Diocese Council of Catholic Women gather

A group of dedicated Catholic women has answered the call of Christ as they imitate Him in how they live their lives each day.

These women are represented by the Venice Diocese Council of Catholic Women (VDCCW) serving as an example of a heartfelt commitment to serve the Church while dedicating themselves to being open to the Holy Spirit.

Each year members gather for a convention with the goal of unifying their efforts to do good for the benefit of all. With a theme of “Following Jesus Through Mary,” the 38th annual Convention took place April 26, 2024, at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Venice.

A central part of the gathering was the women participating in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass which was celebrated by Bishop Frank J. Dewane. The Mass was concelebrated by Father Janusz “Jay” Jancarz, who is the VDCCW Spiritual Advisor and Pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes, as well as Father Gordon Zanetti, Pastor of St. Thomas More Parish in Sarasota, and son of VDCCW Seminarian Fund Chair Cornelia Zanetti.

Bishop Dewane praised the VDCCW for coming together and giving witness to the Faith by how they are believers and followers of Jesus Christ who are called forth to reach out to others.

“You respond to the question Jesus often asks of His disciples, ‘Who do you say that I am?’ by what you do each day, promoted by the Holy Spirit,” Bishop Dewane said. “You strive to follow the Lord, not always knowing where the Lord is sending you, but you do it because you follow Jesus Christ and you good ladies have let that following of Christ be a foundation as a group and as individuals. Let that guide your life and continue to be your strength as you come to know who Christ is in your lives.”

The Bishop specifically thanked the members of the VDCCW for the important role they play in the Diocese and in the Parishes.

Following the Mass, Bishop Dewane installed VDCCW President Katie Morris, and President-Elect Karen Verveer. As part of the ceremony, Florida Council of Catholic Women President Brenda Dolan presented Morris a candle with a purple-colored ribbon, symbolizing clarity of thought and action; and a candle with a blue-colored ribbon symbolizing loyalty and dedication.

The VDCCW acts through its membership to support, empower, and educate all Catholic women in spirituality, leadership and service. Council programs exude Gospel values and serve the needs of the Church and society in the modern world. To exemplify this, the VDCCW is a strong supporter of the Diocesan seminarians and presented a check of more than $16,250 to Bishop Dewane for the Diocesan Seminarian Fund, the largest amount collected from the Priesthood Sunday campaign.

VDCCW President Morris said the Convention serves to unify and inspire members as they work throughout the year in support of the Catholic Church at the Parish, Diocese and national levels.

The women also learned about a variety of topics related to Blessed Virgin Mary, including the keynote presentation, “To Jesus Through Mary,” from Diocesan Evangelization Director James Gontis. A check was also presented to Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc., from the VDCCW Hugs for Homeless Fund.