By Emily Booker
A key project of the Knoxville Diocesan Council of Catholic Women has received the accolades of Pope Francis.
On June 11, the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organisations (WUCWO) Executive Committee met with the Holy Father. The committee presented the pope with two gifts demonstrating the spirituality and service of its member organizations around the globe, which includes the U.S. National Council of Catholic Women (NCCW).
The first gift was a spiritual bouquet listing the number of Masses, rosaries, and hours of adoration pledged for the pope’s intentions by Catholic women’s organizations all over the world.
The NCCW offered 9,162 rosaries, 5,058 Masses, 2,397 hours of adoration, 2,681 divine mercy novenas, and 1,500 Hail Marys.
The second gift was a booklet that highlighted service projects from each region. The Knoxville Diocesan Council of Catholic Women’s recent meal-packing project was one of two chosen to represent North America.
In March, the KDCCW hosted a meal-packing event at the Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus for Cross Catholic Outreach, preparing more than 50,000 nutrient-rich meals for the hungry in developing countries.
Hundreds of people from across the Diocese of Knoxville donated their money and time to preparing the meals, which were then sent to children and families in Haiti and Guatemala.
The other service project selected from North America was the Lincoln, Neb., Diocesan Council of Catholic Women’s pro-life diaper drive, which collected over 172,000 diapers.
WUCWO represents nearly 100 Catholic women’s organizations in some 50 countries and promotes the presence, participation, and responsibility of Catholic women in society and the Church.
Last fall, the KDCCW leadership was considering service projects in which the entire diocese could participate. Around that same time, Cross Catholic Outreach reached out seeking partners for a project to provide food in Haiti.
The National Council of Catholic Women has partnered with Cross Catholic Outreach since 2010, and NCCW and KDCCW member Patty Johnson let Cross Catholic Outreach know the Council of Catholic Women would be willing to help.