Diocesan News

North American Martyrs Parish plans craft fair

Opportunity to highlight contributions of altar society

LINCOLN (SNR) - North American Martyrs Parish in Lincoln will host a craft and vendor fair from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 4.

As the event supports the work of the parish’s Altar Society (also called Parish Council of Catholic Women or PCCW), member Emily Wesseln said it was a good time to reflect upon the altar society’s many contributions to the parish.

“Unless you are in the trenches of the financial costs,” she said, “you wouldn’t even be able to begin to estimate the cost to support our Lord’s Table - both monetarily, spiritually and in services.

“We are very fortunate to have beautiful places to worship,” she said, “and part of that is because our Altar Society makes it beautiful.”

She listed many of the projects undertaken by women of North American Martyrs Parish, beginning with the care and replacement of altar linens and vestments, as well as the purchase of candles, incense, hosts (both regular and gluten-free) and flowers, and providing and serving meals for funeral luncheons.

But, just like at parishes across the diocese, the altar society doesn’t stop with care at the altar. They assist with receptions after first Communion, Confirmation, RCIA, and the prom at Pius X High School in Lincoln. They coordinate gifts for priests, kitchen supplies and religious items for RCIA, Light of the World, youth programs, etc. And they take on special projects outside the parish, as well, for organizations such as Birthright. They have also helped fund celebrations for women religious and for newly ordained priests.

Other parishioners who are not PCCW members assist the work of the women, as well, Wesseln pointed out, by serving food, helping with cleaning, donating baked goods, and making financial contributions.

Supporting the Oct. 4 craft and vendor fair at North American Martyrs is a great way to assist the Altar Society in their endeavors, Wesseln said, and an opportunity for potential new members to witness the impact of the PCCW.

“Many of our long-time members are becoming few in number,” she said, and some are reaching a point where they are no longer able to serve.

“We need new and younger members to ensure the continuation of our organization and hope that all women of the parish prayerfully consider bringing fresh ideas by joining us as an active member.”

Editor’s Note: All diocesan Parish Councils of Catholic Women, like the one mentioned in this story, are united under the Lincoln Diocesan Council of Catholic Women (LDCCW). Under the direction of the bishop, the LDCCW provides for the spiritual and physical needs of others through prayer and action.

The Council was founded in 1932 by the Most Reverend Louis B. Kucera in an effort to unite all Catholic women in the diocese.  The LDCCW encompasses the area of Nebraska south of the Platte River with representatives from each of the 13 deaneries. There are 134 parishes among the more than 25,000 Catholic households within those 13 deaneries.

Most of the activities and projects supported by the LDCCW are overseen by one of three commissions: Spirituality, Service and Leadership.

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