Women of the Diocese of Allentown are invited to join a dynamic women’s group that has provided significant support to many ministries in the Diocese.
In the spirit of St. Catharine of Siena, the Catholic Women’s Society of Giving inspires women throughout our Diocese to gather in faith and generosity on behalf of children, families, and individuals in Berks, Carbon, Lehigh, Northampton, and Schuylkill counties.
The members are working to expand their membership as they begin their fourth year of service.
An annual membership contribution of $250 is put into a combined Charitable Funds Account to be distributed to chosen nonprofit ministries. Society members then invite grant applications from local nonprofit ministries, and direct their funds to projects and programs that serve those entrusted to our care within the Diocese of Allentown.
“To date, society members have provided tens of thousands of dollars in grants which have supported children and families, those in need of housing and food, literacy, and education, and many other projects that seek to enhance the dignity of each life in our community,” said Bishop Alfred Schlert in a letter inviting women to join.
“We have seen such a diverse need throughout the five counties of our Diocese, and therefore we try to ensure that each county gets represented in the grant awards,” said member Millie Scarbinsky, a parishioner of St. Clare of Assisi, St. Clair.
“What is unique about us is that the members themselves listen to the applicants describe their needs and then vote on those applications. The results of the vote determine the amount allotted to the applicants.”
The society has awarded $39,000 in grants since it began in 2019.
Among the most recent grants were: St. Benedict’s Conference St. Vincent de Paul Society in Berks County; Notre Dame Club of the Lehigh Valley; Grandmas Helping Grandmas in Northampton County; and St. Joseph Center for Special Learning in Schuylkill County.
“Society members also gather for prayer, reflection, and fellowship throughout the year, knowing that works of mercy, both corporal and spiritual, find their proper inspiration in God,” said Bishop Schlert.
An additional benefit of membership includes admission to all events sponsored by the Women’s Commission, including the Fall Women’s Conference.
“Do I believe in this organization? Most definitely,” said Scarbinsky. “Our Bishop has given us this opportunity to be a vital part of our diocesan efforts to ‘Be Christ to others’ and to continue Christ’s work of loving and healing on this earth. We hope to grow this organization so that more women can experience the joy of being Christ to others.”
For more information about becoming a member, contact Ginny Downey at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-871-5200 ext. 2244, or go to www.allentowndiocese.org/womensgiving.
Photo: Diane Harpster of the Catholic Women’s Society of Giving presents a grant to Mary Williams for Grandma’s Helping Grandmas.