Catholic Woman

Page 1



You are God’s creation PAGE 18


What are our obligations to planet earth? PAGE 11


Summer sentiments PAGE 21

PAG E 8 -9

2017 CO NVE


C h e ck out t hIO N e s ch ed u le! WORKI NG




F atima

Inspiring Books & Films

100th Anniversary of

“A masterpiece! Fatima Mysteries is the most comprehensive, thoroughly researched book I have ever read on the Fatima apparitions.”

— Fr. Donald Calloway Author, Champions of the Rosary


The Urgent Marian Message of Hope Fr. Andrew Apostoli, CFR n this authoritative, up to date book, Fr. Apostoli, foremost Fatima expert, carefully analyzes the Marian apparitions and requests, and amazing miracles that took place in Fatima, and clears up lingering questions about their meaning. He challenges the reader to hear anew the call of Our Lady to prayer and sacrifice in reparation for sin and for the conversion of the world. 16 pages of photos.


FATO-P . . . Sewn Softcover, $17.95


Sister Lucia of Fatima n intimate biography of Sister Lucia seen through the eyes of the Carmelite Sisters who shared in her daily life for 57 years in Portugal. It draws upon Sr. Lucia’s personal memoirs, letters, writings and private notes never before published, allowing readers to experience her personal path of joys and sufferings as she spread the message of Fatima.


Mary’s Message to the Modern Age Grzegorz Gorny and Janusz Rosikon lavishly illustrated over-sized volume APU-P . . . Illustrated, Softcover, $19.95 with glorious photographs and insights on the whole story of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima in 1917, perhaps the most important private revelations in Church history. A unique work on Fatima that presents the bigger story in pictures and detailed text of the historical events before, during and after Mary’s appearances. It underscores the serious nature of Our Lady’s requests for prayer and sacrifice for the conversion of the world and salvation of souls.


For Children 9-15 years old


TO FATIMA — Ruth Hume


eaders of this volume of the acclaimed Vision Books series for youth will be enthralled by the inspiring story of three children who insisted that Our Lady had indeed come to Fatima, and from whose faith grew one of the greatest spiritual movements of our time. Illustrated

OLCF-P . . . Sewn Softcover, $11.95

FATM-H . . . 8x10 Hardcover, 400 pp, $34.95


✦ THE 13TH DAY - Stylistically beautiful and technically innovative, this acclaimed movie on Fatima uses state-of-the-art digital effects to create stunning images of the visions and the final miracle of the sun that have never before been fully realized on screen. 13D-M . . . 85 mins, $19.95 DVD

✦ FINDING FATIMA - Produced by the

filmmakers of the acclaimed The 13th Day, this powerful documentary combines archival footage, dramatic reenactments, and original interviews with Fatima experts to tell the whole story of Our Lady of Fatima. FFA-M . . . 90 mins, $19.95

P.O. Box 1339, Ft. Collins, CO 80522

1 (800) 651-1531


JESUS IS RISEN, ALLELUIA, ALLELUIA! We are in the 50-day season of Easter following the Lord’s resurrection that includes his Ascension into heaven and ends with Pentecost, June 4. Pentecost is considered the birth of the Church, when the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples. Emboldened by the outpouring of gifts on them, the disciples went forth baptizing thousands that day. These can be called the first Catholics, led by Peter, the first pope of the Church.


SHEILA HOPKINS is president of the NCCW. Sheila has been a member of the NCCW for 40 years.

On April 5, I had the extraordinary experience of greeting the 266th successor to Peter, Pope Francis. On behalf of the members of the National Council of Catholic Women, I presented His Holiness a certificate representing the 2,048,510 works of mercy counted during the Jubilee Year of Mercy called by Pope Francis. Holding my hand and patting it, his response was: “I hope you will continue this work.” As our 39 pilgrims traveled across Italy to the holy and historical sites of Venice, Padua, Florence, Assisi, Siena, Orvieto and Rome, we celebrated the liturgy each day in a beautiful church and remembered our sisters in the National Council of Catholic Women and the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organisations (WUCWO). What a blessing to receive the Eucharist in these ancient churches, including a chapel near St. Peter’s Tomb in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. We thank Father James Stembler, past NCCW chair of spiritual advisors, who prepared daily prayers and celebrated the liturgies. May is Mary’s month, with many devotions to her as Queen of Heaven and Earth and Mother of the Church. We have heard “To Jesus through Mary,” as our Lord does not refuse the intercessions of his mother. The rosary, the Angelus and the Litany of Loreto are ways to honor our Blessed Mother. Marian devotion was evident in the many paintings and statues of Mary we observed in the churches in Italy. One of the many titles under which she is honored is Our Lady of Good Counsel. The fresco of our patroness is enshrined in Genazzano, Italy, 30 miles from Rome. While we considered going there, the planned schedule did not allow us the time to travel to the site. A special celebration this May 13 is the 100th anniversary of Fatima. Some of us had the privilege of participating in the nightly procession of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima, carrying candles and singing Ave Maria, when we attended the 2014 WUCWO General Assembly in Portugal. Our Lady of Fatima, we pray to you for the conversion of sinners. This time of year is convention season for arch/dioceses and election of new officers in many affiliate levels. It is also the time that funds are distributed to various organizations and charities you support. Please remember NCCW in your giving, as Pope Francis requested. Our hands and voices are raised in service to God and his people. May we rejoice in the gifts we receive from the Holy Spirit and use them as God intended for his purposes on earth. Even though summer is traditionally a time for rest, we can never rest while there are people in need. Thank you for your service in his name.


Fatima prayer Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, I adore you profoundly, and I offer you the most precious Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges, and indifference with which He Himself is offended and through the infinite merit of His most Sacred Heart, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of you the conversion of poor sinners. 3

in this issue YOUR LIFE







Thank YOU!

Sparkle and Dine




What I’ve found has drawn me to NCCW are the resources. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

Caring for God’s creation

Serving up dignity





You are God’s creation



What are our obligations to


planet earth?

Good soil bears much fruit



Working together to make a difference: Diana Zavala rejoices in sharing her gifts




Summer sentiments

USCCB’s Strategic Plan


Guns & Ice Cream tells stories of children today, and also it wanders back to the time of the prophet Jeremiah offering a reflection on Jesus’ time.







What Pope Francis has


been saying and doing recently



Million Works

Catholic Women: Living the Joy of the Gospel

of Mercy


Sept. 6-9 4 Catholic Woman | Vol. 43, Issue 2 |


Laudato Si’ REUTERS



THANK YOU! Dear Women of DCCW, As I drove to each parish and mission throughout the Diocese of SpringfieldCape Girardeau this past August on my “2017 Road Rally,” I continually encountered bulletin announcements like the following: “Rosary for Life following the weekend Masses sponsored by DCCW,” “Pro-Life fundraiser sponsored by DCCW” or “Holy Hour for vocations sponsored by DCCW.”

BY THE MOST REVEREND EDWARD M. RICE bishop of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau

New to the diocese, I had to ask, “What is the DCCW?” I soon discovered that the Diocesan Council of Catholic Women (DCCW) is a powerhouse of creativity and energy for the good of the parishes and the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau! I was not familiar with this organization in St. Louis, but in my 10 months since my installation as your bishop, I have come to see the valuable contribution this organization offers not only to the local parish, but to all of Southern Missouri. The National Council of Catholic Women states its mission as “to support, empower, and educate all Catholic women in spirituality, leadership and service. ... And to respond with Gospel values to the needs of the Church and society in the modern world.” Impressed, I realized in reading that mission statement that was exactly what I was witnessing on the road rally: In any given parish or mission vision, the DCCW was there to pray, organize and assist in the betterment of parish life! In writing this column, I have the opportunity to say “Thank You” for all the DCCW does for the good of the Church in Southern Missouri. Without your efforts, there would be a major void in so many of our parishes. Thank you for your spiritual example, your leadership and your support of our priests in the life of our parishes. (Reprinted with permission of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau)

I realized in reading that mission statement that was exactly what I was witnessing on the road rally: In any given parish or mission vision, the DCCW was there to pray, organize and assist in the betterment of parish life! 5


- 9 , 2 0 17 S E PT. 6 LE, A N ATO H ILTO N S A X E T , DA LLAS















6 Catholic Woman | Vol. 43, Issue 2 |

Dallas, Texas, is a very doable drive for many. The Hilton Anatole is located at 2201 N. Stemmons Freeway (Interstate 35E) on 45 acres of land just north of downtown Dallas’ business district — three miles from the Dallas Convention Center. For those driving, guests of the hotel for the convention will receive free parking. There is discounted parking of $10 per day with in/out privileges for day guests. There is a parking lot for buses near the hotel with no fee for parking, although it should be noted there is no security at the lot. For those unable to make the drive, there are two airports near the hotel: Dallas-Fort Worth Airport has 1,800 flights daily and is located approximately 20 minutes from the hotel. Dallas Love


Field is a smaller airport and is about 10 minutes from the hotel. Both airports are easy to get around and very efficient. Transport by taxi or shuttle is available at either airport.

HOTEL: Our convention hotel, the Hilton Anatole, is beautiful, and your room comes with all the amenities you need to make your stay truly exceptional. There is a wonderful concierge to help with any reservations or questions about the area. A FedEx business center is accessible and is where you can print out boarding passes. High-speed internet is available in your room. The hotel accepts Visa, American Express, MasterCard, Discover and Diner’s Club and there is an ATM on the lobby level. This non-smoking hotel has eight

CONVENTION INFORMATION GUIDE restaurants and bars, plus 24hour in-room dining. Rooms are spacious and have an in-room safe, hair dryer, iron and ironing board, self-controlled heating and AC, free WiFi, coffee station and refrigerator. There is a Fitness Center and three pools, including a new spa and swimming area available at a reduced rate for convention attendees. The Anatole art collection encompasses more than 1,000 works of art from throughout the world, some dating to the fifth century B.C. The property features a private, seven-acre Sculpture Park with walking and jogging trails and benches for quiet reflection. There are also several shops in the hotel.

THINGS TO DO: The hotel is just two minutes from the shops, restaurants, and boutiques of the Dallas Design District and five minutes from the American Airlines Center (concerts and games). Museums and art galleries are just eight minutes away at the Dallas Arts District. AT&T Stadium, home to the Dallas Cowboys, and Globe Life Park, home of the Texas Rangers, is 20 minutes away. Tours are also available, with two being offered prior to convention by the NCCW. Information is on our website.

ACCESSIBILITY: Accessible rooms are available, but limited, and should be requested when making your reservation. Dallas is a wonderful site for our NCCW Convention. The hotel is perfect for our needs, and the area is full of interesting things to do, easy to access and easy to traverse. So, please plan now to join us for the 97th annual Convention of the National Council of Catholic Women. We shall learn, pray and have fun together — be sure not to miss one moment. See you in Dallas!

NCCW 2017 Convention: Sept. 6-9 at Hilton Anatole, Dallas, Texas Theme: Catholic Women: Living the Joy of the Gospel CONVENTION REGISTRATION: Early-bird rate of $300 expires on June 30, 2017. Rate includes all business sessions, beautiful liturgies, three wonderful speakers, commission workshops, the LTD Presentation and a breakfast with a great speaker. After June 30, registration will be $350 until Aug. 15. The last day to register will be Aug. 15. There will be NO on-site registration. Please print the form found on the website,, and mail it with your check or credit card information to the NCCW office. PROGRAM ADS: The form is found on our website. Ad sizes range from one line for $25 to a full-page ad for $300. The deadline to submit payment and the ad copy is July 21, 2017. Please note that ads must be camera ready, high resolution and the size for which you are paying. Please proofread your ad as NCCW is not responsible for making your ad camera ready or for content. An ad is a perfect way to support NCCW as you remember deceased members, honor your retiring presidents or province directors, congratulate newly elected officers or acknowledge the support of your spiritual advisor. Please see for details. HOTEL RESERVATIONS: Room rates are: $159 single, $179 double, $199 triple and $219 quad, plus applicable state and local taxes at our convention hotel. Texas does not accept tax-exempt status for hotel rooms or food. Room reservations must be made by Aug. 14 to obtain the NCCW Convention rate. Click the link found on the NCCW website. If you cannot go online to make a reservation, please call 1-800-HILTONS (1-800-445-8867), Monday-Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. It is important to indicate you are reserving under the NCCW room block to get the NCCW rate. WORKSHOPS: Our commission workshops and our LTD Team Presentation will again all be held during general sessions this year. This allows everyone in attendance to experience all the workshops and eliminates having to choose from concurrent sessions. We know our Spirituality, Leadership, and Service Commissions, as well as our LTD Team, will provide excellent presentations with much information for you to take home and share. So come prepared to take notes and enjoy! CONVENTION CHARITY: Under the Clothes and Over the Toes — a collection of underwear and socks of all sizes for men, women, boys and girls — is our special local charity this year. They are always in need of socks and new underwear, so let’s go shopping! Checks will also be accepted at the convention. SILENT AUCTION: Forms and instructions for donating items are found on our website, We respectfully request donated items have a minimum value of $50. FUNDRAISER: After the wonderful success with our fundraiser last year, we have asked “Sister” back to take us through “Sister’s Christmas Catechism: The Mystery of the Magi’s Gold.” It’s CSI: Bethlehem as Sister uses forensic techniques to solve a mystery that has intrigued historians through the ages — whatever happened to the Magi’s gold? Along the way, she imparts Church teachings and Christmas traditions, and uses carols, audience participation and a living Nativity to help unravel the mystery in an evening of nostalgia and laughter. So many told us after last year’s fundraiser they had not laughed that hard in years, so please plan to join us and be a part of this hilarious NCCW fundraiser. CONVENTION TOURS: We are offering two separate tours prior to the convention. A Dallas Highlights Tour is scheduled from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 5, and a tour of Fort Worth, complete with a cattle drive down the main street, is set for Sept. 6 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. More information can be found on our website. We have planned a wonderful convention with great speakers, another fun fundraiser, a beautiful hotel and the latest information from our commissions, Leadership Training & Development and our Legislative Advocacy Committee. There’s also the ever-popular Purse Auction, a First Timer Orientation Session, Confessions and Meditation Room, and so much more — all offered with Texas hospitality. As always, the real highlights will be gathering for Mass and devotions with hundreds of our Council sisters and led by our wonderful spiritual advisors. Please do plan to join us as we celebrate our 97th NCCW Convention with joy! CONTINUED ON PAGE 8


2017 CONVENTION SCHEDULE WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 6, 2017 8 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Registration Open

Atrium Convention Registration

8:30 a.m.–9:15 a.m. Leadership Liturgy Celebrant: Rev. Richard Dawson, NCCW chair of spiritual advisors

Grand CDE

9 a.m.–4 p.m. Meditation Room

Plum Blossom B

9:30 a.m.–noon Board of Directors Meeting (closed)


8 a.m.–2 p.m. Exhibitors Setup

Grand A+B

12:30 p.m.–2 p.m. Leadership Luncheon (by invitation) Fleur de Lis Guest Speaker: Mother Susan Catherine. Introduced by Rose Martinet, NCCW treasurer 2 p.m.–4:30 p.m. Silent Auction accepting donations


2 p.m.–7 p.m. NCCW Store Open


2:30 p.m.–4:15 p.m. Board of Directors Meeting (open)


2 p.m.–8 p.m. Exhibits Open

Grand A+B

Mother Susan Catherine

4:30 p.m.–5:30 p.m. First Timers Orientation Imperial Speaker: Kathy Bonner. Kathy has served on every level of Council, including NCCW commission chair and vice president. She has been a motivational speaker for more than 30 years addressing groups nationally and internationally. Kathy is one of the authors and presenters of the NCCW Leadership Training & Development Program (LTD) and The Women Healing the Wounds resource. 5:30 p.m.–8 p.m. Silent Auction Open


Open Evening THURSDAY, SEPT. 7, 2017 7 p.m.–8 a.m. Confessions Meditation Room


7:30 a.m.–8:45 a.m. Nominating Committee Meeting


7:30 a.m.–8:45 a.m. Associates of NCCW, Inc. Board Meeting

Batik A

7:30 a.m.–8:45 a.m. Friends of NCCW for WUCWO Board Meeting

Batik B

8 a.m.–5 p.m. Registration

Atrium Convention Registration

8 a.m.–5 p.m. Meditation Room Open

Plum Blossom B

8 a.m.–9 a.m. Exhibits Open

Grand A+B

8 a.m.–9 a.m. NCCW Store Open


8 a.m.–9 a.m. Silent Auction Open


9 a.m.–11:15 a.m. Opening General Session Imperial Business agenda. Keynote Speaker: Mary Hasson. Introduced by Maribeth Stewart, NCCW president-elect Ending Session Prayer & Lunch Blessing by Rev. Richard Dawson 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Exhibits Open

Grand A+B

11:45 a.m.–1 p.m. Spiritual Advisor’s Lunch and Meeting


11:15 a.m.–1:30 p.m. Lunch on your own


11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. NCCW Store Open


11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. Silent Auction Open


1:30 p.m.–2:30 p.m. Spirituality Commission Session Beth Mahoney, NCCW Spirituality Commission chair


2:50 p.m.–3:50 p.m. Leadership Commission Session Lindamarie Richardson Kelly, NCCW Leadership Commission chair


4:10 p.m.–5:10 p.m. Service Commission Session Chris Heiderscheidt, NCCW Service Commission chair


5:45 p.m. Opening Liturgy

Grand CDE

6:30 p.m.–8 p.m. Exhibits Open

Grand A+B

Mary Hasson

6:30 p.m.–8 p.m. Silent Auction Open


8:30 p.m.–10 p.m. Fundraiser: Sister’s Christmas Catechism


FRIDAY, SEPT. 8, 2017 7:20 a.m.–7:40 a.m. Rosary

Sculpture Garden

8 a.m.–9:30 a.m. Breakfast (all registered convention attendees) Speaker: Stacy Thomlison. Introduced by Jean Kelly, NCCW secretary


8 a.m.–3 p.m. Exhibits Open

Grand A+B

8 a.m.–3 p.m. Registration Open

Atrium Convention Registration

9 a.m.–5 p.m. Meditation Room Open

Plum Blossom B

10 a.m.–11 a.m. Liturgy for our Deceased NCCW Members

Grand CDE

12 p.m.–1:45 p.m. NCCW Store Open


11:45 a.m.–1 pm. Associates Luncheon and Meeting


1:30 p.m.–5 p.m. General Session / Business Meeting


5 p.m.–6:30 p.m. NCCW Store Open


4:30 p.m.–6 p.m. Silent Auction Open Final bids close at 6 p.m.


4:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m. Exhibits Open

Grand A+B

Stacy Thomlison

6:45 p.m.–9 p.m. Province Dinners/Pictures Locations posted on message board at Atrium Convention Registration SATURDAY, SEPT. 9, 2017 7 a.m.–8 a.m. Confessions


8 a.m.–1 p.m. Meditation Room Open

Plum Blossom B

8 a.m.–1 p.m. NCCW Store Open


8 a.m.–1 p.m. Exhibits Open

Grand A+B

8 a.m.–9 a.m. Silent Auction winners announced Posted on message board at Atrium Convention Registration.


8 a.m.–1 p.m. Registration Open

Atrium Convention Registration

7:15 a.m.–8:45 a.m. Friends Breakfast and Meeting


9 a.m.–10 a.m. General Session Keynote Speaker: Dale Recinella. Introduced by Sheila Hopkins, NCCW president.


10:30 a.m.–11:15 a.m. Leadership Training & Development Session Linda Clark, LTD chair and members of the LTD Team


11:30 a.m.–1:15 p.m. Purse Auction


Dale Recinella

11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. Lunch on your own 11:30 a.m.–1:15 p.m. Silent Auction Pickup Winners must pick up and pay for their items.


2 p.m.–3:30 p.m. President’s Closing/New Province Director Installation


4 p.m. Closing Liturgy/Installation of New Officers

Grand CDE

6 p.m.–7 p.m. Cash Bar


7 p.m.–9 p.m. Closing Banquet


SUNDAY, SEPT. 10, 2017 8 a.m.–10 a.m. Board of Directors Meeting for Incoming and Current Members Board Training – Linda Clark 10 a.m.–11 a.m. Executive Committee Meeting

Cardinal Cardinal 9


WHEN IT COMES TO FEEDING THE HUNGRY, I think of our neighboring soup


kitchens and the caring volunteers who work there, selflessly bringing simple but critical nourishment to those in need. Not too far from where I live, the Capuchin Soup Kitchen, a ministry of the Capuchin Province of St. Joseph, tends to the needs of Detroit’s homeless. But in the area of food, it’s not your typical soup kitchen. It’s managed by a culinary expert who brings to Detroit’s most needy what is normally reserved for the most sophisticated of palates. Like most executive chefs, Alison Costello has had a passion for fine food her whole life. The Michigan native studied at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York, and has trained with some of the most renowned chefs in the culinary industry. Alison’s career has included positions as an executive chef in fine restaurants, a personal chef, a culinary consultant and as a corporate caterer. But despite a successful and vibrant professional career serving the wealthiest and most discerning of clients, a different type of hunger plagued Alison. She found herself relentlessly drawn back into her Catholic faith and compelled to apply her world-class skills for a different type of client: the homeless. “I was very burnt out from the secular cooking world and found the job with the Capuchins through a headhunter. It was the right fit at the right time. I was able to be a real mom to my kids, spend more time with my husband and work with like-minded people who shared the same values. God just knew where to plant me,” she says. For Alison, it’s not only about who she is serving, but what she is serving. To provide a sustainable and culturally nourishing kitchen, she works with local farmers, wholesalers and co-ops to purchase seasonal and organic ingredients, as much as possible. And as site manager and executive chef, she holds true to her philosophy of creating “made-from-scratch” culinary experiences for those she serves. “In order to create lives of dignity to those who are chronically poor, broken, addicted and homeless, I wanted to send home the message that people, no matter who you are, deserve fine food,” Alison says. With a passion for applying her culinary gifts to a ministry of serving those in need, Chef Alison has found a way to simultaneously exercise and challenge her culinary skills, respond to the calling of her faith and provide nourishment and dignity to the hungry in her community. 10 Catholic Woman | Vol. 43, Issue 2 |


DIGNITY ALISON’S SQUASH GRATIN WITH BLUE CHEESE AND SAGE INGREDIENTS: 5 cups cubed, peeled hubbard squash (acorn squash or pumpkin is fine, too) ½ cup bread crumbs 4 tsp. olive oil 2 cups thinly sliced onion 1-2 tbs. chopped sage and thyme ½ tsp. sea salt

¼- ½ tsp. fresh black pepper ½ cup or so crumbled blue cheese (I like Salemville Amish gorgonzola or Maytag Blue)

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Steam squash until tender. Mix breadcrumbs with 2 teaspoons olive oil. Sauté onions in the rest of the oil until translucent. Put in bowl with squash, sage, salt and pepper. Gently combine. Lightly grease baking dish and pour mixture in. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Crumble cheese on top, then sprinkle bread crumbs on top. Bake until cheese melts and crumb (gratin) topping is light, golden brown.

MICHELLE DIFRANCO is a designer and the busy mom of three children.

T. Gennara

FATHER JOE KRUPP is a former comedy writer who is now a Catholic priest.





If God created us to be caretakers of the earth and its creatures, shouldn’t we all be vegetarians?

We begin by looking at animals and how our faith teaches us to treat them. In my lifetime, I remember three popes. All three have made some pretty strong statements inviting us to consider our treatment of animals when it comes to our food. In 1990, Pope St. John Paul II stated that “the animals possess a soul and men must love and feel solidarity with our smaller brethren.” He described animals as the “fruit of the creative action of the Holy Spirit” and said they deserve our respect; that they are “as near to God as men are.” In 2002, when he was Cardinal Ratzinger, Pope Benedict responded to a question about animal rights, and stated that the issue was very serious. This is his quote from that interview: “That is a very serious question. At any rate, we can see that they are given into our care, that we cannot just do whatever we want with them. Animals, too, are God’s creatures ... Certainly, a sort of industrial use of creatures, so that geese are fed in such a way as to produce as large a liver as possible, or hens live so packed together that they become just caricatures of birds, this degrading of living creatures to a commodity seems to me in fact to contradict the relationship of mutuality that comes across in the Bible.” Pope Francis has said similar things, and these are exceedingly well-publicized. Beyond that, our catechism is pretty clear in making two points for us. The first is in section 2417, where it reads “It is legitimate to use animals for food and clothing.” The second is from section 2418, which states that it is “contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer or die needlessly.”

It seems to me that, when it comes to Catholics being vegetarians, we are free to make our own choice. It’s also clear to me that some people are called to be vegetarians and some are not. For those called to be vegetarians, I think a challenge could be to avoid making your individual call everyone’s call. For us meat eaters, the challenge is to be conscious of the meat we eat and where it comes from. It is our moral duty to avoid participation in a system where animals are treated with needless suffering or lack of care.


Is it immoral not to recycle? What do I have to do to protect the environment?


This one is a bit tougher, because, as far as I could find, the catechism is not explicit in addressing recycling. To further complicate the issue, you have environmental activists who warn that there can be too much recycling and that some recycling consumes too much energy — what do we do? I think the smart thing to do is to remember a simple statement: God made us caretakers of this place and all that is in it. This is a great and noble task about which we need to be conscious. This task challenges us to change our behaviors and habits to embrace the duty to be responsible stewards of God’s creation. I’m going to close with a couple of quotes from some of our popes that help us see this reality.

“Man is suddenly becoming aware that by an ill-considered exploitation of nature he risks destroying it and becoming in his turn the victim of this degradation. Not only is the material environment becoming a permanent menace – pollution

and refuse, new illness and absolute destructive capacity – but the human framework is no longer under man’s control, thus creating an environment for tomorrow which may well be intolerable. This is a wide-ranging social problem which concerns the entire human family.” – Pope Paul, Octogesima Adveniens, 1971

“In our day, there is a growing awareness that world peace is threatened not only by the arms race, regional conflicts, and continued injustices among peoples and nations, but also by a lack of due respect for nature, by the plundering of natural resources, and by a progressive decline in the quality of life. The sense of precariousness and insecurity that such a situation engenders is a seedbed for collective selfishness, disregard for others and dishonesty. Faced with the widespread destruction of the environment, people everywhere are coming to understand that we cannot continue to use the goods of the earth as we have in the past. ... [A] new ecological awareness is beginning to emerge which, rather than being downplayed, ought to be encouraged to develop into concrete programs and initiatives.” – Pope St. John Paul II, The Ecological Crisis: A Common Responsibility, 1990

May God bless our efforts to be good stewards of his creation! Enjoy another day in God’s presence. 11


Veronica Way Province of Cincinnati Parish: Basilica of St. Mary of the Assumption of Marietta, OH Years in Council: 35

Joyce Schmitt Province of Indianapolis

Parish: Mary Queen of Peace, Danville, IN Years in Council: More than 30 Something you might not know about me:

I worked in a soup kitchen in a Third World country! I watched as men and women, nuns and schoolchildren — all smiling — plucked the feathers off the chickens by holding them over a fire to burn them off. The smell was not good! But Father said they were happy because they knew they were going to have a place to sleep and food to eat.

I farmed and raised hogs — lots of hogs! And I fostered many teenage girls, especially those who were considered difficult to place. All they needed was love and someone to be there for them and not hurt them. In fact, my husband and I adopted four of our foster children — I used to tell them, “I didn’t carry you under my heart; I carried you in my heart.” I loved each of my seven children equally.

What inspired me to join NCCW?

My love for Council started when I was very young:

Something surprising you don’t know about me:

I had two sons who were participating in Boy Scouts and I wanted to give myself a project, so I joined the Council. I grew in my faith and I gained the greatest friends. I have a very rewarding, prayerful life because of Council. I am able to participate in many good works for the Church, as well as teaching and mentoring other Catholic women. I have loved my adventure in Council. (And my boys became Eagle Scouts!)

My favorite CCW project: Our sister diocese is the Archdiocese of Cusco, Peru, in the Andes. In 2007, the Steubenville DCCW adopted a project for the residents of the St. Francis of Assisi Senior Care Center (Centro Gerentologico) of the Little Sisters of the Abandoned Elderly — a care facility for the abandoned and elderly — and, since then, has collected $31,072.13 for the residents of this facility. One time, I was invited to visit Cusco and the Centro Gerentologico. DCCW donations have given the Little Sisters of the Abandoned Elderly funds to purchase a large oven, upgrade their kitchen, renovate the rooms for the residents, replace the roof on one of the residents’ buildings and purchase new cots and clothing lockers. It was very eye-opening to see the poverty and the way of life there. I saw the most beautiful toothless smiles. It was an adventure.

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My grandmother did all the church sewing in the Indianapolis Diocese for the priests. I learned to iron the linens at a very early age. She was a very active member of the Altar Society, where she would take me and I would listen to all the things they were doing — unaware I would follow in her footsteps. My late husband, Michael, was so very supportive of Council and always encouraged me to keep going. He never missed a convention!

Your favorite CCW project: There isn’t anything I don’t love about Council. But if I had to pick one project, it would be our work to end human trafficking. Due to my experience as a foster mother, I know that there is a lot going on right here in this country. You think of human trafficking as children from other countries or those who are sent out of the country. But there’s so much more to human trafficking than that. There are mothers who traffic their own kids for money. I had a beautiful 14-year-old girl who was placed in our home. Her mother had used her as a prostitute from the age of 10 to obtain money. She would go to bars and bring men home for the sole purpose of using her daughter for money, although never herself. I had many girls whose fathers not only physically and mentally abused them, but sexuality abused them and allowed their brothers to do the same. All the while, their mothers knew and never tried to stop the abuse.

Barbara Birds Province of Atlanta

Parish: St. Patrick Catholic Church, Charleston, SC Years in Council: 35

Del (Delphine) Keller Province of Portland, Oregon Parish: St. Therese Parish, Portland, OR Years in Council: 17

Something surprising you don’t know about me:

Something surprising you don’t know about me:

On Aug. 29, 2007, St. Patrick Catholic and Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Churches organized a Legion of Mary Presidium in Charleston, S.C. This group of men and women met once a week to recite the rosary and other prayers, and report on our corporal works. The object of the Legion of Mary is the glory of God through prayer and cooperation. The group meets weekly to recite the rosary showing devotion to Mary. I served as secretary for four and a half years. We will soon be celebrating 10 years as legionaries. During our home visits, we say the prayers and comfort someone through love, the word of the Lord or sharing a listening ear. Hospitality is the heart of the Gospel.

I played college basketball at the University of Portland. Though we didn’t have a high school basketball team, I often played with my three brothers at home. I came from a big family: three brothers and four sisters!

What inspired me to join NCCW? I joined St. Patrick Women’s Guild in 1982 at the invitation of a member. During this time, I had a very busy family, worked full time and was a full-time college student in the evenings. Because I loved the mission of the guild, I made it work for me. It was then that I was invited to attend the Diocesan Board meetings as a guest and was exposed to NCCW. It was all history since then. The mission was then connected and made it all more inviting to join. I kept growing in the organization because someone invited me.

My all-time favorite CCW project: As a member of Council, I have served in many capacities on all levels of SCCCW. In each role, I learn more and more about the organization. One of my greatest rewards is having the opportunity to develop our membership in my Diocesan Council. For the past three years, I have served on the Membership Committee as a co-chair. This committee is also affectionately known as the “Traveling Workshop.” Joan Mack, co-chair, and I travel throughout South Carolina to provide the history of SCCCW and NCCW and recruiting strategies, using PowerPoint presentations, workshops and engagement from the members, and review progress made with the affiliate’s presidents. We also provide hard copy documents to aid members in identifying ways to grow and maintain members. Being a member of this committee has strengthened my knowledge of Council, given me the opportunity to have a closer relationship with my Council sisters and provided me a deeper sense of harmony within myself. God encourages each woman of Council to give to others with grace. “Therefore, as we have the opportunity, let us do well to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” (Gal 6:10).

On joining NCCW: I was invited to join and, before I knew it, I was on the Board! I had been the president of the Altar Society at my parish for four years, so they knew I was gullible!

Favorite project: It is hard to pick just one project that is my favorite. I like all the CCW projects. I do enjoy the social aspect and I enjoy finding speakers for our local conventions and conferences. Last year, the theme was the social doctrine of the Church. We always try to tie in the current NCCW resolutions as well. NCCW was an inaugural sponsor of the 2016 conference on domestic violence, “Hope, Help and Healing: A Catholic Response to Domestic Abuse,” held at the Catholic University of America. My husband is a director of the Eton Lane Foundation which helped sponsor the event.

I like all the CCW projects. I do enjoy the social aspect and I enjoy finding speakers for our local conventions and conferences. 13

Through the Water for Life fund, the National Council of Catholic Women and Catholic Relief Services make clean, safe water available to families. Water is the most essential element for life, and the future of humanity depends on our capacity to guard it and share it. I therefore encourage the international community to be vigilant so as to ensure that the planet’s waters be adequately protected and that no one be excluded or discriminated against in the use of this resource. —POPE FRANCIS, MARCH 22, 2015


Guns & Ice Cream


A Collection of Stories Inspired by the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp


BOOK REVIEWED BY JOAN GALLES publications editor for the Portland, Ore., ACCW

“See you on the other side ...”: These are the wise and poignant words of a wonderful 9-year-old about to see “the other side.” He was an intrepid camper at the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. Now there is a name for you. But let’s start at the beginning. In 1988, actor Paul Newman founded the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp for children with life-threatening illnesses. He wanted to provide a “different kind of healing” to seriously ill children free of charge. Hole in the Wall comes from the movie “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” starring Newman and Robert Redford. Much of the D O M ’S ATH E R camp’s look is based on the locales and antics of VIS IT F E AT O E ST R the two Wild West outlaws. O N L IN S .CO M RDOM This camping experience, though, goes beyond F ATH E the usual games. This is serious fun. Each child is allowed, within the constraints of their illness, to enjoy a panoply of activities. Most of these children, because of their illness, would not otherwise have a chance to experience the challenges of camp and the opportunity to have some “crazy, good fun.” Father Domenic serves as a one-onone spiritual advisor, helping children traverse this difficult, but spiritually rich, time in their and their families’ lives. Several stories detail the travails of the children. But some tell of Father Domenic’s own struggles with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. There are Hole in the Wall Camps around the world, including an old castle in Ireland. Each story briefly explains the difficulty (for example, the camper Pee Wee’s overactive nighttime bladder), then Father Dom reflects on that passage — sometimes poetically, but always with an uplifting message of hope. Though the tales are brief, the truths of this camp experience can be understood in this one sentence, “Andrew was a 10-yearold with a brain tumor waging war inside him, but Andrew won that first battle. He made it to camp.” The rest of Andrew’s story will warm your heart. Guns & Ice Cream is an emotional read. It tells stories of children today, and also it wanders back to the time of the prophet Jeremiah offering a reflection on Jesus’ time. As for the book’s title: When Newman opened the Irish location, the campers during the first year needed to use the facilities at a nearby army base. The IRA was still active at the time and the army was on alert. When leaving the place, the children were given ice cream on a stick. At the gate, a soldier came up with a gun on his back. One of the children offered him his own ice cream. The tension broke and there were tears all around. To quote Father Dominic, “So what will it be? Guns or ice cream?”

To order:

GUNS AND ICE CREAM A Collection of Stories Inspired by The Hole in The Wall Gang Camp Author: Father Domenic Jose Roscioli Artwork: Dino Black | Price: $15

WISDOM FROM FATHER DOMENIC ROSCIOLI “… I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma … I am in remission ... To celebrate this time in my life, I started volunteering at The Hole In the Wall Gang Camp …” “I gave my fear to God. I trusted God with the rest of the night and soaked up the joy of that day. I decided then and there that I wasn’t going to let cancer take any more joy from my life …” “Whenever you feel sorry for yourself, wiggle your toes. Focus on the good. Focus on your blessings.”



Sparkle and Dine: A gem of an evening! The Council of Catholic Women in Springfield, Minn., was in search of a new service project for its parish. For many years, they held an annual rummage sale. Due to declining results, it was decided to brainstorm for a new project.


BY ANN MIESEN New Ulm diocesan service commission chair

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It was suggested to hold an event to evangelize Catholic women who have fallen away from their faith. It was decided all local community churches, no matter the denomination, would be invited to share in the sisterhood of Christ. A committee of four women went to work to create a great event. A neutral venue was booked and the women set out inviting their friends to an evening together. The committee felt if 100 women came out on a Monday evening during the winter that would be a grand success. Never in their wildest dreams did they expect 246 women to participate. The theme “Sparkle and Dine” was chosen, and the goal was to create an opportunity for women to dress up, feel special and have some fun. Thirty-one women of the Springfield community were each assigned a table to decorate with a theme. Beautifully decorated tables filled the room throughout with a simple elegance viewed by the women as they enjoyed social hour with friends. The women enjoyed a glass of wine and listened to an inspirational message. A delicious meal was catered by a local restaurant and enjoyed by all. Louise Anderson shared her personal journey of life’s unexpected trials and how her faith brought her joy throughout it all. A member of the Council of Catholic Women shared briefly some information about the Heartland Girls’ Ranch, which

provides a supportive environment for girls who have been sexually exploited or trafficked. The sisters in Christ came together to help these young girls. Monetary donations were accepted and a donation exceeding $2,000 was presented to the Heartland Girls’ Ranch. The Planning Committee was amazed by the outpouring of support from the community. The “Sparkle and Dine” organizers thanked God for an evening filled with faith and fellowship.

Caring for God’s creation “The Lord God then took the man and settled him in the Garden of Eden, to cultivate and care for it.” –Gn 2:15


BY LINDAMARIE RICHARDSON KELLY leadership commission chair

We usually think about the Garden of Eden as where Adam and Eve lived, but do we realize that we also live there? The Garden of Eden is earth and all that resides here. Adam was responsible for the garden then — and now we are. We are to be stewards of God’s planet and we must take care of it for it to survive. God has given us a great honor in this position of ownership and we must work, care for and rule. We must resist the urge to think about his creations as merely something to serve our individual needs. So how are we called as Catholic women to care for God’s creations? We could start by taking the St. Francis Pledge to Care for Creation and the Poor. (

I/WE PLEDGE TO PRAY, ACT AND ADVOCATE TO SOLVE CLIMATE CHANGE. This is a promise and a commitment by individuals, families and Catholic organizations to live their faith by protecting God’s creation and advocating for the poor. Those who live in poverty face the harshest impact of global climate changes.


PRAY And reflect on the duty to care for God’s creation and protect the poor and vulnerable.

ACT To change our choices and behaviors to reduce the ways we contribute to climate change.

ADVOCATE For Catholic principles and priorities in climate change discussions and decisions.

ORGANIZATIONS • Encourage lawmakers to improve and update public transportation options. Passenger vehicles are a major contributor to pollution; when effective and far-reaching transportation systems are in place, fewer cars will be wasting gas and emitting greenhouse gases and other pollutants. • Organize or participate in local and state Earth Day celebrations to raise awareness of the challenges of climate change. • Keep up with legislation concerning climate, emissions or energy policies. INDIVIDUALS • Turn the lights out when you leave a room • Use reuseable bags at the grocery store • Use cloth instead of paper towels • Buy a rain barrel to collect rainwater for gardens • Use a water filter and limit the number of plastic bottles trashed • Share rides, save gas • Turn the water off when brushing your teeth • Recycle, recycle, recycle 17


You are God’s creation


leadership Training Development

BY KATHY BONNER co-author and presenter of the NCCW Leadership Training Development (LTD) program.

Even if there is no LTD in your area, find out where the scheduled sessions are happening and plan to be a part of the celebration of learning. It’s a gift of love that keeps on giving.

THE LEADERSHIP TRAINING DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM (LTD) celebrates 12 years of helping build positive leaders and caring memberships.

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Do you remember that you are one of God’s creations? If you do not replenish the oil in your lamp, you cannot be the guiding light for others. How you value yourself could determine your ability to care for others. Do you run constantly from family to work to church and start all over again, without ever taking time to invest in your own well-being? Alice McMahon once said, “Women are really socialized to be nurturers rather than be nurtured. We have to be trained and be given permission to be selfish. Then we can be more to the other people in our lives.” When opportunities are made available for you to grow through an Leadership Training Development (LTD) session or through meetings, seminars, conventions and retreats, what is your first reaction? Do you think: I’m too busy; my husband needs me; I need to attend all of my kids’ games? If your employer took you aside and suggested a seminar to become better at your job, would you say no? NCCW offers opportunities to further your faith and your self-esteem, all while acquiring skills that are adaptable to the workplace, the family and community. LTD sessions offer an amazing combination of different learning styles along with friendship and fun. Schedule one in your area and experience the uplifting and exhilarating pick-me-up. Return home invigorated, happier and more confident to tackle life’s challenges. Replenish the oil in your lamp to clearly see your path and continue to guide others. “It is funny that a woman will spend a fortune on a new purse and outfit to make herself feel better, but won’t invest in enhancing her skills — even though the good feeling lasts a lot longer.“ – Kathy Bonner

Make the investment, the dividends are amazing! • An organization that has invested in sending members to enrich their skills is a shining example of success. • Revitalize your organization; budget, or raise money, to send members to an LTD program. The results will not only strengthen your Council, but also bring a fresh new outlook to your members. • Don’t delay! Contact the LTD program today to schedule (or attend) an LTD event,

Good soil bears much fruit


BY BETH MAHONEY spirituality commission chair


e all know the story of the parable Jesus tells of the sower who went out to sow seeds in the field; some seeds could not grow because some fell on the path, some on rocky ground, some among thorns. Other seeds fell on good soil and produced much fruit. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus explains the seed is the Word of God sown in our hearts. During the summer, we have time to look around at the beauty that surrounds us, so let us pause to reflect on the presence of God in our lives. As in the Gospel story of the sower, it is important for us to evaluate in what kind of soil we are planting our seed of faith. Whether it is with our families, friends, co-workers or as Catholic women in our Councils and parishes, we all know that there are moments when our seeds fall on unhealthy soil, which makes it difficult to produce good outcomes. Sometimes we need to pull the weeds out, to till the soil or to uproot and relocate. These actions can be painful at first, but the outcome is worth the struggle. Thankfully, there are other moments when our relationships and encounters are surrounded in good, rich soil and we see the bountiful fruits from our efforts. The field of faith, as Pope Francis states, calls us to care for the environment around us. Be it the literal earth or the spiritual soil of our hearts, we are called to care for the earth and to cultivate a healthy response on our spiritual journey, as well as our earthly one.

“TODAY ... EVERY DAY, BUT TODAY IN A PARTICULAR WAY, JESUS IS SOWING THE SEED. When we accept the word of God, then we are the field of faith! Please, let Christ and his word enter your life; let the seed of the Word of God enter, let it blossom and let it grow.”


CALL TO ACTION Over the summer months, you may find that you have time to savor the beauty of God’s creation. In so doing, this may allow for time to smell the flowers, listen to the birds, take in the smell and roar of the ocean or simply sit in the quiet of the woods or fields. Wherever you find yourself this summer, as you marvel about the awesome creation surrounding you, pause to take a moment to reflect on these questions:

• What kind of soil are you? • Where do you have rocky ground or thorns in your life? • Where do you need the Word of God to enter your life? • What are some ways you can cultivate healthy soil? SPIRITUALITY RESOURCES FOR TILLING THE SOIL

Your NCCW Spirituality Commission has many resources to assist you with sowing the seed on good soil. These resources are available through the online store on the website, Please take a moment to review the Retreat on Mercy, the Vocation Prayer Service, the Vocation Purse Club, the Angelus prayer card, and the prayer card for spiritual advisors. Our spiritual life is deeply connected to how we view the surroundings that influence our decisions. Using the resources mentioned above will enhance your call to action, cultivate the soil within your heart and receive the seeds that are planted by God — all of which will bloom into healthy fruit. You will be amazed at what you will grow within your heart when you trust in God and allow him to touch you with his love, peace and joy. 19

The USCCB’s Strategic Plan



Since 1917, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has been caring for God’s creation. The Gospel of Christ and the teachings of his Church guide the work of the USCCB. The work of the conference is rooted in three general mission goals:

legislative advocacy

• TO ACT COLLABORATIVELY and consistently on vital issues confronting

the Church and society

• TO FOSTER COMMUNION with the Church in other nations, within

the Church universal, under the leadership of its supreme pastor, the Roman pontiff • TO OFFER APPROPRIATE ASSISTANCE to each bishop in fulfilling his particular ministry in the local Church

2017-2020 USCCB Strategic Plan: During their General Assembly in November 2016, the USCCB approved a three-year Strategic Plan to guide the work of the conference, beginning in 2017. Encountering the Mercy of Christ and Accompanying His People with Joy: The plan is centered on five strategic priorities approved by the full body of bishops a year ago, and are aimed at encountering those in need, bringing them hope and nurturing them spiritually and physically. These priorities are: • EVANGELIZATION: Open wide the doors to Christ through missionary

discipleship and personal encounter.

• FAMILY AND MARRIAGE: Encourage and heal families; inspire Catholics to

embrace the sacrament of matrimony.

• HUMAN LIFE AND DIGNITY: Uphold the sanctity of human life from

conception to natural death with special concern for the poor and vulnerable.

• VOCATIONS AND ONGOING FORMATION: Encourage vocations to the

priesthood and consecrated life, and provide meaningful ongoing formation to clergy, religious and lay ministers. • RELIGIOUS FREEDOM: Promote and defend the freedom to serve, witness and worship, in the U.S. and abroad. 20 Catholic Woman | Vol. 43, Issue 2 |

BY KAREN PAINTER legislative advocacy chair

THE USCCB OFFICE OF GOVERNMENT RELATIONS (OGR) The USCCB office of Government Relations (OGR) represents the USCCB before the U.S. Congress on public policy issues of concern to the bishops. OGR coordinates and direct the legislative activities of the USCCB staff and other Church personnel to influence the actions of the Congress. You are invited to get involved: The identified priorities are opportunities at all levels of the Church for people to work together. Visit the USCCB website,, to find your topic of interest and become involved today.




that our Lenten/Easter holy days and the post-Easter Pentecost renewal of NOW spring are behind us, we move on to what we consider the “mundane” summer season, or the liturgical season of Ordinary Time. As it’s always long and hot in most areas in which we live, we are enticed to let go of the ecclesial principles with which we have just finished. Instead of looking ahead to where we need to go to continue our celebration of renewal, we begin to dread the heat and humidity that await us. How can we avoid this trap? We need to bring Christ back into our view and see him all around us, in the beauty of the created world he made for us! Let’s face it, our world, for the most part, has a large share of discomfort, pain and suffering, decaying environment, overused resources and more. We may be tempted to embrace an attitude of either accepting our surroundings or ignoring the problems. Is that the way Christ taught his disciples to act and live? Or did he encourage them to go out and spread the good news of God’s love for us and ALL CREATION?! If we but embrace the message we just celebrated, then, like his apostles, we too can begin the process of making the world around us a better place. We can assist in renewing the face of the earth simply by celebrating God’s presence around us and doing all we can to honor this great gift of God to us. All renewal begins with a change in attitude that leads to lifestyle changes and a deeper appreciation of all God’s love shared with us!

This summer, like the Lenten season we have just finished, let’s get started once again and look for opportunities to do the work Christ gave all his disciples, “…Go out to all the world

BY REV. RICHARD E. DAWSON chair of NCCW spiritual advisors

news …” and let us help God make all things new once


and tell the good









DIANA ZAVALA AND HER HUSBAND ROBERT spent much of their marriage working, raising their three children and volunteering in their parish, St. Gertrude’s, and community of Kingsville, Texas. Now enjoying retirement, Diana is able to share her time and talents even more, and is thrilled to have resources and opportunities through the National Council of Catholic Women (NCCW). “We were juggling our jobs and family and that left us little time for volunteer work,” Diana says. “What I’ve found has drawn me to NCCW are the resources. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Not only are they there, but these resources are what so many church groups are doing individually.”


My mother taught us how to pray and that we had to learn and recognize how to utilize our gifts, our blessings from God.

DIANA’S FAITH has strong roots thanks to the

guidance of her parents. Her father died when she was just 8, but left her with the belief she could do anything with God’s guidance.

“My mother is the source of my strong Catholic faith. Although she had no formal education, she taught through words of wisdom and advice that covered just about every aspect of human nature, problems and fears in life, and gave us comfort and a strong path to God,” says Diana. “My mother was a total housewife and my dad took care of everything else. She taught us how to pray and that we had to learn and recognize how to utilize our gifts, our blessings from God.

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Families came to our home looking for healing and help all the time. My job was not to ask them if they wanted coffee or water, but to serve them whatever we had. She taught me and my three younger sisters to share whatever we had, even if it was not much.” Faith has also been the center of Diana and Robert’s marriage, and they have been diligent in following Christ’s example of caring for people in many different ways. They have always shared their faith and beliefs

with their three children, now ages 37, 34 and 31. “We always encouraged them to be close to God. Now they have children, and they are close to God,” Diana says. “They all understand the importance of helping others, and learned very well from our examples.” Discovering her gifts and talents was important for Diana. “You have to utilize your blessings — my mother said this,” she says. “I had always wondered, what are my blessings? God has his hand in everything. He gives us so much so that we can help him and join him. I found that cooking and feeding is my blessing and gift. God gave me the gifts of organization, facilitation and cooking.” She utilized her blessings as a civil servant for the U.S. Navy. In 1981,

Diana began working as an operations clerk with Training Squadron 23, and finished her career as business manager for the Naval Air Station in Kingsville in 2014. During her career, Diana was awarded 36 civilian awards. Diana cared for her work family by regularly preparing a meal. Sharing a meal connects people, and was a lesson she acquired from her mother. It was an invaluable part of the work, appreciated by her superiors. “They understood that in those meals, we brought our command together,” Diana says. “It was about working hard and sharing a meal together.” Prayer is Diana’s constant with her Catholic faith. Turning to God and the Blessed Mother is how she knows where to go in life. “I keep strong because I believe in prayer. Every time I find myself in a challenge mode or a question mode, I always pray,” says Diana. “God is awesome. He answers our prayers. You have to listen and put your faith in him.” As soon as Diana achieved retirement status, she became active in St. Gertrude’s Altar and Rosary Society and in the CCW for the Diocese of Corpus Christi. The organization fit perfectly with Diana’s desire to serve others, and gave her support to do just that in her community of Kingsville. She has spent the last three years bringing the philosophies of NCCW to the women of Kingsville, and has enjoyed working so closely with the women of her parish. St. Gertrude’s women are very active with the CCW, and count among the group a diocesan president in addition to Diana’s service as diocesan spirituality chair and leadership commission advisor. “I’m at the end of the first term of my presidency, and they just voted me in for a second term,” says Diana. “I’ve learned so much.” Although there are not many CCW parish affiliates in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Diana hopes to change that very soon. “I need to work with our diocesan CCW president on creating more affiliates. That would be one of my goals,” she says. “I am a newbie, so I need

to get my feet deeper in the waters.” Even with a smaller number of affiliates, CCW is active at the diocesan level. Its biggest contribution is managing a Diocese of Corpus Christi Burse Club to benefit seminarians. The burse accounts in the diocese total $4.4 million and provide seminarians with allowances and help with their expenses. Diana traveled to Orlando for her first NCCW Convention and the experience was both exciting and empowering. “I am encouraging other ladies to go as well,” Diana says. “It’s amazing! The convention has so much to offer and helps us grow in our faith.” With this year’s NCCW Convention only a few hours away in Dallas, Diana hopes her CCW affiliates will be wellrepresented, with members taking advantage of all the opportunities provided by so many knowledgeable and talented presenters.

Navarrete established a convent in Kingsville in 1916 for the Missionary Daughters of the Most Pure Virgin, and the sisters wanted to organize regular operations hours for the Mother Julia Navarrete Museum. Diana organized a public ribbon cutting honoring Venerable Mother Julia in time for the centennial celebration. Diana knew little about the order’s history, but knew some of the sisters through her children’s schooling and the Kingsville second-hand shop run by the order. Diana reached out to other parishes in Kingsville and the Kingsville Women’s Club (Flair Department) for assistance. A ribbon cutting was planned for October 2016. Diana saw the opportunity to tie in the centennial with the yearly King Ranch Festival that draws attendees from all over the country. “I said, ‘OK, this is a calling. I need to do this.’ It worked,” says Diana. “We all provided a part. It was a huge success. We were expecting 200 people, and we had between 400 and 500 people.” The NCCW empowerment of women to make a difference on so many levels of the Church and in society excites Diana, and she looks forward to carrying out the message and mission of an organization that shares the philosophy she learned from her own mother. “We can do so much more together,” Diana says.

The materials and support provided by NCCW have been a great blessing to Diana in working in her own parish. She utilized the Women Healing the Wounds resource at St. Gertrude’s; the program was adopted by the Diocese of Corpus Christi. Support from CCW also allowed Diana to connect her parish with other local parishes and the community in 2016. Diana at the Mother Julia Navarrete Museum Venerable Mother Julia



We present to you, Holy Father, 2,048,510 Works of Mercy lovingly performed in solidarity by members of the National Council of Catholic Women of the United States of America during the 2016 Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. __________________________ Sheila S. Hopkins, President National Council of Catholic Women United States of America

Showing mercy in 2016


On Divine Mercy Sunday 2016 the National Council of Catholic Women launched “A Million Works of Mercy” in honor of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy and in answer to Pope Francis’ call to reawaken our passion to help the poor and needy of our communities through corporal and spiritual works of mercy. “We are the hands and feet and voices of Jesus — in our homes, our parishes, our communities, our nation and beyond our borders through our partnerships with Catholic Relief Services and Cross Catholic Outreach,” says NCCW President Sheila Hopkins. NCCW members counted works of mercy throughout the Jubilee Year and greatly surpassed the 1 million goal — the final count was over 2 million works of mercy performed in their Councils, parishes, local communities and beyond. While on pilgrimage to Rome, NCCW President Sheila Hopkins and members presented Pope Francis with a certificate detailing some of the 2,048,510

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works of mercy performed by members of the National Council of Catholic Women all across the United States — from volunteering at homeless shelters preparing meals and providing blankets and new socks to care-giving and visiting the hospitals, to praying outside abortion clinics for the unborn. Says supporting member Jane Carter, who kicked off the initiative, “It is indeed a joy to look back and say that we, as the National Council of Catholic Women, have helped over 2 million people. The work of your hands, the prayers of your hearts, the combined mercies of our organization, touching the lives of over 2 million people.”

It is indeed a joy to look back and say that we, as the National Council of Catholic Women, have helped over 2 million people.


the future of our planet” that includes everyone. (14)



Laudato Si’


n June 18, 2015, Pope Francis’ encyclical on ecology was released to the world. The encyclical, as has historically been the case, takes its name from the first few words of the text: Laudato Si’ — literally “Praise be to you.” These words, in turn, come from the opening line of the Canticle of the Creatures by St. Francis of Assisi, who continues to greatly influence the pope.

THE PURPOSE Laudato Si’ represents an attempt to “enter into dialogue with all people about our common home.” (3) Pope Francis explicitly states that he hopes this encyclical “can help us to acknowledge the appeal, immensity and urgency 28 Catholic Woman | Vol. 43, Issue 2 |

of the challenge we face.” (15) This challenge, of course, is the current ecological crisis confronting the world. The pope seeks to call the whole human family to work together “to seek a sustainable and integral development” that alone can address this crisis. (13) In other words, the pope is calling for “a new dialogue about how we are shaping

DID YOU KNOW? Although ecology and climate change have been addressed by popes in the past, Laudato Si’ is the first encyclical devoted exclusively to the topic of ecology

The pope makes a point of the fact that the current ecological crisis is made up of a great number of factors and has been caused, at least to some extent, by humanity itself. The pope indentifies an anthropocentricism (a putting humanity at the center of existence) and an inordinate emphasis on technology and power as the primary culprits. In terms of humanity’s negative impact on the environment, the pope cites pollution, waste and the “throwaway culture” as key contributors to climate change, with all its “grave implications.” (25) The depletion of natural resources (fresh drinking water being of perhaps the greatest import) and the loss of biodiversity are also components of the ecological crisis caused by humanity. At the same time, the crisis also encompasses the adverse impact on humanity by humanity itself. The decline in the quality of human life, the decline in respect for human life, the breakdown of society and global inequality are just a few of the examples the pope treats in the encyclical.

OVERCOMING THE CHALLENGE To understand Pope Francis’ approach to the current ecological crisis, it is critical to understand the worldview from which he writes, that is, an authentic Catholic worldview. This worldview holds that everything is closely related. In other words, nature “cannot be regarded as something separate from ourselves or as a mere setting in which we live. We are part of nature, included in it and thus in constant interaction with it.” (139) Consequently, there are not “two separate crises, one environmental

and the other social, but rather … one complex crisis which is both social and environmental.” (139) If one wants to seriously undertake the work of overcoming the great challenges posed by this one complex ecological crisis, one needs “a vision capable of taking into account every aspect of the global crisis.” (137) Therefore, the pope reasons that the current crisis calls for an “integrated” ecology, if we are to have any hope in overcoming the great challenge that stands before humanity. This means creating an ecological culture that does more than simply respond to immediate problems. Instead, there “needs to be a distinctive way of looking at things, a way of thinking, policies, an educational program, a lifestyle and a spirituality.” (111) An “integrated” ecology demands that everyone be included in the discussion — science, religion, politics, the arts, the poor, etc. — so that all these specific areas of knowledge and experience can be “integrated into a larger vision of reality.” (138)

THE REACTION OF THE U.S. BISHOPS (USCCB) Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued an official statement to mark the occasion of the promulgation of this newest encyclical. The archbishop noted that the pope had drawn extensively from the teaching of his predecessors and was teaching the faithful, and all people of goodwill, “that care for the things of the earth is necessarily bound together with our care of one another, especially the poor.” He went on to write that the question that is at the heart of this encyclical is the same question asked by Pope Francis in paragraph 160: “What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us?”

FOOD FOR THOUGHT Albert Einstein (18791955) was the most influential physicist of the 20th century and probably is best known for developing the theory of relativity. Here is what he had to say about life and humanity’s place in the world — thoughts that line up remarkably well with Pope Francis’ message in Laudato Si’: There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle …

WHAT CAN WE DO? In Laudato Si’ (211) Pope Francis provides us a list of a few of the “little daily actions” we can take to fulfill our duty to care for creation: • Avoid the use of plastic and paper • Reduce water consumption • Separate refuse • Cook only what we can reasonably consume • Use public transportation or carpool • Plant trees • Turn off unnecessary lights For additional ideas and resources, visit

A human being is part of a whole … He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Only a life lived for others is worth living.


An encyclical letter is a high-level teaching document that expresses the pope’s thoughts on matters of faith and morals. Encyclicals may be to the entire Church, a particular church or people or to all people of goodwill. Encyclicals do not constitute ex cathedra (“from the chair”) pronouncements, i.e., they do not have infallible authority. However, they are important in that the pope is fulfilling his role as pastor and teacher. Here is a look at the number of encyclicals issued by recent popes:

Francis March 2013 – present


Benedict XVI

April 2005 – Feb. 2013


St. John Paul II

Oct. 1978 – April 2005


John Paul I

Aug. 1978 – Sept. 1978


Paul VI

June 1963 – Aug. 1978


St. John XXIII

Oct. 1958 – June 1963



CATHOLICWOMAN The Magazine of the National Council of Catholic Women VOLUME 43: ISSUE 2




Rev. Richard E. Dawson SPIRITUAL ADVISOR

Laraine Bennett Mary Kay McPartlin EDITORS


FAITH Catholic PUBLISHER WWW.FAITHCATHOLIC.COM Submissions should be sent electronically to Photos should be high resolution and accompanied by a description of who is in the photo, the event, and photo credit. Catholic Woman (ISSN 0270-3610) is published quarterly by the National Council of Catholic Women (NCCW) 200 N. Glebe Road, Suite 725, Arlington, VA 22203-3728. Periodicals postage paid at Arlington, VA and at additional mailing offices. Subscription rate: $30 per year. Add $12 per year for Canadian addresses and $14 per year for all other foreign addresses. Subscriptions are available only to individuals and institutions not eligible for NCCW membership. All Catholic women who support the objectives of NCCW are eligible for membership. Annual dues are $50 per year and include Catholic Woman magazine. Catholic Woman is distributed to individual and supporting members of NCCW, all active U.S. bishops and NCCW affiliate presidents for sharing with their membership. For reprint permission, contact the editor. For subscription information, call 703.224.0990. For advertising information, write to Postmaster: Send address changes to Catholic Woman, 200 N. Glebe Road, Suite 725, Arlington, VA 22203.

30 Catholic Woman | Vol. 43, Issue 2 |

3 Characteristics of a good confessor In an address on March 17, Pope Francis said that a good confessor: “ Is a true friend of Jesus the Good Shepherd. Without this friendship, it will be difficult to develop that fatherliness so necessary in the ministry of reconciliation.” “Does not act according to his own will and does not teach his own doctrine. He is called always to do the will of God alone, in full communion with the Church, of whom he is the minister, that is, a servant.”


That national leaders may firmly commit themselves to ending the arms trade, which victimizes so many innocent people.


That our brothers and sisters who have strayed from the faith, through our prayer and witness to the Gospel, may rediscover the merciful closeness of the Lord and the beauty of the Christian life.


That artists of our time, through their ingenuity, may help everyone discover the beauty of creation.

I s called to evangelize. “Indeed, there is no evangelization more authentic than the encounter with the God of mercy, with the God Who is Mercy. Encountering mercy means encountering the true face of God, just as the Lord Jesus revealed him to us.”

The word of


Sheila Hopkins

God helps us to

open our eyes to welcome and love life, especially when it is weak and vulnerable. ”

POPE FRANCIS @PONTIFEX (March. 15, 2017)

Pope Francis waves to confirmation candidates at St. Siro Stadium in Milan, Italy, March 25, 2017.


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