Voices of Faith – “a more incisive feminine presence” – Pope Francis

“I choose to call it a story of hope, a story of God…from ashes to beauty, (like) a beautiful stained glass window.”

In 2014 the Voices of Faith Conference was established in response to Pope Francis’ call to “broaden the space within the Church for a more incisive feminine presence.” The Church has still a long way to travel before there is parity of esteem. Before the intelligence and wisdom of the feminine has integral access, not to power (for the Christianity inspired by Jesus of Nazareth was never about temporal power) but to guidance and leadership.

You may access the Voices of Faith website here:

The Catholic News Agency has reported on this year’s Voices of Faith gathering of women from around the world at the Vatican’s Casina Pio IV, headquarters of the Pontifical Academy for Sciences. It was held to mark International Women’s Day. The gathering featured testimonies of women from around the world, many from conflict regions including Syria and Burundi. It was an opportunity to share stories, to encourage perseverance and to continue the process of nudging the Vatican in the direction of “a more incisive feminine presence.”

Dr. Mirreille Twayigira

One of keynote speakers at this years Voices of Faith gathering was Dr Mirreille Twayigira, which the SMA website featured under our ‘Heroes of Humanity’ series last December for Human Rights Day. Dr Twayigira was a child witness to the Rwandan genocide in which many of her family were murdered. Her story of courage in the face of death, and her journey to freedom and recovery, is truly inspirational and hope-filled.

Dr Twayigira made it clear at the Voices of Faith conference that in telling her story she was not looking for sympathy. “I choose to call it a story of hope, a story of God…from ashes to beauty, (like) a beautiful stained glass window.”

In an interview with the Catholic News Agency Twayigira emphasised the importance of education for girls, saying it’s “really the key to everything, because if not educated, many girls don’t even know their value.”

With education, she said, women learn that they are not worthless and not to be stepped upon. They learn, “I am somebody,” Dr Twayigira said, adding that a proper education helps women to step into decision making positions where they can change things.

The full Catholic News Agency article may be read by clicking here:

 

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