The National Council of Catholic Women Celebrates 97 Years of Service at their Annual Convention

The National Council of Catholic Women, founded on March 4, 1920, celebrated its 97th year of service to God and the Church at its annual convention on Sept. 6-9 in Dallas, Texas, with the theme: Catholic Women: Living the Joy of the Gospel.

More than 600 women from all around the United States — including nine from the Diocese of Joliet, along with the diocese’s spiritual advisor, Father John Sebahar  — undeterred by hurricane Harvey and the imminent threat of Irma, joined with their council sisters to pray and worship, hear motivating talks from renowned speakers, vote on resolutions, welcome incoming officers, visit the jam-packed exhibit hall and tour Dallas while staying at the beautiful Hilton Anatole in the Dallas Design District.

From the hilarity of Sister’s Christmas Catechism, to liturgies that filled attendees with peace and a profound sense of camaraderie as hundreds of NCCW sisters and spiritual advisors joined in praise, NCCW members not only experienced a most memorable time together, they also raised funds for and donated necessities to hurricane victims.

Speakers for the 2017 National Convention included: Mary Rice Hasson, a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C., where she directs the Catholic Women’s Forum, an initiative that responds to Pope Francis’s call for Catholic women to assume a higher profile within the Church; Stacy Thomlison, missionary for the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (Focus); Dale Recinella, spiritual counselor and Catholic lay chaplain to prisoners as well as author of numerous books on the death penalty; and Mother Susan Catherine Kennedy, a former Nacogdoches County judge who founded the order of the Daughters of Divine Hope in 2010 after the death of her husband.

A special treat for convention attendees was the opportunity to view the trailer for SONY Picture’s movie, THE STAR and to attend a pre-release presentation of the movie, Same Kind of Different as Me, based on the best-selling book.

“In convention, the scope and breadth of our NCCW becomes vibrantly apparent as we gather from across the country to pray, laugh, and learn what together we can do through the interaction of all levels of council to make our world a better place. I expect that attendees will come away with a renewed sense of appreciation for our NCCW, thankful for all those who established and who have remained true to our mission through these last 97 years. We now look to a future bright with promise as we move forward in our commitment to unite and assist American Catholic women to live fully the joy of the Gospel,” said Maribeth Stewart, NCCW President.

NCCW’s mission is to act through its members to support, empower and educate all Catholic women in spirituality, leadership and service. Its programs respond with Gospel values to the needs of the Church and society today. To request an interview with NCCW President Maribeth Stewart, contact or call 703.224.0990. Visit for more information on the National Council of Catholic Women.