Women at the Well Seminar


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 experiencesthat 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.