“In spite of the zeal of the Missionaries, their efforts will not produce sufficient fruit if they are not seconded by women apostles working with the women. Men cannot give this service themselves, only women have free access to pagan women and are able to maintain charitable relations with them; help them in their trouble and so touch their hearts. This apostolate does not stop with the women, for a woman is a fountainhead because she is mother.” Cardinal Lavigerie underlined the importance of woman’s place in the world and in the Church. He saw her as an agent in the transformation of society through her role as “head” of the family, parallel to that of man. Hers is a ministry of love and of humanity. “Women are destined to be the most effective missionaries of the African peoples” 1871
Here is a small very useful methodology for respectful communication:
Take responsibility for what you say and feel without blaming others.
Choose empathic listening
Be sensitive to the different communication styles
Take time to reflect on what you feel and what you hear before intervening
Examine your prejudices and perceptions
Take advantage of ambiguities because we are not there to find out who is wrong and who is right
As I was discovering how Mary personifies hope, I felt the strong link between Mary and the Congolese mamas. I understood why these mamas personify hope for me.