Published July 21, 2005
Atlanta will serve as host for the biennial national convention for the National Council of Catholic Women (NCCW) Sept. 15-18, at the Hilton Atlanta. Approximately 1,500 attendees are expected to attend the four-day event.
On Sept. 16, NCCW officers will present the biennial Distinguished Service Award, which is given to a woman “whose life and work exemplify the NCCW mission to ‘support, empower, and educate Catholic women in spirituality, leadership, and service’” to journalist Antoinette Bosco, said Margaret Gray, president of the NCCW board of directors. Bosco will also address the convention.
A prize-winning journalist, Bosco is a syndicated columnist with the Catholic News Service in Washington, D.C., and author of more than 200 magazine articles, several thousand newspaper stories and columns, and 15 books. Her most recent book is “Lent, An Uncommon Love Story.” Two almost unbearable tragedies, the suicide of one son and the murder of a son and daughter-in-law, led to her books, “The Pummeled Heart” and “Finding Peace through Pain.”
Even the murders did not diminish her advocacy against capital punishment. Instead she wrote “Choosing Mercy, A Mother of Murder Victims Pleads to End the Death Penalty,” which received a 2001 Christopher Award, the Pax Christi 2002 Book Award, and was chosen for a Spirituality and Health Award in the “The Best Spiritual Books of 2001.”
“Antoinette Bosco’s life and writings challenge us,” Gray said. “Even with the tragedies she has experienced…she can still write about joy. It is especially fitting that as the U.S. bishops launch a Catholic campaign to end the use of the death penalty, we welcome her to our convention and learn from her spirit of faith so that we, too, might have the courage to choose mercy.”
In response to Bosco’s selection for the NCCW honor, Bishop William E. Lori of the Diocese of Bridgeport, Conn., also had praise for the Catholic writer.
“As a Catholic reporter, editor, and author, Antoinette Bosco is a distinguished member of the family of faith in our diocese. More importantly, in the face of the murder of her own son and daughter-in-law, she has spoken out repeatedly against the death penalty, recently in this state joining the Catholic bishops and other interested parties trying to prevent the execution of (convicted serial killer) Michael Ross,” Bishop Lori said. “Since that sad failure, Antoinette has continued to raise her voice in support of our ongoing efforts to end the death penalty in Connecticut. I warmly join the Catholics of our diocese in expressing congratulations to Antoinette on this well-deserved Distinguished Service Award.”
Other women who have been recognized through the NCCW Distinguished Service Award include Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ, an advocate for the abolition of the death penalty, and the Honorable Corinne “Lindy” Boggs, former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See and congresswoman from Louisiana.