Dear Friend

As 2015 draws rapidly to a close I’m allowing myself a few quiet minutes to reflect upon the Synod on the Family and to consider implications for the upcoming Year of Mercy.

The Synod on the Family gave us a lot to think about as women and in this edition you’ll notice that we have made a point of including perspectives from women about the Synod. Two of these perspectives come from Beth Doherty and Alice Priest, former participants in our Young Catholic Women’s Interfaith Fellowship. 

While it was disappointing that women’s voices didn’t feature more in the Synod, we were heartened by Pope Francis’ emphasis on a collegial, synodal Church journeying together towards an era of Mercy. In his address to the Synod of Bishops on Saturday 17 October 2015, Pope Francis likened the Church to an inverted pyramid. He used the expression “journeying together” several times and stressed the concepts of “synodality”, “collegiality” and service. He spoke of “listening and sharing” and called for “participation, solidarity and transparency”. This all bodes well as we approach the beginning of the Jubilee Year of Mercy. Please see the Resources section of this newsletter for a lovely reflection on Mercy.

In other news, the Council for Australian Catholic Women met earlier this month. Some of the things on the agenda were:

I hope you enjoy this edition of Women Matter and as always we appreciate any feedback so please feel free to contact us.

As we approach Advent I wish you all the joy and peace of the Festive Season and look forward to catching up with you again in the New Year.

Warm blessings,


November 2015

Donella Johnston
Director, National Office for the Participation of Women
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