By Demetria Banda, ECM
Members of the Catholic Women Organization (CWO) in Malawi are holding their National Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Bembeke Teacher’s Training College from Thursday to Sunday in the Diocese of Dedza.
This year’s CWO theme has challenged women to take Care for Christian Families especially those who are at various risks/threats following the example of Saint Joseph.
The AGM was officially opened with a Holy mass where Right Reverend Adrian Chifukwa of Dedza Diocese presided over as the main celebrant along with His Lordship Montfort Sitima of Mangochi Diocese.
In his homily, Bishop Chifukwa commended CWO Malawi for their Unique Contribution towards the growth of the Church and encouraged them to keep the good work despite meeting different challenges. “Women are the key players of the Church. If we look at their families, the community and the country, women have a big role to play.
The Church is doing very good because of the contribution by CWO, I encourage them to keep up. Women are oppressed in various ways, so this is an opportunity for them to see how they can overcome their inferiority complex and take on a complex that can help them solve the problems,” said Bishop Chifukwa.
Bishop Chifukwa also encouraged women all over the world and care for natural family planning methods, “Children need to be taken care of, don’t give birth to a child if you are not ready to take care of them. It feels sad to see children in the villages who are suffering because of poverty, so we should all bear children who we can afford to raise,” he added.
Bishop Montfort Stima in line with this year’s theme “Caring for Christian Families especially those who are at various risks/threats following the example of Saint Joseph” Challenged Catholic women to be true Catholic faithful by among others honouring the Sacrament of Marriage.
“We should realize that the sacrament of marriage is a gift from God, hence a need to make it exemplarily to others. If you are called to marriage life, make sure your lifestyle should not discourage others from getting married. I know that issues of Male dominance in the families, Domestic violence and sexual abuse are no longer news, hence a need to unite and fight against it,” said Bishop Stima.
National Pastoral Coordinator, Fr Henry Chinkanda encouraged CWO to always do things together and participate in everything they do as Pope Francis instructed.
“Pope Francis is calling on each one of us to live in communion, create space for everyone to participate and being at the service of the mission of the Church,” he said.
Taking her turn, Madam Juliana Lunguzi who at the function was the Guest of Honor said women should be at the forefront in reporting any case of child abuse and gender-based violence.
“Child abuse is one of the dangers we are facing in our families, so women should always voice out whenever they see violence of any form, don’t say because this one is a breadwinner I can’t report her no, speak out because I have noted that may children and women are suffering in silence,” said Lunguzi
The National Chairlady for CWO, Lucy Vokhiwa told the Catholic women to be exemplary in whatever they do by among others make good use of social media.
She also pleaded to all Catholic women to plant trees in their respective Dioceses during this year’s rainy season as God instructed them to take care of the environment.
During their five days meeting which is expected to end on Sunday, delegates will have study sessions and discuss annual reports from Dioceses.