Baghdad, Iraq, May 2, 2018 / 12:52 pm
Iraqi women rebuilding their lives after ISIS occupation were invited to a three-day gathering aimed, according to organizers, at empowering Christian women and offering them spiritual support.
Held April 27-29 in Qaraqosh ,the event drew inspiration from the Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, added recently to the Church’s calendar by Pope Francis.
The event was meant to “rebuild women in the spiritual side, in the biblical side and in the psychological side,” Fr. Roni Momika told CNA April 30.
Momika, who was ordained a priest in a refugee camp after fleeing Qaraqosh when ISIS took over in 2014, leads a weekly women's group at St. Ephraim church in Qaraqosh, which was burned and vandalized by ISIS but which has slowly started functioning as a normal parish again.
“This meeting is to empower women,” he said.
Catholics at St. Ephraim Church in Qaraqosh, Iraq.
In comments to CNA after a separate women's event earlier this year, Momika said he has focused on supporting women “because they are the base of the community.”
“The situation here in Qaraqosh is still difficult because the houses are still burned and destroyed,” he said, adding that rebuilding is currently a slow process due to the extensive damage and a lack of funding.