The Award was presented by Bishop Bill under the auspices of the diocesan contact group for the Council for Australian Catholic Women (CACW). The CACW aims to promote the participation of women in the Australian Church. Established by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference in 2000, the Council is committed to ongoing dialogue regarding the participation of women in the Catholic Church. A contact group was formed in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle in 2002 and is now actively seeking to invite new members to meet and discuss ways women can participate more fully in a range of roles in the Church.
At present the CACW contact group meets bi-monthly. Member, Dr Helen Belcher, is also a member of the CACW, and is thus able to keep the group informed of developments at the national level. Women of all ages are encouraged to consider joining the group, either as regular members or to receive updates via email.
The diocesan contact group for the CACW invites all parishioners to consider the Magdalene Award 2018 as an opportunity for all to recognise and show appreciation for those women in our parishes who are committed to, and involved in, decision-making, leadership, service and lay pastoral ministry. Nominating a woman you respect and admire, as well as accepting a nomination if you are ‘tapped on the shoulder’, is a positive way to celebrate our community and help raise the spirits of all in our Church, especially as we work through difficult times in our diocese.
This is only its second year and the process to find the inaugural Award winner provided 25 nominees, all of whom were wonderful examples of faith in action. We look forward to others being nominated as the variety of roles women undertake continues to expand.
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