Catholic Military Women Gather for Global Conference in Tampa

By Katie Camario

Catholic Military Women Gather for Global Conference in Tampa

Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Tampa hosted over 150 military-connected Catholic women who traveled from installations across the world, as far away as Germany, for their biannual Forum. They are members of the Military Council of Catholic Women, or MCCW, a ministry of the Archdiocese for the Military Services. The Tampa Bay Area has a large military population with MacDill Air Force Base and two Veteran Affairs hospitals. Many members are involved in our faith communities near and far. During the month of May, Military Appreciation Month, we learn more about the MCCW worldwide ministry.


Kim Miller, MCCW President

 

What is the mission of this women’s ministry program?

MCCW is the women's ministry for the Archdiocese of the Military Services, it encompasses all military families and personnel around the world. We are the women's ministry for that organization. We do a lot of the same things local womens’ ministries do. We host events, we provide community, and we gather women together. We like to say we connect, unite and inspire military Catholic women to grow in their faith.

Why was this ministry started?

We started in Europe and have been around for more than 65 years. For a long time, the organization only was in Europe, it’s grown over the years and now we have a worldwide organization that supports military women wherever they are in the world.

Can you talk about how MCCW supports women?

Military life can be challenging. It brings a lot of hardships that many of our civilian counterparts don't encounter in their daily lives. Those friends and people around you who becomes sort of your home away from home, your family away from family is important. At the local level Catholic women of the chapel groups become the people you call during those tough times.

Who can join MCCW?

We are open to any military affiliated woman. It could be those active-duty families, retiree families, sisters, mothers, daughters of service members. Really anyone who has an affiliation to the military. We have moms of service members who participate in our activities, and also people who work for the federal government and people who work in the VA facilities. We take a wide approach to who is military affiliated. If you feel like you're military affiliated, you should check out our website at MCCW.org


Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, of the Archdiocese for the Military Services:

 

Archbishop, what is Forum weekend all about?

This was a gathering of the military council of Catholic women, to further their formation, also to celebrate their faith, and to give us an opportunity to spend time with one another and grow in that Christian friendship.

Why is it important for us to support women and their mission?

I think it's very important to support the women in their mission, because for one thing they care for and walk with a segment of the population, which cares for us and ensures our rights. They serve the nation. They respond in situations of crisis. And it's important that they be supported. And one way to support them is through their, their spouses and through their families.

Prayer of the Archdiocese

Almighty God and Father, look with love upon our men and women in uniform and protect them in their time of need. Give them health and stability and allow them to return to their loved ones whole and unshaken. Be with their families and sustain them in these uncertain times.

Grant strength and peace of mind to the Veterans who have given their best for the country they love. Support them in infirmity and in the fragility of old age. Teach us to remember their sacrifices and to express our gratitude.

Manifest your tender care to those in the Military Academies who prepare for future service and to those who serve our Nation far from home. Teach us to remember the sacrifices of those whose efforts contribute to ensuring our way of life.

Bless and multiply the priests who minister to the faithful of the Archdiocese for the Military Services. Reward their generosity and keep them faithful.

Hear us as we present our prayers to You through Christ our Lord.

– Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio


Photo Caption: Sign of Peace at MCCW Opening Mass.