I am overjoyed to be able to offer this to all of you on this marvelous Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary! Please read the following through and pray about how you can help to spread this message in your own areas on the dignity and vocation of women, spoken of so beautifully by our late Pope John the Great. Take a look at the website which is in the process of being built, and use it as a resource. Please take time to read the Apostolic Letter so that you will become more familiar with the riches and wisdom it holds for us. This is a mighty celebration that will resound throughout the entire world all throughout 2008, the twentieth year anniversary of this amazing Apostolic Letter, Mulieris Dignitatem!
+ Dear Friends in Christ:
It is our great joy to learn that the Pontifical Council for the Laity is encouraging the faithful worldwide to observe the 20th anniversary of Mulieris Dignitatem in the coming year. This Apostolic Letter (signed August 15th, 1988) was written by John Paul II to encourage women in their vocations, to highlight the essential feminine genius that they provide to the world, and to restore spiritual and physical motherhood to a culture that was quickly losing sight of the very meaning of nuptial love.
The Catholics of North America have been asked in particular to consider the document in light of one overarching theme: The Dignity of Women in a Technological and Consumeristic Society. To that effect, a website has been created in order to provide a comprehensive resource for those looking for ways to reflect on this timely anniversary. Dignityofwomen.com will point to books, speakers, study guides, and other initiatives that will bring the beauty of this document to as many people as possible, while constantly integrating suggestions, additions, and a bulletin board of events for women to access over the coming year.
Your help would be greatly appreciated in spreading the word, contacting the appropriate persons at the parish and diocesan level to alert them to this anniversary, fostering the publication of articles on the topic for various periodicals, encouraging local women to gather and discuss the theme in various settings, and to pray for the message in Mulieris Dignitatem to be studied and lived. This is also a marvelous opportunity to reach out to women of good will in other denominations and faiths, inviting them to prayerfully consider its themes and to see if common ground could be found. We invite qualified speakers to submit a request, and thereby add their names to the site. Similarly, relevant books and organizations are welcome to provide their links.
The timeliness of this observance cannot be overestimated. With debates raging over the nature of marriage, the sanctity of human life, the needs of children, and how the gifts of women are best promoted, what better way to form ourselves than by returning to the foundational questions of who women are and why the divine plan hinges on their cooperation.
Kindly help us share this good news with as many as you can and please pray with us for a fruitful observance. Any questions, suggestions, or submissions of resources should be sent to gskineke [at] feminine-genius.com. May Our Lady, in whose fidelity the entire world rejoices, bless this coming year and all our efforts to understand the richness of the feminine vocation.
Here is an article from Catholic Exchange today about this Vatican initiative for women written by Genevieve Kineke.