The National Council of Catholic Women Convention held in Indianapolis last September continues to vibrate into the new year as we analyze the extent of its program and consider the resolutions that were passed.
As individuals, we may have already forgotten our “New Year resolutions;” however, the resolutions passed at the national conventions cannot be forgotten. They are used to form the new programs and focus of the actions for the upcoming years.
It is for this reason that the resolutions are brought before the full convention to be considered and voted upon. These resolutions are submitted by members from throughout the nation and are thoroughly vetted by the elected resolution committee before presentation to the convention. You, as a member of the national council, have the privilege of submitting a resolution of your concern when the call for resolutions is made.
Resolutions are designed by citing a purpose, adding the “whereas” that support and clarify the purpose and close with the “resolved” that define the resolution and form the commitment for the action. The challenge of a resolution is to make a clear, concise statement which can be used for future programs and activities to accomplish the goals.
The first resolution approved and passed was in reference to children in abusive situations. The purpose was to provide information on the issue of child abuse and response to the call of Pope Francis to restore the sanctity of family life during his attendance at the World Meeting of Families. As children are gifts from God, all need to acknowledge the agencies to assist in these areas as well as educate the members and families in situations of abuse to eliminate and to assure continued care of these children.
The second resolution, Human Trafficking, notes purpose to bring awareness of the alarming problem which exists world-wide. With more than 30 million victims, there are more in slavery than at any time in human history to include trafficking, sexual exploitation, child exploitation, forced labor and organ removal. In the U.S., human trafficking is the second largest illegal business behind drug trafficking.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has made the elimination of human trafficking a priority. On April 10, 2014, Pope Francis stated “Human trafficking is an open wound on the body of contemporary society and a scourge on the Body of Christ…it’s a crime against humanity.”
It is resolved that NCCW become more informed and advocate for legislation to eradicate human trafficking, that NCCW promote the International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking on Feb. 8, the Feast Day of St. Josephine Bakhita and NCCW support victims with prayer and ministry.
The resolution on Immigration and Catholic Church Social Teachings asks to provide resources to support the USCCB pastoral statement and guidelines on immigration. It was resolved to encourage affiliates to invite foreign-born individuals within their communities to share their stories and the cultures they left behind.
Lastly, it was resolved that the Divine Mercy Chaplet be prayed at the Hour of Mercy (3 p.m.) daily or whenever possible for all God’s suffering immigrants and refugees searching for shelter in land of freedom safety, and for just solutions for all.
The final resolution on Ensuring the Future was to establish a program to welcome high school and college age women into NCCW. It was resolved that a complete plan be developed to incorporate this age group in the NCCW structure.
Wynn Touney of Fort Dodge is a member of Catholic Women of the Diocese of Sioux City.