Trip helps fuel O'Boyle's desire to help
LIVING THEIR FAITH
Trip helps fuel O’Boyle’s desire to help
BY TRACY SIMMONS
Donna Cooper O’Boyle’s recent trip to Rome charged her eagerness to help foster Catholic women.
The New Milford author recently served as a delegate at The Pontifical Council for the Laity’s International Congress, “Women and man, the humanum in its entirety.” The meeting marked the 20th anniversary of Mulieris Dignitatem, On the Dignity and Vocation of Women, which was written by Pope John Paul II. His publication can be found online at www.dignityofwomen.com.
O’Boyle was one of 260 people from 46 countries and five continents invited to the congress.
“The amazing part for me was that people from all corners of the Earth were there to discuss the apostolate letter written by Pope John Paul II 20 years ago. We (the U.S. delegates) really bonded over there,” she said. “I had a good time. It was joy sprinkled in with intense workshops.”
O’Boyle got back from Rome on Feb. 12 and said she’s still digesting all that she learned while at the congress.
“So much was presented to us, I have three notebooks filled with notes,” she said.
The three-day congress addressed the advancement of women, cultural trends, women’s responsibilities in church and society, women’s dignity, family, technology and several other related topics.
She said women have been exploited by United States consumerism and technology, noting that it’s not the exterior that matters, but, rather, a woman’s intellect, heart and spirit.
“I believe women have really been sold out,” she said.
O’Boyle said women have always been equal to men, but have been taught to feel inferior to men.
“We have complimentary roles... We are equal,” she said. “We just have our own unique gifts.”
She has studied Mulieris Dignitatem thoroughly and said the congress affirmed and motivated her to continue with what she’s been doing through the books and articles she’s published — to bring Pope John Paul II’s message of restoration and hope to women in homes and parishes around the world.
“There’s work to be done,” she said. “It’s going to be a busy 2008 and beyond.”
While at the Vatican, O’Boyle said she especially connected with Broadcast Journalist Teresa Tomeo of Michigan. She said they felt called to host retreats together for Catholic women. She said that Tomeo will focus on culture issues and O’Boyle will focus on family and motherhood.
O’Boyle also plans on speaking and writing about women’s issues.
Her most recent book, “The Catholic Saints Prayer Book: Moments of Inspiration from your Favorite Saints” will be released in March.
You can learn more about O’Boyle and read her blogs at www.donnacooperoboyle.com.