Catholic Women’s League Australia National Conference

Written by Fiona Basile

The Catholic Women’s League Australia 45th National Biennial Conference was held in Melbourne this week.

The conference was officially opened at a Mass on Tuesday 13 September at St Patrick’s cathedral. Archbishop Denis Hart was the principal celebrant and was joined by concelebrating priests Fr David Cartwright PP, National Chaplain of the CWLA, Fr Tony Doran, Fr Pat Harvey, Fr David Tremble and Fr Wally Kevis.

CWLA representatives from each of the states carried a banner in a special procession at the beginning and conclusion of Mass. In his homily, Archbishop Hart commended the work of CWLA and thanked its members for their ongoing service to their communities and to the Church.

The 3-day national conference was titled ‘Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life’. Emeritus Professor Gabrielle McMullen provided the welcoming address on the first morning. Kate McMernin also spoke about CatholicCare's African Dads and Kids program.

Day two included a panel discussion on the topic of 'Nascent Human Life'. Panel members included Fr Paschal Corby OFM Conv, Marcia Riordan from the Office for Life, Marriage and Family, Anna Krohn and ACU's Jo Grainger. Fr Paschal continued in the afternoon with a talk on Sr Dr Mary Glowrey JMJ, Fr David Tremble MGL speaking on the topic, 'Seeking the Face of God' and Catherine Keightley FRCNA speaking on 'My Brother John'.

On the final day, delegates were confronted with a compelling presenation by Canberra-based writer, speaker and commentator Melinda Tankard Reist (of Collective Shout), who spoke about the proliferation of child and female sexualisation and objectification, and the billion-dollar pornography industry. While in Melbourne, Melinda launched her new book (co-authored with Abigail Bray), 'Big Porn Inc: Exposing the Harms of the Global Porn Industry'.

Other speakers included Sr Lynette Young RSJ, Bishop Peter Elliott and David Schutz. The conference ended with a dinner and major draw raffle.

Photography by Fiona Basile, Kairos Catholic Journal

Published by Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne

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