MADISON – “This convention shows the unity of our Catholic women as well as your deep commitment to the Catholic faith and your individual parishes,” said Mgr. Duane Moellenberndt, spiritual advisor for the Diocesan Council of Catholic Women of Madison (MDCCW), in welcoming the women to their virtual convention on a Saturday morning in June.
Canceled last year due to the pandemic, this year’s congress coincided with the diocese’s 75th anniversary while celebrating the 101st anniversary of the National Council of Catholic Women (NCCW).
Bishop Moellenberndt reminded the women of their bond with the NCCW which unites them with women from all over the country as well as with the nine vicariates of the diocese and other members of their faith in their individual parishes.
Women Pillars of the Church
With the theme “Reflecting on the past and celebrating the future,” Bishop Moellenberndt, who has been MDCCW spiritual director since 1994, said: “You have much to be proud of as we reflect on the past. In many ways, you are the pillars of our parish communities. Many of you are giving of your time and talent to accomplish what the Church must have done. . . you share Jesus’ ministry because you do His work in your local community and in the Diocese of Madison.
Not knowing what the future is, said Bishop Moellenberndt, neither did the first disciples.
“What these disciples knew, we also know. When we do God’s work, we can only be successful. Because it is the Lord who works through us. How privileged and blessed we are that God has invited us to participate in his very ministry. “
Recently retired as pastor of the parish of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary in Sun Prairie, Bishop Moellenberndt said in reviewing the past: “we see what we have accomplished, learn from what could have been better and then we move into the future. . . We have the assurance of the Lord that he will be with us. So, with confidence, we move towards the future, taking with us our past experiences and efforts; and with eyes wide open, we celebrate what we can do to continue to build the Kingdom of God here in the Diocese of Madison and in our parishes.
West Dane Vicariate CCW
Rosa Ropers, St. John the Baptist, Waunakee, and Joan Pregler, St. Peter, Ashton, co-chaired the convention with the help of women from the parishes of the West Dane Vicariate.
Nearly 150 women registered for the convention, which was broadcast via YouTube on the morning of June 12.
Bishop Moellenberndt watched the convention with a small group at St. Peter’s Church in Ashton.
In his opening remarks, he thanked the leadership of the CCW for their “dedication and ingenuity in making this possible. “. . despite the chaos and uncertainty of the past year. The first congress took place in 1954.
Other women’s groups met in their parishes in Fennimore, Baraboo, Lancaster, Madison, Mount Horeb, Verona, Ashton, Martinsville, La Valle and Berlin.
In the welcome package, Ropers, outgoing president of the West Dane Vicariat CCW, wrote: “We hope you find it relaxing, renewing and energizing and take the ideas that are brought to you today to share as you continue. to empower, support and educate the other members of your parish.
Music, prayer, speech, meditation
The virtual convention began with the music for “How Great Thou Art” playing in the background before viewers saw Becky Frederick standing at the entrance to St. Martin of Tours, Martinsville.
She served as master of ceremonies for the three-and-a-half-hour session, which included presentations from Bishop Donald J. Hying of Madison and Jeannie Ewing, spiritual writer and speaker; the Rosary of Divine Mercy by Anna Nuzzo; prayer and meditation led by four young girls out of four saints; and a prayer service.
Musical breaks were interspersed throughout the convention.
Bro. Chris Gernetzke, pastor of St. Martin of Tours and St. Peter parishes, opened the prayer service led by MDCCW President Judy Lyons, Fort Atkinson, and members of the MDCCW Board of Directors.
The prayer service was printed in the program brochure provided in advance to registrants, who were invited to follow along and sing “Mary’s Song of Praise” to the tune of “Amazing Grace”.
Our Lady of Good Advice
The prayer service ended with prayer to Notre-Dame du Bon Conseil, patroness of the National Council of Catholic Women.
Asking for Mary’s intercession “that we may be wise, courageous and loving leaders of the Church”, the prayer continues: “Help us, dear mother, to know the mind of Jesus, your son. May the Holy Spirit fill us with respect for God’s creations and with compassion for all of God’s children. May our works of love on earth enhance the reign of God and may the gifts of faith and living hope of God prepare us for the fullness of the world to come.
In the congress file were brochures that suggested plans for counseling and information on social justice issues.
Coreen Marklein, chair of the MDCCW service commission, included recommendations for service projects including Boxes of Joy, Walking with Moms in Need and Care of Our Earth.
The program concluded with a ‘trip down memory lane’, a slideshow of photos from the start of the NCCW to current MDCCW activities, followed by a video on the NCCW featuring President Jean Kelly, who lives in the suburbs. from Milwaukee.
The closing song was “Hail Mary”.
Following the convention, MDCCW President Judy Lyons said she was pleased with the outcome, thanks to the “endurance, hard work and persistence” of the West Dane Vicariate CCW. “Overall I liked everything so much.”
The virtual convention will be available for a limited time by going to YouTube and searching for “MDCCW” (a photo of Bishop Duane Moellenberndt will appear standing next to an NCCW 2020 anniversary banner and Madison MDCCW in fine print).