About the Womanly Novena
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:
- A quote from the synod document, entitled, “‘Enlarge the space of your tent’ (Is 54:2) Working Document for the Continental Stage of the Synod,” specifically paragraphs 60-65 on “Rethinking women’s participation.”
- A brief biography of a woman in the church who inspires us
- A prayer for our church and society
“A key element of [the Synod] process concerns the recognition of the ways in which women, especially women religious, are already at the forefront of synodal practices in some of the most challenging social situations we face. The contribution submitted by the Union of Superiors General and the International Union of Superiors General notes: “There are seeds of synodality where we break new ground in solidarity: securing a future of racial and ethnic justice and peace for black, brown, Asian and Native American brothers and sisters (United States); connecting in depth with indigenous and native sisters and brothers (Americas); opening new avenues of presence of religious sisters in diverse movements; alliance with like-minded groups to address key social issues (such as climate change, refugees and asylum seekers, homelessness), or issues of specific nations.” In these contexts, women seek collaborators and can be teachers of synodality within wider Church processes, charisms, vocations and ministries.”
Simone Campbell, SSS
Adapted from Sister Simone Campbell Biography – NETWORK Lobby
Sister Simone Campbell, SSS served as executive director of NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice from 2004-2021. As a religious leader, attorney and poet with extensive experience in public policy and advocacy for systemic change, she lobbies on issues that help “mend the gaps” in income and wealth in the United States, focused specifically on how they disproportionately affect people of color and women.
During the 2010 congressional debate about healthcare reform, she wrote the famous “nuns’ letter” supporting the reform bill and organized 59 leaders of Catholic Sisters, including the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), to sign on. This action was cited by many as critically important in passing the Affordable Care Act. She was thanked by President Obama and invited to the ceremony celebrating its being signed into law.
In 2012, she was also instrumental in organizing the first Nuns on the Bus tour to oppose the “Ryan Budget” approved by the House of Representatives. This budget would decimate programs meant to help people in need. Nuns on the Bus received an avalanche of attention across the nation from religious communities, elected officials, and the media. Six more “Nuns on the Bus” tours followed.
God of Inspiration, you give us Simone Campbell to witness to your will that all people experience justice. Give us the perseverance and gusto that Simone displays in her pursuit of justice for all. We ask your blessing on all who work for justice in our world. Amen.
Missed a month of the novena?
Find additional monthly posts here.