It was time to gather the Belleville Diocesan Council of Catholic Women together Oct. 14 for the group’s annual convention, this year, held at St. Clement in McLeansboro.
About 135 women – a full house – at St. Clement’s pastoral center, attended, some for the first time and others who attend the convention every year.
BDCCW president, Karen Endicott offered remarks and recognized past presidents before Carolyn Starr led the group in morning prayer.
Father Dennis Voss, spiritual advisor, spoke to the group and thanked everyone for attending. He also recognized the women of the East Vicariate where this year’s convention was held.
This year, Redemptorist, Father Pete Schavitz was the guest speaker for both the morning and the afternoon sessions.
The topic of the day: the journey, which Father Schavitz discussed by describing and defining the journey as a life-long adventure.
“It’s not a trip,” he said, which would take people from point A to point B.
Rather, it is an adventure that takes a lifetime to complete with the goal of heaven as the termination point.
Known in a number of diocesan parishes for his skill at conducting parish missions, the women listened carefully to his message.
At baptism, each person is welcomed into the family as a son or daughter of God and begins his and her journey back to God.
“If we really believe heaven is the destination, it changes everything because those who die are home,” he said.
Father Schavitz encouraged his listeners “to be open to God’s will in your life. What does God want?”
A review of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit in light of their meaning in each person’s life today led to a time when participants could reflect on the morning presentation before lunch.
Next year, the fall convention will be held Oct. 12 at St. Joseph in Marion.
For more information about BDCCW, please contact Josephine Swanson, at [email protected]
NCCW provides resource on domestic violence awareness
WASHINGTON (CNS) – The National Council of Catholic Women has developed a resource manual called “Women Healing the Wounds” that provides information about the impact of domestic violence and the church’s response to it.
The 52-page document in English and Spanish is available to download free at http://nccw.org in the site’s “Spotlight” section. It includes a customizable safety flier, a section on teen-dating violence, various resources, and Catholic teaching.
In the U.S. October is observed as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This is shedding light on how people in domestic violence situations need to be helped in any way possible, from getting safe assistance from professionals, to going the legal route and speaking to a domestic violence attorney in Harrisburg or one in their location, so they have that escape point.
“For many years, NCCW has been active on the issue of domestic violence. We are hopeful this new resource will give courage to victims to leave their abuser as well as educate others on the signs exhibited by persons experiencing domestic violence,” Sheila Hopkins, NCCW president, said in a statement. “In the Catholic Church, we celebrate Respect Life in the month of October and this is a respect life issue as well.”
Citing statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control in an announcement about the resource, NCCW said that nearly 1 out of every 4 U.S. women are the victims of severe violence from an intimate partner. It also said women are much more likely to be victims pf such violence because 85 percent of domestic abuse victims are women. “Violence of any kind – physical, sexual, psychological or verbal – is never justified,” NCCW said.
Since NCCW’s resolution on pornography in 1970 and its resolution on domestic violence in 1993, the organization has worked to raise awareness about the dangers of pornography and to protect women from domestic violence.
Domestic violence affects women, children and the workplace and is a critical health care issue, NCCW added.