Related: Photo gallery from 2015 event
WAVERLY (SNR) – The Lincoln Diocesan Council of Catholic Women (LDCCW) will host its sixth annual “Winter Symposium” Jan. 15-16 at Our Lady of Good Counsel Retreat Center in Waverly, and all women are invited.
The LDCCW, under the direction of the 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 Jan. 15-16 symposium is “Seeking God through works of mercy.”
“This retreat is different from the regular silent retreats that are held at the retreat house throughout the year,” said Valerie Able of St. Clara Parish in Peru. “Women share with each other.
“It helps me realize the abundance of talented women in our diocese and the strong desire they have to serve our Lord. I am looking forward to listening to the speakers and also the activities for St. Gianna House.”
Kris Sarver is a past president of the LDCCW and initiated the winter symposium. She has moved to Iowa and will not be able to attend the symposium this year but shared what she would miss most: “The many interesting and inspiring things I learned about my faith and the time to think about how well I am living it; the great camaraderie of the women who attend and the catching up with friends with whom I have lived my love of Christ for years; the beauty of the retreat house and sneaking away to the chapel in the middle of the night to spend some quiet time with Jesus; the beautiful rosary for the unborn and the always-touching Mass celebrated by our bishop and shepherd.”
Ann Jansky of St. Wenceslaus Parish in Milligan, current president, said the serene atmosphere at the retreat house with the chapel as its focal point is the perfect location for the symposium.
“After last year’s attendance,” she said, “it was suggested that we hold the symposium at a larger facility to accommodate more women, but it just wouldn’t be the same.”
She added that, as Sarver mentioned, at last year’s symposium, she slipped away to the chapel in the early morning hours to spend some time with the Lord in Adoration.
“After the activities of the evening were over, it was the absolute perfect way to unwind and end the day,” she included.
Monica Mousel of Assumption Parish in Roseland said the symposium provides an opportunity to “Pray, listen, discuss and do.”
“We pray for the unborn, family, and friends in unity with Catholic women,” she said, “listen to speakers on issues all of us want to be aware of, discuss how we can be more effective in our parishes to make us stronger Catholics, and do activities as a group for the families at St. Gianna’s.”
Each LDCCW president conducts a special project during her two-year term, and it will be incorporated into the weekend. All attending are asked – but not required – to bring shampoo, soap, disinfecting wipes, facial tissues, size-5 diapers, boxes of dish soap, small bottles of hand sanitizer and other toiletry items. All donations will go directly to St. Gianna’s Women’s Homes. The women will also prepare ‘goodie bags’ with candy and notes, to be given to women and children being served by St. Gianna’s. The goodie bags will be delivered to St. Gianna’s on Valentine’s Day by Angela Copenhaver of Spirit Catholic Radio, who volunteered to be in charge of the activity.
The symposium speakers include two representatives from the UNL Catholic sorority Pi Alpha Chi; Greg Schleppenbach from the Nebraska Catholic Conference, a panel of religious sisters and even mothers of religious sisters.
“Being able to begin 2016 with the year of mercy really helps the women focus throughout the year on the gift of mercy God has given us,” Jansky said. “As women we are busy throughout the holiday season tending to our families’ needs, and this is a great opportunity to make some time and share it with God.”