by Mary Jo Jungwirth, past president

When I first joined  DISC organization I only expected to attend an annual conference that would enlighten me about technical issues and purchasing opportunities for my diocese. Little did I know that eight years later I would be a part of an organization that proudly proclaims its Catholic identity through its members’ relationships and their actions.

This past year, our organization was called upon to serve in a way that cannot be taught through break-out sessions, speeches or printed materials. We were touched through the friendships established years ago with the Diocese’s of Biloxi, New Orleans and Houma-Thibidoux. Our collective hearts went out to them in a variety of ways; through offers of direct service, grants, personal phone calls and prayers.

The staff members of those diocesan offices have been long term attendees of the  DISC annual conference and life long friendships have been forged with our current and past members. Though their Churches, schools and homes have been devastated, their spirit of recovery during these past months has been inspirational.

This past year exemplifies the generous spirit of our DISC community with the unexpected donation from an anonymous benefactor who contributed a sizable grant for the continued education and expenses of staff members from those afflicted areas to attend our annual conference.  DISC was able to contribute to each diocese’s restoration efforts. This was made possible through our volume incentive program.

DISC has another opportunity this year to reach out to one of our diocesan members. The Diocese of Raleigh has hired Fr. Joseph Kazibwe Ntuwa as an IT intern. As a guest, Fr. Joseph joined our conference last year in Raleigh. Fr. Joseph was a breath of fresh air and delighted us with his enthusiasm and unfailing support of the conference. I am happy to announce that, through a grant,  DISC will fund some of the costs related to his internship and I look forward to his interaction, collaboration and friendship with our membership. His internship project, The Church in the Information Age: Using IT for furthering God’s mission in Africa, will be posted on the  DISC Website and his reflections on our conference is featured in this newsletter.

I thank  DISC for giving me more than I ever expected eight years ago. Membership collaboration, friendships and the resounding call to demonstrate our Catholic faith.