WUCWO General Assembly Opening Ceremonies

October 18, 2018

On Tuesday, October 16, 2018 following the opening mass, the official opening ceremony of the 2018 WUCWO general assembly took place at the Dakar Grand Theatre grounds in an outdoor tent.

The Canadian delegation representing The Catholic Women’s League of Canada were treated to some African dancing as official representatives came in. With great fanfare from the Senegalese women, and with much security, President of Senegal Macky Sall was welcomed to the proceedings. Delegates waved their national flags as he processed to the podium.

The apostolic nuncio to Senegal, Archbishop Michael Wallace Banach (Memphis), thanked God for allowing the women of Senegal to have this opportunity to welcome women from around the world to their country. He stated that we are all involved in building better societies in our own countries and in bringing peace to our young and old.

Monique Faye, coordinator of the Diocesan Union of Catholic Women’s Organizations in Senegal, and the chief organizer in Senegal of the WUCWO conference brought greetings to everyone from the 42 countries participating in the assembly. She stated it was time to reflect on our plans of action, bring autonomy to women and protect women’s rights. She stated that inter-religious dialogue does exist and asked us to pray for the Holy Spirit to inspire the participants.

WUCWO Regional Vice-President for Africa Rosaline Nganku Menga extended greetings to all assembled.

President General of WUCWO Maria Giovanna Ruggieri welcomed everyone and stated it is important for women to be respected. We work in the faith of Jesus Christ and we must have patience, endurance, audacity, fervour, joy, as in Pope Francis’ Gaudete et Exsultate.

A message from the Vatican was read encouraging the delegates to fulfill the mission as “carriers of living water”.

Macky Sall, president of Senegal, welcomed everyone and thanked WUCWO for the honour of opening the general assembly. He stated women are required in all aspects of life, needing to be full of energy and promoting peace and harmony. President Sall stopped speaking for a few minutes as the Muslim call to prayer was heard. He concluded by stating that women are a light of transformation for the world.

Submitted by National Secretary-Treasurer Janet McLean