Remarks by United States Ambassador to the Holy See Callista L. Gingrich at the International Women of Courage Reception

As Delivered:

Thank you, Ambassador Galt.

Good afternoon.  I am privileged to be with you today as we honor these ten remarkable women.

Through strength and determination, each honoree has demonstrated extraordinary courage to advocate for peace, justice, and human dignity.

As the United States Ambassador to the Holy See, I am especially honored to be here today with Sister Maria Elena Berini.

For over four decades, Sister Berini has served in war-torn communities in Africa – first in Chad and now in the Central African Republic.

Sister, your steadfast devotion to peace and justice, on behalf of the most vulnerable, is truly inspirational.  Thank you for all that you do.

Although our honorees come from different backgrounds and circumstances, these incredible women of courage are unified by a common cause: to right the wrong of injustice – wherever it exists.

They are activists who defend human rights in the face of violence and intimidation; humanitarians who risk their lives to protect those in danger; artists who inspire cultural change under the yoke of extremism; and selfless champions who dedicate their lives to improving the lives of others.

These extraordinary women demonstrate through their unparalleled courage what it takes to make real and lasting change.  They do what is hard – to achieve what is great.  Their examples humble and inspire us all.

So to each of our honorees, I say thank you.  Thank you for your tremendous bravery, your compassion, and your efforts to make our world a better place.

We are fortunate to know and honor you.

Thank you and God bless.