WAVERLY (SNR) - The Lincoln Diocesan Council of Catholic Women (LDCCW) will host its eighth annual “Winter Symposium” Jan. 12-13 at Our Lady of Good Counsel Retreat House in Waverly, and invites all women to share an opportunity for spiritual growth, education and service.
Related: slideshow from 2017 symposium
Related: slideshow from 2016 symposium
The LDCCW, under the direction of the diocesan bishop, provides for the spiritual and physical needs of others through prayer and action. The Council was founded in 1932 by Bishop Louis B. Kucera in an effort to unite all Catholic women in the diocese.
The theme for the symposium is “Serving God by Serving Others” and women are invited to come both days or either Friday, Jan. 12, or Saturday Jan. 13.
“It is called a symposium because it becomes an opportunity for connection and discussion, not just a conference where one merely attends, or a retreat simply for prayer,” explained Terri Sullivan of St. Mary Parish in Wallace, the current president of the LDCCW.
“Even though it is held at the retreat house, this is not silent like the regular retreats held there throughout the year,” she continued. “It’s an opportunity for women to share a friendship in Christ with each other, by sharing their talents, ideas and zeal to serve the Lord in their parishes.”
“We are all called to be servants,” Sullivan said. “This is why, each year, the LDCCW takes time to provide opportunities for women of the diocese to come together and learn about the projects offered as a way to serve God in the areas of leadership, service and spirituality.”
This year’s symposium aims to help attendees to be stronger Catholics and put their faith into action. Stacy Thomlison, who has been serving a mission in Rwanda, will share her experience of serving others. Cullen Herout will speak on forgiveness and the human experience. Father John Rooney will examine the religious significance of the solar eclipse. Other speakers include Dr. Terra Papik, Father Gary Coulter and Tom Venzor, executive director of the Nebraska Catholic Conference.
“The LDCCW winter symposium is a great event,” said Terry Kerr, a member of St. Mary Parish in St. Mary. “I’ve been able to attend each year and can truly say I’ve never been disappointed. It’s hard to name my favorite part: the candlelight rosary for the unborn, the special activity planned on Friday night for one of our diocesan programs, or the different panel discussions that are presented every year.
“We also always have an excellent guest speaker,” she added. “I would encourage any woman in the diocese to take time out of their busy schedule to attend.”
Ann Jansky of St. Wenceslaus Parish in Milligan said the retreat house is a beautiful setting, and explained why she encourages women to attend both days and stay overnight if possible: “After the activities of the evening were over, it was the absolute perfect way to unwind and end the day by spending some time with our Lord in Eucharistic adoration.”
Besides times of prayer, adoration and confession, the symposium includes a service project, a sung chaplet of Divine Mercy, a rosary for the dignity of women, and Mass celebrated by Bishop James Conley.
Members of the Pi Alpha Chi (PAX) Catholic sorority from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will also present information on Friday evening. Recognizing that these young women will become the future leaders in our parishes, the LDCCW strongly supports the sorority with “Merit Awards” to offset membership dues, opportunities to serve within the community, and with prayer.
To help fund the PAX Merit Awards, the LDCCW will raffle off a winter basket valued at more than $125. Tickets ($5 each or five for $20) may be purchased at the symposium or by check made out to the LDCCW and mailed to Georgeanne Rashilla, 3320 Potomac Dr., Lincoln, NE 68516 to enter a name in the raffle. All proceeds go directly into the Merit Award fund. The drawing will take place Saturday at the symposium, but participants need not be present to win.
Each president of LDCCW picks a special project during her two-year term, and Sullivan has picked the diocesan summer catechesis program Totus Tuus as her project.
“Having children who have attended various events throughout the diocese,” she said, “I see the benefit of these programs. Totus Tuus not only touches the lives of the younger youth, but the presenting team also builds on their faith so this is a program which reaches all age groups.”
Jeff Schinstock, director of youth and young adult ministry for the Diocese of Lincoln, and some of the Totus Tuus team will inform the attendees about their mission.
As a way to serve others, those attending are asked – but not required – to bring hats and mittens to donate to Catholic Social Services and the women and children at St. Gianna’s Women’s Homes.
There is still room available to attend. See the full schedule and register online with Our Lady of Good Counsel Retreat House at www.goodcounselretreat.com by clicking on the “Retreat” tab.
The cost is $110 for overnight guests, $55 for those attending Saturday only or Friday/Saturday with no overnight, and $10 for those attending Friday night only.