Papal Audience and WUCWO General Assembly in Assisi, May 2023

May 10, 2023 | Latest News

On May 13, WUCWO Day about 1,900 women participated and listened to the Holy Father who affirmed that “the identity of women is in danger” due to cultural policies and ideologies that “ignore the beauty with which they were created” and stressed the need for greater appreciation of their capacity for relationship and giving”. He encouraged us to recover the elements that characterise women and their role in the family and in society: “Where there is no woman, there is loneliness… that breeds sadness and all manner of harm to humanity”.

He also spoke about the urgent need to find peace in the world, a peace that “begins within the heart”. He encouraged us all to live like Mary, generating and protecting life, relating with others with tenderness and compassion, and combining three languages: that of the mind, that of the heart and that of the hands. He invited us to live the fullness of being women, with the awareness of feeling chosen and protagonists in God’s work in union with Jesus; a union that “must manifest in the communion with the Church, with my family or my organisation… We must ‘pray’ deeds and put ‘prayer’ to work”.

To conclude, Pope Francis mentioned “the essence of synodality, and what makes us feel co-responsible for the wellbeing of the Church and to know how to integrate differences and work in ecclesial harmony” and expressed his gratitude for WUCWO’s work, encouraging us to go forward “listening to the cries of our world and being docile to the voice of the Spirit”.

Encouraged by his words, we started the Assembly in Assisi with the participation of 832 women from 67 member organisations of WUCWO from all continents.

During the Assembly we delved into various aspects of women’s participation and journey towards a synodal Church. There were excellent speakers and panels. Furthermore, new resolutions were approved which will guide WUCWO’s work in the next 4 years. The moments of prayer, study and reflection, sharing of experiences, decision making and social gathering, as well as the very special Holy Masses will last in the memory and in the hearts of many of us. The Assembly elected the new WUCWO Board for 2023-2027. It is composed of 11 women from the African region, 5 from Asia-Pacific, 3 from Europe, 5 from Latin America and the Caribbean and 2 from North America. The new Board then elected the new President Generral, Mrs. Mónica Santamarina, from Mexico.

So, after a week together, the Assembly approved the resolutions that will guide us in the next four years, promoting the dignity and participation of women in every corner of the world.

The resolutions adopted are based upon the following principles:

1. WUCWO will consolidate, develop, and expand the World Women’s Observatory.

2. Religious freedom: the basis for the path of fraternity and peace.

3. Global food crisis. Care for our common home. Call for ecological conversion.

4. Renew with greater conviction the joyful path of family love, motherhood and fatherhood.

5. Building the future with migrants and refugees.

6. “Enabling everyone to participate is an essential ecclesial duty!” (Pope Francis): Synodality, Formation and Participation of women.