Ecclesia of Women in Asia

Forum of Asian Catholic Women Theologians

Virginia Saldanha
  • Female
  • Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • India

Virginia Saldanha's Friends

  • Dr.T.Mercy Rani
  • RITSUKO OKA, Sr. Luca Maria
  • Ecclesia of Women WebCoordinator
  • Andrea Si
  • Sr. Judette Gallares, rc
  • celia chua
  • Manju Kulapuram SCSC
  • Kochurani Abraham
  • Shanti Fernandes
  • Rashmi Mananavalan
  • Rekha M Chennattu, RA
  • Erlinda C. Perlado Mertens MAPS
  • Intan Darmawati Supeno
  • Shalini Mulackal
  • Priscilla D. Valmonte

Virginia Saldanha's Page

Latest Activity

Virginia Saldanha posted a discussion

EWA 6 - Liberating Power: Asian Feminist Theological perspectives; 14th - 18th November, 2013, Bangalore, India.

CORINNE KUMAR the need for contextualising and historicising the doing of theologyDr. Pauline Chakkalakal, DSP*Power of Paul’s Liberative Vision: Reading of Galatians 3:28Therese Thuy Nguyen: From Doing things right to doing the right thing – The significance of Ignatian discernment for decision making of women.See More
Aug 14, 2014
Virginia Saldanha posted a discussion

Statement of the Annual Meeting of Indian Women Theologians 2012

Statement of the Indian Women Theologians’ Forum (IWTF)Annual Meeting 26th – 28th October, 2012We the Indian Women Theologians’ Forum met at Canossa Ashram, Andheri , Mumbai to reflect on “Food for the Hungry – Towards an Indian Feminist Theology of Transformation”. The growing disparity in our country caused by neo liberal globalization has resulted in chronic malnutrition particularly of women and children. Despite India’s claim to economic growth and the abundant stocks of grain beyond the…See More
Oct 31, 2012
Nameeta R replied to Virginia Saldanha's discussion Call for Papers/Participants, EWA 6 - Liberating Power: Asian Feminist Theological Perspectives
"Hi, I filled the form but  doesn't the site send some acknowledgement by email ? I'm not sure it reached! Nameeta"
Oct 13, 2012
Virginia Saldanha posted a discussion

Call for Papers EWA 6

CALL FOR PAPERS/PARTICIPANTSLiberating Power:Asian Feminist Theological Perspectives6th Biennial Conference in collaboration with theCatholic Theological Ethics in the World Church" Venue: Bangalore, IndiaDate: 14-18 November, 2013WHO WE AREEcclesia of Women in Asia (EWA) is an academic forum of Catholic women theologians in Asia. EWA encourages and assists Catholic women in Asia to engage in research, reflection and writing from a feminist perspective. It invites women towards doing theology…See More
Oct 12, 2012
Virginia Saldanha replied to Virginia Saldanha's discussion Will Women Priests Change the Church?
"Hi! Erlinda, I am working on something positive to bring about change - education for women and men on the Web which is a free space to think, analyse and express oneself.  Visit the website at Warmly Virginia"
Aug 27, 2011
Erlinda C. Perlado Mertens MAPS replied to Virginia Saldanha's discussion Will Women Priests Change the Church?
"PS. Sorry for typing your name without the Caps on V-irginia. I was not able to see it until I posted my comment. My apologies."
Aug 22, 2011
Erlinda C. Perlado Mertens MAPS replied to Virginia Saldanha's discussion Will Women Priests Change the Church?
"HI virginia and all, It is good to thinkg of change and especially change that is directed towards greater inclusivity in the Church. If women get into the priesthood it will definitely bring in a lot of change. One of the things that is not…"
Aug 22, 2011
Virginia Saldanha replied to Nguyen A Quan's discussion Women in Religion
"Dear Nyguyen A Quan,   Greetings! I read your paper with interest.  Are you interested in exploring this topic further?  Then perhaps you can do an online course at the Catherine of Siena Virtual College.  Go to the website and…"
Jul 16, 2011

Profile Information

Educational Background
Bachelor's Degree majoring in Economics. Done Certificate courses in Theology for the Laity offered by the Diocesan Seminary of the Archdiocese of Bombay.
Work, Church, NGO experience
Worked in the Church from my days as a college youth. After being widowed, worked in my parish of Sacred Heart, Santa Cruz, Mumbai as a catechist in regular school as well as Sunday school for 14 years. During that time I did in-service training at the Diocesan Catechetical Centre in Catechetics.
Served in the Diocese on the Executive Committee of the Justice & Peace Commission from 1991 - 1999. Was the Executive Secretary of the Women's Desk of the Archdiocese from 1992-2000. Was a member of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council for a term of 4 years. Was the Executive Secretary of the Commission for Women in the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India from 1998 - 2004. During my tenure I helped to organize the women theologians in India which functions under the name of Indian Women Theologians' Forum today.
Continue to be on the organizing committee of the IWTF for the organization of the biennial meetings.
Was Executive Council member of Pax Christi International from 1997 to 2004. During this period I not only got in touch with international women's organizations, but got a good idea of global issues in politics and economics.
In my personal capacity worked for the uplift of the domestic workers in my parish who were mainly poor dalit women. Continue to be in touch with that group till date by associating with my parish community centre which works with women's groups in the slum areas of the parish. Thereafter I was associated with the Bombay Houseworkers' Solidarity and the National Domestic Workers Forum for several years.
Presently working as Executive Secretary of the Office of Laity, Family and Women's Desk of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences.
Member of Satyashodak, a catholic women's study and reflection group in Mumbai.
Presently associated with Women Networking, a loose network of women's groups in the city of Mumbai.
Am a free lance writer - contributing articles to various catholic and NGO magazines and papers.
Published a book of awareness sessions on women, titled "Woman in the Image of God". Edited "Discipleship of Asian Women at the Service of Life".
A little about yourself, including the issues and causes closest to your heart
Widowed at the age of 28, I brought up 3 young children as a single parent. Today I am a proud mother of three professionals and even prouder grandmother of seven lovely grandchildren.
My experience as a widow living in India in a culture biased against women - especially widows, compelled me to look at the plight of poor women who were even less fortunate than myself. My study of theology, and joining with justice groups and satyashodak helped me to look at the lives of the poor and women in the light of my faith. I felt compelled to take up issues concerning women which became the basis of my commitment and work for justice and women's rights.

Statement of the Indian Women Theologians Forumgg Meeting 2009

23rd – 25th April, 2009

Nineteen Indian women theologians, consisting of women religious, members of secular institutes and lay women coming from six different states of the country gathered for the 9th annual meeting of the IWTF in Pune from 23rd to 25th April 2009.
We reflected on the theme “The Space Women have in the Church”.

Two papers, "What space can women claim in the Church for theologizing" from a biblical perspective, and “Feminist Ethics – Perspectives and Challenges”, helped in our reflection and discussion of the theme. Members also shared about their experiences in their field of work. Creative liturgies prepared by members helped deepen our reflection.

Inspired by four instances of strong biblical women (Siphra, Puah, Mariam, the mother of Moses and Pharoah’s daughter; Judith; the Cananite and Samaritan women) who created a space by courageous action and their critique in the light of faith, we reflected on the situation of women today in the Church. We strongly believe that the women in the Church with the light and power of their faith, can create alternative spaces for themselves that recognize their dignity and rights as women. This calls forth women to move out of their complacency, to take a stand collectively and consciously.

Reflecting on the perspectives of feminist ethics we were confronted with the whole area of cultural conditioning and double standards that contribute to women’s stereotyped subordinate status both in Church and society. This was seen clearly in the issues that were presented for our consideration.

Two important issues that gripped our attention were the case of the CMC sisters in Narakal, where the parish priest has tried to appropriate the school from the sisters and the issue of sexual abuse in the Church.

Discussing the case of the Narakal sisters we observed how the power of the hierarchal and patriarchal Church was used to put the parishioners against the school community of sisters and how the Mother General and the Provincial were made to capitulate and go against their own sisters. The case brings out very powerfully how vulnerable and powerless women are, especially the women religious in the hierarchical church.

We know for certain that there are several cases of sexual abuse of sisters that pass in silence because of cultural conditioning . The roots of wrong attitudes to sex go back to suppressed sexuality and family upbringing. Sexuality is still a taboo in religious formation. We regret that the Church does not want to face these issues to solve the problem.

We feel the need to work collectively to deal with these serious issues affecting women’s space in the Church through consciousness raising and standing with the victims for justice.

We invite all women and men of good will to join hands in supporting the cause for justice to women in the Church as well as for creation of “spaces” that recognize women’s autonomy and dignity as equal members in the Church.

Sanjeevan, Pune
25th April 2009

Virginia Saldanha's Photos


Virginia Saldanha's Blog

Statement from a Consultation on Gender Relations in the Church - Call to Integrity & Justice.



Gender Relations in the Church: A Call to Integrity and Justice.

Pune, 15th August, 2010.

1. Introduction:

1.1 On the 15th August, 2010, feast of the Assumption of Mary and the anniversary of India’s Independence, we, 24 women and men responded to the call of Streevani, Pune, to ‘ponder’ like Mary and discern the liberating voice of God’s Spirit in recent events that have challenged the Catholic Church.

1.2… Continue

Posted on September 6, 2010 at 6:17pm

East Asiam Bishops' Institute of Lay Apostolate II on Women held in Taiwan in May 2010

East Asia Bishops’ Institute on Lay Apostolate (BILA) on Women II

St. Theresa’s Activity Centre, Hsinchu Diocese, Taiwan.

4th – 7th May, 2010…


Posted on June 10, 2010 at 3:52pm

Comment Wall (10 comments)

You need to be a member of Ecclesia of Women in Asia to add comments!

Join Ecclesia of Women in Asia

At 10:07pm on September 11, 2009, Intan Darmawati Supeno said…
Dear Virginia,

Thanks for your attention. How is your condition now, is it fine? Hope so...
I'd the story for each arpillera, but most still in Indonesian. I'll try to translate them and I'll tag it here, so everybody can read it. And hope it will inspiring and benefit whom interested with that.

Nice to see you in HuaHin. Hopefully we can meet the other day...

love and peace...
At 12:56pm on September 8, 2009, Virginia Saldanha said…
Dear Sr. Siphim,
Please ask Sr. Elizabeth Johnson if she received the book I mailed to her one year ago from the US - "Discipleship of Asian Women at the Service of Life." I di not hear from her so do not know if she got it.
Or if you could give me her email address, that would be better.
Thank you.
At 8:40pm on September 7, 2009, siphim xavier, osu said…
Dear Khun Virginia, many thanks for your message. I met Sr. Elizabeth Johnson last week. We agreed on the timetable and schedule. She will be my tutorial teacher and I will take another two regular courses with another two professors at Theology Dept. of Fordham University. I will start the class this week. I hope you are fine and keeping well. All the best, God bless and take care., siphim
At 12:05am on June 18, 2009, Rekha M Chennattu, RA said…
Thanks, Virginia, for inviting me to sign up. I was thinking of writing to you. But these days are so hectic for me. Thanks for all the wonderful works that you are doing for the empowerment of women and for more networking. With all my good wishes, Rekha
At 11:47pm on June 17, 2009, Manju Kulapuram SCSC said…
Thanks Virginia for your encouragement. i don't know how to proceed.
At 10:52pm on December 8, 2008, EWA Archives said…
Hi Virginia> You also live in Mumbai but the Mumbai story seems to be Astrid's alone. Has it affected you personally? I'm trying to wake up this EWA forum. I hope you can post an article, can be a forward like the article on women ordination. Of course if you have something lying around that you can post. Please.
At 5:58pm on August 31, 2008, Intan Darmawati Supeno said…
Hi Virginia, how are you? still in FABC? Hope you're well...long time not see you. Warm hug...
At 7:33am on August 31, 2008, Erlinda C. Perlado Mertens MAPS said…
Hi Virginia
This is Erlin, do you remember me? I was working with Volet in WGC-amrsp and later with Dr. Rotea in the cbcp office on women.
Good to see you!
warm regards
At 10:09am on August 28, 2008, Shalini Mulackal said…
Hope you are keepign well and are in good spirits. I am keeping well in spite of the busy days. Keep smiling.
At 10:25pm on August 27, 2008, EWA Archives said…
Hi Virginia. You look fabulous in your picture. Too bad you won't be attending the 4th EWA conference. You can make up for that absence by appearing frequently in this forum, though. How about finding or writing an article or something that you can post. Let's give members something to chew on/think about/write about. When there are FABC or other events that we might be interested in, you can add these to our events calendar. You can even post photos of you and your grandchildren in your personal page. Since we can form groups within this network, I've opened membership to whoever applies. In time, we can create special interest groups like a group for EWA 4 participants, a group for the CT and former CT members (can't seem to let go of our wisewomen), a group only for former EWA participants, maybe a group for religious sisters. So much we can do and this account gives us 10 gigabytes of memory. Super HUGE, compared to the 15 MB that geocities gives us. But all that space means we have to get to work. I'm counting on you to help get this group going. And please do invite your other contacts. Delete Comment

© 2017   Created by EWA Archives.   Powered by

Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service