Installation of officers for the Southern Deanery of the Palm Beach Diocesan Council of Catholic Women took place at St. Matthew for 2021-2023. From left to right, Anna Hernandez-Diaz, president-elect; Father Clem Hammerschmitt, St. Matthew pastor and PBDCCW diocesan moderator; Barbara Salemme, vice president-elect; Bonnie Nusrala, recording secretary; and LuAnne Leonard, treasurer-elect.


At St. Helen Church on April 24, the Northern Deanery of the Palm Beach Diocesan Council of Catholic Women installed new officers for 2021-2023. Left to right are Dotty Grauso, treasurer-elect;  Katie Kisielewski, recording secretary-elect; Roxy LaChance, Vice president-elect; and Millie Del Grosso, President-elect.


Installation of officers for the Central Deanery of the Palm Beach Diocesan Council of Catholic Women took place on April 10, at St. Ignatius of Loyola for 2021-2023. From left to right, Donna Leonardo, vice president-elect; Dorothy Harper, president-elect; Janet Richards, outgoing president; Patricia Boxold, recording secretary-elect; and Claire Petersen, treasurer-elect. (COURTESY PHOTO)

VERO BEACH  |  On April 24, 2021, the Council of Catholic Women of St. Helen Parish hosted a general meeting, which included Mass and the installation of officers of the Palm Beach Diocesan Council of Catholic Women northern deanery. Council women from seven affiliated parishes within the northern deanery gathered together to pray, support and congratulate the new officers for the 2021-2023 term. 

Reggie Murray, outgoing northern deanery president, passed the gavel to Millie Del Grosso, incoming president-elect. “I pray that they are blessed with a better year ahead, a new year, that will afford them the time and ability to meet and work with all of our council sisters of the northern deanery,” Murray said.

The Palm Beach Diocesan Council of Catholic Women consists of three deaneries — northern, central and southern — with a total of 23 parish affiliations. The southern and central deaneries installed their new officers the week prior. The councils of St. Matthew and St. Ignatius Loyola hosted the southern and central deanery installation meetings, respectively. 

The Palm Beach Diocesan Council of Catholic Women include an active group of Catholic women of all ages and part of a larger membership of over four million Catholic women across the country. All council women have a common thread — a love for God, family, the Catholic faith and Catholic church. They are sometimes referred to as the “mama bears of the church,” the “Martha of the Gospels,” and the “quiet workers.”

Father Nick Zrallack, parochial vicar of St. Helen Parish in Vero Beach, presided over the morning installation Mass, and Franciscan Father Curt Kreml, spiritual advisor for the diocesan council, offered the homily. 

“You have remained faithful to the Lord. You have received the words of Jesus and therefore, you are filled with His spirit of life,” Father Kreml told the council members. “As a matter of fact, it is the spirit of the Lord who is the deepest bond uniting you with one another in your common mission of the (council’s) growth in the spiritual life, devotion to Jesus and his mother, and putting his words into action in your lives is the very heart and center of what you are all about.” 

 The priest spoke of sharing one’s faith with others, adding, “You’re sharing with others, not just that you belong to Council of Catholic Women, but why you do, and that can challenge them to reflect more deeply on the questions of life’s meaning, questions about God, faith, and their destiny, and the place of the holy Eucharist in their lives.”  

Each council office is designated a color that represents the different traits and attributes council sisters will undertake as a diocesan organization. The treasurer’s color is green, which denotes growth. The recording secretary’s color is pink, the color of rejoicing. The vice president’s color is blue which stands for loyalty and is the color of the Blessed Mother. The president’s color is purple, which stands for leadership and sacrifice. 

Along with Del Grosso as president, the newly elected and installed officers for the northern deanery are Roxy LaChance, vice president; Dotty Grauso, treasurer; and Katie Kisielewski, recording secretary. The Southern Deanery elected officers installed are Anna Hernandez-Diaz, president; Barbara Salemme, vice president; Bonnie Nusrala, recording secretary; and LuAnne Leonard, treasurer. The new officer-elects of the central deanery are Dorothy Harper, president; Donna Leonardo, vice president; Patricia Boxold, recording secretary; and Claire Petersen treasurer.

“After seeing all of the possibilities during the pandemic, I can’t wait to see how much more we grow post pandemic,” Kisielewski said.

St. Helen Council of Catholic Women has been active during COVID wearing masks and practicing social distancing. “We pray that in the fall we will be able to return to our regular meeting hall and resume our social time,” Graves said. 


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