Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Why do I do this?

The California Catholic Women's Forum exists to help rebuild a culture that has forgotten its Judeo-Christian roots. Who are we? Who are we meant to be? What do I mean when I say I am a woman in this 'post-modern' society? Is there such a thing as vocation? If there is, do I have one? If I do, how do I know what it is? Is there truth? If there is, can I discern it? Did God really create the world? If he did, did he do it with a game plan? The questions can go on and on, and our quest in the CCWF is to help you search for answers.

We have several facets to our organization, fleshed out in our mission statement. We are dissecting a document written in 1988 by Pope John Paul IIMulieris dignitatem, On the Dignity and Vocation of Women. On April 25, 2009 we present our sixth in a series of eight forums, Women of the Bible: Trailblazers for Life

On January 30, 2008 we received our accreditation from the California Board of Registered Nurses and inaugurated the Seeds of Life series, in which we turn our eye to educating on the ethical healthcare issues that affect all of us. In the future, we hope to be able to begin educating on women's issues in a more formalized format. All of this is in God's hands of course, but so far he has been very good to us.

Now I personally would like to share a prayer with you that I wrote on March 1. I am a member of the movement Regnum Christi and was  able to attend a convention of like-minded women from all over North America. The meeting began on March 1 and took place in Atlanta, GA. Unbelievably, it snowed that day. I was sitting in the home of a friend who now lives there, and who hails from the same town I grew up in, Edmonton. Alberta, where we really KNOW snow. I have photos, and include two of them here. However, though it was remarkable that two ex-snowbirds were sitting in a room in Atlanta watching it snow, our minds went to the underlying meaning of this event. 

In Canmore, Alberta there is a school called Our Lady of the Snows. This name came from a real event that resulted in the construction of the magnificent church in Rome, St. Mary Major, or Santa Maria Maggiore. Here is what happened: In Rome in 352 AD there lived a very wealthy couple that had recently converted to Christianity. They wondered how they could best give to the Church they loved so dearly. On the night of 4th August, they each dreamt the same dream, as did the Pope at the time, Pope Liberius. In this dream Mary told them she wanted them to build her a church and she would let them know where it should be built. Upon awakening, they noticed that it SNOWED on the Esquiline hill, in Rome, in August! She wanted a church built and it stands still today, one of the major basilicas in Rome.

As we sat in my friend's condominium and prepared to leave to register for the convention, it started snowing. We went to the car to go to the convention and the car was loaded with snow. Of course we had no windshield scraper! The morning after the convention started there were still spots of snow on the ground. This was so unseasonable it is hard to imagine. We realized it was Mary, telling us to build a church.

Here is my prayer.

It is snowing! 

Our Lady has sent us snow, just like at the time of the Roman Empire, because she wants to build a church!  She wants us to build a Church of ideas and faith, rooted in love. 

That is our hope. To shore up the foundation of the Roman Catholic Church in Truth and Love, which is Christ.

Mary is telling us that she is here with us. She is our support and our Mother. She has us on her lap and is caring for us.

The call is real and the time is now.  It is time to put misgivings aside and focus on our vocation - to build the Kingdom, for Christ, using the talents He gave us. He called us from before time to be his apostles in this era of incredible unbelief.

Lord, increase my faith, and decrease my pride.

Lord, we ask you to bring us wisdom and the courage to learn your ways so that we can be the best apostles we can be.

Mary, protect us on this journey.


This prayer sums up in a similar way our mission in the CCWF. To rebuild a culture built on the firm foundation of truth. Where reason and faith can go hand in hand, not obstructionist, not pitted against each other. But a synthesis, where the two working together create a one that is bigger and more beautiful than each on its own, and which sits in the human soul comfortably, very comfortably indeed.

We hope you are able to join with us in this venture. Please come back to this blog frequently, where you will be able to read from other members of our group. We will enjoy reading your insights and look forward to your suggestions. Visit our website. Come to our forums. You will not be disappointed! We invite the best to come and speak for us on the different topics we tackle. Your mind will be challenged and your faith fortified. Do not think this is not for you, for God made all women not just Catholic ones and the truth is the truth. Men, of course, are invited too.

In Christ,

Michele Coldiron
Executive Director,
California Catholic Women's Forum

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