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Turn to Jesus (Article)

Contemplating God’s Work in the Church through the Masterpiece of Women
Mary Patt Pirie celebrates the 25th anniversary of the publication of Mulieris Dignitatem at symposium in Rome

Mary Patt Pirie
Mary Patt Pirie

The following is a report from Regnum Christi consecrated woman Mary Patt Pirie who attended the International Symposium of the Pontifical Council of the Laity in Rome from October 10-12, 2013.

In response to an invitation for a consecrated woman of Regnum Christi to participate, I confirmed my attendance at an international symposium in Rome to take place during the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the publication of Mulieris Dignitatem, John Paul II´s rather unique and much-studied encyclical on the dignity and vocation of women.

Originally, someone else was supposed to go, so my participation was a bit last-minute. Nevertheless, I saw it as an opportunity to respond to a call God has placed in my heart over the last few months -- to contemplate his larger work within the Church. And I am so glad I did.  Not only was I treated to magnificent talks from impressive speakers, I was moved deep within myself.

After each presentation, there was substantial time for discussion, and I was able to learn the names and nationalities of many of the women present, as well as the variety of services they perform in the name of the Church, for the cause of the true advancement of women. As they spoke -- these Catholic women, of all ages, states of life and professional backgrounds -- what struck me was the beauty of their souls shining through their faces and their words. These were women who have prayerfully pondered the divine plan for the
Listening at the symposium
Maru Cárdenas, lay RC member, and Marta Rodríguez, RC consecrated woman, listening during the symposium.
human race and have understood their role in its redemption.  They broach varied topics from standpoints imbued with scriptural and magisterial depth.  They are passionate about the need and the call to bring other women to understanding.  They are humble, forthright and confident in asking the Church hierarchy to renew and deepen this awareness.

Knowing the battle for the soul of the world is fought primarily in the human heart, I listened to these women speak and it came to me:  the battle for the future of humanity is waged predominately in each woman’s heart.  For, as the theme of this symposium reminded us, “God entrusts the human being to woman” (Mulieris Dignitatem, 30). What does this mean?  Each woman is a masterpiece of God’s creative love. To form a woman’s heart is to collaborate with Him in bringing His masterpiece to completion. 

But as every woman knows, this task is not simple or easy. And most often it takes a woman to form another woman.  In the Church we are not lacking for holy women, but a truly, fully formed feminine spirituality has yet to be adequately developed. We need Christian mothers, spiritual directors, theologians, formators and psychologists to take up this challenge and respond to it.

For further reading on the conference, Mary Patt provides the following links:



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