Women urged to experience mercy

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, gives the homily during the Sept. 10 closing Mass of the National Council of Catholic Women convention in Indianapolis. (CNS photo/Sean Gallagher, The Criterion)
Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, gives the homily during the Sept. 10 closing Mass of the National Council of Catholic Women convention in Indianapolis. (CNS photo/Sean Gallagher, The Criterion)

By Sean Gallagher, Catholic News Service and Record Staff

INDIANAPOLIS — Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz praised members of the National Council of Catholic Women for seeking to perform 1 million works of mercy during the Jubilee Year of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis.

Archbishop Kurtz, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, celebrated the closing Mass of the organization’s annual convention Sept. 10.

In light of the Mass’ Gospel reading, which recounted the parable of the prodigal son, he reminded convention-goers both of the power of mercy they can show to others and their need to experience mercy themselves.

“It’s people seeing the good that you do and the women you are so that they can give glory to God,” he said. “We have the privilege of being companions with the Lord Jesus and ambassadors who are witnesses to the risen Lord. And that can only happen when we come to the Lord with humility, ask forgiveness for the sins we’ve committed and then trust that God’s grace will come alive in our hearts.”

In closing remarks at the Mass, Archbishop Kurtz commended NCCW members for the good they do in the church and in broader society.

“I want to thank you for your leadership and your witness in the various parishes and dioceses in which you are involved throughout the United States,” he said. “The role and leadership of women within our church and within our society is something that is essential to the life and well-being of our church and of society. And so I thank you for that.”

The convention met Sept. 7-10 and focused on the theme “Catholic Women: Instruments of Mercy.”

The National Council of Catholic Women aims to “support, empower, and educate all Catholic women in spirituality, leadership, and service,” according to its mission statement.

The national organization, established by the U.S. bishops in 1920, is represented at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the United Nations, the Catholic Social Ministry Gathering, Religious Alliance Against Pornography and collaborates with Catholic Relief Services, Cross Catholic Outreach, the Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Catholic Climate Covenant, according to its website.

The group also publishes the quarterly “Catholic Woman” magazine. More information about the organization is available on its website, www.nccw.org.

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