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Catholic Women On the Move

May 6, 2009, 5:43 AM | Article By: Augustine Kanjia

Catholic Women of the Diocese of Banjul have again proved that they are a force to recon with in their quest to doing what a mother can do for the children. Some call their group Catholic Women Organisation synonymous to the long time name and others call theirs Catholic Women's  Association both working for the good of the Church and the promotion of their different Churches respectively. They all recently converged at the St. Therese's Lower Basic school where they celebrated their day in a grand style. Let us explore the role of these women in the development of a self reliant Church and how they have influenced and inspired other groups by their example. Panorama has it for you.
Women from all over The Gambia converged to celebrate their day recently in joy inviting thousands of their friends, Catholics, Muslims, other denomination of Christians and members of different organisations to celebrate with them. Bishop Robert Patrick Ellison CSSp celebrated the Mass with Fr. David Jimo Jarju, the Vicar General and Fr. Tony Sonko the Parish Priest of
St. Therese's Parish Kanifing. Thousands of women were seen in different ashobies but all pointing to the same aim. This was due to the lack more of their previously chosen material. The school saw thousands of people and lots of vehicles coming to be part of the celebration. It could be visibly seen by the religious music that it was an important day set out by the women of the diocese to recognise their effort and role. In a quiet was a lot of these women groups stand strongly behind their priests to push their parishes forward. One of them said they are supposed to feed their priests and support the Church. One would certainly see the sign by the gifts they brought for their offertory.
Bishop Ellison was quick to say that they were celebrating the feast of Easter. "Women were the first to go to the
Temple and found out He was not there. They returned and called Peter and others. John, he said came and said, "I have seen and I believe." Peter, Bishop said was probably not moved because he had betrayed his Master by denying Him three times after confessing that he would never deny Him even if others would do.
Talking on the women probably signifies the important role of women in society and how man should know that they are always behind their children and they feel for them deeply especially in time of sickness, pain, trouble or death as seen in the suffering of Jesus.
"Peter was healing his wounds, after denying his Master three times. That is why he was not moved after John had said, "I have seen and I believe." Peter was in pain and shame," he said.
Bishop further said that Peter and John were going to the Temple for an afternoon prayer when they approached a lame man and Peter said," Gold and silver I have not but the love of God, get up and walk." Peter continued to address the people, "Abraham and Isaac have glorified Jesus, the Jesus handed over to Pilate to be killed, but God raised Him and it is in the name of that man I have healed the lame man," Peter said. After Peter had hit them very hard, Bishop said Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.
"Peter had such courage and ordacity to speak very strongly to the people in the
Temple. Many of them would have been among those who had followed Jesus on Palm Sunday and Good Friday. Peter had that powerful experience of shame because he had denied Jesus," Bishop Ellison said.
Bishop said between Easter and Pentecost, many believe He had not risen other believe it could not happen until Pentecost. From that time they became witnesses to the resurrection of Jesus. From this point Jesus sent them even when they were so fragile at the time to go and preach the Good News. "We are listening to an event that took place a long time ago. Peter he said had the courage to preach what he believed. "We are responsible to carry on the Good News and if we believe and repent we shall go ahead in God," he said.
In talking on the history of the Church in The Gambia, Bishop Ellison said, the Church reached The Gambia in 1849 and in 1959 it became a Diocese. Fifty years after that it became a self reliant Church. Today we are here to celebrate the Assembly of women, a sign of growth in our Church.
The women gathered on the street of Kanifing with the Scouts Band marching with banners through to the school to Mark the beginning of the day's enjoyment and the end of the Mass. Music boomed, and women sold different food stuff the proceed of which was for meant for the support of the Church.
Fr. Sonko said he appreciated the women of the diocese of
Banjul for choosing St. Therese's parish for their day = Diocesan Women's Day. He invited them to come in their numbers for their Family Day to fall this Sunday at the same venue.
Ya Nancy Carrous the Catholic Women's leader of Kanifing Branch says, "The idea came about to entertain unity collectively. It all started from St. Therese, which had spread far and wide. We help the Church, we have activities put in place to help sick children at the hospital. We are trying to put Self Reliance in focus. Whatever fund we raise, we help our priest and the Church," she said. Ya Nancy urged all women to be part of their network. The day continued in joy, eating and drinking to satisfaction.