Catholic women give $137,000 for seminarians

By Catholic Spirit Staff

Mercy and hope were the main themes of the 67th annual Diocesan Council of Catholic Women (DCCW) Convention held April 11-12 in Austin. Nearly 215 women leaders of parishes and local Councils of Catholic Women as well as Spiritual Advisers from every deanery attended the conference.
Dr. Patricia Sulak, a physician, medical school professor and researcher, gave a two-part talk focused on healthy living tips, both physical and spiritual. 
“You are what you think,” she advised. She recommended that attendees write daily and affirm their personal mission in life. For example, her personal mission is, “I am a loving, energetic person, guided by God to show His love to the world.” Dr. Sulak will be one of the featured speakers at the Diocesan Women’s Conference on Aug. 27 (see Page 4). 
Father Domenic Rosciolo, from Kenosha, Wis., brought laughter and many memories to the crowd as he reflected on how the church has changed through the years. His tale of trying to confess to adultery at the age of 11 brought giggles from the ladies, and smiles from the priests present.
Father Jonathan Raia, diocesan Vocations Director, spoke about the road to the priesthood. He was accompanied by two seminarians, Deacon Froy Jerez (who will be ordained on July 9) and Henry Cuellar Jr. They told their own stories about how lay people can influence men, young and old, to enter the seminary.
Father James Stembler, chairman of the National Council of Catholic Women (NCCW) Spiritual Advisers, elaborated on the structure of NCCW and DCCW. He stressed that neither organization seeks to replace any other, but rather to serve as a forum for sharing ideas and growing in leadership skills, service opportunities and spiritual development.
On the first day, Bishops Joe Vásquez and Daniel Garcia concelebrated Mass along with 18 priests at St. Louis Parish in Austin. Attendees donated the $1,300 collection to St. Louise House, which offers shelter and support services to homeless mothers and children in Austin.
At the Clerical Endowment Fund (CEF) banquet, 10 burses were named for the following individuals: Fathers Karel Fink, Hilario Guajardo, Ronny Jenkins, David Liebham, Eugene Shepard, Larry Stehling and Dean Wilhelm, and Stella Kubitza, Rhonda McClarren and Dorothy Maggard. 
During the banquet, DCCW President Dianne Friend and Treasurer Carol Moore presented Bishop Vásquez a Clerical Endowment Fund check for $137,810 for the education of seminarians. Since 1950, the Austin DCCW has contributed nearly $4 million to the education of seminarians. The council also presented the bishop with an illustrative check of $3 million, which is the value of the hours of service women have donated to their parishes and the diocese in the last year. 
The DCCW also recognized 39 priests who celebrated significant anniversaries this year, including Msgr. Louis Wozniak who celebrates 65 years as a priest on June 12.
The council also presented the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist with a gift of $500 to use toward the construction of their priory in Georgetown. 
A memorial service was held for those women who had died since the last convention. Other special guests included Cecilia Abbott, the first lady of Texas, and Cynthia McCoy, the province director for the Galveston/Houston CCW and representative for seven Texas dioceses at NCCW board meetings.
During the convention, voting delegates passed the following four resolutions: to provide information about the role of the media in marriage and family life; to pray for the end of persecution of Christians throughout the world through the intercession of the Blessed Mother; to celebrate and support religious vocations and vocations to the consecrated life; and to encourage all women to use the NCCW website to be informed about their role as Christian leaders. Delegates also decided the names of local councils of Catholic Women should match the deanery names the Austin Diocese uses. 
The convention was hosted by the Austin North, Central and South deaneries; and the convention chairs were Karen Dunlap and Marilyn Hamilton. 
Visit www.AustinDiocesanCouncilofCatholicWomen.org to learn about local council meetings, national council news and much more.