The mission statement of the National Council of Catholic Women which parish and diocesan councils are linked is displayed at the 2017 leadership symposium of the diocesan Council of Catholic Women.LINDA REEVES|FC

Council kicks off new year in the light of Christ

WEST PALM BEACH | The Council of Catholic Women is kicking off a new year with an array of activities, programs and initiatives. At the top of the agenda is a two-day leadership symposium next month, and the organizers are excited.

“We had a great turnout last year, and it is my hope and prayer that we double our numbers this year, as this is such an important training for our ladies,” said Tammy Farr, diocesan Council of Catholic Women president. “Our wonderful Palm Beach diocesan symposium is open to all Catholic women.”

The event will be held Sept. 15 and 16 at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel in Palm Beach Gardens. Themed “Lead With Passion With the Light of Christ,” the agenda for the two days is full, beginning with an 8:30 a.m. registration the first day and closing that day out with a barbecue in the evening, giving the women time to socialize and have some fun.

During the day there will be speakers, breakout sessions and a 4:30 p.m. Mass. Sept. 16 is equally full of activities. There will be more talks, rosary, breakout sessions and fellowship. The symposium closes at 3 p.m. on Sunday.

“Our participants will take home self-improvement, a better understanding of the jobs within council,” said Farr. “They will leave more confident and willing to say yes when asked to take on an important position in their councils. It is also my personal hope that they will feel a true bonding of sisterhood with their other sisters in council. After all we are family.”

Guest speakers are Linda Clark and Jean Bazley. Clark is lead trainer for the National Council of Catholic Women. “She has served and held all rings of council,” said Farr. “She has received many humanitarian awards and she is a true asset to our symposium.

“Our second guest trainer is Jean Bazley, the Florida Council of Catholic Women province director,” Farr continued. “Jean has also served on many levels of council and has a wonderful presentation on getting the women to move up and say yes.”

Also taking part in the weekend is the leadership team of the Diocese of Palm Beach Council of Catholic Women, who call themselves the Palm Beach Leadership Trainers. The team with 13 strong leaders was formed two years ago as a new initiative to help women grow and develop skills and, in turn, give them more confidence to play a greater part in their parish council.

The idea of the symposium blossomed from the leadership team two years ago, and it has taken off with success. “This year we have opened it up to the other diocesan councils within the state,” said Farr.

“I know that each and every lady that attends will take home to their council something fantastic that she has learned,” Farr continued. “We come together as sisters in council with our love for one another. We share a bond of our love for council. We are family. Our mission is to empower and educate all Catholic women in spirituality, leadership and service. We need to respond with Gospel values. We are the hands and feet of Jesus and our Blessed Mother Mary.”