About Us

Speaking with one voice.

|About Us
About Us2018-10-01T15:41:32+00:00
ACCW Los Angeles Members

SPEAKING WITH ONE VOICE

About Us

Meeting with Archbishop Gómez – 2017

After seven years and four presidencies  of trying to get a meeting with our new Archbishop Jose Gomez we were finally successful in 2018 when Connie Perales was our President. We wanted to know how Archbishop Gomez saw the value or role of ACCW within the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and what programs or actions he would like us to initiate or participate in with other departments.

The first response to our request for a meeting with the Archbishop was that we were to meet with Sr. Mary Elizabeth Galt, Chancellor/Director of Pastoral Services.

Connie Perales, exceptionally skilled in leadership and diplomacy, invited three other past presidents, (Ilegra Evans, Marilyn Mathers, Loretta Tyson) to be involved in and attend this meeting.  Connie assigned Marilyn Mathers (one of the past presidents and current Communications/Media/Web Site Chair) to research and put together as much background information on ACCW as she could find. This turned out to be a sort of “where are we coming from – where are we at – where would we like to be going”. CLICK HERE TO READ THE REPORT “CONNECT SO YOUR VOICE MAY BE HEARD”.

The meeting with Sr. Mary Elizabeth Galt was very successful and rewarding.  She was generous with her time listening intently to each of us and our experiences and concerns in our areas of expertise.  Sister concluded that we should meet with the Archbishop and put into process for a date to be set.

The date for the meeting arrived and Connie Perales, the three past presidents and our Spiritual Advisor, Msg. James Gehl were at the Catholic Center in the Archbishop’s conference room.  Archbishop Gomez entered the room and immediately won our hearts.  He is so charismatic, pastoral and the twinkle in his eye tells you fun.  The meeting began with Connie giving a report that totally spelled out ACCW’s structure, functions and mission CLICK HERE TO READ THE REPORT.

She then called on Marilyn Mathers to chronicle ACCW’s history CLICK HERE TO READ THE REPORT. The Archbishop told us how he grew up in a family of four sisters and he was the only boy. This gives him a special sensitivity to women’s needs, concerns, skills and gifts.  Msgr. Gehl then brought up our place within the Archdiocese and how best the Archbishop could help us.  He suggested a letter go out to all pastors introducing them to ACCW and how we could function and assist their parishes.

The Archbishop then discussed where we could be most helpful suggesting we work closely with the Department of Family Life and said he would write a letter for us and send it to all Parishes and Departments.( READ ARCHBISHOP’S LETTER HERE). The meeting concluded, after more than an hour, with the Archbishop approaching each of us individually with a warm goodbye.

JULY 2017 – JUNE 2019

Executive Officers

  • Linda Freundlich, President
    St. Matthew, Long Beach
  • Maria Aguilar, First Vice President
    St. Anthony, El Segundo
  • Carol Westlake, Second Vice President
    St. Kateri, Saugus
  • Ruth Queija, Third Vice President
    Sacred Heart, Covina
  • Mary Lou Barnes, Secretary
    Holy Redeemer, Montrose
  • Louversa Dorsey, Treasurer
    St. Eugene, Los Angeles
  • Connie Perales, Past President
    Holy Family, Artesia
  • Ilegra Evans, Parliamentarian
    Ascension Parish, Los Angeles

JULY 2017 – JUNE 2019

District Officers and Spiritual Advisors

Districts 1 & 2

Districts 3 & 4

  • Rosa Palazuelos, President
    Santa Clara, Oxnard
  • Rev. Lucio Juarez, Spiritual Advisor
    San Raphael, Santa Barbara

District 5

  • Sandy Recla, President
    Our Lady of Grace Parish, Encino
  • Rev. Ramon G. Valera, Spiritual Advisor
    Cristo Rey Parish, Los Angeles

Districts 6 & 7

  • Marie Urrutia, President
    Incarnation Parish, Glendale
  • Rev. Norman Supancheck, Spiritual Advisor
    St. Didacus Parish, Sylmar

District 8

  • Carol Westlake, President
    St. Kateri, Saugus

Districts 9 & 10

District 11

  • Kathy Prouty, President
    Sacred Heart Parish, Covina
  • Rev. Brian Cavanagh, Spiritual Advisor
    Sacred Heart Parish, Covina

District 12

  • Patricia Lasko, President
    St. Denis Parish, Diamond Bar
  • Rev. Matthew Cumberland, Spiritual Advisor
    St. Joseph Parish, La Puente

District 13

District 14

  • Cherry Montenegro, President
    Precious Blood, Los Angeles
  • Rev. John Brannigan, Spiritual Advisor
    St. Columban Parish, Los Angeles

Districts 15 & 16

  • Gertie Moncrief, President
    St. Eugene Parish, Los Angeles

Districts 17 & 20

  • Alice Avery, President
    St Albert the Great Parish, Los Angeles
  • Rev. George Reynolds, Spiritual Advisor
    St. Barnabas Parish, Long Beach

District 18

  • Maria Aguilar, President
    St. Anthony Parish, El Segundo
  • Rev. John Cordero MMHC, Spiritual Advisor
    Holy Family Parish Parish, Artesia

District 19

  • Gen Gorciak, Contact Person
    St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Gardena

History of our Website

MARILYN MATHERS, serving as Communications’ Chair, presented the Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women’s Board of Directors with the concept of having an ACCW Web Site. Having nothing but an idea and enthusiasm, she was confident that if we prayed and it was God’s will, it would come into being. We were pleased with all we were able to accomplish using the Internet and now nearly a decade later, again after much prayer, we have three Web Sites which we are updating and improving.

Mary Pat May was the Executive President at the early talking stages and beginning inception of the attempt to launch an internet presence. Today she is the Immediate Past President. Mary Pat May’s encouragement and hundred percent backing was an essential element that enabled Marilyn to proceed. Anne-marie Robertson, Ilegra Evans, Nancy Glenn and today Judy Perez are the presidents that followed and were all extremely supportive of our website.

The women who comprise the ACCW Board of Directors deserve a great deal of the credit for bringing this web site about. Even though many of them did not have access to the Internet, they shared the vision of the good that could be accomplished by promoting the Lord’s work using the latest of technology. Their greatest contribution, however, was the confidence they had in the ability of prayer to make something happen and the hundreds of prayers offered up for this Web Site. Today most of our women ‘surf the net’ and use email.

Fernando Uribe, President and Executive Producer of Pluribus Media, was the essential element necessary to bring us online. Connecting with Fernando came about in a seemingly miraculous way. A woman in his parish suggested we contact him. We found him to be a man of strong faith and extremely talented as an artisan and technician. The design and technical implementation of this Web Site are the result of his unique abilities, including his courtesy and patience working with us neophytes to the Internet World.

Reviewing a Bit of Our History

Excerpted from “His Eminence of Los Angeles” Volume II by: Msgr. Francis J. Weber 1997

THE A.C.C.W.

Among the many organizations established in Los Angeles, none was more favored and useful than the Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women which traces its roots back to the 1920s. In an address to a national meeting of the broader National Council of Catholic Women held at Fresno in April,1953, McIntyre praised their work for the Church, noting that “the organization found its reason for being in the free adherence to the fixed principles of life represented in the law of God.

He stressed that members derived their strength from the fact that they were “at one in the acceptance of the truth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

In an article for Confraternity Notes, Anne Heffernan stated that the objectives of the A.C.C.W. were “to carry out specific work entrusted by the Ordinary of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, to cooperate with archdiocesan moderators and directors and to implement approved archdiocesan programs through standing committees.” An annual conference was held each year at which upwards of 1,600 women gathered to hear speakers and address problems and challenges facing the greater Catholic community. The role of the A.C.C.W. was that of “cooperating with” rather than replacing existing structures in the archdiocese.

McIntyre used the A.C.C.W. as a means of linking together other activities and over the years he enlisted their assistance in a host of activities such as the annual crusades for The Tidings, efforts to remove Catholic schools from the tax rolls, opposition to Federal Aid to education that would deny equal benefits to Catholics, the encouragement of Mary’s Hour and the establishing of Mission Circles for the support of the lay missionary program.

Late in 1957, McIntyre suggested to the A.C.C.W. leadership that they launch a monthly newsletter, a project that began the following January with publication of the initial copy of The ACCW Newsletter. In the very first issue, McIntyre asked members to continue their apostolate of providing “a strong bond of spiritual accord that will merit God’s blessing and the protection of our Blessed Lady”. The cardinal appointed a chaplain for the organization and he met personally with him prior to gatherings of the A.C.C.W.’s executive board. Each parish was encouraged to establish a branch so that the network could be activated in moments through a telephone linkup throughout the archdiocese.

Over the years Cardinal McIntyre became increasingly displeased with the policies of the National Council of Catholic Women and, after a long series of negotiations, he encouraged the local A.C.C.W. to withdraw its affiliation. On August 8, 1958, a majority of those on the executive board voted to comply with the cardinal’s advice. The Los Angeles organization had long been a dissentient voice on a number of national issues, including the N.C.C.W.’s views on pre-occupation with the United Nations, UNICEF, SFO and other similar agencies. Especially irritating to McIntyre were statements by the N.C.C.W. on the Bricker Amendment, the promotion of the Freedom Agenda, Radio Free Europe, the Catholic Association for International Peace, the sale of UNICEF anti Christmas cards, endorsement of the Genocide Convention and other issues that were misleading if not erroneous.

In their letter of withdrawal, the ladies protested what they considered a “soft approach on Communism” and N.C.C.W.’S “silence concerning the present grave evils of secularism, materialism and atheistic Communism in our midst.” They also complained about the absence of a strong positive program of Catholic Action, the omission of an alert on discrimination in all articles on Federal Aid to Education, silence about UNESCO’s proposed new treaty known as the Convention Against Discrimination in Education” and other positions that were “artfully maneuvered” through the last national convention with little or no discussion.

Interestingly, the Los Angeles A.C.C.W., not only survived its breakoff from the national organization, but thrived and grew to become one of the leading Catholic organizations in the archdiocese. Local authorities pointed to the A.C.C.W. as an example of how decentralization often strengthens rather than lessens the effectiveness of religious agencies.”

Cardinal Timothy Manning followed Cardinal McIntyre as the head of the Los Angeles Archdiocese and thus became our Episcopal Moderator. In the ensuing years, political changes came about in our country that resulted in Cardinal Manning requesting that the A.C.C.W. Executive Board look into reconnecting with the National Council of Catholic Women. A formal A.C.C.W. committee was formed and they met with the leaders of N.C.C.W. which resulted in the two groups becoming affiliated, and that is the status we enjoy today. Our officers attend their Conventions, Congresses and General meetings and have voting privileges.

Coat of Arms, Archbishop Jose Gomez

Coat of Arms
of Los Angeles’ Archbishop José Gómez

Archbishop Gomez with ACCW Members

Archbishop Gómez and ACCW LA Members