Giving thanks for women of the diocese on International Women’s Day

Tuesday 8th March 2022

Today is International Women’s Day and we’re saying thank you to all the remarkable religious sisters and lay women who work so hard to build the Kingdom of God in our diocese.

It is easy to think of the Catholic Church as a male dominated organisation. It can certainly feel like that when it is male faces that we often encounter, the priest in our local parishes, the Pope on the TV. But this can be a misleading impression and one that doesn’t tell the full story of the Church.  In many cases it is the women of the Church who are stepping up to lead some of the most essential work.

Devoting their time to some of the most vulnerable in our communities are the Religious Sisters who are putting their faith into action. Modest women who will happily talk about their organisations and the others around them but very little about the amazing work they undertake themselves.

One such woman is Sister Maria McCready – a registered BSL interpreter and social worker who has dedicated 40 years of service to the deaf community.

Sr Maria McCready began to learn sign language in the late 70s and early 80s after becoming a qualified social worker working with deaf communities and went on to become one of the founding members of CACDP’s (The Council for the Advancement of Communication with Deaf People – now called Signature) first register.

During this time and in the decades since, Sr Maria’s work has been invaluable to people in and around Manchester, helping people with hearing difficulties enjoy more autonomy, privacy, and agency, including through her work with Caritas Diocese of Salford’s St Joseph’s Mission to Deaf People.

Our diocese is blessed by so many religious orders carrying out incredible work in the name of justice and peace right around the world.

At the heart of their mission is the care for our brothers and sisters around the world – people whose lives are adversely affected by poverty, war, displacement, natural disasters, and climate change.

Orders across our diocese and the world are working hard to live out Pope Francis’ call in his encyclical Laudato Si’, working with communities to educate and implement new ways to care for our common home and help people adapt to a changing climate.

Reminding us of Pope Francis’ words: “The mindset which leaves no room for sincere concern for the environment is the same mindset which lacks concern for the inclusion of the most vulnerable members of society”, the Marist Sisters challenge us to a change of mindset and “heartset” to take action to help our common home for the good of both planet and people.

Click here for the Marist Sisters Lenten Carbon Fast

Meanwhile, the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary also have care for creation and global justice and the heart of their mission, always seeking to be “responsive to the anguish of peoples and planet and seeking a deeper appreciation of our interconnectedness.”

By inspiring and educating others, the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary commit themselves to working for the wellbeing of the planet and its people through a range of initiatives, by collaborating with other key organisations, living sustainably and thanking God for his beautiful creation.

In addition, the International Union of Superiors General are playing a pivotal role in creating valuable network of people working for environmental justice.

Sowing Hope for the Planet is a collaborative effort of the JPIC Commission in the name of UISG and the Laudato Si’ Movement to provide key resources to help people truly connect with the message of Laudato Si’ and put its teaching into action.

As we mark International Women’s Day, we pay tribute to the women of the Church quietly leading the way and bringing change to the communities they serve.  As Mary Ward said: ‘There is no such difference between men and women that women may not do great things.’

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Tagged | Caritas | Caritas Salford | Catholic Church | Environment

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