By Uche Enem
The Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Francis Cardinal Arinze on 3rd October 2018, had an interactive session with Catholic Women Organization of Nigeria (CWON) where he shared his views on the importance and roles of women in leadership at Holy Ghost Cathedral, Enugu
Addressing the women, Cardinal Arinze informed them that every leader should stick to having a vision and getting ready to sacrifice at all times. He listed talent, treasure and time as the three T’s in approaching good leadership. He explained that leaders must be ready to sacrifice their time, talents and treasure in fostering peace and unity in the organization.
He reminded them that every leader should learn how to serve others well and when to be available at the right time. He rebuked the notion of leaders who stick to a position and office for a long time adding that every good leader must set limits and acknowledge when to step down for other people to also lead. The Eminence, who shared his experiences on leadership, told them that good leaders do not monopolize their God’s given talent and abilities rather they use it in helping and raising others to become better.
‘A good leader serves and tries to be available at all time. A good leader knows when to lead and when to step out for others to lead. A good leader encourages others and rejoices when he/she sees others rising up’ he added.
Using the life of Blessed Iwene Tansi, the Cardinal told them that Blessed Iwene Tansi was known for his leadership roles and abilities. He tasked them to learn to build individuals by nurturing them in attaining greater heights and development. He added that partiality and injustice were signs of bad leadership qualities. He charged future leaders to learn how to work with their subordinate in carrying out their duties, adding that ‘nobody is anybody’ and ‘everybody can be something’.
His Eminence urged them to follow the path of the Saints and to learn from their lessons. He told them to be ready to show love to the world as mothers were characterized with the gift of love. He urged them to help in the training and formation of priests and religious adding that the religious life vocation remains significant in the Catholic Church.
On her part, the National President of CWON, Barr. Mrs. Nwanneka Okolo, enjoined women to embrace the family and marriage unit in their respective dioceses. She encouraged them to read books that will help nourish their catholic faith and pleaded for women to always pray for the priests and to avoid quarrelling, rancor and bitterness within themselves.
With the years’ theme tagged, ‘Catholic Women as Carriers of Living Water to a World Thirsting for Peace’, she charged women to propagate the gospel of Christ through the love and peace they share to humanity. She thanked the Catholic Women for their time and efforts in ensuring the growth of the organization nationally and globally. In a special way, she thanked Cardinal Arinze for finding time to teach women the importance of leadership and explaining the role every woman play in the society.