Local DCCW president on national board to lead NCCW into
its second century of service and commitment to the Church

By Dave Jolivet

FALL RIVER, Mass. — With just months to go before its 100th birthday, the National Council of Catholic Women remains a vibrant source that empowers and educates women across the country in their Spirituality, service and leadership abilities within themselves and the Church. In its mission statement, the NCCW stresses its programs “respond with Gospel values to the needs of the Church and society in the modern world.”

The modern world 100 years ago and today are drastically different in some ways, yet very similar in others. One thing that hasn’t changed is the council’s commitment to Catholic women in the many roles they embrace in the secular world and in the Universal Church.

Helping to lead the NCCW into its second century of service is the president of the Fall River Diocese’s Council of Catholic Women, Beth Mahoney. Mahoney, who is a member of St. Mary’s Parish in Taunton and also principal at St. Stanislaus School in Fall River, was elected this past August as the NCCW Boston Region director for two years and is a member of the national group’s board of directors. 

“I was pleased to have been elected,” Mahoney told The Anchor. “I have some experience at the national level having served as chairman of the Spirituality Committee from 2015-2017 and the Education Committee from 2018-2019.


“I have definitely benefited from getting to know and work with women across the country, and I’m delighted to be able to continue doing so representing the Northeast dioceses.” 

The Boston Region encompasses DCCWs in the dioceses of Springfield, Worcester and Fall River as well as the Archdiocese of Boston in Massachusetts, and the Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine dioceses.

The board of directors leading the NCCW into its second 100 years is responsible for coordinating activities and projects for Catholic women across the country. In addition, the board insures that the NCCW bylaws are upheld at the national level.

Locally, as Boston regional director, Mahoney will provide advice to members at large, assist and direct local councils in proper record-keeping and maintaining accurate financial records. Additionally, Mahoney makes a concerted effort to represent the NCCW at all diocesan events across the Northeast, keeping the different councils up-to-date on national happenings.

The NCCW board of directors meets three times a year in Washington, D.C. to share thoughts, ideas, successes and failures in councils in all dioceses in the United States. “We share experiences of what is going on in our particular councils,” said Mahoney. “We can provide or receive recommendations from others whose councils have had success in various projects and activities. We also coordinate national projects that will trickle down to the local levels.”

One of the the most pressing and crucial projects the NCCW has embraced is the plight of human trafficking. “We are providing all councils with vital information and ways to help detect and combat this awful occurrence in our country and across the world,” said Mahoney. “We are providing councils with prayers and posters and anything we can to help get the word out about how prevalent human trafficking is.

“Another great concern of ours is to reach out to combat the rising number of suicides in this country and reach out to those suffering from the loss of a loved one to suicide.”

Other NCCW pet projects are increasing awareness among younger Catholic women about vocations within the Church; the Hospice program; and Spirituality.

Mahoney said the NCCW also teams up with other service and social justice organizations. “We are collaborating with Bread for the World, Catholic Climate Network, the National Catholic Educational Association, and the Center for Concern’s Education for Justice.” Others include Catholic Relief Services, Cross Catholic Outreach, Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Religious Alliance Against Pornography, Catholic Mobilizing Network and the U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking.

It is evident the NCCW is involved with responding to events and crises affecting not only Catholic women, but all women, children and men across the country and the world — truly living up to its mission to respond with Gospel values to the needs of the Church and society.

The NCCW was founded on March 4, 1920 by the United States bishops. Its purpose was “1. To give the Catholic women of the country a common voice and an instrument for unified action in all matters affecting Catholic or national welfare; 2. To ensure proper Catholic representation on, and the proper recognition of Catholic principles in national committees and national movements affecting the religious, moral and material well-being of the country; and 3. To stimulate the work of existing service and usefulness in meeting the needs of our times.”

While the NCCW continues to thrive, Mahoney admits that the numbers in the Northeast have dwindled over the years. 

“The midwest and south councils are very strong and have good numbers,” she told The Anchor. “We are hoping to revive the Northeast with new members and young members. One way we can do this is to introduce ourselves to young women in high schools and young adult ministries. We hope to meet with the bishops of our region to come up with a plan to reach out to these young women. I’ve already spoken to Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha about it and he is very interested.”

The NCCW has always worked with the bishops of the United States. “We meet with them and then dovetail to make sure the word is getting out about and to help women understand more fully Church documents, and to become proactive to helping to solve some of society’s most difficult problems.

“I’m excited and looking forward to the next two years,” said Mahoney. “I’m excited to see the Northeast grow stronger and to work with women across the country and the U.S. bishops about local and national concerns.”

For more information about the National Council of Catholic Women, visit www.nccw.org

For more information about the Diocese of Fall River Council of Catholic Women call Beth Mahoney at 508-821-6201.

© 2019 The Anchor and Anchor Publishing    †    Fall River, Massachusetts