A global leader for Catholic women on Monday, August 22, invited the Catholic Women’s League-Philippines to keep walking the path of social and environmental respect.
Speaking before CWL members in Metro Manila, María Lía Zervino, president of the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organizations (WUCWO), urged CWL members to continue heeding the cry of the poor and of the planet.
“Continue to listen and respond to the cry of the poor and the cry of the planet as Pope Francis said in Laudato Si,” Zervino said at the Ermita Church.
The Argentine, who has been in Rome since 2013, particularly acknowledged the CWL’s roles and programs at grassroots level.
“What you have is this wonderful union here in your parishes and dioceses. I think all WUCWO organizations must learn from you,” she said.
Zervino, a known old friend of the pope, said she is in the country for a five-day visit “to listen and to learn” from the national CWL.
“If we want to serve the WUCWO organization, we must know them (members) better. We must know and realize what they are living, what they are suffering, and what they are needing so we must be nearer,” she added.
Zervino arrived in Manila on Aug. 20 and immediately met with the CWL national board and visited the tomb of former Manila Archbishop Michael O’Doherty at the crypt of the Manila Cathedral.
Archbishop O’Doherty founded the CWL Philippines in 1919. To date, the organization has about 60,000 active members nationwide.
On Sunday, Aug. 21, she visited a number of some of the organization’s projects in the dioceses of Cubao, Kalookan, Novaliches and Malolos.
Aside from its advocacies and charitable programs, the CWL also helps support seminarians pursue their vocations.
“We believe that we have to support our clergy so we are doing our best,” said its national president Rosa Rita Mariano.
Zervino recently made headlines after the pope appointed her and two nuns to the Dicastery for Bishops, the first time women have been allowed to serve the Vatican body that helps choose new bishops.