Seventeen people attended the English Share Lent training session held at the Diocese of Montréal office on February 18th, organized by the Diocesan Social Action Office Coordinator, Kim Gottfried Piché.

It was a lively meeting with the theme of Women at the Heart of Change. In celebration of the jubilee anniversary of Development and Peace, the critical role of women is being highlighted as influential agents of development in the Global South.

The first half of the day consisted of activities focused on relevant material to the campaign and small group activities that would bring important aspects of the material to light. Large group discussion would usually follow after the small group activities. It began with the Symbols of Solidarity procession, recommended as an optional activity for parishes. 

Four Development and Peace parish representatives carried these symbols to the front of the room (a hardhat, plant, voting ballot and water pitcher) in recognition of the hard-fought rights that women have gained, especially over the last century, sometimes at great cost to themselves.  

The first group activity was a quiz on statistics of gender disparity with respect to women, agriculture and access to land (in the Global south) and statistics about women, poverty and employment in the world. The second activity involved groups working with the promotion material "mini-magazine" that featured in-depth articles on dynamic women in Paraguay, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Syria and Indonesia. 

The participants worked with these materials to present each story to the larger group. Each presentation was followed by a short video about each story. The activities allowed the participants to see what the partners of Development and Peace are doing and how women are being empowered by those initiatives in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

This was followed by a brief presentation of the materials in the Share Lent package and how these materials might be used in a parish setting.  Finally, there was a short sharing on what to present in a 5-8 minute parish pulpit presentation. 

The session concluded with the recitation of the Share Lent prayer and all present were invited to spread the joy of the campaign to their respective parishes!

Acknowledgment and thanks to the wonderful volunteers that helped make the day a success.  Dan Lafrenière, Parish Representative & Diocesan Council member of D&P Diocese of St-Jean-Longueuil; Yvonne Bourque, Parish Representative and Diocesan Council member of D&P Diocese of Montreal;  Chris Voss, Diocesan Council member of D&P Diocese of Montreal and Rosemont DP young adult group; Boris Polanski, president of the Montréal diocesan council of D&P and Parish Representative for St. Kevin's parish.