COLUMBIA — The annual South Carolina Council of Catholic Women will hold their 69th annual convention at the Embassy Suites in Columbia March 19-21.
In addition to numerous workshops and speakers, the evening banquets at the event will feature a dedication to all past presidents, and the Catholic Women of the Year, as well as Women Religious of the Year.
The Woman Religious Award, started in 1995, is presented annually to a nun who has made a significant contribution to the Catholic Church in South Carolina. All nominees must be presently serving in the diocese.
The Catholic Woman of the Year Award will be presented to a woman who is active in her parish organization. Nominees will be judged on their outstanding work over the past five years.
Nominees for SCCCW Catholic Woman of the Year
Cecilia M. Velte
he was born in Charleston, the daughter of John Joseph and Herta Madden. She is married to Henry Ernest Velte Jr., and they have three sons.
Velte is a graduate of Bishop England High School and St. Joseph’s School of Nursing in Savannah, Ga.
She is a member of the Blessed Sacrament Women’s Guild, is a past president of the group, and at present is chairman of the Church Commission. She has also been chair of the Family and Community Commission.
As Church Affairs Commission chair, Velte has prepared days of recollection at Mepkin Abbey and at the Our Lady of Mercy Motherhouse on James Island. She coordinates the fifth Sunday benevolent collections for the Women’s Guild, and she has helped with the Angel Tree Project, which distributes toys to needy families.
Velte has also helped in collecting goods for community projects such as the OLM Outreach Center and deanery collections for their individual projects.
She is an extraordinary minister of the Eucharist and schedules eucharistic ministers for Masses at her parish. She often fills in when other ministers cannot make their appointed times. Velte also brings Communion on a regular basis to shut-ins and the hospitals.
Velte is a charter member of the Blessed Sacrament Perpetual Adoration Group, and serves one hour a week in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.
She coordinated the parish’s Ecumenical Lenten Service in 1998. She is also a member of the Autistic Society and has served as the group’s treasurer. Velte has served food at the Crisis Ministry for the last 15 years.
She has served on the diocesan board as Organizational and Church Affairs Commission chairman, and at present she is the province representative. Velte is past president of the Charleston Deanery.
She was an adult advisor for the Catholic Youth Organization for 20 years and has served on the deanery and diocesan boards.
Velte is employed at the Charleston County Substance Abuse Center.
haney is a member of St. Jude’s Guild in Sumter. She is a widow who has raised one daughter and five sons as a single mother. She also has nine grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Chaney began her faith journey at an A.M.E. church. However, members did not want her to bring her children, so she began attending a Catholic parish. She credits her membership in the Legion of Mary as a real bridge to her faith.
A devout person, Chaney attends daily Mass, novenas, and an Eternal Life Prayer Group.
She is active in Cursillo, attending Ultreya meetings. She also attends Life in the Spirit seminars around the state, and through this has become a member of SHARE (Sacred Heart Association for Renewal and Evangelization) and has served as president of her affiliate.
Chaney is a member of the Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary where she currently serves as a Lady of Prayer (chaplain) and has served as treasurer and as a representative to Church Women United.
At St. Jude, Chaney is a eucharistic minister, usher and office volunteer. She volunteers to visit the sick, takes Communion each week to homebound members, helps with crafts for the church bazaars, and cleans the church.
Chaney was the cook for St. Jude’s Elementary School, providing breakfasts and lunches.
When asked where her inspiration comes from, she says, “The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear?”
arable was born in Bryn Mawr, Pa. She moved to Spartanburg in 1967. She is an active member of St. Paul the Apostle and is married to Bill Marable. They have two sons.
She worked for the state of South Carolina as secretary to the Spartanburg County Assessor’s Office and is now retired.
Marable has served on the parish council, including one year as president. She has also worked with the RCIA and Confraternity for Christian Doctrine and is active in the Lamb of God Prayer Group.
Marable is involved with St. Paul’s Women’s Club in many capacities — president, parliamentarian, and chairperson of the International and Church Affairs Commission.
Also, she has chaired fund-raisers and rummage sales. She is active in the Greenville Deanery and Diocesan Council of Catholic Women.
She is also a eucharistic minister at St. Paul. Marable also helps cook and serve lunches once a month to the Young at Heart.
She has been a board member of Fights Against Cancer Today, an agency that helps cancer patients with supplies, counseling, money and food supplements.
Marable was a past president of her neighborhood condo association. She volunteers at the library gift shop and Spartanburg Soup Kitchen. She serves as Spartanburg County Republican Women’s treasurer, works at the polls on election day, and is a block chairman for the American Cancer Society and the March of Dimes.
Ann Marie Keller
eller was born in Buffalo, N.Y. She is married to Andy Keller and has seven sons, four daughters and 19 grandchildren. Her faith is a source of strength, and she attends daily Mass.
Keller is a eucharistic minister and takes Communion to the homebound and those in the hospital.
A member of St. Michael’s Church in Garden City, she provides transportation for parishioners to medical appointments, even to Charleston, and to parish and community activities. She provides food and gifts for the yearly Christmas program.
She is a member of the secular Franciscan Order, which raises funds to be given to the poor. The Kellers adopted a seminarian and provide monthly support. She has a special devotion to the Blessed Mother and prays the rosary daily.
Keller has made pilgrimages to Mexico City, Fatima, Lourdes and Medjugorje. She participates in parish seminars and retreats.
She volunteers and supports the AIDS Ministry and participates in AIDS walks to raise funds. She serves the unborn and their mothers, the handicapped, the sick and the elderly. Keller is also a founding member of Grand Strand Citizens for Life.