For the first time in MCCW history, we have been forced to cancel our biennial Forum event. COVID-19 has proven to be a bigger challenge to contain than first thought. Our hopes of being able to execute this event have come to a halt.
There were three key questions that the board needed to discuss as we looked at the re-scheduled Forum event in November.
- Do we feel like we can plan a quality event given COVID-19 restrictions, or any others, that are/may be in place in November?
- Are we willing to assume the risks (financial/health/safety) of moving forward with an event at this time?
- Do we feel confident that women will attend the event given the various restrictions that are/may be in place in November, to include mandatory quarantine in their home locations at the conclusion of Forum?
While I believe that a quality event could still have happened, given some of the changes our host facility and speakers were willing to make, there were just too many other unknown variables. Texas has placed some specific restrictions on large gatherings that had a direct effect on our ability to celebrate daily mass within any of the three beautiful churches we were planning to use. From a safety perspective, the health of our attendees would be in jeopardy and that was a risk we were unwilling to take. With each state enacting its own rules regarding quarantine upon entering its borders, we recognized that a mandatory quarantine upon return from Forum would also disrupt the family dynamic for many of the attendees.
Throughout this entire process, I have leaned on a popular bible verse: Jeremiah 29:11
“For I know well the plans I have in mind for you – plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope.”
I trusted in God’s plan for Forum from the beginning and prayed that the things we were planning would bring glory and honor to Christ and the MCCW mission to connect, unite and inspire Catholic military-affiliated women around the world. If the past two years has reinforced anything, it is that God’s timing is perfect. And, while I am disappointed that we will not be able to meet this year (because that’s the only time I get to see some of you), I trust that what we did here is not in vain.
There is a purpose to what we have spent the past two years doing. Although we may not see the fruit of it now, it was all for the glory of God in the end. I truly feel that when we are aligned towards the will of God, we appreciate God’s plan. We may not like it or understand it, but it does make the pill a bit easier to swallow.
Peace and Aloha,
Director of Forum 2020