During his earthly ministry, Jesus made a point of affirming the dignity of women, and counted them among his missionary disciples.

Even before Christ’s incarnation, strong women of faith played key roles in God’s plan of salvation history.

Mary herself is “a pre-eminent and singular member of the Church, and … its type and excellent exemplar in faith and charity” (Lumen Gentium, 53).

In this set of articles from our partner Catholic News Service, we take a closer look at how women can more fully use their God-given gifts and talents in the service of the church.

Women are essential to the future of a vibrant church

In the face of both crisis and social challenge, the church needs the prophetic, experienced perspective of women more than ever. Pastoral, apostolate and diocesan efforts all benefit when women are given a voice in leadership and decision-making.

How the church can invest in young women leaders

Investing in young women leaders is a win-win for the church — a proactive strategy that will meet coming challenges, and a response to the Holy Spirit’s prompting for a deeper understanding of how women can make God more visible in the world.

(See a related video.)