.- Celebrations for the twentieth anniversary of John Paul II's Apostolic Letter on the dignity and vocation of women, “Mulieris dignitatem”, will be kicked off by an international congress organized by the Pontifical Council for the Laity. The conference will examine the progress made in promoting the dignity and vocation of women the over the last two decades.
The congress, which will be held in Rome on February 7-9, is expected to attract more than 260 people from 49 countries, including delegations from 40 bishops’ conferences, representatives from 28 movements and new communities, 16 Catholic women’s associations, nine female religious institutes and influential women in various fields of culture.
The theme of the congress is: “Woman and man, the ‘humanum’ in its entirety.” Organizers plan to examine such questions as: maternity, paternity and the importance of these two dimensions within family and social life; the balance between family life and work; and the need for a greater presence of women in public life and in the assumption of ecclesial and civil responsibilities.
Conference planners also hope to use the congress to initiate a reflection on the new cultural paradigms and difficulties faced by Catholic women in living according to their identity and in collaborating in fruitful reciprocity with men in building up the Church and society.
Finally, the conference strives to remind women of the beauty of the vocation to holiness, encouraging them to respond to it with increasing awareness and, as players in the mission of the Church, to place at the service of the apostolate, family, workplace and culture, all the richness of the feminine “genius”.