This was the title given to this years' interdenominational Women's world day of
prayer on 4th March 2011,which was dedicated to Chile this year . Nathalie, Bernardita
(from Chile) and Rose (from the Philippines) were invited to a Service in a Methodist
church in Selly Park, Birmingham. Nathalie spoke of her country with great pride.
As I was preparing my talk I started wondering; what am I going to say in those
few minutes? People could google it today if they were interested in Chile, or even
get information from a book. It was a chance to tell people about where I come from,
where it is in the map or to simply clarify that although Chile by its name might
give the impression that it is a cold country, it isn't. At least we know 'for certain'
that in Chile there are a few months of summer and can therefore rely on some nice
temperatures to enjoy the beach or the countryside. I could speak about the beauty
of our nature, the snow-covered Andes mountain or the Atacama dessert (the driest
in the world), how natural disasters have struck the lives of our people or even
concentrate on an update on the lives of the 33 miners that were trapped in the
San Jose mine for 69 days until they were successfully rescued. After a lot of
thought I decided to share with the congregation what it means to me to be a Chilean.
I am proud of being Chilean because I believe we are welcoming people, we show hospitality,
even in the poorest homes, by sharing whatever little people may have. If a friend
comes around the house unannounced and there isn't much to share at the table, we
will divide whatever there is or sometimes maybe it means adding some more water
to the soup!
We have developed a strong sense of community and solidarity. Maybe this is due
to our history, our trials to overcome poverty or our daily struggles to live in
a just and peaceful society. Whenever there has been an earthquake, landslide, floods
or any other natural disaster communities/neighbours will stand by each other, gather
what they have to share. Some may even offer an space to sleep, cook together,
fight for protection. Young and not so young volunteers will be gathered by different
organisation to go with the first aid to assist in re-establishing basic supplies
(food, clothes, shelter). Others may straight away start organising fund raising
events in order to get the relief needed.
I believe that for us family is very important and continues to be at the centre
of our society. Unlike the small nuclear family, extended-family occupy an important
role, the ties remain close even after a couple has set up its own home. Kids meet
their cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents regularly. Nowadays, however, with
women having to go out to work the family dynamic has changed. Families tend to gather
around to celebrate any special occasion; baptisms, birthdays, weddings, saint day.
People will find any reason to spend time together!
How many loaves have you? I think that we Chileans have got loads but need to be
constantly reminded to share what we have not only at times of greater need. Sharing
not only our earthly possessions but our values, our time and our love. I am a Chilean
and I am proud of that. I am sure you are also proud of where you come from or belong
to , whether it is a country a community or a family. Let's be reminded to share
our loaves with our neighbours, friends and loved ones always.
Nathalie Marytch speaking ainterdenominational Women's world day of prayer on 4th
LM Team Mass
National Youth Event
27th June 2011
Columbans at 'Justice at Work' Conference
- by Ellen Teague
2010 National Justice and Peace Network Conference
Fr Peter Hughes and Ellen Teague of the Columban Justice and Peace (JPIC) team will
be running a conference and stall at the 15-17 July Conference in Derbyshire ‘Justice
at Work – A place of safety, fulfilment and growth?’
This year’s conference has an exciting range of speakers and workshops. It gives
the opportunity to explore work in today’s society, in the light of the Gospel and
Catholic Social Teaching, leading to commitments to immediate and long term action.
It is also a great occasion for activists to network, have fun together and participate
in inspiring liturgies. And you can bring the kids too, with programmes for children
and young people and a crèche for the little ones. So if you haven’t booked yet,
there is still time to get your booking in! Booking forms can be downloaded from
website, www.justice-and-peace.org.uk or contact the Administrator at email@example.com,
Tel:020 7901 4864
David McLoughlin: Jesus, Work and the Reign of God: a challenge to Church and
Jon Cruddas MP: The Dignity of Work
Frances O’Grady: Trade Unions: Delivering Justice at Work and in Society
Sheila Kambobe: The Plight of Zambian Workers and Small Businesses in a Free
John Battle will give reflections from Catholic Social Teaching and lead an Action
Planning session on Sunday morning.
There will be personal testimonies on the experiences of: bullying in church employment,
young people, discrimination as a Muslim woman, and of good practice in the workplace.
Topics covered include: Vulnerable workers – seafarers, migrant domestic workers,
rural workers, garment workers, those in informal and unregulated work, as well as
women involved in prostitution; an overseas perspective of empowering workers from
CAFOD and Progressio; challenges of working in the not-for-profit sector; dealing
with bullying in Church employment; prospects for the ‘green economy’; alternatives
to the arms trade; conflict resolution; finding a work/life balance; understanding
work in the context of Creation theology; exploring the issues through art; and a
worship preparation workshop – musicians welcome.
Put your own questions to a panel which includes theologian David McLoughlin and
Unite’s National Officer Rachael Maskell and chaired by Bishop William Kenney, a
long-time supporter of the justice and peace movement in the Church.