Annual Mass Welcomes, Installs CWL Leadership
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
May 18, 2017

ROCKFORD—A mixture of new and experienced leaders were installed at the annual Mass for Peace sponsored by the Catholic Women’s League and held at Corpus Christi Monastery the morning of May 10.

Bishop David Malloy served as main celebrant at the Mass, and spoke in his homily about the early Church described in the first reading, and how its work back then continues today.

“The one goal for us is to get to heaven,” the bishop said as he reflected on the “summary” of the Church then and now.

He spoke of Paul and Barnabas’s just-completed mission and said the Christians’ determination to care for the poor and needy was “novel in (its) manner and aggressiveness” compared to that ancient society’s uncaring stance.

When the charity work was finished, he added, “the Church was found in prayer and fasting.”

Those three focuses are found today, the bishop said, proclaiming “how lucky we are (to have) the opportunity for daily Mass (and) how fortunate we are to have the knowledge of God at work” in the world, being led to prayer because of that insight.

“We come here particularly because in this area and diocese this is (a place) dedicated to prayer,” he said, referring to the Catholic Women’s League’s Poor Clares hosts.

The timely message of Our Lady of Fatima to pray for the world, he said, is “at the heart of what it means” to be Christian.

He then spoke of fasting, “the forgotten tool,” quoting St. John Vianney that fasting “unleash(es) the power of prayer.”

Bishop Malloy compared the commissioning of Paul and Barnabas to the installation of the four Catholic Women’s League leaders.

“We get a sense of the sobriety of Paul and Barnabas,” he said, adding that their being sent forth was “not a personal honor ... no one should honor or pity them, but the Church accompanies them.

“Jacque, Mary Ellen, Mary Kay and Angie, you have our gratitude,” he said. “Thank you for saying ‘yes’ and thank you to Father Jacobs for accompanying you.”

Father Leonard Jacobs, pastor of St. James Parish in Rockford, is spiritual director for the CWL.

The organization’s charity, prayer, fasting and service, Bishop Malloy concluded, shows that “the essence of the Church is the same” throughout the centuries.

At the installation ceremony, the bishop said it is important to create and maintain “a sense of community.”

Activities “where we are shoulder to shoulder” in service is another necessary contribution of a group such as the Catholic Women’s League as they focus on assisting the greater community with prayer and charitable works.

This year’s slate of officers were installed at the end of the Mass, beginning with President Jacque Bolger, St. James, Rockford; Vice President Mary Ellen Nash, Holy Family, Rockford; Treasurer Mary Kay Tapp, St. Peter, South Beloit; and Secretary Angie Cash, St. James, Rockford.

Each was entrusted to Mary under a particular title and the group was applauded before the closing hymn.