SCCCW seeks a new generation of women
SOUTH CAROLINA—The South Carolina Council of Catholic Women needs new members to help them continue to make a difference.
While older women have long been the backbone and strength of the organization, this devoted generation is ready to support younger members to help keep the organization energized and active.
“Our older members are our mentors. They have helped us to sustain the organization over the past 80 years and now would like to see younger women, and even college students, become interested in joining us,”
said Joan Mack, who serves as co-chair of the state membership committee with her sister-in-law, Pat Mack.
Pat said each deanery is working to improve their membership by letting people know who they are, what they do, and how easy it is to join.
Who They Are
Founded in 1930 under the auspices of the U.S. Catholic Bishops, the SCCCW strives to further the faith and help the community in a multitude of ways.
The hierarchy starts with the National Council of Catholic Women and branches down to the state, deanery, affiliates and individual members. All rings of council offer benefits and opportunities to its members that include spirituality, education, networking and advocacy.
Any woman is welcome to join, Pat said, adding that if a person’s church does not have an SCCCW affiliate, she can join at another parish or at a higher level, such as deanery or state.
All five deaneries in the diocese are part of the SCCCW, although the number of affiliate churches has declined over the years. For example, in years past the Coastal Deanery alone has had as many as 15 affiliated parishes under its umbrella but has dropped to only seven in 2009.
Joan said the declining numbers have not stopped their programs, but added that the organization could do even more toward its responsibility in the mission of the church.
What They Do
SCCCW serves not only the church but all of the people in South Carolina with programs that reach out in Christian love. Affiliates in their local communities offer a wide-range of activities and programs such as providing food and volunteering at soup kitchens; supporting foster families; organizing and sponsoring numerous family life events; international gatherings to promote unity; political issues such as the pro-life movement; multicultural celebrations and more.
Each deanery holds its own fundraisers, but at the state convention members choose a diocesan project to support. Joan said last year their fundraising helped support the Oratory. Oratorian Father William F. Pentis has served as the SCCCW moderator since 1985.
The 2010 SCCCW Convention will be hosted by the Piedmont Deanery at the Embassy Suites Golf Resort and Conference Center in Greenville from March 19-21. The theme for the convention is, “Catholic Women: Honoring Our Past, Celebrating Our Present, Building Our Future.”
Of course, a key element to the future is securing more members in the present. Organizers would like to see 75 percent of the parishes in the diocese involved with the SCCCW. The group certainly has the support of Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone, who wrote them a letter of praise shortly after he was ordained.
“It is through the work of organizations like the SCCCW that many women first hear Christ calling their names to serve,” he wrote.
Joan and Pat Mack contributed to this article.