We begin our prayers today in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Today is International Women's Day, a special time to commemorate women's struggles for justice and celebrate their achievements – a good thing to be aware of during Lent with its social justice themes. Much work remains to be done in celebrating the gift of women in the world.
Canadians have great respect for Canadian women who made and make many contributions to our country. These include among others:
Margaret Atwood – Novelist, poet, critic and essayist.
Kim Campbell – First female Prime Minister.
Roberta Bondar – One of Canada's first astronauts.
Emily Carr - Writer and artist.
Senator Anne Cools – first female African Canadian appointed to the Senate.
Kenojuak Ashevak's - Inuit artist and role model for many other Inuit women and people.
We must never turn a blind eye to past and current struggles of women everywhere.
God our Creator, your beauty is present in all women, both inside and out. Help us grow beyond our own prejudices of gender injustices, hatred and abuse. Help us to appreciate and celebrate our differences, so that we may see the gift of your love in more people and places in your world. Mold us into Your inclusive image. We pray in Jesus' name. Amen
Mary, the mother of Jesus, is a solid example of Christian discipleship. Let us conclude our prayer today by saying her special prayer:
Hail Mary, full of grace,
The Lord is with you.
Blessed are you
and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
Pray for us sinners,
now, and at the hour
of our death.
Arm in arm together we continue our day in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.