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First female Congregation member says women have much to offer Church

Andrea Gagliarducci - CNA/EWTN News - Wed, Oct 1st 2014

The first woman ever to be appointed a member of a Vatican congregation said that “women still have much to give to the Church with their personal charisma”.??

Sr. Luzia Premoli, superior general of the Combonian Missionary Sisters, was appointed a member of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples on 13 September, and spoke recently to CNA.

“The appointment took me by surprise, I did not expect it … but I was also joyful, because the appointment is a concretization of Pope Francis’ wish for more women in high ranking positions in the Catholic Church,” Sr. Premoli said.

She added that her appointment “shows Pope Francis’ commitment” to having more women as decision-makers in the ranks of the Church.

While women served in the Vatican already, as consultants or even under-secretaries and members of pontifical councils, there had never been a woman appointed as a member of a congregation, the higher ranking departments of the Roman curia.

A native of Brazil and a Comboni sister from the age of 23, Sr. Premoli spent eight years as a missionary in Mozambique, and another eight in Brazil, where she was appointed provincial. She was elected superior general of her order in 2010.

Sr. Premoli underscored that “although the Church has given an organization with almost exclusively men in the top ranks, the communities are full of women that give their personal contribution to the life of the Church".

The biggest contribution women can give to Church’s life is “the way women gaze at things, and their being heartfelt. Women have this peculiar passion, which probably come from their being capable of maternity,” said Sr. Premoli.

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