Book Recommendation–May

Run out today, buy this book and read “Forgiveness Makes You Free” by Father Ubald. In this poignant book, he shares his personal story of losing his family and 45,000 parishioners in the Rwandan genocide. In the aftermath, Father Ubald has worked for reconciliation between the Rwandan people — to include ministering with the man who gave the order to kill his family. His book teaches spiritual practices of forgiveness and healing. If you are a fan of Immaculee Ilibagiza, if you have ever held a grudge and need to let go of it, or if you simply need a good Catholic book, get a copy and read it. Father Ubald is an incredible living saint and the testimony of his life experience is good for the soul.

Supporting MCCW Through Designated Offerings

How has MCCW touched your life? Have you attended an MCCW retreat or Forum? Has your CWOC used resources you found at Have you reached out for prayers, support, or help via one of MCCW’s social media networks?

All of the ways that MCCW connects, unites, and inspires you each day wouldn’t be possible without the generous financial support of many women, families, priests, chapel communities, and donors.

One of the ways you can help is by asking your chapel community to schedule a designated offering (AKA “a special collection”) for MCCW. Even if you don’t attend a military chapel, you can ask your civilian parish to consider a special collection for MCCW, especially if there are a lot of military families in your parish!

The guide below will help you with all the information you need to help plan a designated offering for MCCW!

How can my chapel support MCCW?

MCCW is entirely funded by generous donations from military chapels, private donations, and grants. Taking a designated offering or planning a chapel donation to MCCW is a great way to support the women’s ministry arm of the AMS, which in turn supports the women’s ministry activities in military chapels like yours! Even civilian parishes can get involved — if your parish has a lot of military families, ask your priest if he will schedule a special collection for MCCW, too.

When should it be done?

Designated offerings or chapel donations for MCCW can be scheduled at any time during the year. We encourage you to showcase the work of your CWOC or women’s ministry group(s), as well as MCCW, during the weekend of your offering. In a civilian parish, you might consider highlighting all the ways military families are making a difference in your parish. Visit for ideas and resources.

Who does the donation benefit?

MCCW conducts women’s ministry activities for the Archdiocese for Military Services as an independent nonprofit organization, operating as a subsidiary of the AMS. All donations to MCCW are funneled back into the programming and administrative costs of supporting women’s ministry across the Archdiocese.

To whom should donations by check be written?

Checks can be made payable to MCCW-Worldwide, Inc.

Where should donations be sent?

All funds can be mailed to:

Military Council of Catholic Women- Worldwide, Inc.

PO Box 4456

Washington, DC 20017

Can our donation be sent electronically?

Yes! To arrange an electronic transfer, email MCCW’s finance manager at

Can donations be made directly to MCCW?

Yes! All donations to MCCW are 100% tax deductible and can be made by mailing your contribution to the address above. Individual donations can also be made online at


An Answered Prayer

Please join us in celebrating and sharing the good news — The Military Council of Catholic Women Endowed Co-Sponsored Seminarian Scholarship has been officially established!  Thanks to your generous gifts, the initial deposit of $50,000 has been made to the Archdiocese for the Military Services and our beloved perpetual charity continues to flourish.

The newly endowed scholarship will accomplish so much. It will connect our members from around the globe to our effort to support seminarians, unite our financial contributions for even greater impact, and inspire future MCCW members to continue supporting our promised priests.

We kindly thank you for your financial contributions over the past three years as we worked toward this goal and ask for your continued loving prayers for each of our AMS Co-Sponsored Seminarians.  Together we can support our promised priests — those men called to serve both God and our military families.

“Encourage your children and the young people in your military communities to consider a vocation to the priesthood, religious, or consecrated life. You never know when a word of encouragement, a question, or a thoughtful reflection might be the catalyst that a young person needs.” –Archbishop Broglio

Priestly Ordinations

Alleluia!  Alleluia!

Join me this Easter Season in praying and celebrating as five of our Co-Sponsored Seminarians are ordained priests for our Archdiocese for the Military Services.  For the next three years, this men will serve their home diocese and receive the experience they need to then begin their journey as an active duty military priest.  

Collectively, they will serve all branches of service; as Navy chaplains serve both our Marines and Navy.    They are co-sponsored by their home dioceses of Green Bay, WI, Indianapolis, IN, Arlington, VA, Boston, MA, and Columbus, OH.  

Let us be reminded as our shepherd, Archbishop Timothy Broglio shares, “these men are answering a call within a call” to serve both God and country.  May we always pray for more vocations and pray for all priests (active duty, retired, and contract) who serve our military communities.

Alleluia!  Alleluia!



Here to help you connect during PCS season

Dear Sisters in Christ,

Where are you reading our May issue of the Well? Will the June or July issue you find you somewhere completely different?

I am writing at my desk in El Paso but there is a good chance that my June and July letters will be written from the road during family vacation and other travel this summer. Lucky for my family, this isn’t a PCS year for us, but for so many military families, this will be another season of packing up, saying goodbye, and making a new home in a new place.

During these busy times — whether for family vacations, work travel, or military moves — MCCW wants to help you stay connected, united, and inspired!

If you will be traveling through military towns this summer, use MCCW’s social media to reach out to the local Catholic chapel or CWOC and see if you can meet up for a quick connection while you are in town!

If you are PCSing this summer, check out the introductions of our new regional teams so you can get connected to all the great things going on in your new region! These ladies are ready and excited to serve you! And use our social media communities to connect with the Catholic women at your new duty station — they are waiting with open arms to welcome you to your new home!

Our Southeast, Europe, and Asia teams are working hard on plans for fall retreats — start planning now to unite or reunite with your friends in those regions (see the ad on page ** for details!)

And if you need reading material to keep you entertained and inspired during your travels this summer — check out the book review in this issue or visit for more summer reading ideas!

As for my travels this summer – I am hoping to visit many chapel communities while on the road for MCCW and with my family — hope I can connect with many of you in-person soon!

Yours in Christ,


Volunteer of the Month — Kelly Oliver

If you have been involved in MCCW at any time in the past few years, you probably know Kelly Oliver. Her gentle nature, kind words, and deep faith have been an inspiration to many military women over the years as she has served at the chapel, regional, and worldwide levels.

Kelly continues to serve MCCW in many ways, most recently by leading the Northeast regional team through daily prayer devotions as they prepared for their retreat and helping during the retreat with many things.

She also served as the discernment coordinator for the spring discernment of the new Director of Formation Resources. Kelly’s gentle counseling helped the many women who were prayerfully considering this position through their discernment and on the day of discernment led those who came to the table through the group discernment process.

Kelly is a gift to MCCW and we are grateful for her many years of generous service.

Fall Book Study Suggestions

The Friendship Project: The Catholic Woman’s Guide to Making and Keeping Fabulous, Faith-Filled Friends.  

Co-authors, Michele Faehnle and Emily Jaminet, focus on the cardinal and theological virtues necessary to cultivate faith-filled friendships to answer questions like “What does it mean to be women of hope, and how does that change our lives and make us more compassionate friends during difficult times?” and “How does prayerfulness teach us how to listen to and talk with both God and our friends, which helps us reach out to those we love?” This book will draw you closer to friends, both old and new, and will remind you how these friendships — and the virtues you practice to nurture them — will draw you closer to God.

Renewed: Ten Ways to Rediscover the Saints, Embrace Your Gifts, and Revive Your Catholic Faith

In this book, Fr. Robert Reed issues a passionate and creative call to all Catholics to renew the Church by rediscovering the gifts of their faith. He profiles twenty saints who, like Catholics today, lived in times of crises when the way forward was unclear. Fr. Reed creatively pairs saints who at first glance seem to be unlikely companions—Augustine and Joan of Arc, Athanasius and Mother Teresa—to suggest ways readers can begin the work of personal renewal that is essential for Church-wide change.  Renewed is a practical plan for the revitalization of the Church that highlights the steps for a grassroots awakening that every Catholic can undertake today.

The Grace of Yes:  Eight Virtues for Generous Living  

Best selling author Lisa M. Handey knows generous living isn’t just about putting money in the collection basket during Mass or always being the one who steps up to help out.  Generous living is about consistently answering God’s call to act through mission and loving service to others. In The Grace of Yes, Hendey shares eight spiritual virtues that have allowed her to live generously and joyously, offers practical advice on how you can become more open to God’s unique plan, and guides you toward your own path of generous living.


Summer Pilgrimage and Retreat Ideas

Spring is upon us yet again, and with this season of natural growth comes a call for spiritual growth.  We’ve found a few ideas for the next two seasons. Whether you take individual pilgrimages, stop by a retreat center with your family, or start a fall book study with your local CWOC, these ideas should help you grow throughout 2019.

Eastern Point Retreat House in Gloucester, Massachusetts

Under to the patronage of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, the Eastern Point Retreat center has room for all who are seeking increased faith and renewal.  Between the stunning ocean views and a wide variety of directed retreats, the Eastern Point Retreat center has something for everyone.

Our Lady of the Oaks Retreat House in Grand Coteau, Louisiana

For over 70 years, Our Lady of the Oaks Retreat House has served as an “oasis of prayer” in the southeast.  Directed by Jesuit priests, the retreat house offers conference style retreats based on St. Ignatius of Loyola’s famous Spiritual Exercises.

New Camaldoli Hermitage in Big Sur, California

Home to a Congregation of Camaldolese monks and nuns, the New Camaldoli Hermitage center offers a Catholic refuge in the stunning Big Sur, California.  With private and preached retreat options, the Hermitage provides the faithful an opportunity to detach from everyday life and grow in the faith.

Saint Meinrad Archabbey in St. Meinrad, Indiana

Founded in 1854 by Swiss monks, St Meinrad Archabbey’s Benedictine community runs a Guest House that offers multiple retreat options.  Whether you’re looking for a group retreat, a private retreat, or want to join a planned retreat, St. Meinrad Archabbey has options for everyone.

April Volunteers of the Month, Regional Retreat Volunteer Teams

This month, MCCW recognizes and thanks the amazing volunteers who helped put on their regional retreats.

From behind the scenes social media posting and registration monitoring to planning table decor, games, and devotions; from manning the registration table to setting up and tearing down each activity or session; from documenting the retreat in photos to gathering toiletries for the Saint Jude tables; from serving as lectors or EMHCs during our liturgies to making last-minute supply runs, countless volunteers worked hard to ensure that each attendee had a wonderful retreat experience.

Some generous women were part of a formal retreat planning team. Others signed up for tasks via Sign-Up Genius or email. And still others simply showed up at the retreats, saw a need, and stepped up to fill it!

MCCW is an all-volunteer organization and we count on the help of many to make the work light and to make all we do possible. From all of the members of the Worldwide board to each of you who helped in your region — thank you!

A Blessed Feast Day

A Blessed Feast Day

Our beloved diocese, AMS, now has two new auxiliary bishops. Bishops William (Bill) J. Muhm and Joseph L. Coffey were ordained on March 25—the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord—at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, served as principal celebrant and ordaining Prelate before a congregation of more than two-thousand.  Many MCCW members and clergy, from the surrounding installations, attended this beautiful ordination.

Tradition and the ancient prayer of ordination were included in this beautiful Ordination Mass.  The head of each new bishop was anointed with chrism, he received the Book of the Gospels, his bishop’s ring, miter, and pastoral staff (crosier).   “Lean on the crosier you are about to receive,” Archbishop Broglio said in his homily, “but also use it to snare the lost sheep… Allow the miter to remind you of the third dimension of your new ministry: to sanctify. Help our secular world rediscover a sense of the sacred.”

After the nearly 2 ½ hour Ordination Mass, I had the privilege of enjoying conversation and a quick photo with some of our Promised Priests.    This Lent, please continue to pray daily for our AMS Co-Sponsored Seminarians. If your CWOC would like to adopt a seminarian—to pray for him, send care packages, and/or spiritual bouquets, please contact Denise Hummel at    

Welcome to our new AMS Bishops!

Bishops William (Bill) J. Muhm and Joseph L. Coffey
Laying of the hands by Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, AMS Archbishop.