DCCW: ‘Walking in God’s love with the family’

Categories: Around the Diocese


Bishop Donald Kettler, right, assisted outgoing president Julie Moorhead-Miller, standing beside him, at the installation of new officers ceremony at the St. Cloud Diocesan Council of Catholic Women Fall Conference at St. Mary Church in Upsala Sept. 19. Others at the installation include, from left, Janet Berendt (DCCW family commission chair), Mary Jo Fitzpatrick (Foley/Princeton Deanery president), Irene Schmidt (Melrose/Sauk Centre Deanery president), Linda Scepurek (Little Falls Deanery president), Carol Brunn (DCCW treasurer), Cheryl Weller (newly-elected DCCW vice president), Pat Kasella (newly-elected DCCW secretary) and Eva Koep (incoming DCCW president). Photo by Rita Meyer / For The Visitor

By Rita Meyer
For The Visitor

Having a “radiating influence” was the phrase that Deborah Savage used to describe the gift of women to more than 150 attendees at the 62nd annual fall conference of the St. Cloud Diocesan Council of Catholic Women.

This year’s event, with the theme “Walking in God’s Love with the Family,” was Sept. 19 at St. Mary Church in Upsala.

With a keynote address titled “Women as Prophet: A Feminism for the 21st Century,” Savage, a member of the faculty at the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity in St. Paul, described Mary, the mother of Jesus, as a woman of power even though she’s often portrayed passively in photos and films.

After saying “yes” when asked to be the handmaid servant of the Lord without knowing what that all entailed, Mary played an amazingly active role in the life of Christ, Savage said. Mary was a woman of power; the apostles listened to her in the upper room. Women — and men — can turn to Mary as a source of wisdom, strength and love, she said.

The day included Mass celebrated by Bishop Donald Kettler; concelebrating were Father Jerry Mischke, DCCW spiritual adviser, Father John Odero, pastor of St. Mary, and Father Laurn Virnig, former spiritual adviser for the DCCW’s Little Falls Deanery.

Bishop Kettler thanked and commended the women for making time in their schedules to attend the conference. Following Mass, he assisted in the installation of new DCCW officers: Eva Koep, president; Cheryl Weller, vice president; and Pat Kasella, secretary.

A radiating influence

In the afternoon, Kathy Langer, director of the Office of Social Concerns for Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Cloud, spoke on “Reflecting God’s Love in a Changing World.”

She gave examples of how her mother was a “radiating influence” in her life as a child growing up in Buckman. Praying the rosary — daily — was a big thing in their family. Langer, like Savage, reiterated the significance of Mary and how she had open hands and an open heart when she prayed.

The afternoon concluded with reports from Julie Moorhead-Miller, Linda Scepurek, Arleen Roelike and Eva Koep — all of whom attended the National Council of Catholic Women convention in Orlando, Florida, earlier this summer.

Next fall’s DCCW conference will be hosted by the Melrose/Sauk Centre Deanery on Sept. 17, 2016. All women of the St. Cloud Diocese are welcomed and invited to attend.
Every Catholic woman in the Diocese of St. Cloud is automatically a member of DCCW; no membership required.