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 | Keishla Espinal

Courageously Living the Gospel with Faith, Family, and Friends

From May 2nd through 5th, the St. Petersburg Diocesan Council of Catholic Women (SPDCCW) held its 56th Annual Convention. The event featured speakers, sessions, and a Bishop’s Mass and Banquet, during which the St. Maria Goretti Scholarship was awarded to three high school seniors.

The theme for this year was “Courageously Living the Gospel with Faith, Family, and Friends.”

“When I started thinking of possible themes for this year’s convention. I tossed around a few ideas, but nothing seemed to stick,” stated Josephine Maestas, President of the St. Petersburg Council. “Then I realized that there was no way I could have ever gotten through the daily tasks, let alone the very hectic times of my sister being sick with Stage 4 cancer and being promoted at work without my strong faith, my mother, my brothers, and my council sisters who are more like family! So, we now had our theme for the 56th Annual SPDCCW Convention: ‘Courageously Living the Gospel with Faith, Family, and Friends.’”

“Convention is a wonderful time for learning, sharing, and making memories,” stated Maestas. “As one of our members commented via Facebook to my nephew when he commented on a video: ‘We pray by day and play by night.’”

The St. Petersburg Diocesan Council of Catholic Women acts through its members to support, empower, and educate all Catholic women in spirituality, leadership, and service.

“The Council gives the Catholic Women of the country a common voice and an instrument for unified action in all matters affecting Catholic or national welfare,” stated Maestas. “Not only are we active in our parishes, but we also engage at the district, diocesan, state, national, and world levels. I feel we are actively working to make the world a better place while upholding our Catholic values, which are so very important in today’s times.”

The National Council of Catholic Women was founded in 1920 by the United States Catholic Bishops. They are a member of the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organizations (WUCWO) and have a representative at the United Nations in New York.

The St. Petersburg Diocesan Council of Catholic Women currently has 630 members. If you are interested in becoming a member, please visit