By Vero Rausuvanua
A hive of activity in the parish on Saturday(17.11.18) ranging from 1st confession for 1st Holy Communicants inside church, Youth Empowerment program at the Champ gnat Institute, Vatuwaqa failed to deter eighteen(18) women representing communities,St Peter Chanel(4a), St Patrick (4b), St John the Baptist(4c),St Michael(5a), St Columban (5b), St Paul(6), St Jacob(7a) & St Therese of the Child of Jesus(7b) to attend the Women at the Well Awareness workshop, Fr Hurley Hall, 10am - 4.30pm.
Program commenced with the reflection on the story of the woman at the well which teaches us of the harder path Jesus took, to look into her (or his) eyes and see the woman at the well as a human being made in the image of God.
The Women at the Well(WAW), a ministry initiated by His Grace Archbishop Peter Loy is to be visible at all parish’s in response to increasing abuse against women and children to operate under the Commission of Social & Ecological Justice(CSEJ).
The team disclosed statistics and member’s openly shared on personal experiences, that in those moments we’ve tasted deep suffering, we noticed, we were made for more and there’s purpose, since our brokenness has the power, unlike anything else, to bring forth new beauty, strength and inspiration to others.
The conduct of the simple healing ritual concluded the session.
Prior to initiating the final blessing, Fr. McEvoy reminded member’s that forgiveness is not permission to repeat the abuse but an opportunity to let go of the experience, move on with life and not tolerate abuse of any kind again. The Sacrament of Reconciliation offers an important opportunity to address these issues.
Member’s concurred that in order to materialize the phrase “We are the Church” one need’s to be able to respond to these problems, maintain a correct understanding of the church and .
Hence, the need for the following:
a) Follow up session in the parish;
b) Maximize the Small Christian community sessions to familiarize reading and sharing of the bible;
c) Provision of a schedule that provides women an opportunity to converge for an hour or so to listen or share stories on encountered experiences;
c) Continuous refresher session on the Catholic Social teachings to have a better understanding of the catholic social teachings;
d) Proactively identify faith-based and rights-based organizations that have the capacity to provide technical assistance to ministry that are ready to strengthen organizational responses to violence and to incorporate faith and rights based messaging;
Thanks & appreciation to the Parish Priest, Rev Fr. McEvoy, Assistant Parish Priest, Fr. Carlos, Master Dan & team for their usual support, the participants who forfeitured their Saturday activities to attend session, the WAW team for the informative and empowering session, and last but not least to the support team Barbara Edwards, Filomena Baleikanacea, Mere Rausuvanua, ,Asena Vakanawa & Patricia Burese for the setting of the hall, preparation and serving of the sumptuous meals.