Council of Catholic Women


The Council of Catholic Women is a service organization of St. Therese Parish that all women registered as members of the parish belong to. The St. Therese Council of Catholic Women is an affiliate of the Venice Diocesan Council of Catholic Women (VDCCW) and the National Council of Catholic Women (NCCW).  The NCCW is a member of the World Union of Catholic Women's Organizations (WUCWO) and is an affiliate of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

Mission Statement

The St. Therese Council of Catholic Women acts within the parish community to support, empower, and educate Catholic women in spirituality, leadership and service. The council's programs respond with Gospel values to the needs of the Church and community.


- To unite Catholic women within the parish.

- To provide a means for Catholic women of the parish to speak and act on matters of mutual interest.

- To support social justice efforts and the protection of human life at all stages.

- To represent Catholic women in local, deanery, diocesan, state, and national organizations and programs.

- To assist Catholic women of the parish to act on current issues in the Church and society.

- To train  Catholic women of the parish to be leaders.

- To promote Catholic spirituality and knowledge.   

Officers 2023 - 2025

President  ~  Josephine Weiss

Vice-President  ~  Marilyn (Mel) Fleming

Secretary  ~  Vacant

Treasurer  ~  Becky Harper


Board of Directors 

- Spiritual Advisor  ~  Rev. Jan Antonik

- President  Josephine Weiss

- Parliamentarian  ~  Brenda Dolan

- Vice-President  ~  Marilyn (Mel) Fleming

- Secretary  ~  Vacant

- Treasurer  ~  Becky Harper

- Leadership Commission Chair  ~  Brenda Dolan 

- Spirituality Commission Co-Chair  ~  Cindy Glorioso

- Spirituality Commission Co-Chair  ~  Sandie Bongiorno

- Immediate Past President  ~  Shirley Spicer

- Service Comission Co-Chair  ~  Bernadette Boutiette

- Service Commission Co-Chair  ~  Jan Lambert

- Historian  ~  Elvira Langone


The Board of Directors meetings are held in the St. Therese Conference Room on the first Thursday of every month from September through May at 10:00 AM in the Conference Room.

The General membership meets every month beginning September until May, normally at 1:00 PM on Wednesdays at St. Therese Church, but not all the time.  The times vary depending on the program.  We often have speakers and we always have fun and fellowship.  CCW is also about service to its members.  We strive to help each other to achieve our goals and not lose sight of our values.  One of the real joys of attending meetings is to share stories and gather inspiration from one another.  If you have a problem you are worried about, someone else at that meeting has probably been through it and can offer some advice.

Fee: $20.00 yearly due to joining the St. Therese Council of Catholic Women.  Fiscal Year is from June to May.


The CCW is a mingling of young and old, single and married, mothers and grandmothers, all working together for the church and the community. CCW has many wonderful projects, events, and activities for the 2023-2024 year. 

Our CCW is also blessed to have the support of our Pastor and Spiritual Advisor, Fr. Jan Antonik.  He is there for us.  He has no problem giving us a blessing whenever he is there and he attends every event that he can.

CCW needs all the women of the parish.  Even if you cannot attend all the meetings, I encourage you to try to come when you can.  Be a worker for some of the events, activities, and fundraisers and come and have some fun once in a while too.  Hope to see you soon.

For more information regarding the Council of Catholic Women, please contact current CCW President, Josephine Weiss at (239) 567-2315.



Prayer - What if Mary said No?


Catholic Days at the Capitol

Diocesan Council of Catholic Women Gather

Newly installed officers of the Venice Diocesan Council of Catholic Women (VDCCW) - Saturday, April 27, 2019.

The new diocesan officers were installed during Mass with our Bishop, Reverend Frank J. Dewane, as the Main Celebrant as part of VDCCW's 34th Annual Convention held at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice, Florida on Saturday, April 27, 2019.  Included in the picture are the newly elected and installed officers for 2019-2021, from left to right: Dianne Wenzel as Secretary, Ellen Bachman as Co-President, Brenda Dolan as Co-President, Josephine Weiss as President-Elect and Marianne Togler as Treasurer.  Brenda Dolan was past President of the VDCCW 2016-2019 as well as a past St. Therese CCW President.  Josephine Weiss was past St. Therese CCW President 2017-2019. 

We congratulate Brenda Dolan and Josephine Weiss on their new diocesan officer assignments and wish them God's blessings and guidance as they begin their ministry as the VDCCW Co-President and President-Elect.

Four members from our St. Therese Parish are currently serving on the VDCCW Board for two-year term from 2019 to 2021 --- Brenda Dolan, Josephine Weiss; and, appointed to Commission Chairs are Rebecca Harper on Service and Joline Lambert on Spirituality.

BY BOB REDDY | MAY 16, 2019

A group of dedicated Catholic women has answered the call of Christ as they imitate Him in how they live their lives each day.

These women are represented by the Venice Diocese Council of Catholic Women (VDCCW) serving as an example of a heartfelt commitment to serve the Church while dedicating themselves to being open to the Holy Spirit.

Each year members gather for a convention with the goal of unifying their efforts to do the most good for the benefit of all. The 34th Annual Convention was held April 27 at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice.

A central part of the gathering was the women participating in a celebration of the Mass which was celebrated by Bishop Frank J. Dewane. Several priests concelebrated the Mass including Father Joseph Connolly, TOR, who is the VDCCW Spiritual Advisor, as well as Fathers Blake Britton, Sebastian Szczawínski, Gordon Zanetti and Chuck Ruoff.

Bishop Dewane praised the VDCCW for coming together and giving witness to the Faith by how they are believers and followers of Jesus Christ who are called forth to reach out to others.

“As a group of believers, the CCW comes together bringing a strength to the Church,” Bishop Dewane said. “Reach out to others and help them to see the Lord in a new way as Christ made us all new in His Resurrection.”

VDCCW acts through its membership to support, empower, and educate all Catholic women in spirituality, leadership and service. Council programs exude Gospel values and serve the needs of the Church and society in the modern world. To exemplify this, the VDCCW is a strong supporter of the Diocesan seminarians and again presented a check to Bishop Dewane for the Diocesan Seminarian Fund.

The women also learned about a variety of topics including a presentation about human trafficking from representatives of Catholic Charities Diocese of Venice Inc. who work with victims each day. The VDCCW presented a check to Catholic Charities from the Hugs for Homeless Fund for use to help the victims of human trafficking.

Father Britton, of the Diocese of Orlando, was the keynote speaker who focused on the power of femininity and the need to rehabilitate the view of beauty in society. Father cited St. John Paul II’s apostolic letter “The Dignity of Women” (Mulieris Dignitatem), Edith Stein’s “Letters to Women” and others.

Brenda Dolan, who has served as VDCCW president for the past several years and will now serve as Co-President, noted how the convention serves to unify and inspire the members of the VDCCW. Among those present for the convention were members of the VDCCW Juniors from St. Michael Parish in Wauchula.

In addition to the support for the Seminarian Fund, this year, three mothers of priests were honored for their nurturing support of their sons who chose a vocation to the priesthood. The mothers honored were: Cornelia Zanetti, mother of Father Gordon of St. Andrew Parish in Cape Coral; Agnes Ruoff-Perkins, mother of Father Chuck of St. Peter the Apostle Parish in Naples; and Kate Cogan, mother of Father Jim Cogan of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Parish in Parrish.

The 2019 convention also included an installation of the new officers with Brenda Dolan and Ellen Bachman now serving as Co-Presidents, and Josephine Weiss as President-elect. They will serve for two years.

For more information about the Venice Diocese Council of Catholic Women please visit their new website at

FCCW Reveal Strengths in Constant Service


ORLANDO  |  When Hurricane Michael made landfall in early October 2018, it caused the Florida Council of Catholic Women to reschedule its biennial meeting in celebration of the province’s 50th anniversary.

What the storm did not do was daunt the spirits and true grit of the council, which spur into action to help those hit hard in Florida’s Panhandle.

“We feel the suffering of one another,” said Jean Bazley, Florida council president. “We serve to make it better for those who hurt. It’s what we do. We reach out when needed – not just when it’s convenient.”

The council’s biennial convention was scheduled Oct. 11-14 in Tallahassee. But the hotel scheduled was needed as shelter for the many compelled to evacuate the devastating destruction of the storm. The event was cancelled, and those members registered for the event were given the opportunity to donate some or all of their registration cost to Catholic Charities of North West Florida to aid in the relief of those impacted by the storm. As a result, a check for $9,000 from the Florida Council of Catholic Women was presented to Catholic Charities.

The Florida’s council 50th anniversary as a member of the National Council of Catholic Women was finally celebrated at the Sheraton Hotel North in Orlando Feb. 8. Some 125 women, all seven diocesan presidents, several spiritual advisors and three past presidents of national council gathered to remember and celebrate 50 years of “Serving One Another Through Love.”

Archbishop of Miami Thomas G. Wenski sent his greetings and congratulations.

“The (Florida Council of Catholic Women) has supported the bishops and priorities of the Church in the public square on wide ranging issues from the protection and dignity of all human life, parental rights to choose a Catholic education for their children, immigration reform, human trafficking and much more,” Archbishop Wenski explained to the Florida Catholic. “Through their efforts – including their participation in Catholic Days at the Capitol – they have moved the needle towards justice in our state.”

All seven of the dioceses’ Councils of Catholic Women participate in supporting the many priorities of the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops but each of the presidents selected one of the initiatives to present.

“The Diocese of Palm Beach focuses its efforts on the protection and dignity of all human life,” explained Tammy Farr, president of the Palm Beach diocesan council. “We have many programs we use to work with our youth groups to teach them that life begins in the womb and continues throughout life. We participate in 40 days for Life throughout the diocese. We also hold prayer services in front of Planned Parenthood facilities.”

Catholic education is a priority of the bishops and in the Diocese of Orlando, its councils have supported this effort by volunteering in the schools, providing much needed financial assistance and lobbying legislators.

“All parents should have the right to choose a Catholic education for their children,” said Kathy Leigh, president Orlando Diocese council. “Our schools were founded and teach our Catholic moral values. We strive to teach children about our faith and how to live it by following Jesus. This has been a major endeavor and success of our Florida Bishops and all parents now have the right to choose the best environment to serve the needs to educate their child.”

With its climate – agriculture and tourism are predominate Florida industries which hire significant numbers of low-paid workers – many of them are immigrants.

“There are three prongs to the efforts for immigration reform by the Venice Diocese Council of Catholic Women,” explained Brenda Dolan, president. “We work with the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops in promoting immigration reform; we communicate the Catholic position on reform to state and local representatives as well as educating our own people and we work in the ‘shadows’ with immigrants to assist them in bettering their status.”

Mary Woltman, president St. Petersburg Diocese Council of Catholic Women, highlighted the work of the ladies to address the horrific effects of human trafficking through the Bridging Freedom is the human trafficking initiative.

“Its mission is to ‘combat minor sex trafficking by bringing restoration to those rescued and victim prevention to those they reach through their message.’” Woltman said. “In addition to providing donations, the CCW supports the agency whenever they request assistance.  It is now building the second rehabilitation home to protect the rescued and we are supporting their efforts.”

Every year Catholics from throughout the state travel to Tallahassee to participate in Catholic Days at the Capitol. It is an opportunity for the faithful to call upon the legislators to protect and defend the dignity of human life and to promote the common good for all people. This year’s event is March 26-27. (see box, this page)

“Our (councils) give scholarships to our two Catholic high schools to send students to (Catholic Days at the Capitol) each year,” shared Staci Duncan, president of the St. Augustine Council of Catholic Women. “The students participate in meeting our legislators and hearing the talks at the bishops’ luncheon. It is our desire for these students to be inspired and to realize that their voices and concerns are heard and that we can make a difference.”

Advocating for issues as they pertain to Catholic faith and values is also a major focus for the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee. Mary Sauvageau, president of the Panhandle diocese’s council, said councils and their affiliation presidents were challenged to budget funds to sponsor a member who had never before attended Catholic Days.

“Once you go to (Catholic Days at the Capitol) and see the impact your voice and presence have – you will want to continue going in the future,” Sauvageau said. “Our spiritual advisor, Father Richard Dawson had red scarves made for the ladies to wear to show the legislators that there are Catholic women in the ‘House.’”

30tDiocesan CCW Annual Convention

 Epiphany Cathedral - Venice, Florida - April 23-25, 2015

Newly installed officers of the Venice Diocesan Council of Catholic Women (VDCCW) - Saturday, April 25, 2015.

The new diocesan officers were installed during Mass with our Bishop, Reverend Frank J. Dewane, as the Main Celebrant as part of VDCCW's Thirtieth Annual Convention held at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice, Florida.  Included in the picture is Brenda Dolan (Front row-third from right) of St. Therese Council of Catholic Women.  Brenda is the newly installed President-Elect of the VDCCW which is a two year assignment then automatically goes to President for two years. Brenda was a past St. Therese CCW Co-President with Marilyn Horvath. 

We congratulate Brenda on her new diocesan officer assignment and wish her God's blessings and guidance as she begins her ministry as the new VDCCW President-Elect.