Diocesan, national councils offer many ways for women’s groups to engage
Council Comments l Kim Padan
Hello Sisters in Christ!
With a new calendar year underway, many parish women’s groups are looking for ideas to grow their ministry. The National Council of Catholic Women, along with our own Peoria Diocesan Council of Catholic Women, have numerous resources for service projects and prayer for individuals and groups. Many new resources were introduced at the NCCW national convention this past November.
The Leadership Commission presented a booklet to help parish organizations grow. Titled “Regain, Retain, and GROW,” this resource will give your members encouragement and practical tips.
The Service Commission presented a brochure that lists various organizations that work to end human trafficking, encouraging CCW members to get involved. Members can also participate in the “Friends with Pens” prison pen pal project. Additionally, in our own diocese, we participate in service projects such as Box of Joy, which is sponsored by Cross Catholic Outreach, and St. Nicholas Charity on Wheels, an outreach of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Peoria.
The Spirituality Commission compiled a collection of rosary meditations composed by current and past commission members. These were printed in a spiral bound book and can be purchased from NCCW. The commission also created a “road map” called “My Faith Journey,” which is an activity that can be used at your small group meetings or as a journaling exercise during a retreat. It helps each of us reflect on the numerous times we have sensed God’s presence in our lives. In addition, we composed a new “Prayer of Adoration,” which we hope people will use as they grow closer to our Lord during this time of eucharistic revival.
A beautiful new resolution was adopted by the NCCW membership to promote First Saturday Devotions. We know that many individuals and families already honor this devotional practice, but NCCW is hoping to see parish groups participate together when possible. It also is something your group, whatever the name (CCW, Altar and Rosary, Women Connect), can share as a means of reaching out to non-members in prayer.
If you have a parish affiliate or individual membership to NCCW, you receive regular emails about our Monthly Rosary Call, announcements and projects from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and other partner organizations, and commission updates through the monthly newsletter “The President’s Pen.” You also receive a quarterly print magazine, “The Catholic Woman.”
All parishes are encouraged to affiliate with the Peoria Diocesan Council of Catholic Women, and if you are able, to NCCW, as well. (Some of the resources above are on the Members Only Resource page at nccw.org.) Keep an eye on your email and mailbox with membership information coming soon.
In the meantime, as a member of both our diocesan and national boards, I would be happy to talk with you about becoming involved with the Council of Catholic Women. I can be reached at (217) 898-5256 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
KIM PADAN is a member of St. Paul Parish in Danville. The immediate past president of the Peoria Diocesan Council of Catholic Women, she currently serves as the chair of the Spirituality Commission of the National Council of Catholic Women.