Story by S.L. Hansen
WAVERLY (SNR) - All Catholic women are invited to attend the fifth Lincoln Diocesan Council of Catholic Women (LDCCW) Winter Symposium. Titled, “Thy Will Be Done,” the symposium will be held at Our Lady of Good Counsel Retreat Center in Waverly Jan. 16-17.
“It’s a really neat weekend,” assured Ann Jansky, who is currently serving a two-year term as LDCCW president. “I’ve been attending since we started it.”
In her opinion, the best part of the symposium is the opportunity to be around other Catholic women, “who all share the same beliefs and the same energy… And knowing that you’re doing something good, too.”
This year’s “something good” will be supporting and encouraging the residents of St. Gianna Women’s Homes (an outreach of Catholic Social Services which provides housing and support for victims of domestic violence and women pressured to have abortions) in two different ways.
For the first, all participants are asked to bring one or more items the residents need regularly, including shampoo, soap, disinfecting wipes, facial tissue, size 5 diapers, dishwasher detergent, small bottles of hand sanitizer and any sort of toiletry items. Laundry baskets will be placed outside the retreat house chapel to collect these donations.
The second activity will be making Valentines for the women who live at St. Gianna Women’s Homes, and their children. Led by Angela Copenhaver, KVSS/Spirit Catholic Radio’s Lincoln development director, this craft project will take place Friday evening and will be accompanied by wine, juices, cheese, and socializing.
As president, it was Mrs. Jansky’s privilege to choose what organization the LDCCW supports during her term. She wanted to focus on the type of service promoted by St. Francis of Assisi and his namesake, Pope Francis.
“The theme of my term,” she said, “is taking care of those in need.”
She added, “People like to support St. Gianna’s.”
Jansky has worked with other board members to ensure that the symposium will have plenty of spiritually uplifting content.
Friday’s evening schedule, which begins at 7 p.m., includes a living rosary and confessions. Local Catholic singer and songwriter Ellen Soukup will lead the Divine Mercy Chaplet in song, and a surprise guest speaker will inspire with a personal account of learning to listen to God’s will. The evening will close with the Valentine project.
On Saturday, registration opens at 8 a.m. with rolls and coffee. Prayer will be followed by various presentation, including talks by Copenhaver, Greg Schleppenbach of the Nebraska Catholic Conference, and Father Christopher Kubat, director Catholic Social Services (CSS).
After Bishop James Conley celebrates Mass, the group will break for lunch before hearing from a panel of six mothers whose sons have become priests for the Diocese of Lincoln. Moderated by Ellen Jirovsky (also a mother of a diocesan priest) and Teresa Koch of Odell, the panel discussion and questions from the audience is sure to be a highlight of the weekend.
“My favorite stories are the vocation stories from religious and priests,” she said. “They are all very unique and very interesting.”
Women of any age are encouraged to attend. There is no childcare provided, but mothers are welcome to bring their nursing babes-in-arms.
Janksy assured that any woman in the diocese is already a member of LDCCW. There are no additional dues to pay nor specific duties assigned.
On the parish level, LDCCW members do what they can to support the parish. At the deanery level, their efforts are expanded to that geographic level. And from a diocesan perspective, the LDCCW is involved with projects that benefit people throughout the diocese.
Some of those projects include financial contributions to the Our Lady of Good Counsel Burse, which supports diocesan seminarians, the annual pro-life diaper drive to benefit CSS and pregnancy help centers, collecting apartment furnishings for those in need, and providing scholarships for Catholic school students.
Jansky laughed as she described how she became LDCCW president “by default.”
She explained, “I was on the nominating committee – also by default – and we didn’t have any candidates.”
Since becoming president, however, she has found herself to be so thrilled at the opportunities to do good throughout the diocese, she said she would do it full time if she could.
Jansky enthusiastically invited all women to the symposium, though there are a limited number of seats, and an even smaller number of rooms for those who wish to stay overnight.
The cost for the Friday evening and Saturday events is $55 and includes rolls and coffee in the morning and a luncheon at noon. For those who wish to stay overnight in the retreat house’s private rooms, the fee is $110. Women who want to come only for the Friday activities will be charged $10.
As space is limited, prompt registration is highly encouraged. Visit www.GoodCounselRetreat.com, select “Schedule of Retreats” under the “Retreat Info” tab and click on the “register” button for the LDCCW Symposium.