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The Women’s World Day of Prayer takes place on the first Friday of March every year. It began in Canada and the U S A in the 19th century, out of concern for the situation of women and children. It gradually spread world-wide and was first celebrated in the United Kingdom in Scotland in 1930. There are now over 1,000 branches in the UK, and 170 National Committees. So the day begins at daybreak in Tonga, and ends at nightfall in Samoa – 36 hours of women praying together throughout the world.

Each year a different country prepares the prayer, giving its own distinctive emphasis. In this way all are enriched by different cultures. In 2010 it was the turn of Cameroon. The theme the women chose was ‘Let everything that has breath Praise God!’

Their petitions reflected the problems of women and especially girl children in their country. Their prayer was nevertheless full of thanksgiving – for life, for the beauty and fruitfulness of the earth, and for the  compassion and loving care of God.

The whole spirit of the prayer was full of joy and trust in a God who hears the cry of women. Participants were encouraged to wear bright colours and to join in the songs of praise.

This year several La Retraite sisters in England who had had personal contact with Cameroon were invited by different Churches to give the address.

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