By JEAN DRISKELL, Special To The Bulletin | Published August 19, 2010
“Women of Faith, Hope and Action” is the theme of the 54th annual convention of the Atlanta Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women that will be held Sept. 10 to 12 at the Atlanta Marriott Northwest Hotel.
All women of the archdiocese are invited to the convention, which brings Catholic women together once a year from across the 69 counties that make up the archdiocese. The program includes pertinent speakers, social events and spiritual times and leadership development for parish women, and closes with Mass with Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory and brunch on Sunday.
Maria G. Cressler, executive director of Ignatius House, the Jesuit Retreat Center of Atlanta, will be the keynote luncheon speaker on Saturday, Sept. 11. She has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Georgia State University, a master’s of theological studies and certification in spiritual direction from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala. Along with her duties as executive director, she is an active spiritual director, a retreat master of Ignatian silent retreats and conducts days of reflection on various topics.
Two workshops will be presented on Saturday morning and repeated that afternoon so attendees can go to both.
The international and legislation commissions will host a workshop on “Social Justice and the Health Care Bill.” The morning panel will be Martha Gaynoe, program officer/advocacy with the Southeast regional office of Catholic Relief Services, and U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey, M.D. (R-11th District).
Gingrey, a graduate of Georgia Tech and the Medical College of Georgia, was a practicing obstetrician for 26 years before running for Congress. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2002. He has worked to improve education and health care and to protect the life of the unborn child. He currently serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Gaynoe, who has worked in parish religious education, youth and young adult ministry and Catholic missions, is currently supporting CRS programs in nine Southeastern states. Her focus is on how to motivate American youth and young adults to live in solidarity with the poor overseas. She recently toured CRS projects in Ghana and Honduras.
The afternoon panel will consist of Martha Gaynoe and Frank Mulcahy, executive director of the Georgia Catholic Conference, who represents the Catholic bishops of Georgia in the legislative arena. A lifelong Catholic and an attorney at the Tinsley Bacon Tinsley law firm, he has worked on legislative issues for more than 20 years and has led the Georgia Catholic Conference since 2002.
The family and community commissions will host the second workshop on “How to Stay Mentally, Physically and Spiritually Fit While Looking for Employment.” Presenters are Marjorie De Luca, a certified alcohol and drug abuse counselor, Susan Klein, R.N., and Father Vincent Sullivan, administrator of the North Georgia church of St. Paul the Apostle in Cleveland. Father Sullivan was ordained in 1984 in Zimbabwe and spread the Gospel in remote areas of Africa prior to coming to the archdiocese seven years ago.
De Luca, who works in Lawrenceville, holds a master’s degree in psychology and women’s studies from Roosevelt University, Chicago, and has previously worked in a domestic violence center and on a mental health crisis hotline. Klein has had 30 years of experience in nursing, including home care, counseling, nutrition, physical therapy and stress relief.
The convention will open on Friday, Sept. 10, with the rosary at 7 p.m., followed by the president’s open reception with games and a fashion show. On Saturday, Mass will be celebrated at 7:30 a.m., followed by a business meeting and the morning workshops. Lunch will be at 12:45 p.m., followed by the workshops and a district meeting. In the evening the social hour will begin at 7 p.m. followed by a banquet and entertainment.
On Sunday, Sept. 12, Mass will be celebrated by Archbishop Gregory at 8:30 a.m. At the brunch, Father Timothy Gadziala, spiritual moderator of the AACCW and pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Church, Atlanta, will speak on the mission outreach in the Caribbean of Mustard Seed. The collection at Mass will benefit Mustard Seed.
The Northwest and Northeast Districts of the AACCW are hosting this year’s convention.
Convention registration is $40 before Aug. 27, $50 thereafter. The cost of meals is separate and is set at $30 for the luncheon, $45 for the banquet, and $25 for the brunch. The hotel is located at 200 Interstate North Parkway, Atlanta.
For information contact one of the following: Shirley Towle, AACCW president, at (770) 683-0060; Dana Willis, executive vice president and convention chair, at (770) 365-4396; Deanna Holmer at (706) 297-7493; or Katie Glowka at (478) 414-8577. The hotel number is (770) 952-7900 for room reservations.