Attendees of the 2015 National Council of Catholic Women’s annual convention in Orlando, Florida, were surprised by the guest appearance of Mickey Mouse and a special presentation on the 95 years of NCCW history at the 95th birthday luncheon celebration. The NCCW convention is the annual gathering of women leaders from Catholic women’s organizations in parishes and dioceses throughout the United States. The theme of this year’s Convention was “Be the Voice of Catholic Women: Sowers of Hope.”
“Celebrating 95 years of history, the program was packed with training, speakers and fun which generated the excitement to draw this exceptional gathering of Catholic women to Orlando,” said Sheila Hopkins, newly installed NCCW President and Co-Chair of the Convention.
Keynote speakers included Dr. Carolyn Woo, President and CEO of Catholic Relief Services; Richard Doerflinger, Associate Director of the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; Marybeth Hicks, Marketing Director for FAITH Catholic, and Brandon Vogt, Content Director for Bishop Robert Barron's Word on Fire Catholic Ministries. Training sessions were conducted by the three commissions—Spirituality, Leadership and Service—and training for new council presidents was offered by the Leadership Training Development Team. At the closing session of the convention, new province directors from several areas of the United States were installed.
Four resolutions were adopted at this Convention: End Persecution of Christians in the Middle East, Pray and Support for Consecrated Life, Examine the Influence of Media on Marriage and the Family, and Use the NCCW Website.
The opening liturgy was celebrated at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe by NCCW Episcopal Liaison the Most Reverend James V. Johnston, Jr., Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, and concelebrated by the Most Rev. Gregory L. Parkes, Bishop of Pensacola-Tallahassee. Friday's liturgy honoring deceased members of NCCW was celebrated by Most Rev. John Noonan, Bishop of Orlando. The closing liturgy, celebrated by the Most Rev. Thomas Wenski, Archbishop of Miami, included the installation of the 2015-2017 officers of NCCW—President Sheila Hopkins, Tallahassee, FL; President Elect Maribeth Stewart, West Haven, CT and Secretary Jean Kelly, Elm Grove, WI. An additional 84 priests, spiritual directors of NCCW, attended the liturgies including the Most Reverend David R. Choby, Bishop of Nashville, who concelebrated the Saturday liturgy.
The 2016 Annual Convention will be held September 7-10 in Indianapolis, Indiana.