DCCW members unite as one in faith and service

Friday, May. 11, 2007
DCCW members unite as one in faith and service + Enlarge
The Woman of the Year honorees from parishes in the Diocese of Salt Lake City gather with Msgr. Robert Servatius (top left) and with Bishop John Wester (back, fourth from right) following the annual Woman of the Year banquet. Bishop Wester and Msgr. Servatius presented these women with an Our Lady of Good Council medal for their leadership and behind the scene acts of Christian service and love for those they serve in the parish and greater community.IC photos by Christine Young

SALT LAKE CITY — Women from the Diocese of Salt Lake City gathered together to unite and celebrate their Catholic faith at the 79th Annual Diocesan Council of Catholic Women (DCCW) Convention April 28-29, at the Sheraton City Centre Hotel in Salt Lake City.

This year’s theme was "Yes, Lord, Your Servant is Listening." The two commissions being addressed were Family Concerns and Legislation. The Eastern Deanery hosted this year’s convention.

DCCW officers and members were excited and honored to have newly installed Bishop John Wester of the Diocese of Salt Lake City concelebrate Mass with DCCW Moderator Msgr. Robert Servatius, pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish, Sandy, and award the Women of the Year with the Our Lady of Good Council medal, the patroness saint of the council.

Bishop Wester said it was a real pleasure and delight to be with members of the DCCW at this convention. He has been associated with the history and tradition of the National Council of Catholic Women (NCCW) for many years, and he was trying very hard not to say Archdiocesan, since he came to Utah from the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

In his homily, Bishop Wester said reflecting on the Gospel of John, what matters is that the Word of God is proclaimed faithfully. Not that it produces results necessarily, but that the Word is proclaimed authentically, and God will do the rest. "God does not ask us to be successful, he asks us to be faithful," he said quoting Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

"What would allow us to persist in proclaiming the Gospel so faithfully especially when we live in a society that is so conscious of the bottom line, success, taking polls, and changing one’s mind, opinions, or views based upon what the majority of people are saying?" asked Bishop Wester.

"We see in John’s Gospel, Jesus is the Good Shepherd," said Bishop Wester. "The risen Christ continues his ministry of shepherding us on earth. He continues to give us new life, He continues through the sacraments to nourish and sustain us, to renew, to forgive, and ultimately, lead us to the eternal banquet."

Bishop Wester told all of the women in the DCCW they have the beautiful gift of proclaiming the Word faithfully in their organization and councils. They can point to a lot of successes. Their mission statement states that through their membership they support, empower, and educate all Catholic women in spirituality, leadership, and service.

"You succeed quite well in doing that," said Bishop Wester. "You unite Catholic women as an organization and as individuals, you provide a medium for Catholic women to speak the truth, you support social action efforts, you train Catholic women to become leaders, you collaborate with other organizations, and you do it all very well.

"I applaud you for all those things you do, but what I would like to congratulate you for is your fidelity to the truth and the Word of God that is Jesus Christ risen from the dead," said Bishop Wester. "You respond with faith, and you trust that God is at work in you, and you allow that loving God to do the work. You cooperate most wonderfully, and I would say, most successfully.

"So tonight all of us here in the diocese want to thank you for your presence in our midst, and for all that you do, especially for reminding us to always trust in God who never disappoints and who always fulfills his promises."

The Woman of the Year banquet followed the Mass, in which a woman from each of the affiliate parishes was honored for her love to those she serves, leadership, and behind the scene acts of Christian ministry in the parish and in the greater community.

During the convention, Family Concerns speaker Julie Boerio-Goates conducted a panel discussion on raising children Catholic in Utah. Panel members told their personal stories about what it was like moving into Utah, and the impact it had on their families. The 215 women attending the convention identified with these stories, which united them in faith.

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