Danville clinic director keynotes Women’s Day of Recollection
Her life hasn’t always been easy, but Kimberly A. Padan chooses to side with the author of the first letter of Peter, who encouraged the Christians in Asia Minor by saying, “Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope.”
For nearly an hour she did just that as the keynote speaker of the annual Women’s Day of Recollection sponsored by the Bishop’s Commission for Women in the Church and in Society last Saturday, Feb. 28. The day started with an opportunity to celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, the rosary and Mass with Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria before moving to the nearby Spalding Pastoral Center for a luncheon and Padan’s talk.
The executive director of the Women’s Care Clinic in Danville and a member of St. Paul’s Parish there, Padan discussed “Celebrating the Dignity of Women.”
“I love being a Catholic woman. I love pro-life work. And I love women, because God has made us amazing,” she told the 161 women gathered at the Spalding Pastoral Center.
Padan said she considered herself to be like the early feminists, who fought for the right to vote and to make their voices heard. But a later phase of the movement promoted birth control and abortion, which do not uphold the dignity of women, she emphasized.
“They thought that birth control and abortion were going to make women free and independent,” Padan said. “I don’t see it in my clinic.”
She noted that 50 percent of the women who come to the Women’s Care Clinic for help are on birth control. Not only are they at an increased risk of heart disease and strokes, but they are missing out on the opportunity to be in the kind of loving, holy and completely self-giving relationship that God intended for his people, Padan said.
Lent is a good time to nurture the dignity of women by helping someone, she said. That includes praying for life, “because abortion hurts women.”
Padan also encouraged them to be open to what God has in mind for them and to trust in his design.
“That does not mean it will be easy,” she said, “but it will be fulfilling.”