Share - Fall 2017 - 8
of the Gospel in America
he Catholic Daughters of the Americas were invited
to attend the Convocation 2017 for Catholic Leaders
in Orlando, Florida on the Fourth of July weekend. It
was sponsored by the United States Conference of Catholic
Bishops (USCCB). Clergy and lay leaders came together
to assess the pastoral challenges and opportunities of
our time, particularly in the context of the Church in the
It was an honor for the Executive Officers, Helene,
Olga, Sherry, Vickie, and Emily to represent each of you
at this awesome 2017 Convocation. We have attempted
to summarize the important sections of the sessions that
Needless to say, we were so honored to have our own
Timothy Cardinal Dolan as the main celebrant and homilist
at the opening Mass. His message was simple and very clear.
He spoke of four magnificent virtues of Discipleship,
Unity, Joy and Mission at this opening Mass which took
place the first Saturday in July. First Saturdays usually honor
our Blessed Mother Mary. The Cardinal urged us to reflect
for a moment on the episode of the Visitation of Mary to
her cousin Elizabeth which can be found in the gospel of St.
Luke. Mary has just been told by the Archangel Gabriel that
she was going to be the mother of our Savior. Thus, she is
the first disciple, attentive to God's Word and open to Jesus
Christ. She longs for unity and closeness to her kin Saint
Elizabeth and she goes on Mission to tell another the glad
tidings of the Lord's immanent arrival. She and Elizabeth, as
well as the two babies in their wombs, Jesus and John the
Baptist leaped for joy. It is obvious that Mary is a model of
Discipleship, Unity, Joy and Mission. The Joy of the Gospel is
SHARE * FALL 2017
the title of the Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis which is
the theme of this historic Convocation. It is in this teaching
that the Holy Father proposes that discipleship united for
mission will be characterized and effective only if it is done
Fr. Frank Donio, S.A.C.,Director of the Pallottine Catholic
Apostolate Center, spoke at the convocation at the invitation
of the bishops' organizing committee. Furthermore, Fr. Frank
was a member of the program planning committee. He wears
many hats. He is presently the Chaplain of the Campus Court
in Washington, DC, Court Catholic University # 2646.
Attending this type of event really helps us to understand
that we are part of a larger picture in the Church. We were
able to network with people from other organizations.
The interesting fact is that we all have common goals.
Guided by the Pope Francis's apostolic exhortation on the
proclamation of the Gospel in today's world we reflected on
the following topics:
* What does social analysis tell us about the "landscape"
of the United States today?
* How does the call to Missionary discipleship affect the
way we structure our organizational program?
* How do we witness to, live out, and celebrate our faith in
our courts and in our parish communities?
* What is the spirituality of a missionary disciple in light of
the goals of our Order?
* What does it mean for our organization as Catholic
Daughters to go to the peripheries?