Daughters of Wisdom: Women & Leadership in the Global Church

Event Information

Share this event

Date and Time



DePaul University (Lincoln Park Campus)

2250 North Sheffield Avenue

DePaul Student Center, Rm. 314AB (3rd floor)

Chicago, IL 60614

View Map

Event description


Logo/header for World Catholicism Week 2018
APRIL 6–8, 2018

DePaul University's Lincoln Park Campus

Conference website

Following Pope Francis' establishment of a commission to study the ordination of women deacons, this conference addresses—more broadly—women's leadership in the Catholic Church, with a special emphasis on the global South. Lay and religious speakers from India, Uganda, Argentina, Singapore, Mexico, Zambia, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, the U.S., and the Philippines will explore topics such as the following: women's use of Scripture, the ecclesiological basis for women in Church leadership, and the leadership roles that women are already exercising in grassroots church communities, faith-based social movements, and theological education.

"Daughters of Wisdom: Women and Leadership in the Global Church" is the 10th annual World Catholicism Week hosted by DePaul University's Center for World Catholicism & Intercultural Theology (CWCIT). This conference is free of charge and open to the public, as well as all of DePaul's faculty, staff, and student community.

(Above photo: On the LEFT is Rosemary Nyirumbe, SSHJ, based in Gulu, Uganda. On the RIGHT is Melinda Roper, MM, based in Darién, Panama; photo by Clara Meza.)


Rosemary Nyirumbe, SSHJ (Gulu, Uganda)

  • Director of St. Monica Girls' Tailoring Centre serving girls formerly held captive by the Lord's Resistance Army
  • One of TIME's 100 Most Influential People of 2014

Melinda Roper, MM (Darién, Panama)

  • Past president of the Maryknoll Sisters Congregation
  • Longtime missionary among Panama's mestizo and indigenous communities


Marguerite Barankitse (Kigali, Rwanda)

  • Founding president of the Maison Shalom network for orphans of Burundi's civil war
  • Inaugural recipient of the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity
View complete list of all conference speakers, their bios, and descriptions of their conference topics.

Conference Schedule

FRIDAY, April 6

Pre-Conference Session—Undergrad Research Poster Presentation (details)


Check-In/Registration (Book Sales 6:00-7:00pm)

Welcome—William T. Cavanaugh (CWCIT Director)


Video Message from Marguerite Barankitse

Keynote—Rosemary Nyirumbe, SSHJ



Continental Breakfast, Check-In/Registration, Book Sales


Roundtable on Scriptures

  • Barbara Reid, OP—"Reading the Bible with the Mind, Eyes, and Heart of a Woman"
  • Rekha Chennattu, RA—"Women's Leadership in the Church: Biblical Insights from an Indian Perspective"
  • Ahida Pilarski—"Challenging Hope: The Journey of Latin American Women in Theology and Biblical Studies"

Book Sales + Break for Lunch (on your own)


Roundtable on Ecclesiology

  • Agnes M. Brazal—"Church as Sacrament of Yinyang Harmony: Toward a More Incisive Participation of Lay/Women in the Church"
  • Neomi DeAnda—"A Woman's Leadership in 17th-Century Mexico: A Model for Latina Leadership Today"
  • MarySylvia Nwachukwu, DDL—"The Rebekah Figure of Genesis 27: A Mirror to Understanding Women's Leadership in the African Church"

Coffee Break + Book Sales


Roundtable on Grassroots Church Communities

  • Tandiwe Lucia Chipoka—"Pillars of the Church"
  • María del Pilar Silveira—"The Marian Devotion Led by Latin American Women"
  • Wendy M. Louis—"Women's Leadership in BECs (Basic Ecclesial Communities)—Complex & Countercultural"

5:00-6:00pm Reception


Keynote—Melinda Roper, MM: "The Wind Blows Where It Will (John 3)"

SUNDAY, April 8

Check-In/Registration + Book Sales


Roundtable on Faith-Based Social Movements

  • Jeane Peracullo—"Catholic Women's Movements in Asia: Re-Defining Faith for the 21st Century"
  • Emilce Cuda—"The Woman and the People: A Symbolic Language in the New Populist Style"
  • James J. Carney—"Solidarity on the Streets: Catholic Women's Leadership in Modern Uganda"

3:00-3:30pm Coffee Break


Roundtable on Theological Education

  • Niceta M. Vargas, OSA—"Locating Women in Four Catholic Schools of Theology in the Philippines"
  • Maricarmen Bracamontes, OSB—"Women, Education, and Theology in Latin America and the Caribbean: An Initial Approach"
  • Charity Musamba—"Enhancing the Role of Catholic Women Lay Groups in Rural Zambia"

Closing Remarks and Wrap-Up Q&A (William T. Cavanaugh, CWCIT director)


What are my transportation/parking options for the event?
For directions by both car & public transit to DePaul's Lincoln Park Campus, please visit the
Hotel & Parking Info page of our conference website. (There's a link on that page to a campus map that highlights the parking locations.)

If you're driving, you may find street parking on or near the campus (both free & metered, depending on the street), but you may also park in either the Sheffield Parking Garage or the Clifton Parking Deck. Please note: To receive the discounted DePaul rate, please ask for a parking voucher at the World Catholicism Week registration desk.

Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?

You can reach CWCIT at

Can I update my registration information?
Yes—to review or change any of your registration info, please simply follow the instructions given

Whom should I contact if I have questions about disability accommodations?
If you have a disability that may require reasonable accommodations in order to facilitate your participation in this or other CWCIT events, please contact us at or 773-325-4158 to further discuss accommodation options.

Share with friends

Date and Time


DePaul University (Lincoln Park Campus)

2250 North Sheffield Avenue

DePaul Student Center, Rm. 314AB (3rd floor)

Chicago, IL 60614

View Map

Save This Event

Event Saved