By STEPHEN O'KANE, Staff Writer | Published December 10, 2009
Shirley Towle and Colette St. Cyr were elected as the president and vice president, respectively, at the Wyndham Peachtree City Hotel and Conference Center during the 53rd annual convention. Danalee Willis was named as secretary and Deirdre Holler was elected as treasurer.
The organization, formally established by Bishop Francis Hyland in 1957, first became known as the Diocesan Council of Catholic Women. In 1962, Atlanta was elevated to the status of an archdiocese and the group became known as the Atlanta Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women (AACCW).
The boundaries of the AACCW correspond to the boundaries of the Atlanta Archdiocese, which include the 69 counties of North Georgia and extend just over the state border to Lookout Mountain, Tenn. By archdiocesan decree, all Catholic women living in the Atlanta Archdiocese are automatically members of the AACCW.
The group is divided into four districts: Northeast, Southeast, Southwest and Northwest.
More than 170 delegates were in attendance at this year’s conference in addition to guests, speakers and priests, including Father Timothy Gadziala, pastor of St. Anthony Church, Atlanta, and spiritual moderator of the AACCW.
Father Gadziala served as the main celebrant during a Mass at the convention, which also welcomed guest speakers such as Liah Kraft-Kristaine, an international motivational speaker, author and broadcaster, and Kim Portmess, program coordinator for Keep Georgia Beautiful.