ACCW hopes to boost support for local women

| April 22, 2015 | 1 Comment
Florence Schmidt

Florence Schmidt

Florence Schmidt plans to make known the many roles of Catholic women in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

As the newly appointed president of the Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women, she told attendees of the organization’s 83rd annual convention that their important work of supporting, educating and empowering women will be stronger when done together and more often.

“We are Catholic women for the archdiocese. We have to get out and spread the word,” Schmidt said prior to the convention. “I think it’s important that we help women with their spirituality, but I also think it’s important to help them educationally and that we help them in service.”

The April 17-18 conference drew more than 200 women to St. Dominic in Northfield. Auxiliary Bishop Lee Piché celebrated Mass on Friday, and Archbishop John Nienstedt celebrated Mass on Saturday and presented the ACCW laywoman volunteer awards. Schmidt, a parishioner of St. Odilia in Shoreview, envisions bolstering the ACCW by connecting with groups throughout the archdiocese. One of her goals is to attend Council of Catholic Women parish and deanery meetings to learn what women are interested in, what they want to know about the Church and how the ACCW can support them.

Being an organization for all Catholic women, Schmidt acknowledged the difficulty of catering to all — from single women to working moms to retirees. She said the organization will continue to reach out to many different women in a variety of ways in order to help them be more active in their faith. “We’re trying to build connections. I want to reach out to all ethnic groups. It’s part of our whole heritage. And we can’t become isolated. We have to reach out to the whole world,” said Schmidt, a retired Catholic school principal who served at Maternity of Mary-St. Andrew School in St. Paul and Our Lady of Peace School in Minneapolis.

The National Council of Catholic Women recently celebrated its 95th anniversary. It has served to unite women in all they do for the Church individually and in various groups, Schmidt said, adding that all Catholic women in the archdiocese — whether they belong to a parish or whether they pay dues — are ACCW members.

“Being a member can be as little or as much as you want, but know that we are there to support you,” Schmidt said. “ACCW gives it that part where we come together, we can hear each other, we can draw strength from each other, and that’s what I want women to do. I want them to feel like they’re a part of something bigger.”

Want to know more?

For more information visit the ACCW online or on Facebook.

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