The Role of Women in Church Development

By Bro. Mike Nnamah

A lot of literature has been written on women in nation growth and development but not much has been discussed about women in Church growth and development.
Women play a number of roles, duties and functions in our society but three most outstanding ones are that of wives, mothers and of course child bearing.
These three functions make women distinctive creatures from God. Women have virtually taken up those duties hitherto performed by the men.
There was a time all nurses were made up of men, a small number of women as teachers and public servants. Today, the scenario is quite different as of the old good days. We know women as great mobilizers, motivators and of course administrators, in sundry affairs.
The administration and management of the Catholic Women Organisation (CWO) in all Dioceses, Deaneries and Parishes is very result oriented because women understand, the sociology of issues that concern women and all persons, if you don’t mind.
When women earmark on a particular project, it is accomplished in record time. Any obstruction on the wheel of progress of such project will be matched with force. This force may not necessarily be physical one, but a force which cannot be resisted by any one in what so ever manner.
For instance, the CWO uniform is worn by every woman at the designated functions, and no one has the audacity to short-change such arrangement. Any default to this, has instant judgement and of course; it is better to be absent at such gatherings than to deviate from the already established norms.
A keen observer, would realise that almost all parish halls in the Diocese, were built by the women through their ingenuous quest to add value and comfort to their parishes. At the Peter University, the women under the auspices of the Diocesan Catholic Women Organisation; apart from their huge contributions to the University building funds, have taken up the erection of a female hostel.
We should be mindful of their food apostolate in the various parishes, the seminaries are not left out. No wonder most parish priests give more attention to women’s affairs than any other statutory organisation.
An unestablished school of thought is of the opinion that without women, the Church as an institution would suffer a sort of setback. I want to agree with this, to some extent because women dominate and make up more than half of the population of the congregation in any Church at any given time and circumstance.
They form also the bulk of the choir as choristers and even choir masters are gradually being replaced by choir mistresses. A look at the various pious societies, we have more women in these groups as volunteers. Again during yearly laity week and catechetical week programmes the bulk of the participants are women.
The story of the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, recorded that more women showed pity and concern to him and even a woman was the first to notice the resurrection. At a point in time during the passion, he asked the women crying for him, to cry for themselves and their children and not for him. Women’s weekly sweeping and cleaning of Churches in our different parishes is better quantified in monetary term, in order to appreciate the value of such services.
We should not forget in a hurry, when women supplied water weekly, to their various parish houses before the advent of bore-hole water supply.
In commemoration of 2018 mothering Sunday, women as mothers were variously commended; by a lot of persons for their contributions towards the growth and development of the Church and the Society.
The wife of the State Governor, Chief (Mrs.) Ebelechukwu Obiano in her message commended mothers for their contributions to improvement of living conditions of the masses. She charged them to be epitome of peace in their various homes and the society at large.
Also speaking to mothers during mothering Sunday events the speaker, Anambra State House of Assembly Rt. Hon. Rita Maduagwu enjoined mothers to always promote the sanctity of motherhood, especially in their families. She described the role of mothers in the family as pivotal, urging them to show good example to their children; through their conducts, to enable them become useful members of the society.
Rt. Hon. Maduagwu prayed God to grant mothers long life and good health, to be able to continue with their responsibilities of home management and character moulding.
Speaking in the same vein, Hon. Patrick Aniunoh described mothers as jewels of inestimable value, priceless, irreplaceable and congratulated them for their role in preparing their children physically and mentally for the task ahead.
As women celebrated weeks ago mothering Sunday, let’s say happy mothering Sunday to all the mothers with the hope that they will be ambassadors of peace in all spheres of life.

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