The National Council of Catholic Women publishes 100 Year History

For Immediate Release

Washington, DC, August 24, 2020 — The National Council of Catholic Women publishes 100 Year History

In 1920, there were more than 5,000 Catholic women’s organizations nationwide—organizations that would eventually become the first NCCW affiliates. The purpose, as described by the US Catholic bishops at its founding, was to give Catholic women a common voice and an instrument for united action—not to replace the work of any existing woman’s group but rather to stimulate their growth and unify them.

And so, in the same year American women earned the right to vote, the National Council of Catholic Women was born when nearly 200 Catholic women from around the country assembled on March 4, 1920 in Washington, DC, to unite and fortify their efforts in service to God and the Church! The NCCW mission is to support, empower, and educate all Catholic women in spirituality, leadership and service.

Did you know:

  • The first meeting on March 4th, 1920, was held at the National Catholic Community House in Washington, DC, with 126 voting delegates representing 13 of the 14 Catholic Ecclesiastical Provinces
  • On May 7, 1921, the Board of Directors approved the creation of the National Catholic Service School for Women that held its first classes in November, 1921. Today, the National Catholic School of Social Services is housed at the Catholic University of America
  • Mother Teresa’s first trip outside of India was to speak at the 1960 NCCW Convention in Las Vegas!
  • The NCCW Executive Secretary was present at the signing of the Equal Pay Act by President John F. Kennedy in 1963

Discover all this and more in a fascinating historical retrospective and stunning coffee table book!

“The research for this book has been a three-year journey. It has taken me through documents so fragile touching them could possibly destroy them, hundreds of photographs, magazine articles, bylaws, historical documents, and many conversations,” says author Andrea Cecilli, Executive Director of the National Council of Catholic Women.

To purchase a copy of the centennial history book, visit the online store at If you would like to interview Jean Kelly, the President of NCCW or Andrea Cecilli, Executive Director, please contact Laraine Bennett at 703.224.0990 or email

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