SALT LAKE CITY — In its 96th year, the Catholic Woman’s League raised funds for Catholic Community Services of Northern Utah and the Fisher House at the annual benefit luncheon at the Grand America Hotel Oct. 13.
CWL Spiritual Moderator Monsignor J. Terrence Fitzgerald, vicar general emeritus, introduced the Most Rev. John C. Wester, Bishop of Salt Lake City.
Bishop Wester said he was struck by the fact that the "CWL is already doing what our Holy Father has asked us to do – evangelize in this Year of Faith, which began on Oct. 11. Our Holy Father has asked us to deepen our faith, to live the faith through works of charity and to celebrate the faith in the liturgy."
Through the beneficiaries the CWL chose to help this year, they are "helping the poor and the needy and those who are deserving of our care," the bishop said. "I notice also in one of your activities that you can go online and subscribe to get an excerpt of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, First Friday Masses, prayer intentions and other liturgical activities. Those are the three pillars of evangelization: the catechism, the living of our faith in terms of charity and celebrating of our faith in terms of liturgy."
Bishop Wester thanked the CWL members "not only for what you are doing, but for being who you are as women leaders. It is your presence as faithful, Catholic women in our Church as mothers, wives, daughters, sisters aunts and grandmothers that shows you are living in a way that God can work with you."
Also during the luncheon, the two beneficiaries were recognized.
Marcie Valdez, director of CCS of Northern Utah, said the organization’s mission is to practice the Gospel values of love, compassion and hope through service, support and collaboration.
"Your gift will support the Joyce Hansen Hall Food Bank, Saint Martha’s Baby Project and the Homeless Prevention program," said Valdez.
Valdez explained the Joyce Hansen Hall Food Bank serves over 2,300 families each month. The Homeless Prevention Services program helps about 20 families each month. The families who are homeless are assisted with finding housing and those who are on the verge of becoming homeless are helped with rent assistance and case management to help them stay in their homes. The St. Martha’s Baby Project assists young mothers by giving them a baby layette filled with baby items upon the birth of their child.
"All of the services that we provide would be impossible without your gifts and your continued support," Valdez said.
The second beneficiary, the Fisher House, is located on the grounds of the Veteran’s Medical Center in Salt Lake City and serves the families of veterans who are receiving medical treatment there, said Rayfel Bachiller, a retired U.S. Marine Corps colonel who is also a Knight of Columbus with the Draper Council. Bachiller was instrumental in bringing the Fisher House to Utah and in raising funds for its construction. The Fisher House is 33,000 square feet and has 20 furnished rooms that are staffed by volunteers. Family members stay in the rooms free of charge and volunteers at times will cook for the families.
"What is most important is the families enjoy their stay," Bachiller said. "I share with Marcie our gratitude for your donation and support."
This was the fourth year the Wight House has provided a fashion show for the luncheon and among the models were CWL past presidents Ann Bero 1985-1987, Kathleen Scott 1989-1991, Gail Hensleigh 2005-2007, Carol Harley 2007-2009 and immediate past president Rosalie Mirabelli 2009-2011.