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President's Message        Claudia Weber

 

March 2024

March: In like a Lion, out like a Lamb!  Those two animals are frequently referenced in the Bible and remind me of the sacrifice of the Lamb and the fiercely redeemed Lion who stays at our side.

 

I hope that your own Lenten journey will lead to renewed strength by the end of this month. I invite you to send your creative ideas for penance, fasting and almsgiving to share on our Facebook page. To continue praying, keep in mind the DCCW retreat in April and the retreats with the Dominican Sisters at Bethany House - https://bit.ly/3wHpiMv

 

Thanks to all who attended our February dinner meeting at Fr. Ryan where we were joined by Principal Paul Davis and our scholar Isabella Mathew with her mom Rachel. Presenting the $14,000 Aurelia Varallo Mariani scholarship was a highlight. Laurel William’s Superior Catering will follow us to dinner at St. Cecilia Academy on March 20.

 

In the meantime, the NCBWL board has had two virtual meetings to evaluate the date and venue of Pearls of Wisdom ’24. An early October date is favored, and you can look at opportunities to join a Pearl committee elsewhere in this edition. Our talented event co-chairs Courtney Conklin and Lauren Barca will be building a team to maximize our efforts.

 

And speaking of fundraising, I met with Ashley Linville, Diocesan Development Director who invites any NCBWL member attending the October 22 ACE dinner to designate the League’s Aurelia Varallo Mariani fund when purchasing a ticket for hosting a full table. I invite (at least!) nine of us to purchase tickets and join me at that dinner to have a good time and add to our fund. Especially any of our members who could not make it to Pearls of Wisdom earlier that month.

 

The board also seeks to fill the vacated position of President-Elect as Sandra MacSweeney moves to Florida. Members are encouraged to send nominations to me.

 

Our social media position will now be handled by Lisa Link under the lead of Patricia M. Smith, our Communications Chair.

 

Looking forward to dining with you at SCA on March 20th.

 

Respectfully,

Claudia Weber

NCBWL President 2023-25

cweber@cctenn.org

 

February 2024

Have you noticed that days are staying lighter longer? The promise of spring is real and there is much to anticipate including Lenten journeys and ultimate renewal.

 

I attended a Catholic Schools Week Mass and was inspired by the great turn out of students and teachers with Bishop Spalding and School Superintendent Shauna Druffner adding supportive and enthusiastic remarks.

 

January included a board meeting and specifics can be found in our member portal (Meeting Minutes | ncbwl). We made plans to send out a member survey and organized communication with members for renewal fees.

 

Just like the Rose Bowl Committee, we started making plans for our 2024 Pearls of Wisdom Gala while we continued to close out all revenues and expenses for our October ’23 event!

 

In this regard, the Board voted to present our three Catholic High Schools with $14,000 checks (and $2,000 to our St. Michael Academy savings account for their future high school).  

 

As we prepared for our dinner meeting on the 17th, Nashville winter weather made other plans for us!  I hope that everyone stayed safe and sound at home.

 

And now we will spend our next three meetings at each high school.

  • On February 21 our Fr. Ryan meeting will include our rescheduled speaker, Jennie Guinn.

  • On March 20, we will dine at St. Cecilia Academy and

  • on April 17 we will meet at Pope Paul II Prep. Each meeting will include our scholars.

 

Many of you may remember Laurel Williams of St. Henry’s Parish. She will supply the catering for these meetings via her own company (Laurel’s Superior Catering, laurelwilliamz@gmail.com). The $25 meal charge will be maintained.

 

We will return to Coco’s Italian Market this summer and may utilize their Event Center for a Business Expo.  Once again, I ask for your own ideas for our mission and gatherings. Please participate in the upcoming survey, sign up for meetings and invite a friend!

 

January 2024

A new year includes so much opportunity to make plans and to keep resolutions!

 

As we ended last year, it was a pleasure to see so many members and guests come out to our annual Christmas potluck at the Catholic Pastoral Center.  Bishop Spalding stopped by and commented on our turn-out.  The contributions of food and drink were impressive, and conversations were lively.

 

Our Board meeting on January 13 could use much more member input as we create an agenda for 2024.  For example, we will look for committee leads including fundraising, speaker/venue suggestions, relationships with our Catholic High School scholars, and how we can continue to expand and enhance membership.

 

Our January 17 meeting will return to Coco’s Italian Market Event Center with our Spiritual Committee Chair Jennie Guinn as speaker to start off the new year. 

As you may know, Jennie has a regular broadcast of Catholic Moms in the Middle.  She has also started to help plan a spiritual retreat coordinated with the Church of the Holy Rosary. Details on her page and our Facebook page.

 

Our February 21 dinner meeting will be held at Fr. Ryan High School where we will be able to meet our scholar and school leaders.  Plans will be made to visit the other schools including St. Michael Academy.

 

I suggest that our League revisit and resolve to support and enhance those of us who own or work at businesses, schools, or agencies via our website updates and at our meetings. Also, how some members can mentor others including our scholars. We have formed networks with our local parishes, agencies and even our convents to acquire more expertise on how to grow and make an impact in our communities.

 

We can also set our sights on another Business Expo this summer to help highlight our members and their careers, talents, and expertise.

 

Meantime, send me your own ideas, suggestions, and resolutions for 2024. Teamwork makes the dream work! 

 

 

December 2023

 

December is such an amazing month with so much to DO.

 

Read a sign recently that said, “Male reindeer lose their antlers in the winter and females do not… So, Santa’s sleigh is actually pulled by a team of WOMEN.”

 

Soon we will have managed this busyness with enough time off with family and friends and meditations about the true messages of Christmas.

 

“Peace on Earth” is such a far cry in so many parts of this world. But there is HOPE in our daily prayers and hope and prayers are powerful.

 

On December 7th, join me in our annual visits to our two local orders of sisters who are our own prayer warriors.

 

The Sisters of Mercy in the morning and the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia

In the afternoon.  Two opportunities to listen and learn and to bring them some useful gifts from your donations to our Retired Sisters Fund.

 

On December 20th our 3rd Wednesday meeting will be a Bring a Friend Potluck at the Mater Dei reception room at the Catholic Pastoral Center near Entrance 3.  You can easily park and notice the construction of the new Inglesia Sagrado Corazon de Jesus Event Center.

 

Our January 17th meeting will return to Coco’s Italian Market with our own Jennie Guinn as speaker to start off the new year.

 

Our Board will meet on January 13 in Mary Rolando’s home, and I encourage all membership to send me ideas and suggestions for 2024.

 

November 2023

Sweater weather!  Love to see the season change with all the colors, crisp air and family/friend gatherings.

 

I’m still full of gratitude for all our members, guests and volunteers who lifted our annual fundraiser.

 

As I mentioned in October, our event co-chairs and Treasurer will give a summary of Pearls of Wisdom 2023 fundraising including the two shopping events that were held this past summer.

 

We have some valuable items that still need to be offered on this website to offer opportunities for giving-just in time for the holidays. Stay tuned for those offerings this month.

 

Our silent auctioneer Chris Piciacchia has agreed to help post items that include Predators tickets, Alivio self-care sessions, a whiskey tasting, a birthday party with Gnash, and other surprises.  Of course, all donations will be applied to the scholarship fund.

 

All of us can create more awareness of our League via parish contacts in the coming months, especially during the holidays.

 

In that spirit, I recently attended St. Henry’s Church Women’s Club meeting and enjoyed how they come together for fellowship and fun!

 

On Saturday November 11, I will represent the League at an information table during the Eucharistic Revival at the Catholic Pastoral Center. I will use business cards and membership packets to help introduce “us”.

 

And remember Ashley Vega’s Open House described in the In The Know section, also on the 11th.

 

Looking forward to our next meeting on Wednesday, November 15th at Coco’s with a dynamic presentation by Springboard Landing.

 

I am thankful for this League and for its potential for growth and change just like the seasons of our lives.

 

October 2023

 

Lauren Barca and Courtney Conklin have been declared winners and still champions of the Pearls of Wisdom evening event at Richland Country Club on October 6th.

 

If you would like to write thank you notes (and suggestions) to them, please do:

lauren.barca@gmail.com

ellece@yahoo.com

 

They are both thankful for all the donations and extra efforts on the part of our board and members for this lovely evening which included their own above and beyond time and toil.

 

Courtney and Lauren created the centerpieces for all 20 tables including set up and delivery. I hope everyone admired how the “pearls of wisdom” theme was on display with the encyclopedias and baubles.

 

They arranged for event talent including Phoebe Lin, a harpist from Belmont, and the artist Olasubomi Aka-Bashorun, who created an oil painting while we watched during cocktails and dinner, presenting it as ready for the live auction!

 

Not to mention our own “house band” with Board member Kelley Jeanne Colopietro and her music partner Chase Kalina, who rocked us out the door for the finale.

 

Cora Newcomb showed up with custom made event posters and color-coordinated balloons.  Lisa Link spent time away from her table helping with photos along with Rachel Lombardi, a free-lance photographer with the Diocese.

 

The cocktail hour included time out on the veranda, which was adjacent to all the silent auction items, led by our vendor Chris Piciacchia.  We had the good fortune of a beautiful early fall evening with delicious food and wine service.

 

Representatives from St. Cecilia, Fr. Ryan and Pope John Paul II were good sports in our program as they each answered questions about their schools and got to do some well-earned bragging on new activities and their students’ progress.  A three-way tie was declared in this brief “game show” and each received a blank check – which led right into the live auction led by Thomas Maddingly.

 

Thanks to the Donahue family for their donation of TWO Utah resort stays and to the Casa Santa family for TWO Grotto dinners. Also, “Prayers and Pizza with the Sisters” (donated by Coco’s and St. Cecilia Motherhouse) was popular.

 

This generosity from donors and buyers helped us all achieve more funds for the schools, and we will soon have an accounting to be able to write into those blank checks.

 

Special thanks to our members who worked to greet guests at registration:

Danielle Robinson (and Emma Grace); Sharon Alderman, Karoline Mahoney.

To Patricia M. Smith for her St. Matthew’s table and her staffing of the slide shows.   

 

More details on sponsors and donors are in the program booklet which was produced by the patient and kind Marion Towles-Lopez of Anderson Printing.

 

Before we meet again on November 15 at Coco’s Italian Market, the event chairs and board members will make a summary of total fundraising including the two shopping events that were held this past summer.

 

I also hope that we can create more awareness of our League with new members and more ways to help our Catholic community in the coming months.

 

Thanks to all who bid or bought or toted and carried.

 

September 2023

 

We all know the saying "Time flies when you’re having fun" but is it really September?

 

Our recent meetings and activities have included excellent speakers and time to connect over some very good food including the refreshments at our mini fundraisers. 

 

Our spiritual advising "bench" each add to dinner gatherings. Thanks to Fr. John Sims Baker and Sr. Mary Peter Muelenkamp.  

 

I intend to update our list of member businesses and make them prominent through the League's publicity efforts. You can review our existing, short list and use the form here to identify your business. And yes, we have new members who need to feel welcomed and supported. 

 

When we meet on September 20th we'll also be finalizing details an sponsorships for Pearls of Wisdom on Friday, October 6th. Now is the time to be on a creative scavenger hunt to maximize the donations at this fun event. And, please don’t forget to register.

 

Our Diocesan leadership and the three high schools plan to attend and support this evening for girls' Catholic education.

 

As always, thanks to all who are already updating their own memberships, finding auction items, volunteering time and attending meetings.

 

Please contact our event co-chairs Lauren and Courtney this month to share your treasures and talents: Lauren.Barca@gmail.com and Conklinrealestate@yahoo.com.

 

"See You in September".

August 2023

 

The long hot summer (also, a great movie) will be remembered especially in January when heating costs replace air conditioning bills. And unlike “up north” where I came from, the return to school is now upon us.

  

To remind us of the value of a Catholic school education, our July meeting included Shana Druffner, principal of the new St. Michael Academy in Nolensville. She is energizing and inspiring and there are more specifics about her presentation on this website.

 

I am reaching out to each development director and principal of our current high schools (Pope Prep, Fr. Ryan, and St. Cecilia) to get updated information on our scholars and to advise them on our efforts to increase the Aurelia Varallo Mariani scholarship fund.

 

As always, I need help in contacting parishes for their participation in our events.

 

I look forward to our next board meeting on August 4 in which we will firm up our event materials and preparations with Lauren Barca and Courtney Conklin assemble the October 6 Pearls of Wisdom evening event at Richland Country Club.

 

To volunteer your own treasure and time contact:

lauren.barca@gmail.com

conklinrealestate@@yahoo.com

If you have other business to add to our agenda, contact me directly.

 

On Wednesday, August 23, 5-7 p.m., Kendra Scott Jewelry in the Hill Center of Green Hills, invites our members and their friends and family to shop and support our League.  Something to add to our cocktail attire in October?

 

Special thanks to members Darcy Bomer and daughter Devri for hosting members and friends on the afternoon of July 30 to share their Cute and Comfy Shoes & Apparel (tax free) profits with us!

 

Please join us on August 16 when we host Tasha Kennard of Thistle Farms back at Coco’s Italian Market Patio-she will bringing items for purchase from the hard-working talented hands of the residents there.

 

Meantime, stay cool and RSVP!

 

July 2023

 

 

Summertime!  What are your favorite memories and what are your current plans to make more?

 

My dad was born on the 4th of July so that meant that there would always be red (strawberries),

white (cake and icing) and blue (blueberries) for dessert. 

Such a blessing to have parents who enjoyed their children and made the most of “time off” from school.

 

Our June meeting was fully attended by guests and members who heard about the work of Nurture the

Next, reminding us of how hard the work of parenting can be for families with little or no support.  

 

Thanks to all who brought diapers, baby clothes and other items to the meeting. Melanie Scott talked about

how the home visitors use positive reinforcement to what parents are already doing well.

 

Our League routinely includes a link on our website to encourage direct donations for the non-profits represented by our speakers.  So, if you didn’t get to attend, visit their link.

 

At our next gathering on July 19, Shana Druffner the first principal of St. Michael Academy will introduce herself and her own journey as an educator and leader. Shana knows about our League’s fund-raising efforts and that St. Michael already has some “seed money” set aside from our Pearls of Wisdom efforts.

 

Lauren Barca and Courtney Conklin are steadily working to assemble the October 6 Pearls of Wisdom evening event at Richland Country Club.

To volunteer your own treasure and time contact:

lauren.barca@gmail.com or ellece@yahoo.com.

 

In the meantime, we have two other fundraising opportunities this summer in which a percentage of sales will go to our League:

  • Sunday, July 30 1pm-4pm Cute and Comfy Shoes and Apparel (thanks to owner and member Darcy Bomer).

  • Wednesday, August 23 5-7pm Kendra Scott Jewelry (thanks to Courtney and Lauren’s outreach).

Light refreshments will be offered at each event and freely invite friends and family to shop and support our League.

 

Thanks again for recent membership renewals, timely meeting RSVP’S and for taking a “pledge” at the last meeting to contact your own parishes to promote NCBWL.

 

Here is a handout for your own use as a current member.

 

June 2023

By now, graduations have taken place with much to celebrate in our own families and for those we

support and applaud.

 

Our League congratulated and sent cards to our senior scholars:

  • Mia Picchietti, Pope John Paul II High School

  • Naomi Mejia, St. Cecilia Academy

Wishing them well as they take their next educational steps. In speaking to representatives at both schools,

I heard a lot of enthusiastic comments about both graduates. 

 

Our May meeting is detailed in the minutes (see Member Portal) and was a rousing success supporting Habitat for Humanity’s upcoming Women’s Build this month in Lebanon, TN.

 

On June 21, we will hear from Melanie Scott from Nurture the Next, a local maternal/infant program with a mission “to see all children in Tennessee thriving in safe, stable and nurturing families and communities.” A tall order, but with success stories to share. Please bring diapers and/or new infant/toddler items. We would like to “shower” this program.

 

On July 19, we host Shana Druffner, J.D., M.S., the first principal of St. Michael Academy (which will eventually be our fourth Catholic High School for scholarship support). She will give us a wish list of most needed teacher supplies.

 

We continue to meet at Coco’s Italian Market on 51st/Charlotte Ave., a Catholic-owned family business with friendly service and wonderful food.

 

Lauren Barca and Courtney Conklin will be recruiting a “squad” to help them with the October 6 Pearls of Wisdom evening event at Richland Country Club. Summer is upon us with travel and time off, but I am already reaching out to potential table and program sponsors.

 

A successful fundraiser with lots of attendees offers us great fun and the funding needed to keep up the good work of cheering on more graduates!

 

Thanks again to all who have responded in a timely manner to membership renewals and meeting RSVP’S and especially to those who bring a friend!

 

Also, if your business or parish event needs a boost, please send brief announcements to Communications Chair Patricia M. Smith patriciam@hervoiceworks.com. Patricia will also coordinate with Kelley Colopietro for social media messages.

May 2023

 

There is so much to be grateful for as Spring and Summer begs us to get outside and BREATHE. May is Mary’s month and always reminds me of the garden flowers we added to our church and school altars. I imagined that she could smell the lilacs and see our dresses!

I am humbled by your votes of confidence as I try to follow in the footsteps of Lynne and our past presidents. The new board is enthusiastic about the planning that comes with leadership.

 

Thanks to Sandra, Karoline, Trish, Patricia, Kelley, Mary, Connie, Ellen, Courtney, Lauren, Tricia, Jennie, and Carol Ann for meeting on May 4th at our first board meeting.

 

Every new board welcomes members’ suggestions and offers of help; we are generally rookies in our positions so the more the better.  Please send your suggestions to claudiaweber1946@gmail.com.

 

We will keep our 3rd Wednesday meeting schedule but can investigate other venues, especially if we keep growing!

 

There is much to plan and do during the next two years and on May 17, we will hear from Habitat for Humanity and the leaders of the Women’s Build planned for June in Mt. Juliet. 

  

We will continue to hold most meetings at Coco’s Italian Market on 51st/Charlotte. On June 21, we will hear from Nurture the Next, a maternal/infant program that needs support and attention. In July we have the honor of hearing from Shana Druffner, principal of St. Michael's Academy in Nolensville. You can read more about the new school here.

 

Overall, we will point toward our annual Aurelia Varallo Mariani Memorial Scholarship fundraiser to promote Catholic high school education for girls.

 

The Pearls of Wisdom evening event will be October 6 at the Richland Country Club and it’s never too early to seek more donors and sponsors. Our goal of supporting Catholic education is commendable and we will advertise our events in the Tennessee Register.

 

Expanding membership, especially in parishes that do not have a NCBWL member, is an ongoing goal. I intend to help our new membership chair in identifying parishes with low or no membership.

 

Our improved website including PayPal for fees and donations will make the Treasurer and Membership jobs smoother and eventually paperless.

Thanks to all who have responded to membership renewals and meeting RSVPs.

Our April meeting had a terrific attendance - let’s keep it UP!

 

Respectfully,

Claudia Weber

NCBWL President 2023

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