Catholic Women Have Mission to “mentor, animate the girl child”: Bishop in South Africa

Members of the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organizations. Credit: WUCWO

Catholic women have the mission to contribute to the bringing up of young girls into Catholic faith and practice through mentorship and animation initiatives, the Auxiliary Bishop of Pretoria Archdiocese in South Africa has said.

In his homily during the Eucharistic celebration to mark the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organizations (WUCWO) Day 2023, Bishop Masilo John Selemela encouraged the coming together of women to share reflections about their “mission as disciples in our time”.

“One of your missions as Catholic women is to mentor and animate the girl child,” Bishop Selemela said during the Saturday, May 27 Holy Mass at the Catholic Church of the Beatitudes in Zwavelpoort, Pretoria.

He added, “Your mission as Catholic women is that of discipling the girl child and bringing them into the mainstream of Catholic Faith and practice.” 

The South African Catholic Bishop urged WUCWO members to help young girls “not be distracted but to make life giving choices in life.”


Girls face a myriad of challenges including “drug and alcohol, abuses of any kind; they are victims of rape and friendships of inconvenience,” Bishop Selemela said.

It is the duty of every Christian “to bear witness to Christ by surrendering our lives to Christ on the altar of service for the people of God and by offering ourselves as humble instruments in the hands of Christ,” he further said.

The Catholic Bishop who started his Episcopal Ministry in September last year, following his appointment in July said he found it regrettable that some Christians engage in petty issues that have nothing to do with their mission and vocation.

“Don’t be destructed. We are planted with a purpose, and we must realize this purpose,” he said, and added, “Despite our crushing through the various circumstances of life, gender-based violence, abuse of any kind, God is intent on converting us from one level of life to another one. God requires our faith and humility to do wonders.”

He went on to underscore the need for Catholic women to reflect on their role as disciples of Jesus Christ.

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“It is important that as women belonging to the different formations of the church, come together to reflect on your mission as disciples in our time,” the Auxiliary Bishop of Pretoria said during the event that the Catholic Women’s League (CWL) of Pretoria Archdiocese organized, with Catholic women from different sodalities in attendance.

Discipleship is “nurtured corporately”, Bishop Selemela said, and added, “Discipleship is not a course you go through; it’s a life you live out, fostered in a community of interdependence, support, teaching, and admonishment.” 

“This is why faithfulness to and active participation in a local church and its small groups are so vital,” the 51-year-old Catholic Church leader further said.

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.