WASHINGTON (April 7, 1999) -- Dioceses and parishes across the nation should plan events to mark the international Jubilee Day for Women, next March 25, according to the U.S. Bishops' Committee on Women in Society and in the Church.
The Bishops called for U.S. celebrations and set as the theme "Women Saying Yes to God," a reference to the feast of the Annunciation, which is celebrated that day.
The Committee, chaired by Archbishop John Vlazny of Portland, Oregon, called for action at its March 25 meeting in Washington.
"We've just completed a century in which women have made great strides both in society and in the Church," said Archbishop Vlazny. "We have much to celebrate, but we must also ensure that progress continues. In both the Church and society what is permitted by law often moves slowly into practice."
During the year 2000 the Vatican has designated a series of Jubilee Days to recognize and celebrate different groups of persons.
According to Paul Henderson, Executive Director of the Bishops' Subcommittee on the Third Millennium, "The Jubilee Days provide a wonderful opportunity to honor women for their contributions to society and to the Church, to pray for them, and to reflect with them on the challenges of the next century."
The Bishops' Committee discussed possible activities with several national organizations, including the National Council of Catholic Women and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. Suggested ways to celebrate range from sponsoring liturgical celebrations and discussion sessions around women's gifts and equality to providing ways to recognize local women leaders. The Bishops' Committee noted that the liturgies of the March 25-26 weekend present an excellent opportunity in which to recognize and honor women.
To assist dioceses and parishes the Committee will suggest resources that can be adapted for local use. These will be available later in 1999 and can be accessed through the bishops' Jubilee website www.nccbuscc.org/jubilee/index.htm