“O God, You are a fire that takes away the coldness, enlightens the mind with its light and causes me to know your truth.
I know that you are beauty and truth and wisdom”
St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380)
The East Midlands Group (UK) had its first meeting on Saturday 23rd February, 2019, when over fifty women from Leicestershire and various parts of the country came together for their first conference in Leicester. The event was titled A Day for Catholic Women : Sharing our Stories (read report) and the success of the day has brought together women committed to bringing the success of the virtual forums into the local parishes, making available safe space for women to speak with each other and learn from each other as they discuss and explore various aspects and understandings of our Catholic faith.
Although we title ourselves “The East Midlands Group” we welcome women from any part of the country who would like to attend or contribute to our events and, indeed, our first meeting saw women from the CWS Facebook Group travelling from Portsmouth, Liverpool, London and even further afield to join us – a national support we are very grateful to receive especially as it offers those who are not part of the virtual world a taste of the global network that is Catholic Women Speak and the dedication of the many women who belong.
“May today there be peace within. May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.”
Teresa of Avila (1515-1582)
Our programme of events, along with the resources and links we offer through this group page, reflect the requests and needs of the women who meet with us, but they are available to all who are interested from whatever part of the country or world you are in. Please feel welcome to share them and if you would like more details and, even, ideas for arranging days in your locality then do contact us.
For further information contact: alison.CWS@outlook.com or email@example.com
OUR NEXT EVENT
At our last event, 29th February 2020, the uncertainty of the global pandemic (Covid-19) was only just beginning to enter our conversations – yet two weeks later many of us found ourselves in lockdown, bemused, not quite believing the potential impact the disease was to have on our daily living and interactions with each other. We innocently supposed that, though we might have to postpone our planned meeting in July, we would be able to resume our meetings in October – and were even tentatively planning the theme for this next Day for Catholic Women. Obviously, our reality is that we shall now have to wait, as it will not be possible to think of physically coming together again until well into 2021. However, we are still now planning for a day in October/November via the internet (through ZOOM) and will notify through this page and the Facebook group once the date, times and programme has been decided. If you would like to be kept informed of our plans then do contact us on telephone 0116 2207881 or through the email addresses as given above.
(Click on links below to read more)
Another Day for Catholic Women : “One Faith : Different Cultures” (29th February 2020) – apologies for the delay, but there will be a full report soon
Another Day for Catholic Women : “Different Perspectives” (6th July 2019)
A Day for Catholic Women : “Sharing our Stories” (23rd February 2019)
(Download newsletter below)
Tips for organising your own Catholic women get-together
- Pray for guidance – we find Catherine of Siena a great help!
- Find at least one other woman to organise it with you.
- Find and book a hospitable space, fairly accessible and with good facilities.
- Select a theme to engage other women. Research your theme – Gospels, quotes, saints, Catholic women, topical Catholic issues.
- Publicise the event in the parish, diocese, FB, online, one-to-one.
- Construct the day around conversations. Lay out the space café style.
- Arrange for two hosts – one gives the other a breather throughout the day. Different styles are good too.
- Invite 3 or 4 women to speak for about 20 minutes about their response to this theme. It is about faith and personal experience so avoid content overload.
- Include music, singing, quotes, prayer. Design a leaflet to accompany.
- Use slides selectively.
- Try to provide a hot and cold dish – soup and cake works well for us.
- Organise the women in small groups after lunch to discuss their response to the theme. Let them get on with it, don’t interfere.
- Towards the end, bring the women together in a circle and ask for their responses post discussions.
- Ask for suggestions that link to the theme – books, study, conferences, online sites etc.
- Ask for anonymous written feedback – What did you like? What else could we do? What for next time?
- Keep to your timings, adopt a fast pace and always finish on time.
- Avoid over-preparation and over-control. Let the day flow.
- Animate the day, don’t instruct.