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 time for people around the world to commemorate women's struggles for justice and celebrate their achievements. It is also a time to recognize how much work remains to be done. The roots of this celebration go back to the late 1800's and early 1900's when women struggled to have equal social, political and economic rights in our society.
Canadians owe great respect to the Canadian women who made 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.
We must never turn a blind eye to the past and current struggles women struggle through.
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 a Christian disciple. 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. Amen.