Catholic women to mark suffrage day with a challenge to the Church

Those taking part in an art installation challenging the Church to recognise women’s leadership will be received by Cardinal John Dew at the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Wellington on September 19. 

Catholic women in Wellington, and in Auckland, are marking Women’s Suffrage day with a challenge to the Church to reset itself. 

Called “Pink Shoes into the Vatican”, an activist art installation will be created in the centre of both cities.  

On this Sunday morning, the women will place old shoes, some painted pink, in a walking pattern on the route to St Patrick’s cathedral in Wyndham Street, central Auckland. The Wellington installation will start in the afternoon from the steps of Parliament, which gave women in New Zealand the right to vote in 1893, and lead up Molesworth and Hill Streets to Sacred Heart Cathedral. 

The shoes signify the largely unpaid work women have done for the Church throughout the ages, which will be recorded in short vignettes accompanying the shoes. 

According to the Catholic Parish of Wellington South newsletter of August 8, an “eye-catching pathway from Parliament to the Sacred Heart Cathedral” will be created.  

“Cardinal John Dew will meet us there and accept a message we ask him to convey to the Vatican,” the newsletter stated. 

In a media statement from “Be The Change Aotearoa”, organisers said that this year the Church is 128 years behind the country which granted women the vote on September 19, 1893.  

According to the statement, the women of “Be the Change” are committed to journeying towards a new inclusive model of Church.  

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NZ Catholic Staff

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  1. Jane Lamont says

    I would like to add that my late father worked for many years for the church without pay. Committees, working bees and fairs. Others have dutifully done the “books” It was considered a labour of love. Today some are paid as professionals. That is understandable as we all have to make a living. Can we not forget Christ’s great sacrifice and add our own?

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