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The Florida Catholic

Council of Catholic Women are today’s ‘Marthas and Marys’

PALM BEACH GARDENS  |  Council of Catholic Women parish affiliations in the Diocese of Palm Beach are getting ready for their 2022-23 year of service in corporal and spiritual works of mercy. On the top of their agenda is to increase membership.

“We are the modern-day Marthas and Marys of the Gospel,” said Doreen Recco, Palm Beach Diocesan Council of Catholic Women president. “I was listening to the Gospel of Luke 10:38-42 and the thought hit me — or the Holy Spirit — how much the women of council of today are like Martha and Mary in the Gospel. What was written about those two women over 2,000 years ago is still being done today with the Council of Catholic Women.”  

Recco explained how days of reflection, council enrichment programs, praying the rosary and attending Mass celebrated by Bishop Barbarito are ways members model Mary. While service projects for the “unborn, the homeless, victims of human trafficking and those on the margins of our society” are ways members model Martha.

The diocesan council welcomes women of every age and walk of life to join them in their mission “to support, empower and educate all Catholic women in spirituality, leadership and service.” The mission statement goes on to say how members respond through “Gospel values to the needs of the Church and society in the modern world.”

“It is my hope that every woman sitting in the pews at church will see what great work we do and will want to become a part of this wonderful organization of joy and sisterhood,” Recco said. “Every parish should have an affiliate council of Catholic women. Think of all the good that could be done when our membership increases.”

Anna Hernandez-Diaz, southern deanery president, said she is excited to see the “rejuvenation” of the council as it invites more young professionals to join. In that way the council continues “to support and reach out to our community through our faith with a new generation.”

The National Council of Catholic Women was founded by the U.S. bishops March 4, 1920, with the purpose of giving Catholic women “a common voice and an instrument for unified action in all matters affecting Catholic or national welfare.” According to the national council’s “A Brief History,” “proper Catholic representation on, and the proper recognition of Catholic principles.”

On March 4, 2022, the the national council celebrated 102 years of service to the Catholic Church. Within the Diocese of Palm Beach, parish affiliations are divided into three deaneries — northern, central and southern. At the present time, there are 22 parish affiliations.

The organization expands statewide to the Florida Council of Catholic Women and worldwide to the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organizations.

“In this time of social division, the council shows us the blessing of diverse women united in faith and care for others,” said Conventual Franciscan Father Curt Kreml, spiritual advisor. “The church greatly needs the witness and efforts of the Council of Catholic Women today. Their bonds of sisterhood give witness to the value of sharing a common mission.”

The Palm Beach Diocesan Council of Catholic Women is an active group of Catholic women of all ages and part of a larger membership of more than 4 million. For information on joining a council affiliation, visit

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