Glenda McCall, left, receives an honor as Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women’s Woman of Achievement for 2018 from Barbara Francescon. The recognition was part of the April 21 ACCW convention at the Grotto. (Courtesy ACCW)
Glenda McCall, left, receives an honor as Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women’s Woman of Achievement for 2018 from Barbara Francescon. The recognition was part of the April 21 ACCW convention at the Grotto. (Courtesy ACCW)

Archbishop Alexander Sample reminded members of the Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women that the Eucharist is the center of life for Catholics.

The archbishop gave the homily during Mass at the ACCW’s April 21 convention at the Grotto in Northeast Portland. Backed by arrangements of spring flowers as he stood near the altar of the Chapel of Mary, the archbishop explained the importance of Sunday Mass and adoring Jesus in the tabernacle.

Following Mass, Archbishop Sample installed new ACCW officers for a two-year term: Del Keller (president), Virginia Durrin (first vice president), Susie Snider (second vice president), Marcy Marlow (secretary), Suzanne Anker (treasurer) and Charlotte CdeBaca (auditor).

During a luncheon, the organization named Glenda McCall its 2018 Woman of Achievement. Members responded with warm applause.

McCall, married and the mother of four, worked as a registered nurse for 30 years. Most of her career was spent with the Veterans Administration as head nurse in the orthopedic and rehabilitation department. She led formation of a geriatric ward.  Since retiring, she has been doing in-home foot care and donates proceeds to ACCW and The Young Ladies Institute. A natural organizer, she is seen by peers as encouraging. She steps up when a lector or choir leader is needed.

Speakers at the convention explored the theme Be Not Afraid.

Cherie Hadley and Laurie Blarney overcame instability and now work with Catholic Charities as peer support specialists for residents of tiny houses at a village in North Portland. Each expressed gratitude for positive changes in life and for the opportunity to help others. 

In her early teens, Desiree Lapsey had been involved in human trafficking. Now about to be married, she helped the ACCW listeners move past misperceptions about the human trafficking underworld.

Jana Adams represented StandUpGirl.com, which puts technology to work to help women with unplanned pregnancies.  

Vicki Farley, who holds a doctorate of ministry from Seattle University, recently lost her husband. She explained the healing process. Daniel Serres, director of Gethsemani Cemetery and funeral home, discussed the wide variety of services and arrangements.  

Sister Michael Francine Duncan, spiritual director of the ACCW, gave a lively account of her journey to the convent of the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon. After high school, she and a friend took a trip to Europe. She decided to stay and acquired a job in Scotland, advancing and prospering. She also got an education.

Although she made regular visits home to see her family, she remained in the United Kingdom, working for a corporation for 25 years. When the business closed, she decided to move back to Oregon. On a retreat, she met the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon and changed her path.

With strong credentials in counseling and human resources, Sister Michael Francine now has a private counseling practice and is vocation director for her religious community.

Mary Elliott, a longtime dental assistant, has been teaching in health care since 1985. She grew up going through Catholic schools, including now-closed Marycrest in Portland.

She loved bringing help to people in need, even as early as high school, when she took a trip to missions in Mexico. A wife, mother and grandmother, she responded later in her career to dental needs in Honduras. She is currently working with Medical Teams International as manager of the Mobile Dental Clinic in the Portland area.