Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Joan Lucas Receives National Honor

Published October 26, 2006

Joan Lucas of the Atlanta Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women was selected as the national 2006 Our Lady of Good Counsel honoree by the National Council of Catholic Women at its general assembly Sept. 21-23.

Lucas, a member of Holy Family Church, Marietta, had been chosen as Region 3 finalist for the honor.

The national recognition honored her many “firsts” in recognizing and responding to the needs of others over decades of service in the archdiocese. A past AACCW president, among many offices she has held, Lucas established at that time “Days of Sharing” with Episcopal, Lutheran and Jewish women in Georgia, helping to promote better understanding and interfaith recognition, respect and support. She has supported many programs that embody Catholic social teaching and respect for all human life, most recently bringing awareness to the issue of human trafficking through articles, letter-writing and participation in programs. Her concern led her to the legal arena where she has worked with law enforcement groups such as the FBI and the GBI and with faith-based organizations to combat human trafficking.

She started a respite program in the archdiocese for caregivers and has supported family concerns such as infant health, and pregnancy, parenting, and adoption services.

A strong supporter of Catholic Relief Services’ Works of Peace programs, Lucas has taught and mentored “English as a Second Language” students, teaching them English and American culture on their path to citizenship, and set up English language programs for her students’ parents.

AACCW moderator Father Paul Berny said that she is “an exemplary Catholic lay woman—faith-filled, generous of spirit, informed, and active in her practice of the faith.”

The fruit of this deep personal commitment to Gospel values has been a lifetime of distinguished service on behalf of the church, said Shirley Radican, Region 3 vice president of the NCCW and an AACCW member who considers herself one of many women in the AACCW mentored by Lucas.

The Region 1 honoree was Suzette Matis of the Diocese of La Crosse, Wis., and the Region 2 finalist was Carole Updyke of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, Texas.