Madison Diocese Council of Women hold convention Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Written by Jane Lepeska Grinde, Catholic Herald Correspondent   
Thursday, Jun. 30, 2016 -- 12:00 AM
mdccw convention
The new co-presidents of the Madison Diocesan Council of Catholic Women are Ellen Martin, Westfield, left, and Suzanne Koch, Berlin. (Contributed photo)

BERLIN -- As Ellen Martin and Sue Koch assumed the co-presidency of the Madison Diocesan Council of Catholic Women (MDCCW) at its recent convention at All Saints Church here, they announced their theme of “Rise, Let Us Be on Our Way.”

The theme is taken from the title of a book by St. John Paul II written when he was bishop of Kracow, Poland, during a time of Communist control.

Expanding on theme

Martin and Koch want members to add on to the phrase. For example, Koch said, “Let us be on our way to serve the needs of the parish, to get through this problem, to pray more, to help out the elderly person next door, to spare a couple of hours a month to go to my church’s women’s club meeting, be it CCW, altar sodality, Catholic Women’s Club.”

Koch emphasized that the theme “includes us. Jesus and me and you doing whatever it is we need to be on our way to do. He is always with us in all areas of our lives.”

New co-presidents

Koch is a member of the host parish, and Martin is a member of Good Shepherd Parish, Westfield.

They are looking forward to visiting all of the vicariates and welcome any suggestions as they lead the MDCCW in growing in membership and representing Catholic women of the diocese.

The two-day convention in June attracted 160 registrantsand focused on the theme, “Women on Fire for the Lord.”

In relinquishing the presidency, Rosa Ropers, Waunakee, said, “I have given you a lot of my energy and ideas, and now it is time for Ellen and Sue to give theirs.”

Ropers advised the new leaders, “Not everyone will like everything you do. Give what you can. Pray to thank God and pray sometimes to complain to God. Congratulations, you two will do a wonderful job!”

‘Women on Fire for the Lord’

Msgr. Duane Moellenberndt, MDCCW spiritual advisor and homilist for the convention Mass, told the women, “Your theme, ‘Women on Fire for the Lord,’ calls all here today to build more and more enthusiasm for Christ. We are challenged this day to ask ourselves how we can personally ignite the blaze Jesus wants to see.

“We know that God can never be outdone in generosity. So the more we give to the Lord, the more we receive from His work. As St. Paul said in our second reading from Timothy (2 Timothy 1, 6-8, 13-14), ‘The Spirit God has given us is no cowardly spirit but rather one that makes us strong, loving, and wise.’”

Monsignor Moellenberndt challenged the women, “In the Gospel from Luke (Luke 12, 35-38, 49) Jesus said, ‘I have come to light a fire on the earth.’ By the witness of our lives and our devotion to our faith, we are to ignite the blaze for the Lord in our parishes, homes, families, and places of work.”

Holy Family Pastor Fr. David Greenfield presided at the Mass which was offered for recently deceased Fr. Larry Bowens, who had served as co-spiritual advisor for MDCCW.

Following Mass, Monsignor Moellenberndt installed the new officers for two-year terms.

Special recognition

Thirty women attended the convention for the first time. Kim Jennings, an individual MDCCW member from Holy Family Parish, Marshall and Waterloo, was recognized as the youngest attendee and received a statute of a Madonna.

Mary Stasek, chair of the Spirituality Commission and 20-plus-year MDCCW board member, received the Spirit Award.

Also receiving recognition was Monsignor Moellenberndt on the 40th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood.

Jefferson Vicariate CCW will host next year’s convention with the date to be determined. For more information, go to

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