New ACCW leader looks ahead

| May 2, 2019 | 0 Comments

As a middle-schooler, Betty Berge washed dishes for her mother’s Council of Catholic Women card parties in the basement of then-St. Lawrence Catholic School in Faribault.

“I’ve been involved pretty much all my life,” said Berge, 72, about CCW. “I love to serve. I also enjoy bonding with the women.”

Betty Berge

Betty Berge

Berge’s lifelong service with CCW has grown into her new role as president of the Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. The ACCW works with CCW groups across the archdiocese to “support, empower and educate all Catholic women in spirituality, leadership and service,” according to its website. CCW groups serve their parishes and communities through faith and service, such as preparing funeral lunches, supporting charitable causes and hosting parish retreats.

Berge’s term as president begins with her installation at the annual ACCW convention May 3-4 at St. John Neumann in Eagan. She previously served the organization as first and second vice president, the organization commission chair and the community commission chair. She also held officer roles with the southwest deanery CCW and the Divine Mercy CCW in Faribault. She is a member of the province board of St. Paul and Minneapolis, which serves diocesan-level CCW councils in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.

“It’s been an organization that’s dear to my heart,” said Berge, a member of Divine Mercy, a parish that formed in 2002 with the merger of Faribault parishes Immaculate Conception and Sacred Heart-St. Lawrence.

Outgoing president Debbie Keller said Berge’s many gifts include an ability to engage Latino Catholics. Keller, a parishioner of St. Pius X in White Bear Lake, said she hopes Berge can help increase ACCW’s cultural diversity.

Berge said that at Divine Mercy, active CCW members collaborate with the Latino community to hold events such as a soup supper that drew 150 people April 15.

Berge said she doesn’t speak Spanish, but sharing activities has benefited everyone involved as they learn more about each other’s cultures. That kind of sharing could take place on a larger scale through the ACCW, she said.

During her two-year term as president, Berge said she also hopes to attract new members, offer fresh ideas and respond to the needs of women in the archdiocese. She will work with the ACCW executive board on events such as the annual ACCW convention, legislative day and Advent retreat.

“It’s a lot of work, but there’s a very good board,” Berge said. “I think we have a good team.”

Berge and her husband have three married daughters and six grandchildren.

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