Parishes urged to celebrate inspirational women who are the ‘˜caviar on the bread and butter of life’. Parishes around Australia will have the opportunity to reflect on the inspirational role of the women in their midst and to pray for women both here and overseas with the help of a parish kit prepared for the celebration of International Women’s Day on Sunday, March 8. The kit is a project of the Bishops Commission for Church Ministry, through the Office for the Participation of Women. It features a welcome message from the chair of the Council for Australian Catholic Women, Patricia Banister, as well as prayers of the faithful and suggested homily notes from Bishop Michael Malone, the Chair of the Bishops Commission for Church Ministry. The kit also notes that 2009 marks the 10th anniversary of the report on the participation of women in the Catholic Church in Australia, Woman and Man: One in Christ Jesus. In her welcome, Patricia Banister spoke of the many ‘beautiful women’ in her life. ‘These women go about their work in all walks of life with a real sense of the feminine,’ she said. ‘They are eager to say ‘˜yes’ and have the power to say ‘˜no’. They are an inspiration to others. They are the caviar on the bread and butter of life!’ Mrs Banister said that on International Women’s Day, the Church’s prayers would be for all women of the world. ‘We pray for those who are suffering in violent conflict in war torn countries, women who are caring for children who are victims of famine and disease, women who hold influential positions and women who are just like me ‘“ wives, mothers, and grandmothers. ‘We remember also those women who have struggled for a place in our Church and we recognise the significant role of women in our Church, especially those who work in a voluntary capacity and without whose generosity our Church would be the poorer’. In his homily notes, Bishop Malone noted that women have suffered and do suffer in the Church. ‘Their place in the Church has not yet been sufficiently recognised, so a deep injustice is still being perpetrated against them,’ he said. ‘Placing our trust in God in the fact of that injustice is one thing, but acknowledging our role in contributing to that injustice is even more important. ‘International Women’s Day allows us to reflect honestly on how women are treated in both society and the Church. The first step in remedying any imbalance begins with me.’ Parishes are being sent a copy of the International Women’s Day kit.