Month of the Holy Rosary

By: Nancy Belmont, Director of Faith Formation

One of the most beautiful books I’ve read about devotion to the Blessed Mother is “The Secret of the Rosary” by St. Louis de Montfort. Although it was written over 300 years ago, de Montfort’s accessible prose explains why we should entrust our prayers to Our Lady. He uses powerful visuals that stay with you long after you close the cover of the book. Did you know that rosary literally means “crown of roses?” Every time you pray the Rosary, with each “ave” you say, you offer Our Blessed Mother’s tender heart a fragrant, incorruptible rose. Our words are powerful and can build up or tear down people. It is beautiful to ponder gentle, loving words flowing from our mouths and encircling the head of Our Lady. With each prayer, we recognize her gentle strength and powerful intercession for those we love and for those with whom we struggle. 

The Illuminated Rosary

A beautiful way to experience this devotion is through MCCW’s signature program, the Illuminated Rosary. You might have prayed the Illuminated Rosary at a regional retreat, Forum, or our online Day of Reflection in April. An illuminated rosary is one prayed with the accompanying visual of lit candles formed into the shape of a rosary.

Learn how to pray the Illuminated Rosary in your home or introduce this practice to your chapel group by consulting MCCW’s devotion guide HERE.

Additionally, you can pray along with MCCW Forum liturgist Kristin Foss in this archived clip from our online Day of Reflection HERE.

The Rosary for Warriors

“The Rosary for Warriors began out of grief and concern for the families of deceased Soldiers,” says MCCW member Lynda MacFarland. Although she had never been drawn to this devotion, she began to cling to the rosary as an expression of hope and trust in the Lord in the face of despair. In this Month of the Most Holy Rosary, join with your MCCW sisters to pray this special devotion and entrust the needs of our nation’s warriors and their families to Our Lady, who will undoubtedly bring them to her Son. 

The Rosary for Warriors is prayed by remembering a specific intention through each decade of the Sorrowful Mysteries:

  • Agony in the garden: For deployed soldiers and their safety;
  • Scourging at the pillar: For wounded soldiers and for their healing;
  • Crowning with thorns: For deceased soldiers and repose of their souls;
  • Carrying of the cross: For families of deployed, wounded, and deceased soldiers, and for strength and comfort;
  • Crucifixion: For our nation, for the victims of war, and for peace in the world.

To learn more about the events that inspired Lynda’s intense prayers, consult her blog, Drowning in Lemonade HERE.

Two Ways to Support MCCW

Support MCCW Through #iGiveCatholic  

By: Elizabeth Tomlin, Director of Financial Stewardship

Beginning November 16, we will have a new opportunity for you to support MCCW through #iGiveCatholic! Celebrated annually on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, #iGiveCatholic is the U.S. Catholic Church’s Giving Day that kicks off the charitable season and brings the Catholic community together to give thanks and give back. As the first-ever giving day created to celebrate our unique Catholic heritage, #iGiveCatholic inspires faithful stewards to “Give Catholic” on Giving Tuesday. 

I’m excited that MCCW has joined the Archdiocese for the Military Services, and 38 other dioceses to participate in #iGiveCatholic. MCCW’s #iGiveCatholic campaign opens on November 16th and closes at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, December 1, and you can access it here.

Supporters of MCCW consistently share that their faith and families have been transformed through the spiritual growth they have experienced through MCCW.  They also share that the friendships they form through MCCW provide them with the support they need to navigate all the challenges of military life. As our global ministry continues to grow, please consider supporting  MCCW with a gift through #iGiveCatholic, or you can make a gift directly at www.mccw.org

Don’t Forget to Support MCCW When You’re Christmas Shopping!

Along with the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, MCCW receives donations when our supporters shop through Amazon Smile.  Through this program, Amazon Smile donates 0.5% of your purchase to MCCW. As we near the holiday season, now is a great time to set up your Amazon Smile Account today.  Simply visit smile.amazon.com and select the Military Council of Catholic Women as your designated charity.  Since beginning our participation with Amazon Smile, MCCW has received more than $650 in donations.  Thank you for your support.

Final Call for Discerners 

Discernment for five positions on the MCCW-Worldwide Board will take place during the beginning of November, and the current board has been actively praying for the Holy Spirit to bring called, competent, and committed women to the table. 

As we approach the group discernment, we wanted to share these words from Discernment Coordinator, Kelly Oliver, with you: 

Dear Sisters in Christ,

Do you hear the clarion call? MCCW needs you!

Each one of us has made our homes a sacred place to dwell in prayer, in hope, and in living out our daily activities by serving the ones we love, during this time of semi-seclusion. Jesus is calling each one of us “by name” to draw closer to HIM by loving and tending to one another. Some of us serve by tending to our homes, our children, our parents, our neighbors, and our work. All these can be so sanctifying! Some are in a place where they can give of their time, too, and help their sisters by volunteering within MCCW.

MCCW has been important to us all, it is the ministry thread that binds us all together.   The MCCW board is still serving, even behind the scenes. They set up meetings on Zoom, coordinate within the regions and with local chapel groups, and they are even going forward with the next MCCW Worldwide Forum in 2022. “Going forward” is a great theme for us all.
Many positions on the MCCW-Worldwide Board will be vacant very soon. The women who currently hold these positions have been gracious to stay well beyond their appointed period since the pandemic started.  NOW is the time we must “go forward” and begin the process of discerning new MCCW-Worldwide Board positions. The current five positions available are: President, Forum Director, Finance Director, Communications Director, and one Director-at-Large position. 

If you would like to know more about the positions and are interested in beginning the discernment process, please reach out.  I am here to help you through the process of discovery. 

Your Servant in Christ,

Kelly Oliver
Discernment Coordinator

discernment@mccw.org 

 

To learn more about discernment for the MCCW Worldwide Board, reach out to Kelly or read more here

Faithful Fun and Fellowship at Faux Fiesta Forum

By: Aly Tugaoen, Director of Forum

The pandemic may have caused us to cancel our in-person Forum and our host city of San Antonio to cancel its Fiesta, but we have decided we won’t let it cancel all the fun and faithfulness! Watch your inbox in the coming week for your invitation to our first-ever (and hopefully only-ever!) Faux Fiesta Forum – all the formation, friends, and fun you’re craving! 

When is the Faux Fiesta Forum? 

MCCW’s first-ever Faux Fiesta Forum will take place from Sunday, Nov. 8 through Sunday, Nov. 22. Some events will be live and others will be pre-recorded. Events will be scheduled to be available to the greatest number of MCCW women around the world. 

How can I get involved?

There are several ways to participate in MCCW’s Faux Fiesta Forum. Please consider…

  • …joining us online from your home! Connect with us via Facebook and Zoom to hear speakers, watch pre-recorded talks, and participate in small-group discussions.  
  • …inviting a small group of friends over to take part in the activities. Connect live with us via Facebook and Zoom or watch at your own pace with pre-recorded videos on YouTube and our website.  
  • …gathering your CWOC for a Faux Fiesta Forum mini-retreat. If you live in an area where small gatherings are allowed, reserve a space at your chapel and use the live and pre-recorded materials to host a mini-retreat for your CWOC or women’s ministry. 

If you can’t make it to the live events, don’t worry – most of the programming will be recorded and posted to Facebook, YouTube, and our website for you to watch when convenient. 

Do I need to register?

Most of the events will not require registration, but if you want to participate in any of the live events on Zoom, you will be asked to pre-register. Registration information for those breakouts will be shared via email and on social media in the coming days.

Participation in one of our most beloved traditions, the Promised Priest Online Auction to support our seminarians, will also require registration. Details about that event will be shared by email and online shortly. 

What will be included in the virtual Forum?

Our Faux Fiesta Forum will be a mix of MCCW favorites like the Promised Priest Auction, inspiring speakers, quiet prayer time, and regional gatherings adapted in fun ways for a virtual environment. We can’t wait to celebrate with you!

European Regional Retreat 2020

Note: Due to EU travel restrictions, the in-person event has been postponed until 2021. Stay tuned for details about a virtual event for the European Region this fall. Refunds will be processed shortly.

Embracing Sainthood

Sanctuary of Divine Mercy
Siostry Faustyny 3, 30-608 Kraków, Poland
October 22-25, 2020

“Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in Heaven.”  Matthew 5:12

Sisters in Christ,

Greetings!

We are so excited to invite you to the MCCW European Regional Retreat: Embracing Sainthood. This 3-night, 4-day retreat will be held at the beautiful Sanctuary of Divine Mercy in Krakow, Poland. We look forward to leaving behind the distractions of life and experiencing God’s precious grace together. You can expect to spend time in reflection and meditation through adoration, confession, mass, spiritual direction, and many forms of personal and group prayer. You will hear and participate in talks with some wonderful AMS clergy, MCCW-Worldwide leadership, and guest speakers. We are thrilled to have as a very special guest speaker, Michaelann Martin.

We hope you can make it!

Jennifer Brennan & Kitty Eisenbeil MCCW – European Team

Register and purchase tickets on EventBrite.

Guest Speakers

Michaelann Martin

Michaelann is married to Curtis Martin and they have been working with young people and college students for over twenty years with the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, FOCUS, the organization, committed to expanding the new evangelization on college and university campuses.  Michaelann studied Psychology and Business, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts in 1988 and continued her education by receiving a Master of Education in 1989 from Pepperdine University.   She works alongside Curtis in FOCUS as the Director of Women’s Formation.  She very much enjoys working with the missionaries and wives involved with FOCUS, as well as mentoring women of all ages who want to learn about living our faith in the new evangelization. 

Curtis and Michaelann have tried to keep their faith and family as top priorities and in so doing have written a few studies for personal or group reflection and discussion, Family Matters, and Michaelann has written, Catholic Parent Book of Feast, Celebrating the Liturgical Year in the Family, Woman of Grace, A Bible Study for married women as well, and the newly released mother- daughter study, Girls Night Out: Having fun with Your Daughter while Raising a woman of God.

Curtis and Michaelann have been married for 31 years, they have nine children and five grandchildren so far… They currently reside in Colorado.

Bishop William Muhm

Bishop William (Bill) Muhm, son of the late James and Anne Muhm, was born in Billings, MT, in 1957 and raised in Denver, CO. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree (B.S.) in Business Administration from Colorado State University in 1980. He attended Officer Candidate School (OCS) in Newport, RI, and was commissioned an Ensign in the Navy Supply Corps in July 1981. After graduating from Navy Supply Corps School, he served aboard USS BELLEAU WOOD (LHA-3), making two Western Pacific (WESTPAC) deployments, and an assignment to the Naval Air Engineering Station in Lakehurst, NJ. After release from active duty, he worked as an accountant. From 1986-1989, he also served as a Navy Reserve Supply Corps Officer.

In 1989, Bishop Muhm entered the minor seminary for the Archdiocese of New York, under the Co-Sponsored Seminarian Program (CSP), a vocations partnership between the AMS and participating U.S. dioceses and religious communities. He graduated from St. Joseph’s Seminary (Dunwoodie) in Yonkers, NY, and was ordained a priest in 1995 by John Cardinal O’Connor. Father Muhm served in the Archdiocese of New York at parishes in Ossining and Staten Island. From 1996 to 1998, he served as a Navy Reserve Chaplain with Fleet Hospital 22.

In 1998, Bishop Muhm returned to active duty as a Navy chaplain. His assignments included Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan; USS WASP (LHD-1), making an extended post-9/11 deployment in the Arabian Sea; postgraduate studies at Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, CA; Training Support Center Great Lakes, IL; 1st Marine Division, deploying to Anbar Province, Iraq; U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD; USS BONHOMME RICHARD (LHD-6)/CTF-76, home ported in Sasebo, Japan; 2nd Marine Logistics Group, Camp Lejeune, NC; and II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune. Father Muhm retired from the Navy on May 1, 2018 with the rank of Navy Captain.

Bishop Muhm’s military awards include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with two gold stars, Navy Commendation Medal with gold star, and Navy Achievement Medalwith gold star, and Fleet Marine Force Officer Qualification.

With permission from Cardinal Dolan, Bishop Muhm enjoyed a sabbatical from May 1 to December 1, 2018. The sabbatical included a 30-day Jesuit retreat, a cross-country road trip to visit family and friends, walking 787 kilometers of the Camino of Santiago de Compostela with two priest friends and one seminarian friend, and six weeks at the Institute for Continuing Theological Education at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. Bishop Muhm served as Administrator of Most Precious Blood Parish in Walden, NY, from December 1, 2018 to February 28, 2019.

Eligibility

If you are a female, 18 and older, AND affiliated with the military (all branches-active, guard, reserve, dependent, retired, DoDEA, contractor) – we would be honored to have you attend this retreat! Please note: You do not need to be a leader in your community, involved in a CWOC or even Catholic – just respectful and open to learning. We have women who attend from installations where there is not an active CWOC and we would be happy to have you!  We are hoping for representation from across the European region!

How to Register

All registrations must be completed on Eventbrite. Please keep in mind:

All sales will close on Sept 15, 2020.

All payments need to be received by Oct 1, 2020.

Space is limited, so please make your reservations as soon as possible.

Attendance Options

We highly encourage you to “retreat” and spend your time for four days at the retreat center. As we realize this time frame and the overnight option are not possible for everyone, we have included a daytripper price for those who cannot spend the night. It includes meals during the retreat, but not lodging. The add-on pilgrimage day requires advance registration and space is limited.  It includes an extra night of lodging, but meals that day are on your own.

Costs for all options are listed below.

Cost of Attendance

Due to the nature of our ordering platform, you will select only one ticket option that includes both Registration & Room/Board. The breakdown is below.

The registration fee is a non-refundable per person fee paid through Eventbrite before September 15.  This covers the facility, retreat materials, hospitality rooms, and on-site chapel plus your lodging and meals.

Lodging and attendance options vary. Each rate includes all meals as well as coffee/tea breaks:

-$295: All-Inclusive Double Room (Shared room/two-person occupancy)  with lodging for 4 days, 3 nights, eight meals beginning with dinner on October 22, and concluding with breakfast on October 25.

-$55: Mini Pilgrimage including the “Walk in the Shoes of JPII” extra day excursion. (Note: includes one extra night’s stay at the retreat house but extra meals are up to each individual or group).

-$195: Day Tripper multi-day pass over the course of four days includes lunch and dinner but no lodging or breakfast.

-$222: Priest Subsidy includes lodging for 4 days, 3 nights, and eight meals beginning with dinner on October 22 and concluding with breakfast on October 25.

All rooms are double occupancy. There are no single rooms available. Each room contains two single beds, linens, towels, a sitting table, and a wardrobe. All rooms have en-suite toilet and shower. There are no infant/children’s cots available.

Note: ALL payments will be by Eventbrite or check. NO PAYPAL.

Please indicate on your registration if you have any food allergies and see the question below about allergies for more details.

Paying for Registration

  • Please determine if your chapel is paying any portion of your retreat registration fees BEFORE you process a personal payment. If any portion of your registration will be paid with chapel funds, please select the “INVOICE” payment option. NO REFUNDS to personal credit cards will be issued after payment has been made.

If your Chapel is paying, the Chapel POC needs to email the MCCW Finance Team at registrar@mccw.org to advise the following and request an invoice:

  • Chapel Name (Base/Post)
  • POC: Parish Coordinator and/or CWOC President or Chapel Funds Manager (Please include emails and/or phone numbers.)
  • Funds Manager or Religious Support Personnel who will handle payment name, email, and phone number
  • Names of registrants receiving a subsidy and the amount each attendee is receiving

Once this information is received an invoice will be emailed back.

Registration Options:

When completing online registration make one of the following payment selections:

  1. Choose ONLINE at Eventbrite via CC (small transaction fee applies)
  2. Choose MAIL-IN and send your check, notated with “European Retreat Registration” in the memo line, to:

MCCW, Inc. PO Box 4456 Washington DC 20017-9997 3. Choose INVOICE if your chapel is paying any or all of the registration.

See additional information in the notes above.

All payments must be made via Eventbrite or check.

Chapels must communicate with their attendees the amount to be subsidized Chapels, the POC sends the email to registrar@mccw.org and the ladies register using the invoice ticket. Once the invoice is sent, the chapel pays the registrar via EFT, Check, or CC (using GPC ticket). The remaining balance can then be paid by sending in a check or can go online to pay the remaining balance.

Chapel GPC Payments: for Chapel Funds Manager use only after an invoice has been issued. The invoice provides them 3 ways to pay: EFT, Check, or credit card (with a fee via Eventbrite Chapel GPC Payment ticket).

Individual Pay Balance Due After Subsidy: Registrants who have a remaining balance after the chapel subsidy. Women are able to pay their remaining balance via CC with fees instead of mailing a checkout.

Lodging

All rooms include an en-suite sink, shower, and toilet.  Blankets, sheets, and towels will be provided. The rooms are standard European hotel rooms. If you have a preference for a roommate, all attendees should request their preferred group at the time of registration.  

Bring personal items, soap, hygiene items, spiritual items (rosary, bible, veil/pashmina), comfortable clothing, and any additional comfort items. It is recommended that you bring a converter or otherwise appropriate outlet to charge any devices you may bring with you. Outlets are standard 2-prong European outlets and American appliances that are not dual voltage should not be brought to the retreat site.

Please consider bringing cash/checks as there will be items available for purchase and daily mass offerings taken during the retreat, as well as the CWOC basket auction for Seminarians. There is an ATM at the site.

About the Retreat Center

Guest rooms in the House of St. Faustina are in the monastery building of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, in the place where she once lived and worked on the gate of St. Sister Faustina. There she had many revelations, including she met Jesus who came in the form of a poor young man. In the House of St. Faustina one can take advantage of accommodation for organized groups of pilgrims as well as individuals.

Restaurant in the “House of St. Sisters of Faustina “at the bus parking are run by sisters from the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy, who offer home-made buffet lunches, breakfasts, dinners, homemade desserts, ice cream, and waffles. They also support organized groups (up to 300 people). You can pre-book meals and all at attractive prices.

Please visit their website to learn more.

Off-site Pilgrimage

Please note that space is limited to the first 60 women who sign up for the All-Inclusive + Mini Pilgrimage registration option.  The extra $55 cost is included in the pricing above and covers the extra night of lodging.  We will be visiting many of the sites special to Saint John Paul II from his early childhood to his days as Pope.  We will start at the Family House of the Holy Father John Paul II Museum in Wadowice and visit the church where he was baptized as a child.  We will return to Krakow for a walking tour visiting sites such as the seminary where he studied, the church where he was ordained and the Pope’s window.  As a special treat, we will enjoy a taste of kremówka papieska –pope’s cake. Save your spot early and don’t miss out on this special extra day together. Remember, an extra night of lodging is included in the price, but additional meals are not.

Transportation

The retreat site is easily accessible by car and limited parking is available. The nearest airport is Krakow International. There is a nearby metro stop with a short uphill walk.

Are Children Welcome?

We cannot accommodate babies at the retreat site. Nursing infants under 12 months may attend in arms, provided they do not distract from the quiet nature and respect for the religious sisters that reside in the area. Babies older than 12 months may not attend. Baby cots/cribs are not available.

Food Options

Meals include one dinner meal on Thursday, three meals on Friday and Saturday and breakfast on Sunday. There will also be coffee/tea breaks.  Please note we expect to have a formal banquet on Saturday evening. Worldwide team members and volunteers may arrange their own meals outside those listed above.

Does the venue have the ability to accommodate food allergies and dietary restrictions?

Yes. However, retreatants must communicate their allergy/dietary needs directly with the venue staff before each meal. Worldwide team members and volunteers may arrange their own meals outside those listed above.

Refunds

Registration is complete when payment is received. Tickets are not refundable. However, we do understand unexpected situations occur. You are able to transfer your ticket (registration) to another woman. Please find a replacement and contact the registrar. If you are unable to find a replacement through your chapel, you can contact the registrar for assistance in finding someone outside of your chapel.

*Please Note* If you’ve used a chapel subsidy, you may not transfer your registration to a woman from a different chapel.

Recommended Attire

Please dress comfortably but respect for the spiritual nature of the retreat weekend. It is chilly in the fall.  Anticipate mid 40-50• Fahrenheit. You will need semi-formal attire for the formal banquet dinner on Saturday evening. There will be early morning prayer times offered, so you may like to bring something comfortable to wake-up in.

Please be mindful that this is a convent and a basilica. They expect the same dress code as churches throughout Europe: No bare shoulders, if you wear leggings please wear a long tunic or dress with them, and no shorts.

Discernment

We will have discernment for the MCCW European regional board. Here is a link of available positions and a contact sheet for you to review. More information will be provided to attendees before and during the retreat regarding discernment and open positions. Currently, the Regional Coordinator and Liturgist positions will be discerned at the retreat.

More Information 

Have a question or need to talk? Please email Jennifer Brennan at europeancomms@mccw.org.

CWOC Fall Kick-Offs in the Time of COVID

By: Nancy Belmont, Director of Faith Formation

I write to you with my feet in two worlds. One is immersed in online learning, email communication, and planning via Facebook Messenger. The other is dipping its toes into in-person interactions. I’m currently writing this as I sit on a park bench, mask on, at my son’s football practice. We are all trying to figure out the “new normal.” The hardest part? Acknowledging and respecting that everyone isn’t reacting the same way to things opening up, and giving them space to figure out how they will navigate their “new normal.”

What does this look like for our CWOC groups? 

This may mean a group that has met in the mornings for many years switches to evenings in response to members’ managing their children’s online educations during the day. Some women, burnt out by additional workplace and household demands, may reject a rigorous academic study in favor of simple faith sharing and encouragement. Instead of meeting at the chapel, women may gather in small, in-person neighborhood groups. Some women are eager for interactions past the four walls of their homes while others remain patiently cocooned. 

How to handle the chaos and confusion

Honestly? I don’t like this dissonance. I wish we didn’t have to navigate this continued uncertainty and what seems like (on the surface) disunity. Recently, I read something from Pope Francis that challenged me and encouraged me to be open to our reality. It was from a 2014 address to Italian teachers and students in which the pontiff talked about his great love for school. His words that resonated with me follow:

“I love school because it is synonymous with openness to reality. At least it should be! Yet it does not always manage to be so, and so that means that the structure needs to be adapted a little. Going to school means opening one’s mind and heart to reality, in the wealth of its aspects, of its dimensions. And we do not have the right to be afraid of reality! School teaches us to understand reality. Going to school means opening one’s mind and heart to reality, in the wealth of its aspects, of its dimensions. And this is so very beautiful!”

The reality is, this year is weird. This year is uncomfortable. I wish I could pull the covers up over my head and sleep through its different-ness. However, I must accept the uncomfortable realities of this year. I must see it as it is and open myself up to the lessons it can teach me, which includes different ways to minister and reach out to the ladies in my community. 

What do the women in your community need? 

Have you taken the time to ask them? I created a Google form to assess the needs, wants, and comfort level of the women in my chapel group. I discovered answers as diverse as the questions I asked. I hope by asking the questions and presenting the answers to the board of my chapel group, I’ve opened them up to the variety of ways we can minister to women during this time. 

Some women crave service opportunities, safe social gatherings, traditional studies, or simple faith sharing. Can we be okay with our chapel groups looking different this year? Can our ministries become more deliberate and targeted? Smaller, more intimate groups may facilitate real intimacy and Christian sisterhood. Can we think outside the box, welcoming people into our backyards for socially-distanced interaction or to an evening study when before, there was none? 

Most importantly, we should stress person-to-person connections at this time. 

Check-in with your chapel women. Has anyone in their families been sick? Have they had a baby during this stressful time? Are they craving some one-on-one connection and reassurance? 

If we’re open to it, this year can be a “school” that refocuses us on what’s essential in our ministry: connecting, uniting, and inspiring women. While how may look different, it’s essential that this important work is done. This month, take some time to assess your own comfort level, gifts, and needs and pray for the confidence and holy perseverance to conduct your ministry in new ways. 

Quoted from: Pope Francis, “Address of Pope Francis to Students and Teachers from Schools Across Italy.” St. Peter’s Square, 10 May 2014, 

Recognizing Those Who Lovingly Serve

Awards and Recognition

By: Denise Hummel, Forum Awards and Recognition Chair

MCCW recognizes the time, talents, and treasures of women who lovingly serve our organization. Applications are now being accepted through October 1, 2020.  Recipients will be recognized in November 2020.  More information will be forthcoming in the October issue of “The Well” and on social media.

Sheila Baker 

Sheila Baker’s involvement with MCCW began in the early 1970s. She worked tirelessly at all levels of MCCW— from the chapel level, at the area now reorganized as the regional level, and on to the national level. Sheila was President of MCCW-Europe for two terms in the early 1990s. Sheila was a true leader and role model. She was a mentor and friend of MCCW for nearly thirty years.

In order to honor Sheila and her memory, this award is presented to MCCW members who exhibit enduring and outstanding support and accomplishments in furthering the goals and mission of MCCW-Worldwide.

If you would like to nominate an individual to be considered a recipient of the 2020 Sheila Baker Award, please complete the form at mccw.org/awards.                 

Mary Ann Ernst 

Mary Ann Ernst was a selfless servant and a unifying leader. She was a mentor and friend to MCCW for more than 20 years. Mary Ann’s involvement with MCCW began when she started worshiping in military chapels. She worked tirelessly at all levels of MCCW — at the chapel and regional levels, as well as on the MCCW-Worldwide Board of Directors.

In order to honor Mary Ann and her memory, this award is presented to regional MCCW members who exhibit selfless service and outstanding support in furthering the goals and mission of MCCW-Worldwide.  In addition, they consistently bring harmony to the communities in which they live and worship.

If you would like to nominate an individual to be considered a recipient of the 2020 Mary Ann Ernst Regional Harmony Award, please complete the form at mccw.org/awards.

Past Recipients of the Sheila Baker Award

Atlanta, 2006

  • Alba Thompson
  • Mary Clark

San Antonio, 2008

  • Maria Scott                                            
  • Ginger Flemming

Baltimore, 2010                                       

  • Michelle Hokenson        
  • Carol Fountain                         

Chattanooga, 2014

  • Susan Boling

Washington, D.C., 2016                                  

  • Lisa Donahue                               
  • Lisa Miklos

San Diego, 2018                                 

  • Marcia Stokes
  • Beth Manning            

Past Recipients of the Mary Ann Ernst Regional Harmony Award

Chattanooga, 2014                                    

  • Kelly Oliver
  • Joycelyn Laus
  • Robin Carlino
  • Brenda Wile                             

Washington, D.C., 2016                                  

  • Bernadette Kovalsick                              
  • Lynda MacFarland

San Diego, 2018                                 

  • Jen Carter
  • Denise Hummel
  • Diana Ruzicka
  • Dollia Lemus

 

Back to Business

Dear Sisters in Christ,

September always feels like a back to business sort of month to me. Summer is definitely over, school is definitely in session, and so it is time to get back to business. 

This year, I think that may be harder than usual given the ongoing pandemic that we all hoped (prayed!) would be in our rearview mirror by now. But as a wise MCCW sister pointed out, this thing isn’t going away anytime soon, so the time for “I’ll deal with it after the pandemic” is over and forward we move!

So, too, is that true for MCCW. Last month we shared with you the announcements that we were canceling both our Asian Regional Retreat and Forum 2020, and I’ve got to tell you, I took a little time to grieve those hard decisions. 

But your MCCW team has remained hard at work planning for the future and there is so much to be done. Read on to find out more about:

  • Spring 2021 Retreats: MCCW will host a retreat in each of our US regions between February and April. Check out updates from your regional teams this month in our “Regional Retreat Round-Up.”
  • Guide to Worldwide Discernment: MCCW Worldwide discernment is coming up and we are looking for called, competent, and committed women to fill key roles on our board. Learn more about the positions and the process in “Called to Serve.” 
  • Help Wanted Ads: Our MCCW team continues to grow and we need your help. Read “Room at the Table” to find out how you can use your gifts and talents to serve our sisters in Christ around the world. 
  • Forum 2022: Pandemic or not, we are moving ahead and are so excited to share with you a special announcement about Forum 2022!

And that’s just part of what you will find in this month’s issue of The Well. Read on to see what else we have in store for you! 

Yours in Christ,

Kim Miller 

Looking Forward

By: Aly Tugaoen, Director of Forum

Just because our biennial Forum event won’t be happening in person doesn’t mean that we forget about the parts of Forum that make it special. Nancy Belmont, Director of Faith Formation, is working with a team of volunteers to put together content that will celebrate our theme of “FIAT, giving God your YES!”  Look for information on liturgical living, special guest speakers, and programs that will enhance your Catholic faith.   

We also have a special Forum tradition that will continue despite the changes COVID-19 has placed on all of us.  Whether you are new to the military life, or a seasoned spouse, we hold a special place in our hearts for those seminarians that make the additional commitment to serving as military chaplains.  We are in desperate need of Catholic priests in every branch of service, but what can we do in addition to offering our prayers?  

At Forum, MCCW holds a silent auction focused on raising money to help offset the cost of educating these future priests through our perpetual charity.  Despite our inability to be together, our AMS Liaison, Denise Hummel, and Director at Large, Eleanor Gentilini, are still spearheading the effort to virtually raise money for The Military Council of Catholic Women Endowed Co-Sponsored Seminarian Scholarship.  This promises to be a FUN experience benefiting a worthwhile cause.

Stay tuned to our website, Facebook and Instagram pages, and future editions of our newsletter, The Well, for special announcements and information about these events that are slated to start in November. 

Are you Called, Competent, and Committed?

Who is the MCCW Team? 

All the work of MCCW is done by a team of nearly 40 volunteers living all over the world. Our volunteers come from all branches of the military. Some are military dependents and some are active duty, in the reserves, or in the National Guard. Some are married, others are single. Some work outside the home, others are at home raising children or caring for their service members and household. Some of our volunteers are young and new to the military and others are more seasoned with years of military-life experience. Some of our volunteers hold positions that require technical or professional expertise and others fill roles that require time, energy, and a willingness to learn. 

How Does Serving MCCW Help Me Grow?

MCCW volunteers find that as they serve they also grow in many ways. A deeper faith and greater understanding of our faith is one of the big ways, but many MCCW volunteers also find that the faith of their families grow as well! Other volunteers have made lifelong friendships, have had opportunities to attend retreats and events, and have developed skills they can use in other areas of their lives. Many volunteers also use their MCCW volunteerism on their resumes when they are seeking employment. 

Beyond the benefits of volunteering with MCCW, many MCCW team members find that their work is an enhancement of their primary vocation — whether that be to married or single life — helping them to live that vocation more deeply. 

Are you Called, Competent, and Committed?

Each of our nearly 40 volunteers have a few things in common: they have servant’s hearts, a love of their sisters in Christ, and an openness to diving deeper into their faith. We sum up these qualities with the words: called, competent and committed.

If you are, we need you! Each year MCCW has several positions open for discernment, a prayerful decision-making process we use to select leaders for MCCW. We also have many positions available on a rolling basis and filled by board members who oversee each position. The many positions vary in time commitment, responsibility, and duration. 

Where Am I Being Called?

There is truly something for everyone in MCCW. Here are the positions that are currently available. 

Discerned Positions (Discernment to be held in November):

  • President: The president of the board oversees the work of the whole organization, plans and leads board meetings, helps set the strategic direction of the organization, and acts as the public face of the organization. This position requires a significant time commitment, some travel, and excellent organizational skills.
  • Director of Forum: The Director of Forum oversees the planning of the biennial Forum event, selects and directs the Forum team, and manages the event in real-time. This position requires an increasing time commitment as Forum grows closer, some travel, and great interpersonal skills.
  • Director of Finance: The Director of Finance manages MCCW’s finances including budgeting and basic accounting. This position oversees the MCCW Bookkeeper and requires a background in finance or accounting, some travel, and attention to detail.
  • Director of Communications: The Director of Communication oversees all of MCCW’s communications efforts from the website to the newsletter, from social media to signs and printed materials for events. This position manages a team of communications volunteers and requires a background in communications fields as well as excellent written communication skills.
  • Director at Large (1): MCCW’s Directors at Large serve in a wide variety of ways, always ready to meet the needs of the organization. A Director at Large should have a willingness to learn about all aspects of MCCW and an openness to serve as needed. 

Appointed Positions (appointments are ongoing as qualified women are identified):

  • Social Media Manager: The social media manager oversees MCCW’s social media profiles, with a particular focus on our Facebook page and groups. She creates and schedules original content as well as soliciting content from other MCCW volunteers. This position requires creativity, excellent written skills, and good time management skills.
  • Instagram Content Manager: The Instagram manager oversees MCCW’s Instagram profile. She creates and schedules original content, solicits and schedules content from other MCCW volunteers, and works to extend MCCW’s reach within the Instagram community
  • Stewardship Team Members: Stewardship is a growing area of MCCW’s work and we are building a team to support these efforts. Volunteers are needed for many types of work and we are looking for women with excellent writing abilities or a background in fundraising, development, donor engagement, or database management.
  • Faith Formation Team Members: Faith formation is one of the programmatic focuses of MCCW and we are interested in building a team of forward-thinking women who would like to develop online events for our members. Faith formation team members may be involved in the creation of new content or may explore ways to transition existing content to online platforms. 

What Should I Do Next if I Feel Called?

If one of the discerned positions seems like it would be a good fit for you, here’s what you should do:

  1. Download the personal discernment packet from www.mccw.org/discernment and begin the personal discernment process of prayer and reflection on your own.
  2. Prepare the materials you will need to turn in from the discernment packet and request a letter of good standing from your priest or chaplain. 
  3. Once you have the materials ready, or if you have any questions, email discernment@mccw.org
  4. The group discernment process will be held virtually on or about the week of November 1, 2020 (Specific date and time will be determined based on the availability of those discerning).

If one of the appointed positions seems like it would be a good fit for you, here’s what you should do:

  1. Email president@mccw.org to let us know you are interested!
  2. We will get in touch with you to share more about the position, the responsibilities, and answer any questions you might have. 
  3. We will work together to find the right place for you on our MCCW team!

If you are feeling called to serve, but aren’t sure where, email president@mccw.org and we will work together to find you a place on our team. All are welcome!