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Womanly Novena: February

 Sally Harper, CSJ

About the Womanly Novena

A black and white drawing of three women gazing at the viewer, they are obscured by hazy lines
“First Witnesses of the Resurrection” by Marion Honors, CSJ | Learn more about our sister artists

At our most recent congregational chapter, our congregation made a commitment to support women. “Striving to be beacons of hope, we commit to…walk with women as we claim our voice and work toward an inclusive church and society…”

The worldwide Catholic Church is in the midst of a Synod on Synodality, which has sought input from Catholics around the globe “to provide an opportunity for the entire People of God to discern together how to move forward on the path towards being a more synodal Church in the long-term.”

As the church prepares for the next stage of the synod, we invite you to pray with us a womanly novena, each month for nine months, for a more inclusive church. Each month, we will share:

February Novena

From the Synod document

From all continents comes an appeal for Catholic women to be valued first and foremost as baptized and equal members of the People of God. Almost unanimous affirmation acknowledges that women love the Church deeply, but many feel sadness because their lives are not well understood, and their contributions and charisms not valued. The Holy Land report notes: “Those who were most committed to the synod process were women, who seem to have realized not only that they had more to gain, but also more to offer by being relegated to a prophetic edge, from which they observe what happens in the life of the Church;” and continues: “In a Church where almost all decision-makers are men, there are few spaces where women can make their voices heard. Yet they are the backbone of Church communities, both because they represent the majority of the practicing members and because they are among the most active members of the Church.”

Synod Working Document for the Continental Stage, 61

María Elena Moyana

Lima, Peru | November 23, 1958 -February 15, 1992

A black and white picture of María Elena Moyano, a young woman with short curly hair. We see her from the neck up. Her eyes are looking downward, and her clasped hands are near her face, with her thumb resting on her bottom lip.
María Elena Moyano (photo source)

María Elena Moyano Delgado was a fighter for social justice, a neighborhood organizer and popularly known as Mother Courage. During the time of terrorism in her country, Moyano rose up against the Maoist organization of the Shining Path; as a consequence, she was assassinated in Lima at 33 years of age, following a command from that group to annihilate her. She is recognized for her struggle against poverty, for the defense of human rights and the rights of women. In her honor, the anti-terrorist department baptized one of its operations against the Shining Path as “Operation Moyano.”


María Elena Moyana, you were a leader of your people. You gave your life for peace in the midst of violence. May your example help us to be peacemakers in all the situations of violence that exist in our world. Amen

Missed a month?

Find all installments of the Womanly Novena here.

Category: Reflections

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About us

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet are a congregation of Catholic sisters. We, and those who share our charism and mission, are motivated in all things by our profound love of God and our dear neighbors. We seek to build communities and bridge divides between people. Since our first sisters gathered in 1650, our members have been called to “do all things of which women are capable.” The first sisters of our congregation arrived in St. Louis, Missouri in 1836, and we now have additional locations in St. Paul, Albany, Los Angeles, Hawaii, Japan and Peru. Today, we commit to respond boldly to injustice and dare to be prophetic.


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