Diocesan Women’s Luncheon Honors Bishop, Priests
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
October 26, 2023
STERLING—The Diocesan Council of Catholic Women held its biennial Bishop’s Luncheon at St. Mary Parish, Bales Hall, here, on Oct. 18.
 
Women from parishes across the diocese attended along with a handful of area priests and others who are spiritual advisors for the women’s councils in their respective deaneries. 
 
Before the luncheon, Bishop David Malloy visited with tables of men and women around the hall, with the priests and with council officers. As usual, he also good-naturedly participated in the raffle of several baskets filled with items compiled by various parish women’s groups and the diocesan council itself.
 
A chicken fingers and mostaccioli luncheon was followed by introductions of the priests, various deanery council officers, a couple of women leaders from outside the diocese and one guest from the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organisations (WUCWO).
 
Bishop Malloy then presented a talk to encourage the women in their prayers and involvement.
 
“In many ways we are still living the after-effects with COVID,” Bishop Malloy said, noting that the pandemic “broke habits … including habits of virtue …”
 
Mass and the Eucharist are of great importance, he said, but also of value is “that we make the effort to get together with each other in a manner that is rooted in faith … (which) has great strength to be given to those who participate in it.”
 
“Our society’s becoming so individual … it is a real contribution to ourselves and ourselves to others, (to live) out that faith that we absorb by going to Mass, by our prayers, by listening to the homilies, by studying our faith … (Our faith has) got to be lived out.”
 
He expressed his gratitude to the women of the Catholic church, particularly for their prayers, calling those prayers “a huge contribution and foundation and gift and grace, and especially in this year of the Eucharist, I would ask that you particularly pray for those that have drifted away.”
 
For those who are active, he added, “the Eucharistic Revival can help us … to deepen, to go to yet another level of that personal relationship with Christ that comes from the Eucharist.”
 
The bishop also noted the great value of the rosary.
 
“I’d like to remind us that October is the month of Mary, the month of the rosary,” he said, and that at Fatima, “our Lady linked the rosary with peace.” 
 
He noted three places whose people are in special need of prayer: the Holy Land “and its casualties and attitudes and bitterness;” Ukraine and the “tremendous amount of blood and material and economic diversions … and suffering;” and the lesser-known Nagorno-Karabakh, south of Russia near Armenia and Azerbaijan, a long-time Christian enclave where in the last month the Christians have been driven out. “How do you unravel all of these knots?” he asked of the histories leading to such miseries on all sides.
 
“The rosary, peace, pray, the Eucharist, Catholic women, I think it’s a fabric where all of those elements of the fabric come together,” Bishop Malloy said, thanking the women and noting, “It’s so important that we continue this encouragement for each other, this contribution of prayer. Thanks to all of you.”
 
Drawings for a cash raffle and then of the basket raffles led to what may have been a first: Bishop Malloy won one of the baskets. The event ended with a blessing imparted by him and the other priests. 
 
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