In 2017, the Superior Diocesan Council of Catholic Women is celebrating 67 years of service in the Diocese of Superior.
The organization will commemorate the milestone at the annual SDCCW convention, Friday, May 5, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at St. Patrick Parish, Hudson.
In 1920, Bishop Koudelka appointed two women to represent the Superior Diocese at the first meeting of the National Council of Catholic Women in Washington, D.C. The National Council of Catholic Women acts through its membership to support, empower, and educate all Catholic women in spirituality, leadership and service. Bishop Pinton (1922-1926) encouraged continued affiliation with the national organization, but as a “frontier” area, the Superior Diocese was not yet ready to enter the national arena.
In 1950, Bishop Meyer called upon the more than 140 women’s groups active in the diocese to unite and join the National Council of Catholic Women. They responded enthusiastically and immediately convened a board of directors.
By 1955, the SDCCW had 10,000 members organized at the parish level. The early officers did the work to lay the foundation – drafting a constitution and bylaws, forming programs, scheduling meetings, etc. New opportunities opened up to parish women; they could look beyond their town to include the deanery, diocese, nation and the world.
The Superior Diocesan CCW is included in the Ecclesiastical Province of Milwaukee, which includes the dioceses of Green Bay, La Crosse, Madison and Superior. The SDCCW is also a member of the National Council of Catholic Women.
There are currently five deaneries in the diocese. Each active deanery hosts educational spring and fall meetings each year. Diocesan CCW Board meets three times a year and has an annual convention hosted by a different parish each year.
The current diocesan CCW structure is focused on spirituality, leadership and service. Spirituality projects include prayer for vocations, prayer for priests and organizing Lenten retreats; the organization promotes leadership and focuses on topics related to family life: protection from pornography, working to end human trafficking, supporting marriage and visiting veterans and the elderly, among other issues.
“I Stand at the Door and Knock” is the theme for the 2017 convention. All are invited to attend.
After registration in the morning, the event leads off with 9:15 a.m. Mass celebrated by Bishop James P. Powers.
The morning speaker, Janette Howe, is the founder of Seven Sisters Apostolate, a Twin Cities-based organization that promotes “lavishing” prayer on bishops and priests through daily adoration.
Now consisting of more than 250 groups in nearly 20 states and several countries, the apostolate invites groups of seven women to unite in prayer. Howe will speak on “Answering a Call to Prayer for Priests.”
The keynote speaker, Dr. Ann Marie Klein, will talk on “Welcoming Christ into our Heart and Home,” a discussion of Pope Francis’ recent exhortation, “Amoris Laetitia.”
The bishop will also present the Diocesan Pax Christi Award, and the winner of the SDCCW Scholarship Award will be announced.
Fr. Gerard Willger, spiritual advisor for the SDCCW, also offers his auctioneering talents each year to help raise funds via a purse auction.
For more information on the organization or the convention, visit https://sdccw.me or the SDCCW Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/superiordiocesanCCW.