CALLING ALL WOMEN: YOU ARE A WOMAN OF SAINT MICHAEL!
By Zoe Hart, WOSM President and Amanda Harris, WOSM Assistant for Communications
Who exactly are the Women of Saint Michael and what do you have to do to join? It could not be simpler: all women who are members of our parish are automatically members of the Women of Saint Michael (WOSM).
Our purpose is to “be the extension of Christ’s Kingdom by uniting the women of the parish in a program of worship, study, service, and fellowship and leading them into the service for the Church, in the parish, the community, the diocese, the nation, and the world.” There is no form to complete, box to check or button to push. Membership is indeed automatic.
Since 1945, the WOSM have had organized activities that included, in the early days, publishing cookbooks, planning home tours, producing musical performances, and holding Christmas bazaars. Today's robust programming offers luncheon and evening speakers addressing a wide range of timely topics and representatives of nonprofit agencies speaking about their important work in the community, along with parish-wide programs, the Parish or Mardi Gras Party, and numerous volunteer opportunities within the church and Dallas community. Harkening back to an earlier tradition of putting on a musical revue, this past April the WOSM sponsored the 75th Anniversary event featuring the original musical titled “Michael, A Musical!”, whose inspiration was gleaned from various popular musicals.
ST. MARY'S GUILD
Additionally, St. Mary’s Guild falls under the umbrella of the WOSM and provides fabulous volunteer opportunities. Members of St. Mary’s Guild provide home-baked goodies and/or staff the guild's bake sale table in the South Entrance, ordinarily on Sunday mornings from late August through May, with proceeds going to local charities. If you are interested in volunteering for St. Mary’s Guild, contact Anne Rushing at [email protected].
Another enduring institution of the WOSM is the St. Michael's Woman’s Exchange (SMWE) which began life in Highland Park Village in 1939 as a consignment shop called the “Woman’s Exchange.” Originally, the store served as a source of income for consignors, for whom jobs were scarce. Several years later, the Junior League of Dallas purchased the store to be a fundraising project. By 1958, the Women of Saint Michael bought the store from The Junior League for $1,500 to create the St. Michael’s Woman’s Exchange we all enjoy today. Our store has occupied #5 Highland Park Village for over six decades and is an institution in the shopping center. On the surface, the “Exchange” looks like other chic gift shops. But it is far more than that. Our store is run by volunteers and is a true community effort! If you are interested in volunteering for the St. Michael’s Woman’s Exchange, please visit their website at smwexchange.com.
GIFTS COMMITTEE & PHILANTHROPY
Every year, the WOSM Gifts Committee makes grants to nonprofit agencies with funds generated from sales at the Exchange, from fundraising activities such as the Parish Party, and from generous individual donations. Since 1958, the WOSM have distributed over $11 million to more than 200 different agencies, reviewing some 70+ grant applications each year. WOSM grants focus on supporting crisis needs and addressing financial stability for those living in poverty in Dallas County and beyond. The Gifts Committee uses the criteria outlined in the book of Matthew 25:35–36: “For I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me. I was naked and you clothed me. I was sick and you visited me. I was in prison and you came to me.”
In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets. — Matthew 7:12
We look forward to another wonderful year together (in person!) guided by this year’s theme of Bridging the Divide and Bible verse: Matthew 7:12 “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.”
Information about all our activities can be found on our web page, saintmichael.org/women. Come as you are and please join the kind, conscientious, riotously funny, and welcoming Women of Saint Michael!
**This article was featured in the 2022 Fall Archangel.