I had the opportunity to hang out with about 100 Catholic women over the weekend. Can I just say how refreshing it is to hang out with women who share your belief and your values? Being from the South, it doesn’t happen very often. This was my first time in attendance at the Council of Catholic Women (CCW) Convention for the Diocese.
Things you may not be aware of:
If you are a woman, you are a member of CCW.
Dues are voluntary, but are encouraged. ;-)
The mission of NCCW: The NationalCouncil of Catholic Women acts through its members to support, empower, andeducate all Catholic women in spirituality, leadership, and service. NCCWprograms respond with Gospel values to the needs of the Church and society inthe modern world.
The Convention kicked off Thursday night with a Memorial Mass for the deceased members. The main celebrant was our Bishop with priests from the different deaneries as con-celebrants. The Mass was beautiful (as always); the deceased women from the different parishes within the diocese were remembered. After Mass, we had an banquet with the Bishop in attendance. This was the first time I have had the opportunity to meet our Bishop. He came around and put his zucchetto (I had to look up the appropriate name for the “beanie”!) on various women. I was one of the women who had the honor to have it on my head for a few brief seconds. A picture was taken, but I don’t know how to get it from the photographer who was taking pictures.
Beth & Bishop Stika. I need to mention that this was at a time when no one was speaking.
During the banquet, Beth Mahoney, who is the Spirituality Commission Chair for NCCW, gave the keynote address. She spoke of events in Mary’s life and how they relate to each of us today.
Friday, I had the honor of listening to Father Leo Patalinghug. I knew of Father Leo through the Catholic Channel on Sirius Radio. He is the founder of the Grace Before Meals Movement. Even during periods when I wasn’t a regular mass attendee, we always said grace before our suppers as a family. In this fast-paced world, many families don’t even have supper together, much less say grace.
While Father Leo was cooking, he was doing what he does: preaching. Some “words of wisdom” from Father Leo:
About confession: It’s easy to abuse confession. You should go because you’re sorry, not because it’s the first Friday of the month. Everything we do should be manifested from the heart.
The Church isn’t a hotel for saints, but a hospital for sinners.
Not enough people are saying “yes” to God’s will.
The belly button shows that from the time of our conception, God has 1 plan: to feed you.
Mary is not important to Catholics…she’s NECESSARY.
Priests are called to feed people in a supernatural way. Women have the ability to feed naturally.
At the end, he talked about being beautiful. He spoke of what it meant to be beautiful; not on the outside, but the kind of beautiful that comes from the inside and radiates. To summarize, he made these points:
Remember that the
is One Nation Under God, and will
always be, no matter what. So, don’t get all stressed about the upcoming
election; we’re going to be okay. U.S.A.
Let God work for you.
Teach the gift of modesty & allow your body to be beautiful.
God is trying to fix our brokenness if we let him.
If you’re having a bad day, do something for someone else. You’ll be surprised at how your day will turn around.
The last day, Cathy Bonner gave a powerful presentation on domestic violence. Women Healing the Wounds is a domestic violence prevention resource guide. The guide is free, and includes a page with tear-off tabs for each parish to put information for their local shelter. It is also available in Spanish. They also have partnered with Verizon to donate used cell phones. If you donate a phone, don’t forget the charger!
Check to see if your parish has an active CCW. If not, find out why & get things going.