s League of Blessed Sacrament Church here held their second recollection for this year on 20 Nov 2018.
The half-day recollection, which was themed “Women and the Challenges in Serving”, began with a Rosary prayer led by spiritual adviser Sr Magdalene at the Grotto.
An input on ‘the Challenges Faced by Women who are Actively Serving the Church’ was presented by Julita Kantod. The participants reflected on Who they are, Why they want to serve, and what they gain by serving the church, followed by group sharing.
Some of the challenges faced by married women in particular while serving the church were:
1. They are mothers – Mothers, who are actively serving the church, require a wise time management for the family. They hold a most important role in the family in terms of raising and caring for the children, both spiritually and physically. Family comes first before all others for that is the task given to both parents.
2. They are wives – A woman is created to accompany a man. In the home, the wife is submissive to her husband. No matter how important or what position a woman holds in the church, she, being a wife, needs humility to submit to her husband.
3. They are living witnesses or guardians of virtues – They are the first herald in transmitting faith by their life’s witness on love, mercy, forgiveness and humility towards their children at home.
Such witnessing ought to be reflected in their service to the Church where friction is bound to happen among team members coming from a varied background.
4. Too much involvement or commitment in the church – An over-involvement in the church could lead to neglect of family.
5. A career woman – A career woman needs to be time-wise in managing the family, work and service to the church.
Kantod concluded the session in reminding the participants that while serving the Church is a wonderful opportunity to serve God, they must first and foremost fulfill their role as married women. But as the Church has emphasized on the importance of laity in the mission of the Church, a wise time management is necessary so that family will not be neglected.
The session ended with one-hour Adoration at the chapel, followed by lunch. CWL chairlady Anglina Jonik thanked the members for their effort in making the recollection. – Julita Kantod