Spiritual Conference: Priestly Vocation and Respect to Women
On 8th September 2020, as the church celebrated the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the community of St Pius X Seminary had an online Spiritual Conference on Priestly vocation and respect to Women by Bishop Allwyn D’Silva, Auxiliary Bishop of Bombay. The seminarians currently spread all over the country attended this spiritual conference online.
He began with reflecting on the attitude many men, and especially priests and seminarians, have had in the past towards women: a patronizing attitude where women were looked down upon and seen as unequal and inferior. He stressed that this attitude is not the attitude we should have as followers of Christ and members of the Church, for Christ did not treat women differently. He emphasized that women see the world differently from men and we need to recognize that, and take their views and opinions into consideration. Women have a different outlook of life and have much to offer to the Church and the society at large. One of the most effective ways this can be done is by giving and allowing women more decision-making power.
While speaking about women, Bp. Allwyn pointed out that one of the women who has greatly influenced all our lives is Mother Mary. Though the Gospels record only five occasions on which she spoke, yet the few words she uttered affected all of humanity. Her silence and spirit of contemplation is a lesson for all of us to practice. Bp. Allwyn highlighted that some of the qualities of Mary that we as Priests and Catholics must strive to imbibe are her humility, charity, courage and the willingness to bend our wills and discard our plans in order that we follow and fulfill the plan that God has for each one of us.
The Spiritual Conference was enriching, inspirational and also challenging, as Bp. Allwyn challenged each one to ask God and women pardon for intentionally or unintentionally having had a misogynistic mindset in the past and the grace to change.
Br. Dorson D. D’Mello
2nd Year Philosophy