Women’s Commission of Calcutta Archdiocese and the members of Council of Catholic Women of India jointly organized the celebration of International Women’s day at Church of Christ the King, Park Circus, Kolkata in India on March 5.
International Women's Day (IWD) this year had as its theme "DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality."
About 500 women of the Archdiocese of Calcutta and two Guests from Croatia participated.
The program began with the celebration of Holy Eucharist presided over by Archbishop Thomas D'Souza, and concelebrated by Vicar General Father Dominic Gomes and Father Basil Mandi.
The trilingual service began with the melodious Bengali song, Mangal Deep Jele accompanied by dancers holding diyas (earthen lamps).
Archbishop Thomas D'Souza reminded the audience of what Pope Francis stated regarding the experience of the Divine in everyone's life during his sermon on the feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ. This supernatural encounter aided in our understanding of who Jesus Christ is to us.
"This realization, in turn, gives us the eagerness to go to church to experience Him as a family," he added.
Archbishop Thomas D Souza said, "God created man and woman with equal dignity and rights; no one is superior to the other. As a response, all girl children should be properly educated in order to empower themselves."
"Gender equality generally starts through education in the family and it is necessary to create awareness in the church and the community. Our society is in need of transformation," said Archbishop Souza
"Young women should be treated with dignity and given leadership roles in the church. As we prepare for the Synod, it is possible to work together through synodality. Catholic women inspire other women in our community to be courageous and empowered," said the Archbishop.
Archbishop also emphasized the need to give digital education to girl children and young women. Women cannot be left behind in this digital era.
Christine Cramer and. Julie Chaudhury, members of the women’s commission, spoke about women's empowerment. They brought awareness to the social and welfare schemes of West Bengal Minorities and Finance Corporation for women.
Dr. Linda Lewis, a parishioner of the Church of Christ the King, shared some important health tips for young mothers as well as senior citizens to keep them fit and healthy.
The event ended with a variety of songs, a skit, and a number of colorful folk dances performed by women from many parishes. - Sandhya Vincent and Teresa Rozario
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