New header 1
New Header 2

About Us

Who we are and what we do.

Follow Us

What a time we are in!

What a time we are in!As I write this, I’m aware that this week the Australian Catholic Bishops and Catholic Religious Australia will release a statement in response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Last week the Pope addressed a letter to the People of God on the same topic. Bishops in Chile have resigned, as has an American Cardinal.

What a time we are in! Research conducted in 2016 in Australia showed that the confidence of Churchgoers in Church authorities has been damaged by the cases of sex abuse by priests and religious. More than one-third of Churchgoers stated that their respect for priests and religious declined as a result of these offences. Nearly two thirds of Churchgoers stated that the response of Church authorities to incidents of child sexual abuse had been inadequate and showed a complete failure of responsibility.

Read more: What a time we are in!

Challenge and Change

Challenge and ChangeFollowing the recent meeting of the Council for Australian Catholic Women on 22 June, a consultation with women at Parramatta on 21 June and the upcoming feast of Mary Magdalene, this issue of Women Matter is full of energy! You will find several articles about challenge and change.

You will also notice that we are claiming the date for our next Colloquium in Adelaide 22-24 February. The Colloquium is much earlier in the year than usual in order to contribute to the ‘listening’ stage of the Plenary 2020.

Read more: Challenge and Change

Restoring Mary Magdalene

From The Office 2018Do you know about it? Women in Maitland-Newcastle Diocese know it. They’ve even name an award for her.

I mean of course, the restoration of St Mary Magdalene. Since about thirteenth century in the tradition of the Western Christianity, Mary of Magdala has been misidentified as a sinner and a prostitute.

In fact, Scripture names her as a prime witness to the crucifixion and resurrection.

Read more: Restoring Mary Magdalene

Promising Start

Promising StartLast week I had the privilege of speaking (via Skype) with Marta Rodriguez Diaz from the Office for Women within the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life at the Vatican. She was impressed with what is happening through OPW and the CACW!

After all we have sixteen women aged between 25 and 35 who have commenced the two-year program Leadership for Mission. This program replaces the Young Catholic Women’s Fellowship and is conducted in partnership with Australian Catholic University and Catholic Mission. The first residential session will be held in the week after Easter. Rachelle Smith from Hobart is the new coordinator of the program.

Read more: Promising Start

Guest Editorial

Guest EditorialIn October, the National Foundation for Australian Women hosted a dinner event at the National Press Club. The guest speaker was notable journalist Virginia Haussegger, who now leads the University of Canberra’s 50/50 by 2030 Foundation. The 50/50 by 2030 Foundation advocates for women’s equal representation in decision-making positions in government, public sector leadership and publicly listed companies in Australia. They receive widespread public support for this endeavour.

Read more: Guest Editorial

Seeking Transformation

Seeking Transformation

What change are you hoping for in the Catholic Church? We know that the Royal Commission into sexual abuse will make strong recommendations to the Catholic Church. We know too that the Plenary Council which is planned for 2020 will be an invaluable opportunity to create change.

Read more: Seeking Transformation

Towards the Plenary Council

From The Office

In September last year the Colloquium for Australian Catholic Women was held at North Sydney. One powerful and energizing topic that emerged was the Plenary Council of the Australian Catholic Church that is planned for 2020. In September no details were known about the Plenary Council but the colloquium participants were enthusiastic about the opportunity to shape the future direction of the Australian Church.

Read more: Towards the Plenary Council

Mentoring for change

Mentoring for changeRecently in Canberra there was an incredible fund raising campaign called “Love Your Sister”. I hope you heard about it in the media. Connie Johnson is dying from cancer and her brother Samuel is committed to raising funds for cancer research. As a result there have been some creative ventures to raise money for cancer research, including Samuel riding a unicycle around Australia!

Read more: Mentoring for change

HIDDEN FIGURES: Is there enough space for women in the Church?

Is there enough space for women in the Church?

This guest editorial was written by Tracey Edstein, editor of Aurora Magazine, the official magazine of the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

Director Theodore Melfi’s Hidden Figures tells the true – albeit massaged for maximum screen impact – story of the women whose mathematical genius was integral to the United States’ mission to explore space, ultimately seeing a man on the moon in July 1969.

Read more: HIDDEN FIGURES: Is there enough space for women in the Church?

A New Journey

From The Office

Earlier this month we celebrated epiphany-the “showing forth” or “the revelation” of Christ in the world. Ruth Haley Barton writes that Epiphany is a wonderful celebration for those who commit themselves to the process of spiritual transformation, for it contains themes of journeying from the known to the unknown with only a mysterious light as a guide.

Read more: A New Journey