By Savanna Kearney
The National Council of Catholic Women have been supporting, empowering and education Catholic women on spirituality, leadership and service at the national level since 1920. Locally, the St. Augustine Diocesan Council of Catholic Women represents Catholic women in the Diocese of St. Augustine through parish affiliations or groups in four deaneries: Gainesville, North Jacksonville, St. Augustine and South Jacksonville. Our diocese will celebrate 90 years of DCCW next year.
More than five years ago, Bishop Felipe Estévez proclaimed the second in October DCCW Membership Sunday, “providing all Catholic Women of the Diocese the opportunity to exercise their faith in union with others towards goals of mutual enrichment.”
Currently, 19 parishes throughout the diocese are affiliated with DCCW, but, according to Staci Duncan, president of St. Augustine DCCW, they’re hoping the bishop’s proclamation will encourage more parishes to form DCCW groups.
“It is the bishop’s wish that every parish have a Council of Catholic Women in it,” said Duncan. “It’s not some secret society. Every woman is encouraged to belong.”
The president of the St. Augustine DCCW, Staci Duncan, represents the women of our diocese at the State (or Province) level by attending meetings of the Florida Council of Catholic Women (FCCW), also known as the Province of Miami. The FCCW President, in turn, represents the women in the state of Florida by serving on the Board of the National Council of Catholic Women.
At the parish level, members attend monthly meetings… But, if you’d like to be a member of DCCW, but your parish isn’t affiliated with it, you can still join on an individual level.
“It has been a huge difference in my life. I love what it has done for me and my family,” said Duncan. “It got me up and out of the pew and helped me to be more confident in speaking. And I love the sisterhood.”
To learn more about DCCW or to become a member, visit www.stadccw.com.
Whereas, every Catholic woman is invited to be a member of the Diocesan Council of Catholic Women through sustaining Membership in an affiliate group.
Whereas, each Catholic woman can be helped to fulfill her responsibilities for building the Church community by working hand in hand with one another in a Diocesan Council of Catholic Women affiliate.
Whereas, Catholic women today are among the best educated in the history of the Church, and possess immense potential for great service to the Church and community.
Whereas, the strength of Catholic women is that they are bound together in faith which, when put into action, will bring the values of Christ into the world.
I, Felipe J. Estevez, Bishop of St. Augustine, proclaim the second Sunday in October, Diocesan Council of Catholic Women Membership Sunday providing all Catholic Women of the Diocese the opportunity to exercise their faith in union with others towards goals of mutual enrichment.
Most Reverend Felipe J. Estévez, S.T.D.
Bishop of St. Augustine