For Immediate Release

Washington, D.C. September 2015—Nearly 700 women attended the National Council of CatholicWomen’s 95th anniversary convention in Orlando, Florida, September 9-12.
Attendees of the 2015 National Council of Catholic Women’s annual convention in Orlando, Florida, were surprised by the guest appearance of Mickey Mouse and a special presentation on the 95 years of NCCW history by Mary Matheus at the 95th birthday luncheon celebration. Held at the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista from September 9-12, the NCCW convention is the annual gathering of women leaders from Catholic women’s organizations in parishes and dioceses throughout the United States.

“Celebrating 95 years of history and the program packed with training, speakers and fun generated the excitement to draw this exceptional gathering of Catholic women to Orlando,” said Sheila Hopkins, newly installed NCCW President and Co-Chair of the Convention.

The opening liturgy was celebrated at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe by NCCW Episcopal Liaison the Most Reverend James V. Johnston, Jr., Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, and concelebrated by the Most Rev. Gregory L. Parkes, Bishop of Pensacola-Tallahassee. Friday's liturgy honoring deceased members of NCCW was celebrated by Most Rev. John Noonan, Bishop of Orlando. The closing liturgy, celebrated by the Most Rev. Thomas Wenski, Archbishop of Miami, included the installation of the 2015-2017 officers of NCCW—President Sheila Hopkins, Tallahassee, FL; President Elect Maribeth Stewart, West Haven, CT and Secretary Jean Kelly, Elm Grove, WI. Mary Matheus, from Longwood, Florida, was elected to a second term as Treasurer last year. An additional 48 priests, spiritual directors and friends of NCCW attended the liturgies including the Most Reverend David R. Choby, Bishop of Nashville, who concelebrated the Saturday liturgy.

Keynote speakers included Dr. Carolyn Woo, President and CEO of Catholic Relief Services; Richard Doerflinger, Associate Director of the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; Marybeth Hicks, Marketing Director for FAITH Catholic and Brandon Vogt, Content Director for Bishop Robert Barron's Word on Fire Catholic Ministries. Training sessions were conducted by the three commissions—Spirituality, Leadership and Service—and training for new council presidents was offered by the Leadership Training Development Team.

At the closing session of the convention, new province directors from several areas of the United States were installed. Disney entertainer Billy Flanigan, currently playing the part of Nemo at Walt DisneyWorld entertained at the closing banquet.

The 2016 Annual Convention will be held September 7-10 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

For more information, please contact Laraine Bennett at 703-224-0990 or email