HILTON HEAD—The 89th annual convention of the South Carolina Council of Catholic Women was a three-day experience of worship, fellowship and spiritual growth for 157 women. The event was held March 8-10 at the Hilton Head Marriott Resort and Spa.
The women focused on the theme “Enter through the narrow gate…” (Mt 7:13), which is part of Christ’s Sermon on the Mount. In this verse, he tells believers to avoid the path of sin and destruction that many people take, and instead follow the path to salvation laid out in His teachings.
Attendees held their annual banquet on March 10, where Mary Ann Schoch of the Charleston Deanery was honored as the 2019 Catholic Woman of the Year and Franciscan Sister Kathy Adamski received the honor of 2019 Woman Religious of the Year.
Schoch grew up in Charleston and has been a member of St. John the Beloved Church in Summerville since 1980, where she has taught religious education classes, served as Mass coordinator, and is a founding member of the Altar Guild. She serves as an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion and is a member of the bereavement ministry. She also leads Outreach for the Hungry, which prepares, delivers and serves hot meals to Neighborhood House for people in need.
She has been a member of the parish women’s club since 2013 where she has served as secretary, and handles other club duties such as sending sympathy and get-well cards to parishioners, scheduling memorial Masses and corresponding with an Ecuadoran child that the women sponsor.
Schoch is also very active in the Summerville community as a volunteer for Meals on Wheels and is vice-president of Second Chance Thrift Shop, which collects donated items and gives profits from sales to local organizations such as Home of Hope, Meals on Wheels and HELP of Summerville.
Schoch was married to Ron Hatchell for many years and they had two daughters and a son. He passed away in 2004 and she married Bernie Schoch in 2011. She said she is able to live such a full life because of his support and the love of her family. She also has four grandchildren.
Other women were recognized as “Catholic Woman of the Year” for their deaneries. Honorees are Patsy Sams of the Beaufort Deanery, Beverly Stricklin of the Columbia Deanery, Jesse Bowman of the Greenville Deanery, Diane Pauls of the Myrtle Beach Deanery, and Mary Evans of the Rock Hill Deanery.
Sister Kathy said she was humbled to receive the award for Woman Religious of the Year.
She has served a number of roles in the diocese and is currently manager of the Office of Formation for Ministry, which was formed as a way to help people realize their role in understanding, professing and living the faith. Her work also includes coordinating a spiritual direction program for the diocese.
Sister Kathy has served as vocations director for her community, the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities, and has worked in Catholic schools and universities. She was also a pastoral associate at St. Benedict Church in Mount Pleasant, served as director of mission at Roper St. Francis Health Care in Charleston, and served on the board of Catholic Charities.
During the banquet, the organization also paid tribute to Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone in honor of the 10th anniversary of his installation as bishop.
Members also elected new statewide officers who will serve two-year terms. Susanne Wolfe of St. Mary Church in Greenville is the new president, Teresa Walker of St. John Church in North Charleston is secretary, and Terry Doyle of Holy Family Church in Hilton Head is treasurer.
For their annual convention project, the organization raised more than $9,000 for St. Clare’s Home of Joyful Hope, which is being built in Greer and will serve women facing crisis pregnancies.
All photos, Miscellany/Christina Lee Knauss: The newly elected officers for the South Carolina Council of Catholic women hold candles and sing during the opening hymn of a Mass celebrated during the 89th annual convention on March 9.