Although you may have heard of the Council of Catholic Women (CCW), you may not be aware that they are behind some of St. Mary Mokena’s most time-honored traditions. The Mother’s Day carnation sale, the sale of Oktoberfest tickets, and Festa Italiana are all either managed or heavily supported by the CCW.
At the helm of the CCW ship for the past two years has been Martha Fahey, who was recently named the St. Mary CCW “Woman of the Year.” Fahey has been a St. Mary parishioner for 21 years and has dedicated countless hours to various acts of charity and service.
“I feel very humbled to be named Woman of the Year,” said Fahey. “It’s rewarding to know I’ve helped make a difference over my time at St. Mary.”
Fahey, a former elementary school teacher, said her educational background helped her lead the CCW for her two-year term as president. Over her tenure, she has championed various initiatives that help the poor, sick, and suffering members of the parish community and beyond.
“Martha is a conscientious and faith-filled woman,” said Andrea Jensen, former president of the St. Mary CCW. “As president, Martha has exhibited fairness and is open to the Board as well as our membership’s input in the decision making of parish and diocesan ministries and events.”
Knitting Prayer Shawls
One of Fahey’s passions is knitting, a skill which she puts to good use in the Prayer Shawl Ministry at St. Mary. Volunteers like Fahey either knit or crochet prayer shawls that are sent to sick or suffering parishioners or community members as a means of comfort and support. Since its formation, the group has knitted more than 1,000 prayer shawls.
Cooking for Daybreak
Throughout the years, Fahey has actively supported the Daybreak Shelter in Joliet, which provides emergency support to those facing homelessness. She has served both as a main cook and in supportive positions at the shelter.
“Boxes of Joy”
Last Christmas, Fahey spearheaded the “Box of Joy” Ministry at St. Mary, which aims to send boxes of toys, clothing, school supplies, and religious items to impoverished children in developing countries. Under her leadership, the CCW collected 44 boxes filled with gifts and paid for the postage needed to mail them.
Most recently, Fahey has made more than 100 fabric bands for face masks that are being sent to local hospitals and fire departments during the Covid 19 crisis. “I’m so happy I can contribute to the coronavirus relief effort and provide some reassurance during this awful pandemic,” she said.
Although her term as CCW president is ending, Fahey doesn’t plan to leave the scene completely. “I look forward to returning to CCW meetings, church, and seeing friends,” she said.
“Once I turn over the torch to the next president of CCW, I will remain on the Board for two years as a non-voting member to assist the next leaders.”
St. Mary Parish thanks you for your dedicated service, Martha.