Athlete-turned-sister works to empower women
AONE-TIME javelin thrower who had a shot at the Olympics, Sister Melissa Dwyer, F.D.C.C.
put down her spear to focus on building a better future for poor women.
Dwyer declined a chance to be
part of the 2000 Olympics to go on
a mission trip instead, and that triggered her desire to become a Canos-sian sister. Once part of that community, she eventually became principal
of an all-girls school in Malawi, East
Dwyer told Emilie Ng of Bris-
bane’s Around the Archdiocese that
gender inequality is a major problem
in Malawi. The country is among the
world’s poorest, and only 30 percent
of its women make it to college. But
under Dwyer’s leadership, her school
produced graduates who went on to
become doctors, nurses, and lawyers.
“Being responsible for an all-
girls school, I wanted to try to help
the girls to fight harder for educa-
tion, because education is the only
place for them to build a brighter fu-
ture in such stark poverty,” she said.
Today Dwyer is back in her na-
tive Australia, working in Brisbane for
her religious community. She is now
promoting women’s empowerment
through vocation ministry. “My role
is now to help women find who God
dreams for them to become,” she said.
Dwyer chose International
Women’s Day (March 8, 2017) to
launch Gratia, a monthly vocational
discernment group for young wom-
en in the Brisbane archdiocese.
YOUTH, Faith and Vocational Discernment” is the theme of a synod that Pope Francis is convening in Rome in October 2018. The point of the gathering is to initiate discussion at every level of the
church about how the church can support young adults in their faith and their exploration of various types of vocations.
Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said that the synod won’t focus solely on the
choice between married life and religious life, reported Crux, an online religion
news outlet. Rather, the gathering of several hundred bishops will treat the full
array of vocational choices before young people.
A preparatory document for the synod can be found by searching “
Preparatory Document for the 15th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops,
13.01.2017.” The pope’s letter to young people can be found online by searching “Pope’s Letter to Young People on the Occasion of the Presentation of the
Preparatory Document of the 15th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of
Bishops, 13.01.2017.” Or follow these links: tinyurl.com/Vatican15thAssembly
and tinyurl.com/VaticanLetterto Young.
WORLDWIDE BISHOPS’ MEETING
ON VOCATIONS, YOUTH COMING SOON
Enter #361 at VocationMatch.com
SISTER MELISSA DW YER, F.D.C.C. with some of her students in Malawi.