By KATIE BORKOWSKI
As province director for the Dubuque province of the National Council of Catholic Women, Mary Ann Ruether was part of the recent board meeting in Washington, D.C.
Ruether, a parishioner at All Saints in Le Mars, explained the Dubuque province encompasses all four dioceses in Iowa. She is in the second year of a two-year term as province director.
The NCCW winter board meeting was held Jan. 23-24 at the Washington Retreat House in D.C. The National Board of Directors for the NCCW is comprised of the officers, three commission chairs and all of the province directors. There were more than 30 people at the meeting.
It is a full two days from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with discussions and decisions being made in regards to the policy, governance and direction of the NCCW, explained Ruether.
“Our decisions and discussions are on programs and resources that correspond with the Gospel values and to the needs of the church and society in our world today,” she said. “We try to address things that help deal with things going on in our world.”
Through the reports given by the officers and the commission chairs, Ruether gained ideas and suggestions that she can implement in her province.
There was time for each of the commissions to meet. Ruether is part of the spirituality commission, which has 14 members.
“We talked about things we want to work on this year,” said Ruether. “One of the things we are going to work on and promote is the 100th anniversary of Fatima.”
The members of the commission will be putting together resources for Catholic women to find on the NCCW website – nccw.org.
Within the commission, Ruether is on the liturgy committee, which has six members. She was asked to be the server for the two Masses while she was in D.C. Her fellow committee members were the lectors and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.
One of the afternoons, there was training for the women on how to use social media effectively and efficiently. The training provided information about how to set up accounts on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and how to use email as a tool.
“They gave us training so we can communicate more through social media,” said Ruether. “This will help me keep in contact with the other diocesan presidents and let them know what is going on. If there is a report they need to fill out, I can get that to them via email instead of having to mail it or physically deliver it to them.”
While the board members were together, there was also time for fellowship and spirituality, which Ruether noted is an important part of it.
“On this board, there are individuals from all around the United States,” said Ruether. “During breaks and free time, you can put a face with the names of the province directors. It is an awesome group of amazing women who give their time and talent to do God’s work. We are serving God the best we can.”
Before each session started, there was time for prayer. Mass was celebrated each day and the day concluded with evening prayer.