Video: Prayer for the Synod at Cardinal Flahiff’s Grave: October 4, 2023

Greetings all.  Here is a 20 minute video of our October 4 prayer at Cardinal Flahiff’s grave, that was put together by one of our Sisters, Giang Pham.  The day was cold, grey, wet and windy.  You can hear the wind blowing in the recording.  (“fill the earth, bring it to birth, and blow where you will” – as Miriam Therese Winters sings.)

Sr. Giang also did well in picking up the sound – i.e. the voices and the music.  And while it’s a “phone video”, it has an artistry, and reflects a moment of community larger than us all.

A transcript of the service is available on YouTube, in the description.

Telling Our Story to German Women

On Friday evening October 13, I was invited to join a group of German women to tell the story of what we nine CNWE folks did in Rome the other week.

The occasion was a weekend pilgrimage in the footsteps of Hildegard of Bingen, directed by Annette Esser of the Scivias Institute in Bad Kreuznach, Germany.  The participants were some 25 women, members of the local branch of the Katholische Deutsche Frauenbund (Catholic German Women’s League, or “kdfb”) from Cologne. The kdfb is one of two large Catholic women’s organizations in Germany that total some 500,000 members.  Many of the women in the Cologne group are also members of Maria 2.0.

While the kdfb is the more progressive of the two organizations, both of them have come out strongly for the admission of women to all ministries in the Catholic church.

I described how CNWE was founded and who we are now.  I sketched the background of the 1971 proposal from the Canadian bishops led by Cardinal Flahiff that the Vatican study admitting women to ordained ministries.  I described how we prepared for the three specific events in Rome, how we made press contacts ahead of time, and how that paid off in terms of press coverage both of our presence and the rationale behind the WOW organizations’ actions.  I even came equipped with our paraphernalia and demonstrated how we decked ourselves out for the Friday march — lanyards, canvas patches on our backs, wearing pink on Wednesday and purple on Friday.  I told of how we had to meet the demands of the Italian police to carry out the march on Friday, walking in silence.

They were delighted with the strong sign of solidarity from Canada.  

And I managed to present it all in reasonably decent German, and with much enthusiasm and excitement (probably very un-German!)

And so we enlarged our own tent a bit.

Susan Roll

Invitation: Synod Gathering on October 4, 2023

Greetings friends. We invite you to join us at noon on October 4th, the opening day of the Synod in Rome, to pray and picnic together.

We are inspired to gather, by ten members of the Catholic Network for Women’s Equality (CNWE), who are traveling to Rome to join other groups of women from the U.S., Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania. They will be part of an ‘extramural’ presence in Rome, supporting, encouraging, and questioning the ‘intramural’ delegates. One is Winnipegger Louise Dowhan.

We gather in Winnipeg, in solidarity with those in Rome, and hope/pray that this Synod may be a truly historic and transformative experience of God’s gracious presence and action among us.

For our prayer/picnic, we will meet at the burial site of George Bernard Cardinal Flahiff, who served as Bishop of the Archdiocese of Winnipeg from 1961-1982. Flahiff was an advocate for women’s full participation in the church.


Who: all persons able to attend are welcome

Where: St Mary’s Cemetery – 520 Osborne St. N – enter through the gate, and go straight ahead towards the small “chapel like” building. We will be there.

When: Wednesday October 4, 2023 at 12.00 noon.

What: Bring a lunch! Bring a lawn chair. Bring an umbrella if it’s raining.

Why: To pray and picnic at Cardinal Flahiff’s grave, to re-member his gracious spirit, to embrace anew his vision of a church that welcomes the gifts of all.

For more, see:

Winnipegger carries women’s rights message to Catholic synod

**If you let us know you are coming, we will send you a copy of the prayer for your phone – thus saving paper.**

Please feel free to share this invitation with others who may wish to join us.