‘Rise up, take courage and just do it!’ was the theme of the day at the Diocese’ first Women’s Day of Reflection. Over 70 women from across the Diocese gathered at Cathedral House to share their discernment and lend each other support in the celebration of their faith.

Inspirational keynote speaker Jo Boyce of CJM music told the story of her own mission, drawing from the Book of Esther 4:14.

A quiet child, with no interest in music (a guitar she was given had been used largely as a tennis racquet or a cricket bat), one day said to her mother that she’d like to join the choir. Her mother asked ‘Can you sing?’

It turned out that she could. But Jo had no desire to be the person at the front for herself, or to sing just to be heard. She felt a need to do so for the Lord, to step forward and spread the message. She couldn’t help but say ‘yes, lord.’

All those who attended on this day felt a personal invitation to be there. Everyone has their unique skills, which can form their unique mission. Take that message home and follow the path that the Lord has chosen for you.

Groups read John 20:11-14. Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene and discussed ‘To whom do you bring Good News? How do they respond?’ and the qualities of Mary Magdalene which could inspire women of today.

One attendee felt the day encouraged others to light a fire- start a group in your own parish, or in your area.

Another said: “This day has been so empowering. We are going home quite different to when we came here.”

The Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary sang and danced for the group, and the women then went together to the Cathedral for a Mass led by Archbishop Bernard Longley, celebrating the feast day of Mary Magdalene.

The Women's Day of Reflection is an annual event. To be kept informed, please contact [email protected]

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Women's Day of Reflection