Celebrating unsung heroes on International Women’s Day

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Catholic Mission is celebrating the work of missionary women at home and abroad, like Sr Alma Cabassi (back right) and Bonnie Deegan (seated), who do wonderful work for the community of Broome, WA.
Catholic Mission is celebrating the work of missionary women at home and abroad, like Sr Alma Cabassi (back right) and Bonnie Deegan (seated), who do wonderful work for the community of Broome, WA.

On International Women’s Day, Catholic Mission is celebrating the missionary women that continue to have a profound impact on the lives of millions, both here in Australia and overseas.

Catholic Mission national director Fr Brian Lucas said women are often the unsung heroes of the Church, though the organisation has highlighted their incredible work in recent campaigns.

“Over the past five years,” he said, “Catholic Mission has shown in many of our campaigns and appeals the dedication of women missionaries all around the world,” he said.

“Even in the most difficult circumstances—from Sr Maureen in Ethiopia and Sr Bridget in the Philippines, to Sr Clara in India and Sr Anne in Jamaica—the courage of these women, and the local women they work with, is unquestionable and their faith unwavering.”

International Women’s Day is celebrated each year on 8 March every year.

This year, Catholic Mission is calling for all supporters to remember the immense contribution women make to the Church and broader life.

“Especially today, on International Women’s Day, we should take a moment to thank the women in our lives, our mums, sisters, wives, daughters, partners and friends,” he said.

“Women form an integral part of the wonderful work of the Church in the world, including Catholic Mission.

“Our organisation was founded by a lay missionary woman, Pauline Jaricot, and we’ve supported inspirational women ever since, from Mother Teresa in Kolkata to, more recently, Sr Alma Cabassi in Broome.”

Catholic Mission’s Church Appeal in 2016 carries on the tradition, with Sr Eulie Desacula from Cambodia the star of the campaign to be launched in May.

She was featured in the agency’s 2013 Children’s Appeal, which profiled her work at the Lindalva Centre in Phnom Penh, caring for vulnerable young children.

Fr Lucas says that in every corner of the world, Catholic missionary women can be found working endlessly to promote faith, justice and the wellbeing of communities and those living within them.

“I invite you to join me also in praying for the missionary sisters and laity around the world, who so selflessly serve their communities despite often very dangerous or uncomfortable conditions.”