by Bob Reddy, Florida Catholic (5/18/2012)
MARCO ISLAND â€“Â Receiving the Holy Spirit into your life is a testament to the commitment one makes to serving Holy Mother Church.
The women of the Venice Diocese Council of Catholic Women (VDCCW) are an example of that commitment as they dedicate themselves to being open to the Holy Spirit.
Each year the women gather for their annual convention with the goal of unifying their efforts to do the most good for the benefit of all. The 27th Annual Convention was held April 28 at San Marco Parish onMarcoIsland. With the theme of â€śWomen Living in the Holy Spirit,â€ť the women gathered to hear dynamic speakers on a variety of topics and then to elect a new set of officers.
The convention included a Mass, celebrated by Bishop Frank J. Dewane, who said the women of the CCW must let the Holy Spirit become a more powerful part of their lives.
â€śBe aware of the added dimension of who you are as followers of Jesus Christ,â€ť Bishop Dewane said. â€śFocus on your spiritual life and let the Holy Spirit lead you closer to Jesus Christ.â€ť
Dolores Garvis, President of the VDCCW, presided over the convention and offered words of encouragement to the women who attended the event, representing members from 24 different parishes throughout the Diocese of Venice.
Judy Powers, National CCW President who is from the Diocese of Palm Beach, spoke about the need for women to unite in opposition to the U.S. Health and Human Services mandate which requires insurance coverage to include contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs.
â€śThe CCW needs to be the leading voice in this fight,â€ť Powers noted. â€śI donâ€™t want other people speaking for me on the mandate or on abortion.â€ť
On a spiritual level all members of the CCW are unified, Powers continued. The time is now to use the courage God has provide to stand as one voice.
The National CCW acts through its affiliated organizations to support, empower and educate all Catholic women in spirituality, leadership and service. NCCW programs respond with Gospel values to the needs of the Church and society in the modern world.
Diocese of Venice Director of Evangelization Eric Sammons also spoke at the convention. Sammons focused on the need to be educated about the faith and ways to share that knowledge with others. The idea of evangelizing is not to convert people to Catholicism, but to spread the word of God within the faith. This is done by living your faith outside of the Sunday Mass.
One of the highlights of the convention comes when the VDCCW presents a check in support of the Diocesan seminarians. Dorothy Bragg, who leads the Gladys Fox VDCCW Seminarian Fund committee, presented to Bishop Dewane a check for $10,000. This is the second year in a row the CCW contributed that amount to the Seminary Fund, Bragg noted. Bishop Dewane thanked the members for their generous donation and added that with a larger number of seminarians currently studying for the priesthood in the Diocese of Venice, the financial support will go a long way.
For more information about the Venice Diocese Council of Catholic Women please visit their new website at www.vdccw.com.