Catholic Herald staff
When Lucille Brandner joined the Council of Catholic Women 14 years ago, she was seeking spiritual enrichment, an opportunity to grow in faith.
Since then, the Holy Rosary, Medford, parishioner has served the organization in a number of offices, including president at the parish, deanery and diocesan levels.
She was electronic secretary, in charge of website maintenance, when in June, Brandner was elected to serve as the director of the Province of Milwaukee.
The position is given to the Diocese of Superior every 10 years, explained Yvonne Glonchak, SDCCW publicity chair. The directorship rotates among the five dioceses in the state: Superior, Green Bay, La Crosse, Madison and Milwaukee.
Brandner, who returned Sept. 14 from the National Council of Catholic Women’s annual convention, was installed as director during her five days in Florida.
Despite the heat, she enjoyed the trip.
“It was very good,” she said in a phone interview Sept. 15. “The speakers were awesome. I just wish I could remember every word they said.
“The mission of the NCCW is to educate, empower and support all Catholic women,” Brandner said, explaining her new job. “We support that and carry that forward.”
Each year, the national leadership passes a handful of resolutions on which CCW members are to focus. As province director, Brandner’s responsibilities include traveling to each diocese’s CCW convention, attending special events whenever possible and promoting those missions.
This year’s NCCW programs address the new evangelization, domestic violence prevention, media awareness, pro-life causes and marriage preparation, she said. CCW also hosts a Prayer to End World Hunger event each year in November.
As province director, Brandner must also advocate for the priorities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
“We, as members and as leaders, are part of this organization … work to uphold these rights,” she said.
This year marked the NCCW’s 95th anniversary; ensuring the longevity of the organization is another of Brandner’s missions.
“We want to build our membership, both in affiliate parishes and in members also, so we have more of a national voice,” she said. “As one person, we can’t speak alone, but we have a national organization that speaks for us.
“Of course we promote prayer and spiritual life also,” she added. “That’s part of it.”
In Brandner’s experience, joining her parish women’s group has been rewarding. She wants to encourage others to do the same.
“We are going to be promoting membership this year through a membership challenge,” she said.
The names of new members and their sponsors will be included in a drawing for free travel to the NCCW’s 2016 convention in Indianapolis, Indiana.
“We need to just get out there and tell them,” she added, “try to get the message out that we really need to be active members. We need a strong organization that’s going to speak for us to leaders and uphold our God-given rights.
“NCCW has become part of who I am, and I want to share that mission,” she concluded. “I feel like I am a better person, and a better Catholic, because of them.”