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Canadian Network for Women’s Equality, National Conference 2017

The Sophia Research Centre was pleased to sponsor the 2017 National Conference of the Canadian Network for Women’s Equality, which took place on May 26 to 28. Members and non-members from across Canada gathered at Saint Paul University to discuss the place and participation of women in the Roman Catholic Church.

The conference was opened by a smudging ceremony, which proved to be highly meaningful for all participants. Sr. Christine Schenk’s keynote address, “Crispina and Her Sisters: Women and Authority in Early Christianity,” presented an early analysis of Roman funerary artwork as evidence of female participation in the early Church, which exceeds common perceptions today.

Saturday was filled with smaller lectures and presentations, including a panel discussion by Joëlle Morgan, Jessica Hetherington, and Louise Courville, exploring female spirituality through the past, present, and future as it intersects with Indigenous issues, eco-feminism, and developing understandings of Christian anthropology, respectively.

Other lectures examined the role of women at the Second Vatican Council, the rite for the churching of women following childbirth, new expressions of misogyny developing through the internet and other communications media, methods for raising awareness of women’s issues in the Church through engagement with young women, and more.

Between the presentations and meetings, participants also found time for renewing friendships, exploring the university campus and the surrounding neighbourhood, and enjoying some of the attractions in Ottawa.

Jacob, Hetherington, and Morgan present at CNWE 2017

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