Anita Healy, left, shares the stage with Dorothy Pilarski at the Dynamic Women of Faith conference in Toronto. Photo by Ruane Remy

Women need to embrace their ‘Feminine Genius’

By 
  • April 19, 2014

TORONTO - God has entrusted humankind to women, said Anita Healy at the fifth annual Dynamic Women of Faith conference, and so women must pray to God for the courage to embody their “Feminine Genius.”

Feminine Genius is a term coined by Blessed Pope John Paul II in Mulieris Dignitatem, an apostolic letter on the dignity of women that Healy used to explain how women are the masterpiece of God’s creation.

Healy, a wife, mother and catechist, has a degree in theology from the Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, and was one of the main speakers at Dynamic Women. The April 12 event was meant to refresh and renew the minds and spirits of Catholic women.

Dignity comes from being created in the image and likeness of God, she said, an image of perfect love.

She said women’s vocation is “to order life to love,” especially putting to use the characteristics of sensitivity, generosity, receptivity and maternity.

Healy was clear that she was not pitting women against men, saying that men and women are equal in their dignity, but referred to Pope Francis’ comments that God created women with a specific tenderness and mercy.

Paraphrasing Pope Francis, she told the audience that Pope John Paul II is referring to the maternity of all women and that it is the woman who counsels.

She argued that all women, whether biologically or spiritually maternal, are maternal even if that maternity is hidden. She cited the maternal heart present in the child counsellor, the palliative care nurse, the single aunt who’s a second mother to her sister’s children and the woman who offers support to the young mother considering abortion.

God has entrusted women with the responsibility to aid humanity in not failing, said Healy, adding that there is a need for women in the working environment. Citing the apostolic letter, she says “the Church and the world need us.”

But she warns that the world wrongly tells women to get ahead by becoming masculine and that a person’s value lies solely in their productivity.

We need God’s grace to rediscover ourselves as His daughters, she said, and our “vocation to bare and deliver love into the world.”

The Dynamic Women of Faith event saw four other key speakers and four panelists address the audience on spiritual and practical matters, such as self-employment for moms, thriving amid problematic lives, choosing home school for children, the role of parents as teachers, finding the extraordinary in the ordinary, how saints can strengthen us, living mid-life to the fullest, living out the Catholic faith in daily life and more.

Conference founder Dorothy Pilarski emphasized that we often say we can’t do something for God until all our problems go away.

But the greatest gift you can give to another person is your ability to suffer with them, she said, to let them know they are not alone.

And it is letting Catholic women know they are not alone that is at the heart of Dynamic Women of Faith.

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I will immediately write to Prime Minister Harper and ask him what has happened to the Freedom of Religion Act his government has proposed to pass.
I will ask him to comment on the Law Society's recent injustice to Catholic law graduates. It...

I will immediately write to Prime Minister Harper and ask him what has happened to the Freedom of Religion Act his government has proposed to pass.
I will ask him to comment on the Law Society's recent injustice to Catholic law graduates. It seems the Law Society prefers a Freedom FROM religion.

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