SCCCW honors women of the year

Cherrin Moore of Georgetown shows her love for God every day by helping people. Sts. Cyril and Methodius Sister Canice Adams’ years of working in Catholic education are a testament to her faith.

Both women were honored for their their strong Catholic witness at the annual conference of the S.C. Conference of Catholic Women, held March 11-13 in Myrtle Beach.

Moore, a member of St. Mary Our Lady of Ransom Church in Georgetown, was named the 2011 SCCCW Catholic Woman of the Year.

She is a Georgetown native and was originally a Baptist before converting in 1973 after marrying her husband Henry. The couple has four grown children and several grandchildren.

Moore said Catholicism took on a special role in her life after a childhood accident. At the age of five, she was riding in the back seat of a car in Georgetown when an unlocked door opened and she accidentally rolled out. At the time, Dominican nuns were serving at the now-closed St. Mary School, and the first person Moore saw was a nun who picked her up to check if she was hurt.

“I remember looking up and seeing this angel in a white outfit with a beautiful cross and these beads which I didn’t know at the time was a rosary,” Moore said. “She asked my name and said she would be praying for me … after that I was searching for something and never found the right fit, never found a niche until I came into the Catholic Church.”

She has a devotion to Mary and feels a connection because her birthday is Dec. 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception.

Moore fills her days with caring for others. She offers rides to elderly neighbors, and volunteers at Birthright in Georgetown. She is the wedding director at St. Mary, a member of the women’s club, altar society and bereavement committee, and takes communion to the sick and elderly.

In 2002, Moore worked with Frances Howard on a book commemorating the parish’s 100th anniversary, and she leads a prayer shawl ministry with six other women.

This busy woman has also been active on the Council of Catholic Women at the regional and district level.

“I feel God had a plan for me before I ever knew Him or anyone else knew me,” Moore said. “I want the people who helped me to get this award to know that without their encouragement I couldn’t have done it. I am who I am because of the gifts my heavenly Father gave me. He placed me every day where He wanted me to be.”

Sister Canice won the Religious Woman of the Year Award for her work in Catholic schools across the diocese.

She currently serves as a diocesan interim superintendent of schools, supervising Catholic elementary schools and day care programs around the state, and principal of St. Gregory the Great School in Bluffton.

Jacqualine Kasprowski, principal of Cardinal Newman School in Columbia, works with her as interim superintendent for secondary schools.

Sister Canice is a native of Charleston who was taught by sisters at Sacred Heart School and Bishop England High School, and pursued her own vocation by joining the Sisters of Sts. Cyril and Methodius in Danville, Pa., after high school.

She taught at schools in Pennsylvania and in South Carolina before leaving the convent in the early 1970s to help her parents deal with health issues.

During those years, she earned advanced degrees in education from the University of South Carolina in Columbia, taught at USC-Beaufort and was an administrator at Heathwood Hall in Columbia. She was also the principal of St. John Neumann School for 11 years.

Sister Canice became diocesan superintendent of schools in 2001, but soon felt the call to return to religious life and re-entered her order.

She has won awards for her work as an educator from the University of Notre Dame and the Knights of Columbus. In 2007, she received the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Medal from Pope Benedict XVI.

“The Council of Catholic Women is respected nationally for the many ways its members support the life of the church, along with praying and educating their members about current issues,” Sister Canice said. “I’m honored to be chosen by our state council for this award.”