Discovering Women of Vision in BrisbaneMay 24, 2018
An event reflection from Ann Aboud.
On Sunday 6 May, the Brisbane Grail group hosted the first of three meetings featuring pioneering women of faith from the book Women of Vision. This has been described as “a book that expands significantly public knowledge of the contributions of Catholic laywomen to church and society over the past century.” It tells the story of 16 of the founders of the International Grail movement.
During the first session, a group of fourteen women came together to explore the life of Lydwine van Kersbergen - advisor to Dorothy Day, a friend of Catherine de Hueck, and one of the founders of the Grail in both Australia and America.
This meeting began with Ann acknowledging the contribution of the Jagera and Turrbul people for their caring of the land and paid tribute to their leaders, past, present and emerging.
Patricia Gemmell started the discussion with some Grail history, beginning with how Jacques van Ginneken, sj (1877-1945) inspired a group of university students and young women workers to found the Women of Nazareth. Then how, in 1929, the Bishop of Haarlem encouraged these women to take responsibility for recruiting, leading and forming a nation-wide movement of Catholic girls – a Christian response to the development of communist youth and later Nazi youth in Europe. Van Ginneken named this movement The Grail and the earlier title of the core group, Women of Nazareth, gradually ceased to be used. Patricia also explained that The Grail was banned during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands in 1941, however by this time 21,000 girls had already joined the movement.
Lydwine was one of the five Dutch women who came to Australia in 1936, after being invited by Bishop Dwyer of Wagga Wagga. At this time, Maria Malone, an Australian and future Grail leader had already left Australia to find out more about The Grail.
Patricia explained the process of spiritual search and sacred reading and invited everyone to silently read the section on Lydwine in Marian Ronan and Mary O’Brien’s excellent book, Women of Vision. Nineteen copies of the book were available for use and eventual sale. Naome Rusera was given a book to read before her upcoming training in Mozambique.
During the afternoon participants reflected on a variety of questions, including:
- What can Lydwine tell us today?
- What does a woman of faith mean in today’s world?
- Does the past have anything to teach us?
An animated discussion occurred ranging over eco-spirituality, sustainability, what women can do to save the planet; individual spirituality, working in the community, dynamism in parishes and schools, and finding the courage to act. The conversation continued right up until it was time to break for afternoon tea!
The next two Women of Vision afternoons will be devoted to Maria de Lourdes Pintasilgo and Imelda Gaurwa on 3 June and 1 July respectively at Justice Place (6 Abingdon Place, Woolloongabba). All are welcome! For more information or to register your interest, please contact Ann Aboud at email@example.com or SMS via 0400 344 921.
Click here for information on the Sydney-based Women of Vision series.
Deep Sea Mining in the PacificMarch 23, 2023
In mid-January 2023 the French Parliament voted to ban deep-sea mining in its waters, in a move against the controversial practice. Deep-sea mining uses heavy...
Tricia Gemmell’s Speech for the Avila book launch of ‘In Her Voice’March 16, 2023
I want to thank you all for coming here tonight to celebrate with us, not just the publication of In Her Voice, but the whole journey that Australian Women Preach...
A RETURN TO TRADITIONAL FOOD?September 19, 2022
The dangers of too much dependence on imported food are currently being felt through consequences of the Ukraine war. Many countries imported wheat from Ukraine....
Pacific Island Countries Combating Plastic PollutionJuly 19, 2022
Pacific Islanders depend on the ocean for their food and livelihood. These small island countries are surrounded by oceans. The Pacific Island countries are...
CONTROL THE VAMPIRE COMPANIES!July 7, 2022
Oxfam’s Annual Report 2022, World Inequality, warns that 240 million more people are likely to fall into extreme poverty and face dire hunger because of the...
“one small step for women… one giant leap for herstory…”June 20, 2022
There is a little known story in the book of Numbers, chapter 27. The five daughters of Zelophehad dared to ask for an inheritance they felt was rightly theirs....
HIGH LEVEL REGIONAL POLITICAL GROUP ON DEEP SEA MINING LAUNCHEDJune 16, 2022
“As Pacific Leaders and custodians of this vast ocean, we are obliged to preserve the ocean for the sake of future generations and for all living and non-living...
BUILDING WOMEN’S CAPACITY FOR A MORE SUSTAINABLE FOOD SYSTEMMay 12, 2022
Agribusiness companies try to convince farmers to use chemical pesticides, claiming it makes the work easier and helps to produce higher yields. What they don’t...
DEBT AND BIODIVERSITYMay 12, 2022
According to the Third World Network, addressing debt is crucial to halting biodiversity loss. Longstanding economic pressures have been, and are, pushing...