Episcopal Diocese of Rochester
Joy in Christ, a way of life

A Local International Woman’s Day

A Local International Woman’s Day was a great success (for the first one) in Montour Falls, Saturday, March 10. More than 30 women and teens participated at St. Paul’s Parish House, 108 S. Genesee St, Montour Falls. Participants from Episcopal, Catholic, Baptist, Presbyterian churches and more were represented.

Dr. Roja Singh was the main speaker of the day and delivered an inspiring message highlighting on Agency, Resilience and Solidarity. Dr. Roja Singh is deeply passionate about claiming human dignity and social justice for all, especially for Dalit women and children (members of the “untouchable” caste in India). She is a strong believer in education as key to effectively and confidently interrupt cycles of oppression. Singh draws strength from an earthy humanness that she sees in Dalit women’s ethics of caring for one another in their claims to social justice. Born and brought up in Chennai, South India, Singh is currently Visiting Assistant Professor at St. John Fisher College. Her ongoing research and social activism focus on intersections of caste, class and gender in rural India as evident in the lives, experiences, leadership strategies, oral narratives and cultural expressions of Dalit communities of women in South India and other indigenous communities. Roja Singh holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from Rutgers and is President of Dalit Solidarity Forum in the USA, Inc. a nonprofit organization committed to the social and economic progress of Dalit communities.

After the program an international lunch was held with dishes representing India, Thailand, Italy, Central America, and America. Montour Falls Mayor John King joined the lunch and the vigil after. A Candlelight Vigil was held at 1:30 p.m. at the base of beautiful Shequaga Falls where participants prayerfully considered the violence which is threatening children in schools, as well as women and children in their homes and communities.“Recognizing that prayer and action go hand-in-hand, women know joint prayer can be effective, so we will ask participants to consider how they can best affect their communities and their homes to reduce the violence that threatens our children,” said event organizer Kate LaMoreaux.

St. James’ Episcopal of Watkins Glen, St. John’s Episcopal of Catharine, and Good Shepherd of Savona’s Reverend Father Abidhananthar John (Father Abi) said, “I am amazed to see such great potentials in our churches and I pray that our people will lead a just society as Jesus dreamt in negating the hatred culture and spread the love of Christ which offers Joy to all. I am privileged to travel with my church family in the process of building God’s Reign.” He said, “The recent ‘Florida School incident’ is sign of a great moral failure. We all have a moral responsibility in creating a counter culture against this growing “terror and fear” that haunts the very hopes of future. The reaffirmations over life and a bold renewal of mind and purpose
need to be propagated towards a just life.”

Christians of many cultures, traditions, and races, in over 170 countries around the world unite in prayer during World Day of Prayer. This is a worldwide movement of Christian women that began in the U.S. and Canada in the 19th century, and became worldwide in 1927. The continuing motto for the special week is “Informed Prayer and Prayerful Action.”

If you would like more information or an interview contact:
kalamoreaux@gmail.com or abi74john@gmail.com  929-264-1990.