Posts Tagged ‘Women’

My Sister, The Saints

In 10 Colleen Carroll Campbell, 14 Book Corner on 2014/10/31 at 12:00 AM











In My Sisters the Saints, author Colleen Carroll Campbell blends her personal narrative of spiritual seeking, trials, stumbles, and breakthroughs with the stories of six women saints who profoundly changed her life: Teresa of Avila, Therese of Lisieux, Faustina of Poland, Edith Stein of Germany, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and Mary of Nazareth. Drawing upon the rich writings and examples of these extraordinary women, the author reveals Christianity’s liberating power for women and the relevance of the saints to the lives of contemporary Christians.


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Pope Paul VI – Address to Women

In 07 Observations on 2014/08/01 at 12:00 AM

And now it is to you that we address ourselves, women of all states — girls, wives, mothers, and widows, to you also, consecrated virgins and women living alone — you constitute half of the immense human family. As you know, the Church is proud to have glorified and liberated woman, and in the course of the centuries, in diversity of characters, to have brought into relief her basic equality with man. But the hour is coming, in fact has come, when the vocation of woman is being achieved in its fullness, the hour in which woman acquires in the world an influence, an effect and a power never hitherto achieved. That is why, at this moment when the human race is undergoing so deep a transformation, women impregnated with the spirit of the Gospel can do so much to aid mankind in not falling.

You women have always had as your lot the protection of the home, the love of beginnings and an understanding of cradles. You are present in the mystery of a life beginning. You offer consolation in the departure of death. Our technology runs the risk of becoming inhuman. Reconcile men with life and above all, we beseech you, watch carefully over the future of our race. Hold back the hand of man who, in a moment of folly, might attempt to destroy human civilization.
Wives, mothers of families, the first educators of the human race in the intimacy of the family circle, pass on to your sons and your daughters the traditions of your fathers at the same time that you prepare them for an unsearchable future. Always remember that by her children a mother belongs to that future which perhaps she will not see.

And you, women living alone, realize what you can accomplish through your dedicated vocation. Society is appealing to you on all sides. Not even families can live without the help of those who have no families. Especially you, consecrated virgins, in a world where egoism and the search for pleasure would become law, be the guardians of purity, unselfishness and piety. Jesus who has given to conjugal love all its plenitudes, has also exalted the renouncement of human love when this is for the sake of divine love and for the service of all.

Lastly, women in trial, who stand upright at the foot the cross like Mary, you who so often in history have given to men the strength to battle unto the very end and to give witness to the point of martyrdom, aid them now still once more to retain courage in their great undertakings, while at the same time maintaining patience and an esteem for humble beginnings.

Women, you do know how to make truth sweet, tender, and accessible; make it your task to bring the spirit of this council into institutions, schools, homes and daily life. Women of the entire universe, whether Christian or non-believing, you to whom life is entrusted at this grave moment in history, it is for you to save the peace of the world.

Family – Vol. XXVII,  No.4 Advent-Christmas 2012 – www.wf-f.org.

American Women and the Culture Wars

In 04 Fr. John McCloskey on 2014/05/16 at 12:00 AM

The twenty fifth anniversary of the Apostolic Letter on the Dignity and Vocation of women (Mulieris Dignitatem) is upon us. The apostolic letter was given in Rome on August at St. Peter’s on August 15, the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in the year 1988, the tenth of the reign of the soon-to-be Saint Pope John Paul II — and what a document it remains!

I have been asked to write a few words on the letter to see if anything has changed vis-à-vis Catholic women in the Church’s teaching on women and their role as a result of the past 25 years and as a result of the document. I will only attempt to speak about the United States, even though I have traveled to a good number of at least nominally Catholic countries since the apostolic letter was published.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the teaching of Blessed John Paul’s letter.

We are told in Genesis 1:27 that God created man in His own image—and that He created them male and female. As Pope John Paul II put it, “This passage indicates that men and women are essentially equal from the standpoint of their humanity, they both reflect the likeness of God.” However, sin entered the world (no finger pointing at who is to be blamed!) and destroyed the unity that man and woman generated in the state of original justice; it also damaged the relationship of man and woman as a community of persons.

Continue reading…

Message to a Catholic Women’s Group by Vicki Borin

In 07 Observations on 2013/04/17 at 12:00 AM

Last February, Victoria Borin, the president of Charlotte Catholic Women’s Group sent this message in the monthly newsletter. It’s message is one a wider audience will appreciate. Perhaps it will inspire and motivate some of you living in other cities, states, countries to establish such a group.

The Mission of the Charlotte Catholic Women’s Group is to foster in women a greater desire to know, love and serve Jesus …. For more information on Charlotte Catholic Women’s Group, please Google: Charlotte Catholic Women’s Group or go to charlottecatholicwomensgroup.org

Dear Sisters In Christ,

My husband regularly remarks, “you must be tired,” and because of my medical history my doctors inquire if I am tired all of the time, and when I look in the mirror I can hear my mother’s voice  “Victoria, you look so tired”  (bless her heart…..).  The truth is I have been tired since my second child was born, but there is not a woman I know who by the end of the day is not exhausted, or for that matter many who feel even in their exhaustion that when they lay their head down they prayed or worked enough that day. But there is a distinction that can be made between “tiredness” and “weariness.” When one’s body and mind are tired it is the natural consequence of work (physical, physiological, intellectual, spiritual, etc.) and any properly ordered good work is an act of love.  This is a good thing. Weariness, however, is a privation of a spiritual energy and one that can and often does have physical manifestations.  Weariness, therefore, is something to which we must never consent.

The members of the Charlotte Catholic Women’s Group  are not all young, old, wives, widows or mothers, but we all share the same primary and principle vocation, that of “Christian woman,” adopted daughters of God, who are called to express Christ in our own lives.  This is work that will fatigue us, but regardless, we must not weary. There is divine energy that is transmitted through our willed contact with Christ and it is by this divine energy that weariness is held at bay and our holiness grows. As Fr. Edward Leen describes in his book,  The True Vine and Its Branches, Christ is not only for us a model but a force for our sanctification so that we may reach the ideal of perfection; perfect like the heavenly Father is perfect. (Mt 5:48)  In fact, becoming perfect, or divinized, demands a divine energy flowing from Christ to us.  Fr. Leen tells us that this divine energy is in a mysterious manner latent in the mysteries of the Savior’s life on earth.  These mysteries are quasi-sacramental in their character, each a manifestation of the divine plus something more, because “for those, who by faith, lay hold of Christ in a willingness to be united with Him in act, the mystery possesses a divinizing power.” This is why we contemplate the mysteries of Christ’s life; for today too, in as real a way as when He walked the earth, when contact with Christ is made in “Faith and Love”, effects of sanctification flow out upon our souls.1

The CCWG exists to bring to women concrete opportunities to make contact with Christ in “Faith and Love” and also to provide through our Reflections, retreats, classes and book clubs insights to ponder and contemplate.   The opportunities abound. In February alone we will meet to hear a morning Reflection talk on forgiveness by Fr. Voitus, an evening Reflection with talks on God’s Will for us by Fr. Larry Richards and Dr. Guerendi, a Year of Faith Class entitled Faith and Suffering by Mary McDeavitt (in English and Spanish), and both a morning and evening discussion of our current book club selection, Motherless, by Brian Gail with Marla Walsh.   Moreover, our annual Lenten Retreat has been scheduled for Saturday, February 23rd.  Fr. Matthew Kauth will lead the retreat and we will focus on the Last Four Things: death, judgment, heaven, and hell. Details for all of these events can be found within this newsletter and on our website.

As Catholic Christians this Year of Faith, and as instruments of the New Evangelization, let us not weary in our work but rather take example from the woman in the Gospel suffering from hemorrhage (can’t you imagine how tired she must have been, not to mention anemic).  (Mk 5:24-34, also Mt 9:20-22 and Lk 8:43-48)  Fr. Leen points out that this incident shows how a “slight contact inspired by a firm faith in the divine healing power of Jesus was sufficient to release the divine energy.” He comments:“She said to herself: ‘If I shall touch only His garment I shall be healed.’ She did it without attracting attention, taking advantage of the movement of the crowds that surrounded the Master.  The result responded to her expectations.  Amongst all the number that pressed to the side of Jesus, He singles out ‘one as having touched him.’ And at that touch, as Jesus Himself said, virtue went out from Him.  The Son of man is ever at the service of His brethren for their good. The transformation of their souls is His chief concern, though He is not indifferent to their bodily welfare.  It is certain then, that if a soul lays hold of Him in faith and trusts to receive an inflow of divine life through that contact its expectation will be fulfilled.”2  Jesus Christ is always willing to allow the divinity in Him to energize our souls if not our bodies too.

Join us this winter when together we take advantage of the movement of the crowds that surround the Master, and like the woman with hemorrhage, without attracting attention, receive from our time together and contact with Christ an inflow of divine life, grace and energy.  And as for being tired, well retirement I suppose, is what heaven is for (by God’s grace).

1 Leen, The True Vine and Its Branches, New York: P.J. Kennedy & Sons, 1938.

2 Ibid.

Printed with permission


Catholic OB-GYN opened ‘pro-life’ practice

In 13 History on 2012/05/18 at 11:09 AM

WINSTON-SALEM — Obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. Lewis Lipscomb has felt called to make some substantial changes in how he practices medicine since his conversion to Catholicism in 2004.

Armed with his newfound faith, Lipscomb sought to practice medicine according to the Church’s comprehensive understanding of human sexuality, including “Humanae Vitae,” Pope Paul VI’s encyclical affirming the Church’s teaching on marital love, contraception and sterilization.

Following medical training from the Pope Paul VI Institute in Omaha, Neb., Lipscomb stopped prescribing artificial birth control last year, and now he’s taking it a step further this month by starting his own “pro-life” practice in Winston-Salem, specializing in Natural Family Planning for his patients.

“Since I converted to Catholicism in 2004, I have struggled with the Church’s teaching on contraception and sterilization,” Lipscomb said. “‘Safe sex’ in our culture is defined as ‘contracepted’ and ‘covered up.’ As an obstetrician-gynecologist, I was called on every day to provide effective means for women to avoid pregnancy.

“Over the past several years, I began to seek out the truth about human sexuality, and found that our own Catholic Church was really the only entity willing to articulate these truths.”

His new practice, Triad Obstetrics & Gynecology, is a Novant Medical Group practice with a staff of four – and one of the only pro-life OB-GYN practices in North Carolina.

His patients appreciate his Catholic approach to women’s health.

“To practice NFP is to follow God’s loving design for marriage and to live in communion with the doctrine laid out by our Holy Mother Church,” said Leslie Smith. “Having practiced NFP for over 10 years, I feel so blessed now to have an OB-GYN who understands charting. There is no longer a ‘language barrier.’ I look forward to walking into Dr. Lipscomb’s new practice and not encountering advertisements for contraceptives, morning-after pills and sterilizations.”

Katie Knickrehm, another of Lipscomb’s patients, shared her excitement about the new practice:

“The Triad is extremely fortunate to have a pro-life OB-GYN practice that supports Natural Family Planning. Catholics practicing their faith now have somewhere to turn in their own backyard. Personally, NFP has strengthened my own faith and marriage. It is such a blessing that Dr. Lipscomb has made himself available to the pro-life community.”

Lipscomb admits this is a big step and a leap of faith for him and his family, but he is confident about his new practice.

“My objective now is to offer a non-contraceptive approach to women’s health. The tendency of most OB-GYNs is to use contraceptives to treat just about any problem that women suffer. Unfortunately, this approach only masks the symptoms of underlying disease. Women deserve better.

“Using the skills that I learned at the Pope Paul VI Institute, I will, as an NFP Medical Consultant, offer true diagnosis of underlying organic and hormonal abnormalities, and treatments that work cooperatively with a woman’s physiology to truly treat her disease, rather than mask the symptoms,” he added.

Father Lucas Rossi, parochial vicar at St. Leo Church in Winston-Salem, is proud of Lipscomb’s stance.

“Dr. Lipscomb is truly committed to helping women…to giving them the care that so many physicians do not provide – care that reverences a woman’s fertility instead of treating it as disease,” Father Rossi said. “He is an inspiration to all Catholic men, especially to us priests, who have given our lives to serve the Church. I am so thankful that there is a physician who can provide women with sound medical care while at the same time offering them other fertility options that are not sinful or contraceptive in nature. I pray many more physicians and nurses, Catholic and non-Catholic, will be inspired by Dr. Lipscomb’s witness. He is going to need help, since countless women are looking for a physician who is grounded in the Gospel of Life.”

Triad Obstetrics & Gynecology is located at 1900 Hawthorne Road, Suite 614, in Winston-Salem. For details, call 336-277-0340.

— SueAnn Howell, staff writer

Published with permission from the Catholic News Herald

Pope John Paul II: Staunch defender of the dignity of women By Colleen Carroll Campbell

In 10 Colleen Carroll Campbell on 2012/01/07 at 12:00 AM

How do you summarize the legacy of a towering figure like Pope John Paul II, a man whose charismatic leadership precipitated the collapse of communism, thawed centuries of hostility between the Catholic Church and other religions and led him to log enough miles during his 26-year pontificate to circumnavigate the globe 30 times? Summarizing the late pope’s influence on my own life is only slightly less daunting, given that when he died in 2005, John Paul was the only pope I had ever known.

Like most Catholics of my generation, I grew up seeing John Paul as a sort of permanent fixture on the world stage. He seemed to be everywhere: boldly defending religious freedom in the heart of communist Poland, generously forgiving his would-be assassin in that bleak Roman prison cell, jovially greeting the pulsing throngs of teens and young adults who cheered him at World Youth Day gatherings from Denver to Manila. His dramatic witness to the Gospel impressed me from afar, but it was only after I saw that witness in person that I began to take a closer look at the man and his message.

Read more:http://www.colleen-campbell.com/Misc_Columns/110430OnFaithJohnPaul.htm

Colleen Carroll Campbell is a St. Louis-based author, former presidential speechwriter and television and radio host of “Faith & Culture” on EWTN. Her website is www.colleen-campbell.com.

Address of Pope Benedict International Convention on Woman and Man

In 07 Observations on 2011/07/14 at 10:47 PM

“The theme upon which you have been reflecting is highly topical: from the second half of the 20th century up to today the movement for the improvement of women in the various aspects of social life has given rise to countless reflections and debates, and has seen many initiatives multiply which the Catholic Church has often watched with close attention.  The man-woman relationship in its respective specificity, reciprocity and complementarity certainly constitutes a central point of the ‘anthropological question’, so decisive in contemporary culture and ultimately for every culture. Numerous events and Pontifical Documents have touched upon the emerging reality of the feminine question. I limit myself to recalling those of my beloved Predecessor John Paul II, who, in June of 1995, wished to write a Letter to Women, while on 15 August 1988, 20 years ago this year, published the Apostolic Letter Mulieris dignitatem. . . .

In Mulieris Dignitatem, John Paul II wished to deepen the fundamental anthropological truths of man and woman, the equality of their dignity and the unity of both, the well-rooted and profound diversity between the masculine and the feminine and their vocation to reciprocity and complementarity, to collaboration and to communion.

This ‘uni-duality’ of man and woman is based on the foundation of the dignity of every person created in the image and likeness of God, who ‘male and female he created them’ (Gn 1: 27), avoiding an indistinct uniformity and a dull and impoverishing equality as much as an irreconcilable and conflictual difference.  This dual unity brings with it, inscribed in body and soul, the relationship with the other, love for the other, interpersonal communion that implies ‘that the creation of man is also marked by a certain likeness to the divine communion’ (Mulieris dignitatem).  Therefore, when men and women demand to be autonomous and totally self-sufficient, they run the risk of being closed in a self-reliance that considers ignoring every natural, social or religious bond as an expression of freedom, but which, in fact, reduces them to an oppressive solitude.  To promote and sustain the real advancement of women and men one cannot fail to take this reality into account.

A renewed anthropological study is certainly necessary based on the great Christian tradition, which incorporates new scientific advances and, given today’s cultural sensitivity, in this way contributes to deepening not only the feminine identity but also the masculine, which is often the object of partial and ideological reflections.  Faced with cultural and political trends that seek to eliminate, or at least cloud and confuse, the sexual differences inscribed in human nature, considering them a cultural construct, it is necessary to recall God’s design that created the human being masculine and feminine, with a unity and at the same time an original difference and complimentary.  Human nature and the cultural dimension are integrated in an ample and complex process that constitutes the formation on one’s own identity, where both dimensions, that of the feminine and that of the masculine, correspond to and complete each other.

. . . A masculine mentality still persists that ignores the novelty of Christianity, which recognizes and proclaims that men and women share equal dignity and responsibility.  There are places and cultures where women are discriminated against or undervalued for the sole fact of being women, where recourse is made even to religious arguments and family, social and cultural pressure in order to maintain the inequality of the sexes, where acts of violence are consummated in regard to women, making them the object of mistreatment and of exploitation in advertising and in the consumer and entertainment industry.  Faced with such grave and persistent phenomena the Christian commitment appears all the more urgent so that everywhere it may promote a culture that recognizes the dignity that belongs to women, in law and in concrete reality.

God entrusts to women and men, according to their respective capacities, a specific vocation and mission in the Church and in the world.  Here I am thinking of the family, a community of love open to life, the fundamental cell of society.  In it the woman and the man, thanks to the gift of maternity and paternity, together carry out an irreplaceable role in regard to life.  Children from their conception have the right to be able to count on their father and mother to take care of them and to accompany their growth.  The State, for its part, must uphold with appropriate social policies everything that promotes the stability and unity of matrimony, the dignity and responsibility of couples, their rights and irreplaceable duty as educators of their children.  Besides, it is necessary to enable the woman to collaborate in the building of society, appreciating her typical ‘feminine genius’.”


Christian Women

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2011/04/09 at 8:05 PM

Christ came to do the will of His Father.  He did. Mary wanted to do the will of God.  She did.

Saints throughout the ages have wanted to do the will of God and have done it with the grace of God.   So can you.

Women today need positive models.  They are bombarded with false models by the media; models who do not exemplify Christian virtues.   Or as Psalm 12 says: “…idolizing those who are not worth it.

To paraphrase  Thackeray and  Shakespeare, combining them: While the world madly pursues what is not worth having ($, pleasure, power, status) which signify nothing.  You can be like those women who strove for Him who is worth everything and who died that we might live eternally.

Women of faith are characterized by faith, courage, and commitment but mainly by an indestructible love of God.  If we are aware of Christ’s presence, we obey Him and entrust our soul to Him.

Faith must be translated into action.  Faith that never goes beyond the mind is almost useless. (Remember Satan believes in God,but doesn’t  put it into action.)  FAITH translated into action means that one has such a love of God that one is committed to God above all else.  Love of God is commitment to Him and His will in every single aspect of life.

It is a fact that the US & Canada are the only places that have not been subjected to an official persecution.  However, notice what has and is  happening now here: the attacks on moral principles & human rights by the courts and other government agencies.

How are you dealing with this?

In his short but powerful and very readable encyclical: SAVED IN HOPE (SPES SALVI), Pope Benedict states: “God is the foundation of hope, not any god, but the God who has a human face, and who has love us to the end; each one of us and humanity in its entirety.  His Kingdom is not an imaginary hereafter, situated in a future that will never arrive; His Kingdom is present wherever he is loved and where His love reaches us. His love alone gives us the possibility of soberly persevering day by day…in a world which is by its very nature imperfect…”