By PAUL A. BARRA
CHAPIN – Monica O. Szymanski, mother and an active member of the faith community of Our Lady of the Lake, has been elected president of the Columbia Deanery of the South Carolina Council of Catholic Women.
She has served the SCCCW in various capacities since moving with her family to South Carolina in 1976 and was installed as president at the organization’s annual convention in March.
Szymanski has been a member of two parishes in the Diocese of Charleston including Our Lady of the Hills in Columbia and Our Lady of the Lake in Chapin. She has been active in each church as a teacher, an organizer and a ready volunteer. She helped both parish ladies guilds to affiliate with the council of Catholic women. “
Monica has been a great asset to our parish,” said Father Andrew J. Vollkommer, pastor at Our Lady of the Lake. “She is always vivacious and effervescent; she is a generous woman, organized and very successful in all her undertakings.”
Szymanski credits her mother’s influence for her success and for the drive that propels her dedication to her family, her career and her volunteer work. Frances Olkowski Moeller came south with her daughter’s family from New Jersey 21 years ago.
“I can truthfully say that I am involved in church activities as a direct result of the fine example and high standards that my mother … exhibited. My mom still today encourages me and accompanies me to all conventions. She truly is a great person and example of what Catholic moms should be to their family. I hope I can continue to share in her company and advice for many years to come,” Szymanski said.
And according to Father Vollkommer, the new president is also an example of what a Catholic mom should be.
The priest said that Szymanski and the council will be “a perfect match” because she emulates what the Catholic women stand for: “They are blessed to have her.”
Before being elected to the presidency of the Midlands deanery, Monica Szymanski served the South Carolina Council of Catholic Women as parliamentarian, recording secretary, Organizational and Family Commission chair and delegate to the national convention in Kansas City.
She said that she lives by her personal motto: “To live each day trying to touch people with the light of Christ, not merely to exist.”
Based on the testimony of her friends and associates, she is successful in that endeavor also.