REPORTS AND EVENTS
MEETING WITH THE WOMEN OF THE MIDDLE EAST AND THE MEDITERRANEAN OCTOBER 2022 Dear friend,
With great joy, after two and a half years of communicating digitally, we can start again with face-to-face reunions: by the grace of God, we are organising the Third Meeting with Women from the Middle East and the Mediterranean, open to all WUCWO women who wish to participate, in Rafina, Athens, Greece, from 7 to 10 October 2022.
The Prefect of the Congregation for Oriental Churches, Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, has encouraged us and gives us his blessing for the realisation of this meeting. The Bishop of the Greek-Byzantine rite of Athens, Mgr Nin, and our organisation, the Association of Greek Catholic Women, are waiting for us in Greece with open arms.
It is a great moment to develop together the theme “Women Builders of Peace in a Church which Goes Forth”. We will also be able to advance in formation for our pastoral action at the local level for the family and the role of women in the Church. We have invited the Under-Secretary of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, Prof. Gabriella Gambino. As we did in Amman, Jordan (2013) and in Bari, Italy (2016), we will have the possibility to listen to and learn from women engaged in their local churches.
It will also be an exceptional moment to show and share what each of our organisations is doing - there will be small tables where we will showcase projects and products, and sell some of them - and talk about collaborative action among member organisations.
All this and much more in a synodal atmosphere, where it will be possible to meet and talk with the future candidates for WUCWO President, who will be elected by the next Board at the Assisi Assembly in 2023.
Although the event will be held in the town of Rafina, Greece, at the Avra Hotel, there will be plenty of opportunities to get to know Athens and some of its wonders.
It is important to register before 6 June 2022 in order to be able to confirm reservations with the hotel. There is a quota of places already reserved which will be allocated as registrations come in. In the event of additional registrations, we will check with the hotel to see if there is availability.
Please find attached a provisional programme and registration form.
For those who wish, an optional sightseeing tour can be arranged. Please find attached the relative information.
After such a long time of not being able to meet face to face, I believe that the Holy Spirit is leading us to a meeting that prepares our General Assembly in Assisi, as if it were a “pre-assembly”, where the women of WUCWO can dream together of a renewed Church and WUCWO, hand in hand with Mary, Queen of Peace.
I look forward to seeing you in Athens 2022 and wish you a Holy Easter.
María Lía Zervino, Servidora
WUCWO - UMOFC
REGISTRATION FORM for the WUCWO CONFERENCE WITH WOMEN FROM THE MIDDLE EAST
7-10 October 2022, Athens, Greece
Please return to the Secretariat by/A retourner avant le/ Para enviar antes del
June 6, 2022
Date of birth:
(Date de naissance/Fecha de nacimiento)
Country of birth:
(Pays de naissance/País de nacimiento)
Date of arrival in Athens:
(Date d’arrivée à Athens/Fecha de llegada a Atenas) Time of arrival in Athens:
(Heure d’arrivée à Athens/Hora de llegada a Atenas)
Date of departure from Athens:
(Date de départ d’Athens/Fecha de salida de Atenas)
Time of departure from Athens:
(Heure de départ d’Athens/Hora de salida de Atenas)
Hotel Avra Rafina
• These prices include from lunch on the 7th to breakfast on the 10th. Please ask for rates for extra meals/nights.
• Ces prix comprennent du déjeuner du jour 7 au petit-déjeuner du jour 10. Veuillez demander les tarifs pour les repas/nuits supplémentaires.
• Estos precios incluyen desde el almuerzo del día 7 hasta el desayuno del día 10. Consultar tarifas para comidas/noches extras.
Single room €800.00*
(Chambre simple/Habitación individual)
Double room €600.00* (per person)
(Chambre double/Habitación doble)
Solidarity fee for Middle East Women €100.00
(Contribution de Solidarité poul les femmes du Moyen Orient/Cuota de Solidaridad para las Mujeres del medio Oriente)
(Besoins particuliers/Requerimientos especiales) Other amount (Autre/Otra) ________
*Payment method by June 6, 2022:
Draft in Euros to/Virements en Euros à/Transferencia en Euros a
BANCO BPM – Roma AG. 4 ITALIA
IBAN: IT54 V 05034 03204 0000 0000 9442
After having completed the payment please send a copy of the bank transfer receipt to the Secretariat./Une fois cela fait, s'il vous plaît envoyer le reçu du virement au Secrétariat./ Una vez realizado el pago, favor de enviar el comprobante de la transferencia al Secretariado.
THIS IS A SUGGESTED PROGRAM THAT YOU ARE FREE TO BOOK WITH THE GREEK TOURISM AGENCY(WUCWO will not be responsible for booking any tour)The offer is based on a 4 days / 3 nights program that will cover sightseeings that are among the most famous of theGreek mainland and a 4 nights extension that will include an island break in the Aegean Sea catching the trueessence of the Greek spirit.Please, for more information and to book the tour, contact Grecia Go (www.greciago.com), the Greek touristagency, by email: Pantelis Karavatas, Managing Director email@example.comSUGGESTED PROGRAM: Magnificent Greek Mainland4 days / 3 nights – Pickup at the Avra Hotel in Rafina on Monday, October 10, at 8.15 amAll prices are intended per person in double roomOption A: Private Bus (minimum 15 people required)Price per person 3* Hotel: 568€Price per person 4* Hotel: 619€Option B: Private Mini-Van (minimum 6 people required)Price per person 3* Hotel: 731€Price per person 4* Hotel: 783€Option C: Private Car (capacity 2 people)Price per person 3* Hotel: 731€Price per person 4* Hotel: 783€Option D:One night stay in Athens on Monday and tour next day on TuesdayPrice per person 3* Hotel: 524€Price per person 4* Hotel: 579€Single Room Supplement for above options3* hotel is 35.00€ / night4* hotel is 44.00€ / night** It is essential to know 20 days in advance the names of the participants and payment should be cleared 15 daysbefore the tour commences.Program itinerary1st Day: Leave by the coastal road, passing the Corinth Canal, where we will make a shortstop, and drive on theTheatre of Epidavros, famous for its remarkable acoustics. We proceed to the town of Nafplio (short photo stop) anddrive on to Mycenae. We will visit the Archaeological Site and the Tomb of Agamemnon. Then depart for Olympiathrough Central Peloponnese and the towns of Tripolis and Megalopolis. Overnight in Olympia (Dinner).2nd Day: In the morning we will visit The Sanctuary of Olympian Zeus, The Ancient Stadium, and the ArchaeologicalMuseum. Then drive on through the plains of Achaia until the magnificent bridge which is crossing the CorinthianBay. We pass by the picturesque towns of Nafpaktos and Itea and end up in Delphi. Overnight in Delphi (Dinner)3rd Day: In the morning we visit the local Archaeological Site and the Museum. Depart for famous Kalambaka andthe astonishing complex of Meteora featuring gigantic rock formations and astonishing Monasteries. Overnight inKalambaka (Dinner)4th Day: Visit Meteora, among striking scenery, perched on top of huge rocks that feel like standing in mid-air, standageless Monasteries where you can witness exquisite specimens of Byzantine art. We return to Athens via Trikala,Lamia, and Thermopylae (we make a short stop to see Leonida's Monument - Battle of 300). We arrive in Athensearly in the evening.Note: In order for women to be able to visit the Monastery they need to wear a skirt and gentlemen long trousers.Program Extension1 Night in Athens3 Nights Aegean Cruise (Mykonos Island, Kusadasi (Turkey), Patmos Island, Crete Island (Heraklion), Santorini Island)Price per person in Double Room/Cabin: 539.00€(Price calculated in 3* Hotel in Athens and Internal Cabin)Price per person in Double Room/Cabin: 689.00€(Price calculated in 4* Hotel in Athens and External Cabin)
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY CELEBRATION 4 MARCH 2022
Vatican, 12 July 2021
Cardinal Pietro Parolin Secretary of State REPORT FROM THE WUCWO REPRESENTATIVE TO THE 2021 NCCW CONVENTIONIn the two years since we last met, WUCWO has been busy, even after COVID-19 called a halt to in-person meetings and events. WUCWO pivoted swiftly to Zoom meetings available with translation and continued with our work. The following is a very brief summary of what WUCWO and I, as your representative to the WUCWO Board, have been up to!MEETINGS:In January 2019, a private meeting was held with WUCWO’s principals and His Holiness, Pope Francis, in his private library. Of course, this was an extraordinary experience that will be treasured. He recognized that WUCWO represents the Catholic women of the world and from that meeting, WUCWO has been consulted and present for many of the movements and events sponsored by the different Dicasteries and Pontifical Councils at the Vatican. From that meeting, WUCWO also received and accepted an offer of renting spacious accommodation for our Secretariat in a Vatican-owned complex that is at less rent than we were paying previously and is secure by contract for 12 years.Attended Zoom meetings with the Undersecretary for the Dicastery of Laity, Life and Family; the Dicastery for Promoting Human Integral Development; the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue; and the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization. Helped plan and attended the WUCWO EC meetings and the WUCWO Board and Formation in-person and later Zoom meetings. It was determined that the WUCWO Board will continue to meet once a year in person but have more frequent Zoom meetings in between. Attended the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women meetings virtually; presented at two sessions and submitted a complete report to the WUCWO Secretariat. Continued to attend (virtually after COVID-19) other pertinent sessions at the UN in New York and continued to coordinate the International Working Group for WUCWO.Participated in WUCWO’s collaboration in the launch of the 7-year plan wanted by Pope Francis to achieve the 7 Sustainable Goals of Laudato Si'. Consequently, I accepted an invitation from the Dicastery for Promotion of Integral Human Development to co-chair of the Organization and Groups section based at the Vatican for Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ Action Platform. This will be a 7-year project and our section is proceeding well with Zoom sessions, meeting our deadline goals for actions and documents.I accepted a request from the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue to be a panelist for a presentation viewed by over 1400 at the initial broadcast on Justice and Issues of Small Island Developing States and Territories.I received and accepted an invitation from Cardinal Tagle to a meeting of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples that will be in 2022.Attended the worldwide Zoom meeting to celebrate WUCWO’s 110th Anniversary and Mass. The event also celebrated the contributions of Father Whelan, WUCWO Ecclesiastical Assistant for the past 9 years, who is leaving as a new position he has been given at the Gregorian will preclude his ability to continue as WUCWO’s EA. I wrote the farewell from the WUCWO NA Region and incorporated Irish Gaelic into the talk as he is from Ireland. He responded in Irish. A beautiful and emotional celebration. Represented WUCWO at the National Prayer Vigil for Life in DC.Participated in the International Day of Prayer and the Awareness of Human Trafficking events as WUCWO was asked to co-chair both events with the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.Attended the WUCWO webinar, Women in the Church: The Challenge of Synodality that introduced the first woman Undersecretary of the Synod of Bishops and the first woman with a vote at that Synod.We are working on the WUCWO meeting with the Catholic women of the Middle East that will be held in Athens, Greece and our General Assembly that will be held in Assisi, Italy.Of course, much time was spent on preparing our WUCWO North America Region Conference that was held on Tuesday, the day prior to the start of this Convention. I enjoyed the prep and the event and hope that those present had a grand day.WRITING:Wrote the prayer for this year’s focus for WUCWO which is on Resolution #3: Elimination of discrimination and Violence against women. Wrote the WUCWO Prayer Service for 2021 that all member organizations were asked to use for their celebration of WUCWO Day 2021. Both of these are found on the WUCWO website (www.wucwo.org).Provided information for a training program for new WUCWO Board membersWrote the minutes for all WUCWO Board meetings and provided proofreading for the English version of the WUCWO magazine, Women’s Voice.Wrote the Quadrennial Report for the UN from WUCWO and the WUCWO report for the UN Department of Global Communications.Sent updates to WUCWO member organizations in North America and relayed requests from WUCWO for information to those organizations.FINANCIAL:Continue to take care of banking for WUCWO in the US; completed the forms required for charitable status with the bank used in the US; and made transfers from the US to WUCWO’s banks in Paris and Rome.Continue to serve on the WUCWO Endowment Fund Board. This Endowment Fund was started by Canada, abides strictly by Canadian law, and holds contributions from other countries as well.Obtained incorporation and 501(c)(3) status in the US for WUCWOMISCELLANEOUS:WUCWO 110th ANNIVERSARY CONTINUESDue to the fact that COVID-19 curtailed or ended celebrations of WUCWO’s 110th Anniversary around the world in 2020, the WUCWO Board voted to continue the celebration through 2021. A special Anniversary Committee has been formed.New Publication From WUCWO:With the support of Prof. Linda Ghisoni, Undersecretary of the Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life, WUCWO published a booklet on the prevention of abuse in families and schools. The booklet is Women as Agents to Safeguard and Prevent Child Abuse in Families and Schools. To date, it has been translated from English into French, Spanish, Italian, Korean, and Urdu.WUCWO is supporting beatification effort for a Former WUCWO President General:Pilar Bellosillo was a woman unconditionally devoted to the service of God in the Church. She worked actively for ecumenism and all that amounted to progress in dialogue and reconciliation. She was instrumental in writing several sections of Gaudium et Spes, and served as one of the few women with voice at Vatican II. She was WUCWO President General from 1961 to 1974 and WUCWO has now joined other organizations and dioceses in promoting her cause for beatification.
At the WUCWO June 2021 Board meeting, we approved the creation of the Worldwide Observatory for Women (or WOW) that will address women’s issues from a Catholic viewpoint using social anthropological methods and that will produce reports translated into several languages that will be disseminated widely.
Increased use of Social Media platforms such as Facebook has promoted and made known WUCWO efforts. A new communication group for WUCWO has been formed using WhatsApp and is very active indeed.
Two training seminars were held focused on the Elimination of Violence Against Women: One in Africa and the other in Latin America.
There has been more, of course, but these highlights should serve to inform you of the excellent ever-growing and far-reaching work that has been accomplished by WUCWO.
As always, if you have any ideas, comments, or questions regarding WUCWO and our work, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Serving as our WUCWO Rep from the US and as the Vice President General of WUCWO, Vice President for North America, and International Rep to the UN for WUCWO in NY continues to be an extraordinary experience for which I am ever grateful. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity and I hope you find that my service in this position meets your expectations.
May Mary Queen of Peace, Patroness of WUCWO, ask her Divine Son to bless you, your families, and organizations with wisdom, joy, and peace.
Madame President, this concludes my report.
Maribeth Stewart Blogoslawski
REPORT FROM THE VICE PRESIDENT GENERAL AND THE VICE PRESIDENT NORTH AMERICA FOR THE WUCWO BOARD MEETING SEPTEMBER 2021Planned and held the WUCWO North America Region Conference that went very well though no one from Canada and Maria Lia could not attend due to pandemic travel restrictions. Video messages from Maria Lia, CWL Canada, and the Canadian Board member, Marusia, were well received. The President of the NCCW USA, Jean Kelly, and the Supreme Lady of the Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary, Micaela Leblanc, delivered in-person messages. All four of the WUCWO Resolutions were discussed and the 110th birthday of WUCWO was celebrated.The Friends of NCCW for WUCWO voted to combine their WUCWO Endowment Fund with the WUCWO Endowment Fund held in Canada. Awaiting instructions from Canada on the best way to do this.Attended the Convention of the National Council of Catholic Women USA as their Immediate Past President and the USA WUCWO representative. Reported to NCCW and to the Friends of NCCW for WUCWO about the activities of WUCWO. The NCCW installed their new President, Patricia Voorhes.The CWL Canada held their national convention virtually and installed their new president, Fran Lucas.
WUCWO BOARD MEETING OF SEPTEMBER 2021A two-day Board meeting was held via Zoom to learn updates from the Standing Committees (Finance, International, Statutes, and Communications) and Working Groups (Four Groups each addressing one of the WUCWO Resolutions). In addition, the Board voted to postpone the Meeting with the Women of the Middle East to 2022 (from November 2021) and the next General Assembly to be held in Assisi, Italy to 2023 due to COVID travel restrictions. Another notable item discussed was a new Decree from the Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life which is the Dicastery (Vatican office) that oversees WUCWO. The Decree states that: 1) All major decisions made by an association that falls under the Dicastery’s oversight must be made by the members of the association. This does not change anything for WUCWO since the Board is the governing body and all changes to the WUCWO Statutes are adopted at General Assemblies following voting by member organizations’ delegates. 2) The term of office for a Moderator (which for WUCWO is the President General) cannot exceed ten years and there is no possibility of holding this office again. The WUCWO Statutes will need to be modified to accommodate this change. 3) The term of a member of the governing body (which for WUCWO is the Board) shall be 5 years with the possibility of renewing once for a maximum continuous time on the Board being 10 years. It will be possible for a Board member to serve again after a one term break in service. The WUCWO Statutes will need to be amended for this as currently, a Board member serves a 4-year term with the possibility of renewing twice for a maximum of 12 years. The Decree went into effect on 11 September 2021 and associations have 24 months from then to implement any necessary changes. These changes will not be drastic for WUCWO but were put into place because some other associations just don’t have any provision or inclination to change their president or governing bodies. The 24-month implementation period will allow for changes to be made to the Statutes at the next General Assembly slated for 2023 so there will not be any issues for WUCWO regarding this new Decree.
WUCWO/ HOLY SEE MEETINGS SEPTEMBER 2021The Embassy of France to the Holy See and the World Union of Catholic Women's Organisations (WUCWO) held, in line with the Amoris Laetitia Family Year, an international conference by Zoom: The new pastoral style of Amoris Laetitia: welcoming, accompanying, discerning and integrating on 15 September 2021. The conference featured Oranne de Mautort, theologian and co-author of the book Familles, belles et fragiles! and Dr Gabriella Gambino, Undersecretary of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life.
A by-invitation only Zoom meeting was held on 16 September with the Dicastery of Laity, Family, and Life to discuss the philosophy behind the new Decree described above. I attended (though it began at 3am my time!) and enjoyed the discussions that were led off by His Holiness, Pope Francis, and that featured talks from theologians and from Dr. Linda Ghisoni, Undersecretary for Laity from the Dicastery. Linda had provided a lovely letter of greetings for our WUCWO NA Region Conference.
A meeting of the Vatican’s Working Group for Organizations for Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ Action Platform was held via Zoom on 14 September to discuss upcoming assignments and work to be done. As a co-chair of this Group, I was happy to attend.
Wishing all who read this the blessings of joy and peace though the intercession of Mary, Queen of Peace,
Maribeth Stewart Blogoslawski UNITED NATIONS -SEPTEMBER 2021:In- person attendance at the UN in NY is still prohibited due to COVID restrictions at least through the end of October 2021. Accordingly, I have attended one session since our NCCW Convention on 7 September via Zoom at the invitation of the Office of the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN. It was the High-Level Forum on the Culture of Peace on the theme “Transformative Role of The Culture of Peace: Promoting Resilience and Inclusion in Post-Covid Recovery." The statement made by H. E. Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations was quite comprehensive and powerful. In essence, he stated:COVID-19 has deeply impacted humanity on an individual and societal level. Families have lost loved ones, lock-downs have impoverished human relationships and interactions, disrupted economies, and inequalities have been further exposed and exacerbated. Now is the time to rebuild with an approach steered by peace and fraternity and with more resilience and inclusion than before. He went on to discuss this in terms of three areas: Resilience and inclusion in human relationships: While we recover economically from COVID-19, we must also recover socially by rekindling and mending human relationships. As Pope Francis underlined, in his Encyclical Letter Fratelli Tutti, we need a recovery of kindness in everyday life.Resilience and inclusion of the poor and vulnerable: The COVID-19 pandemic blatantly exposed the plight of the poor and those on the margins of our society; true recovery requires putting them first. Our inclusivity and, to a certain extent, our resilience can be measured by how our societies treat the poorest and those in vulnerable situations, especially in times of crisis. Only in respecting their dignity and valuing their contribution can they be truly integrated into society.Resilience and inclusion of the environment: Finally, we must also reconsider our culture of consumerism and its impact on our common home. Our economic systems, production patterns, energy use, and how we live our daily lives can only be resilient if they are sustainable. The negative impacts of excessive consumption and most notably climate change, disproportionately affect the poor and those in vulnerable situations. -Maribeth