Veronica SevillaWomen are a factor of change in the Church".

Coach, specialized in tourism management, mother and Christian woman, Ecuadorian Verónica Sevilla talks to Omnes about the role of women in the Church, their influence and their importance as "engines of change".

Maria José Atienza-February 27, 2023-Reading time: 5 minutes
veronica sevilla

Photo: Verónica Sevilla

Veronica Sevilla's life has known multiple facets: She was elected Miss Ecuador in 1986 and studied Human and Religious Sciences at the Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja. In addition to that, she obtained a diploma in Tourism Direction and Management and was trained as a coachHe is a specialist in which he invests his working time.

A deep believer, Veronica is fully convinced that, with her daily work, she is building the Church together with millions of other men and women in the world.

In this interview with Omnes, he speaks openly about his faith, his work and his collaboration in the preparation of the International Eucharistic Congress 2024.

What is the place of faith in your life and how do you manifest it?

-Faith in my life is fundamental, because it gives meaning to every part of my life. The happy moments, like the sad ones, become more bearable. The desert times, where nothing seems to happen, make sense to rest from the current stress.

Today, we lead a fast, demanding, competitive life, full of information of all kinds and Faith is that "close your eyes and give to God" that allows me to discern and face each space of my life as a mother, wife, daughter, friend, executive, politician, sportswoman, as a woman today.

For some time now, there has been talk about the "role of women in the Church", do you think that sometimes it is confused only with having more positions within the ecclesial structure? 

I believe that the Church reflects what women are demanding in society in general; women are looking for a place in decision-making spaces. But the Church is not a structure like that of a company, it has another transcendence. We must be careful not to confuse equity in society with that of the Church.

Women already have a beautiful model: the Virgin Mary. She must be our point of reference, she is there: she loves, she unites, she impels, she serves, she expresses herself. She with her yes in every moment changes the world, as she did in the Incarnation.

Women are a factor of change in the Church, with their dedication and work. There are many spaces occupied by women in the Church that are fundamental and from which works that change the world are generated. Pope Francis reminds us that "without women the Church of the continent would lose the strength to be continually reborn".

Since the Archbishop of Quito called me to collaborate with the organization of the International Eucharistic Congress 2024, I have worked with several priests and bishops, I give with transparency and peace my point of view, and I try to argue my decisions, as in any company, I notice that I am valued and respected. We managed to reach the objectives and we are advancing in the project together with the team of priests, religious and lay people.

What does the professional and family life of a woman today contribute to the life and mission of the Church?

- Women contribute in many areas within the mission of the church. If we understand that the family is where faith is born. We women are the ones who carry the faith to our children, whether we are married together with our partner, or if our partner does not share or we are divorced, we should not lose heart. There is much to teach also from personal vulnerability.

We women are bearers of spirituality wherever we go by our example, our attitude and our words. Because believing in Christ is not enough, we must act as Christ asks of us in our daily lives: at home, in the office, in the street, on the bus, in the positions we occupy in high dignities and even more so if we are public figures.

Looking at Mary, wondering if the way we react, or the way we behave or communicate would be hers, that is timeless.

Of course, it is not easy because the production system, social and professional pressure and the current environment present us with sometimes incompatible demands. Even so, you have to make a conscious effort to stand firm. This can often cost you spaces for which you have worked and sacrificed a lot professionally or personally. It is precisely there where the mission of the laity is: women or men. It is in those spaces of today's world, competitive and hard, where you contribute to the life of the church, questioning that status quoYou are a Catholic woman today, being coherent with your faith, in spite of what may come your way.

The beauty of all this is that it works! You will see projects realized, that will have a transcendent meaning that you did not suspect, there will be people who will come to thank you for the way you treated them, for the word you gave them or simply because they observed you and wanted to have that "I don't know what" that they call, that made them see the hand of God there.

"Believing in Christ is not enough, we must act as Christ asks us to act in our daily lives: at home, in the office, on the street, on the bus."

Veronica Sevilla

Are women really aware of the importance of their role in all areas of society?

I think it is not a general rule, there is a group of women who are very conscious and work hard to make a space for themselves to achieve those changes in all areas of society, but there is still a large number who, due to economic and social differences, as well as, lack of opportunities, have no way of thinking about their importance.

For them we are the women and men who have more opportunities, more possibilities, who have received more "talents" (meaning opportunities) and, therefore, more responsibility to generate positive changes, to give them those possibilities through work, education, faith and to generate those opportunities that dignify them and give them the importance they have in all areas of society. 

Do you consider that there is a growth of a kind of self-pity among women who consider themselves feminists and that, on the contrary, it does nothing to help true "empowerment"?

Feminism is a movement born out of the inequality that has historically existed. I believe that it is right and legitimate to fight for the spaces of equality for women, that we must do it hand in hand with women and men, so that society will develop healthily. The first space is the family and from there it should always radiate to the whole society equality in love. 

Feminism, like any movement born out of inequality, has branches that become radical, contentious and even violent, generally its members have gone through painful histories, through hard experiences that have left a very deep imprint. I believe that the attitude is born of unhealed wounds, of circumstances that we cannot judge, but that surely were lacking in love. If the motivation is pain, the "empowerment" will be destructive and will not last in time, so it will not be positive.

Power is born from the possibility of doing good, of creating, of generating spaces, changes and opportunities for women or men who need them. Even if you have suffered, you cannot generate those opportunities with methods contrary to love. Thus, to be an "empowered woman" your power lies in healing, forgiving and putting love in everything you do in your daily life, in your family, in your friendships, at work, in sports, etc.

La Brújula Newsletter Leave us your email and receive every week the latest news curated with a catholic point of view.
Banner advertising
Banner advertising