SALT LAKE CITY — Women from throughout the diocese gathered Oct. 6 at the Little America Hotel for lunch and a few hours of socializing, all for a good cause.
The annual Catholic Woman’s League Fall Tapestry luncheon and fashion show benefited St. Francis Xavier School in Kearns and Peace House, a nonprofit that works with victims of domestic violence in Summit and Wasatch counties.
At the luncheon, Bishop Oscar A. Solis thanked the CWL for the tremendous work that they do as collaborators in the diocese’s mission of evangelization.
“Your work of charity and your fellowship today is a beautiful manifestation of what Church should be,” the bishop told the members of the Catholic Woman’s League.
Each year, local nonprofit organizations are invited to submit applications to be beneficiaries of the luncheon. This year, there were 16 applicants, and “hands down, the Peace House and St. Francis were voted as our charities for this year, and they are both so worthy,” said Linda Burt, the CWL vice president.
Representatives of the recipient organizations spoke at the luncheon.
Marianne Rozsahegyi, principal of St. Francis Xavier School, thanked the board for choosing the school as a beneficiary for the luncheon.
“You have to know, when I received the email in February I was doing my happy dance in the principal’s office, because if you know our school you know that we are all about opening our doors to any parent, any family who wants a Catholic education for their children, regardless of their economic background,” she said.
Many of the school’s students come from families who are working class or the working poor, and 10 percent are from refugee families, she said.
“For those families who come to us and say, ‘but we can’t afford tuition,’ and they’re ready to turn around and walk right out that door, this is where we look for benefactors and friends who can support those families,” she said, adding that the funds received from the CWL luncheon would benefit students who are refugees.
Peace House is a nonprofit organization in Summit and Wasatch counties that is dedicated to ending family violence and abuse. It provides emergency shelter, a counseling program for adults and children, education programs and support services.
Last year Peace House provided more than 2,400 hours of clinical therapy to adults and children, and more than 2,700 nights of emergency shelter for families, among other services, said Kendra Wyckoff, the organization’s executive director.
“That’s more than any other year, and despite this milestone there were still over 260 unmet requests for emergency safe housing,” she said.
Because of the great need, Peace House is building a larger facility that will offer transitional housing and child care, she said.
“Because of your support, families who were being abused will have a warm, welcoming and stable home,” she said. “Thank you for investing in the Peace House mission. Your generous support at this event is going to help us break the cycle of abuse in our community and help those that are impacted by domestic violence not only survive but thrive.”