Archbishop Bernard Longley thanked women for their roles ‘in Christian leadership (in) schools and parishes, for the irreplaceable witness of Religious Sisters in the life of the Church’ and for women in our families, at the annual Easter Men’s Mass at St Chad’s Cathedral in Birmingham on Monday.
The Archbishop said that men ‘need women of faith’. He said that women are a source of encouragement to men by ‘their example’ and ‘support’ in prayer. He highlighted how it was the women who showed ‘strength’ and ‘steadfastness’ after the moment of Jesus’ arrest.
‘Women help us appreciate our identity as Christian men, at home, at work and in the life of the Church,’ he added. ‘Their achievements, their strengths and their witness of faith are not a threat but an inspiration to us, as we strive to be more faithful in our own witness to the risen Lord.’
He also highlighted how ‘Pope Francis asks us to look into the faces of these women and to recognise how the Lord wants us to respond.’
The Archbishop of Birmingham was the principal celebrant and preacher at the Men’s Mass, promoted and organised by the Catholic Men’s Society. The Mass has taken place each year since 1919. Similar Masses were celebrated by Bishop William Kenney in Coventry and by Bishop David McGough in Stoke on Trent.