NOCCO: Anonymous Times Newsletter - April 2021 Issue

Newsletter Archive

Volume 21 | Issue 04          Web version


Anonymous Times

Published by North Orange County InterGroup Association of Alcoholics Anonymous Groups, Inc.

(714) 773-HELP

 1661 E. Chapman Avenue, Suite 1H

Fullerton, CA 92831 

April 2021 Issue


Step 4

"Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves."

Step 4 requires a clear and frank understanding of one’s self. Through the process of discovering the true nature of personal character, we learn to understand and identify the weaknesses that may have helped contribute to alcoholism. This also leads use to understand personal strengths that may compensate for the weaknesses and focus on those areas that need the most support in order to continue our program of recovery. This step provides a foundation for future steps.

Tradition 4

"Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. a a whole."

With respect to its own affairs, each A.A. group should be responsible to no other authority than its own conscience.  But when its plans concern the welfare of neighboring groups also, those groups ought to be consulted.  And no group, regional committee, or individual should ever take any action that might greatly affect A.A. as a whole without conferring with the trustees of the General Service Board.  On such issues our common welfare is paramount.

Concept 4

Throughout our Conference structure, we ought to maintain at all responsible levels a traditional "Right of Participation," taking care that each classification or group of our world servants shall be allowed a voting representation in reasonable proportion to the responsibility that each must discharge.


That Fourth Step: 

It takes guts to look deep inside to see what-makes us behave the way we do.

How many of us realize the importance of that Fourth Step and have made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves? A brief thought, yet containing a lot of meaning for those whose lives have become all tangled up with the ways and works of this hurly-burly world. For information we should consult the highest authority on the subject. It's too bad, but most of us are not the is highest authority" when it comes to analyzing our own motives and emotions. We rationalize too much; we are too easy with ourselves. It takes guts to look deep inside to see what-makes us behave the way we do. But, if we are going to take a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves we've got to be resolute.

Isn't it true that most of us live our whole lives without ever becoming really acquainted with ourselves? To get a steady and well-balanced perspective we should withdraw from the world occasionally; we should retire to a place of our own, to ruminate, and find ourselves in "the majesty of silence."

We cannot learn from others what our consciousness alone can tell us. Inner peace and serenity can never be achieved without a periodic withdrawal from this noisy world into the silent places of the spirit. Man is not an animal. We are gifted with qualities of mind and soul which are too long neglected. Let us then bring these submerged qualities to the surface by practicing the Fourth Step of Alcoholics Anonymous.

However, we must be careful that our meditating doesn't deteriorate into wishful daydreaming, or self-reflection alone. The man with a "mirror mind" who can see only himself no matter which way he turns is too wrapped up in himself to get any real value out of a period of self-searching. Meditation should be a means of getting out of ourselves, to refocus our attention to those aspects of life which are immutable and enduring. Only then can we learn to know ourselves.

"That Fourth Step". 1952.  2 Apr 2021

Another Fragment of History:  Sister Ignatia and Dr. Bob

An Essay by Bill W.


It was December 13, 1953. The occasion was the first anniversary of the opening of Rosary Hall, the newly remodeled alcoholic ward at Cleveland’s famed St. Vincent’s Charity Hospital. It had been a great AA meeting. The small auditorium was crammed with alcoholics and their friends. So was the balcony. One thousand people now rose to their feet, clapping wildly.

The slight figure of a nun in a gray habit reluctantly approached the lectern’s microphone. The uproar redoubled, then suddenly subsided as the little nun commenced to give her thanks. She was embarrassed, too. For had not the program she’d helped write for the occasion definitely stated that “The Sisters of Charity, and the members of Alcoholics Anonymous who have assisted, decline all individual credit.” Sister Ignatia’s attempted anonymity was busted wide open, for no one there wanted to let her get away with it this time. And anyway, she was just about as anonymous in that part of our AA world as baseball’s Cleveland Indians. This was a tribute to her which had been years in the making.

As I sat watching this scene, I vividly remembered Dr. Bob’s struggles to start Akron’s AA Group Number One and what this dear nun and her Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine had done to make that possible. I tried to envision all the vast consequences which have since flowed from their early effort. Seeking hospitalization for his new-found prospects, Dr. Bob, I recalled, had begged one Akron institution after another to take them in. Two hospitals had tried for a time but finally gave up in favor of folks with broken legs, ailing gall bladders, etc–really sick people!

Then in desperation, the good Doctor bethought himself of Sister Ignatia, that shy but beaming nun who handled admissions at St. Thomas Hospital in Akron where he had occasionally operated. In an atmosphere of some secrecy he approached her with his proposal. In nothing flat, he got results. This rare pair immediately bootlegged a shaking alkie into a tiny two bed ward. Because the new customer kicked like a steer at this glaring lack of privacy for his delicate condition, Sister Ignatia moved him to the hospital’s flower room. Here AA’s co-founder Bob and Sister Ignatia ministered to this newcomer, who presently left his bed for the world outside, there to mend his ways and his broken life.

Through Sister Ignatia and Bob, God had wrought a divine conspiracy of medicine, religion and Alcoholics Anonymous which was to bring sobriety within reach of more than 5,000 alcoholics who were to pass through the alcoholic ward of St. Thomas up to the time of Dr. Bob’s death in 1950. But when that first customer was shaking it out in the flower room way back there in 1939, the Trustees of the hospital little guessed that St. Thomas had become the first religious institution ever to open its doors to AA.

Not long before Dr. Bob passed out of our sight and hearing, I was asked to inscribe a plaque which could always be seen on the wall of the alcoholic ward and which would commemorate the great events which there took place.

Two years after Dr. Bob’s death, Sister Ignatia was transferred by the Order to which she belongs to Charity Hospital at Cleveland.

But no account of the activity of church hospitals in this area would be complete without a recital of what happened at Charity Hospital over the years before her arrival there.

Read More

Mary Ignatia Gavin, C.S.A., (January 1, 1889 – April 1, 1966) was an Irish-born American Religious Sister, better known as Sister Ignatia, belonging to the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine, who served as a nurse. In the course of her work she became involved in the care of those suffering from alcoholism, working with Bob Smith, a co-founder of what became Alcoholics Anonymous. In this work she became known as the alcoholic's "Angel of Hope".

Register and Pay Online for April SHOWERS Bingo and 50/50 Tickets


Spiritual Spring Cleaning


A collection featured stories about getting your spiritual house in order

As the weather warms up, you’re throwing open the windows, shaking out the dust, and sweeping out the clutter collected over the winter. You’re also sloughing off your cold weather cocoon and spending more time out and about among others. It’s a good time to renew the commitment to some internal housecleaning, too. Let these stories on the housecleaning steps inspire some spiritual regeneration.

I Need to Be Accountable for My Own Behavior

Wouldn’t it be great if emotional sobriety came with physical sobriety? Sort of package deal, a twofer—If you have one you get the other, no extra work, no sweat. Then I would be free from alcohol and automatically know how to act, how to feel, how to think and how to react in every given situation. I would be filled with insight and maturity. When I came to AA I was so filled with myself there was no room for insight or maturity. I was still an impulsive child banging my fist on my high chair, and challenged by the wonder of being sober and staying sober. Where was emotional sobriety going to fit in? Well, I was going to find out.

Read More

I Was Stark Raving Sober

I took what I hope is to be my last drink on the fifth anniversary of my young wife’s death, in the early morning hours of December 10, 1988. That last drink, from a pitcher of beer that didn’t even belong to me, was immediately followed by my third drunk-driving arrest. Later that same morning, after my release from jail, I was to experience the beginning of a spiritual release of far greater importance. I knew my life was spiraling out of control and I felt absolutely helpless to stop it.

Read More

Wreckage of the Past

I was 12 years old when my parents separated. I lived with my mom for a couple of years but asked to move in with my dad when I was about 14. By this time I was already drinking every chance I could. I hid it and pretended to be "good" around my dad, but when I went out with my friends I really let loose. I couldn’t control it. All I thought about was drinking. How, when, and how much booze could I get were thoughts that consumed me.

Read More

Why I Threw the Pie

FROM the day I attended my first AA meeting I knew that the key to my survival was that I had to change, both attitudes and actions.

My original home group's format was a three-week rotation of Step, Tradition and discussion. Keeping in mind that I needed to change, I started working on the Fourth Step. I wrote my inventory with absolutely no fear; this was going to be an investigation of my behavior that would be used to keep me from repeating my pattern of being just "between drinks."

Read More

Outreach Corner


NOCCO Hotline

(714) 773-HELP (4357)

  1. We are available for calls 24/7.
  2. All calls are confidential.
  3. Phones answered by NOCCO volunteers ready to support those still suffering.
Virtual Newcomer Packet
Read Big Book Online
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In-Person Meetings
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Speaker Meetings
NEW! ASL | Deaf Meetings

How to Help a Friend

Our SoberCHAT platform and the kindness of NOCCO volunteers brings hope, support and a loving ear to anyone reaching out with concerns about alcohol addiction.


I have a friend who is an alcoholic.  We have been friends 5+ years.  I am not an alcoholic.  I attend EV Free.  My wife and I try to help him by giving him odd jobs around the house and let him eat with us fairly often.  He lives out of his vehicle and we let him park in front of our house and sometimes in the driveway.  My wife is tired of this.  He is not trying to get help.  She thinks we are enabling and need to cut off the relationship completely.  I struggle.  I think that all our kindness and Christian witness will be wasted because I know he will be hurt and not forgive us.  He really holds grudges.  So, I would like to get your advices.  Here are a few options I thought of.  I could do one or more of them.  Please give me your thoughts.

  1. Cut off completely like my wife says
  2. Do #1 above but if he starts attending AA, then allow continued contact/support
  3. Go to first meeting with him at Fullerton Free or elsewhere
  4. Other

God Bless,


Dear Steve,

Thank you for reaching out and sharing.  It is a slippery road when trying to help someone suffering with the disease of alcoholism.  Your friend is sick and will need to hit a place where he has no other choice but to get help.  As much as we want to help others, your friend has to be ready and willing to get the help himself or nothing will change.  Our disease is a selfish one.  His resentment toward you for having boundaries will be because he is the only one currently benefitting from you not having any.  Alcoholism is a physical allergy, and obsession of the mind, and a spiritual malady to which only God and intensive work from the inside out can relieve the insanity.  I'm afraid your wife is right.  Enablers are the alcoholics best friend.  He needs to hit a bottom before help will be a necessity for him.  I know this is a hard thing to watch as a Christian and caring friend, but to continue as you are, is actually hurting him more than helping him.  I would suggest looking into an Al-Anon support group for yourself and your wife.  This is an amazing fellowship of people whose lives are being affected by an alcoholic.  I think it is one of the most helpful tools out there and would absolutely recommend attending a meeting.  There is help for your friend, and starting with help for you is a great first step.  The Al-Anon info is below for your reference.  Please feel free to contact me at anytime if your have any further questions.  It will all work out according to God's plan.  I will keep you in my prayers. | 714-748-1113

Best Regards,

Rikki C.

NOCCO Volunteer


NOCAA Women's Banquet 

NEW Date: June 26, 2021

Date:  Saturday, June 26th 2021

Time:  5:30pm to 10:00pm

Place:  Phoenix Club - 1340 S. Sanderson Avenue, Anaheim, CA - Held outside under the Tent.


The North Orange County AA Women's Banquet is back on for 2021.  If you bought tickets or tables for the 2020 Banquet, your tickets will be honored for 2021.  This banquet is completely sold out for 2021.

Should you have any questions, please call:

  • Jennifer P (714) 882-9059
  • Kristin H. (562) 313-1038
  • Cathie R. (714) 310-1562
  • Karen M. (714) 356-0736

Thanks for your patience and we look forward to seeing you again in June!

NOCAA Banquet Committee

Fun Facts for April

04/10/1939:  First 10 copies of the Big Book arrive at the AA office in Newark, NJ.  Cornwall Press printed 4,650 copies.

04/20/1960:  Bill W. refused to be on the cover of Time magazine to preserve AA's anonymity tradition

04/30/1989:  My Name is Bill W. broadcasts on ABC at 9:00 p.m.


April's Featured Books

The Big Book Dictionary and the 12 N 12 Dictionary contain over 2,200 of the most difficult words and terms found in volumes of Alcoholics Anonymous.

  • Topical program words included
  • Contains phonic pronunciations
  • Text reference definitions
  • Page number references

$7.00 each plus tax


Step of the Month


LIKE A LOT of folks, when I first came into AA, I got real busy and worked all Twelve Steps in about six weeks. I was burning with enthusiasm, bursting with energy, and bound for perfect sobriety. So I thought.

A few months later, when I returned to planet Earth, my sponsor told me the facts of life--that I was on the right road to recovery, but there were plenty of bumps and chuckholes along the way, and because I was such a victim of my emotions, I would have to try harder.

One thing he emphasized was that I needed to keep working the Steps over and over. All of them. In fact, he implied that a day should not pass without some involvement with at least one of the Steps. This could be as simple as admitting I was an alcoholic or taking my inventory at night. I believed him and began to work on Step One again, then Step Two, and on through to the end. I did this for about a year. After that, I just let it quietly go away. I still went to meetings and did a little Twelfth Step work, but I had an uneasy feeling that I wasn't doing enough on the Steps.

I am not a very well organized person, generally speaking; so after about four years in the program, I decided something had to be done. I needed some kind of simple system to insure that I would be working on at least one of the Steps at any given time. I tried using my desk calendar at

the office, and that worked for a while. I tried using stops at traffic lights. Someone suggested thinking of AA every time the phone rang. These were all good reminders, but there was too much interference to permit serious working of the Steps. I needed something steady, dependable, and neat. Something I could carry around in my head. Something easy to recall.

Suddenly it hit me! There are twelve months in the year, and there are Twelve Steps in AA. Why not concentrate on one Step a month? For years, I had heard of the Book of the Month, Fruit of the Month, and Employee of the Month, so why not Step of the Month? My AA birthday is in January, so it would work out just right: First Step in January, Second Step in February, and so on. I decided to try it.

During the month when I am concentrating on a particular Step, I read about it, talk about it, think about it, meditate on it, and generally try to apply it whenever I can. This does not rule out working on other Steps as the occasion arises, but it focuses my scattered brain on one Step a month, giving me a sort of security feeling. It's a kind of insurance that I will cover all the Steps each year.

Sounds mechanical? Maybe so, but a disorganized person like me needs some framework, some system to help him keep moving. Otherwise, I procrastinate; I say I'll do it tomorrow, and you know how that goes. I am convinced that AA will keep a person sober even if the program is worked in a purely mechanical way--plus willingness and the grace of God, of course.

I used to worry that I wasn't doing enough about working the Steps, but since using the Step of the Month idea, I feel a lot better. At least, so far.


"Step of the Month". 1980. 5 Apr 2021


InterGroup Meeting - Apr 14 @ 7:30pm

Please join us at the next NOCCO InterGroup Meeting.  InterGroup Meetings are held the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 7:30 pm.  

Next Meeting:  April 14, 2021 via ZOOM

Meeting ID: 860-4109-6976 | Password: Serenity


Group Contributions - March 2021

To help support local essential services, the General Service Conference suggests that individual groups, through an informed group conscience, adopt a specific contribution plan.  Click below to see all of the Group Contributions from last month.

Click for Group Contribution Detail


NOCCO Profit & Loss - March 2021

Each month, NOCCO provides accounting detail of income and expenses to indicate net profit or loss over the last month.  This information is available to any group or member.  Click below to see the financial detail from last month.

Click for P&L Detail

April has 365 Days


MY name is April and I'm an alcoholic. I have been in AA and sober for a year. I am much like every other member of Alcoholics Anonymous except for one thing. I am still in my teens. I had my first drink when I was eleven, at a party given by my parents. When I was fourteen I got in with an older crowd and began daily drinking. I drank all through high school and the disease of alcoholism took hold rapidly. Before I was out of high school I had been in Juvenile Hall quite a few times for drinking. By my eighteenth birthday I had been in the county drunk-tank.

My family had become very concerned about my drinking and had done everything in their power to help me. At fifteen I began seeing a psychiatrist about my "drinking problem." I continued to see him for three years and my drinking kept getting worse.

In my high school science class I had heard of Alcoholics Anonymous. I considered the possibility that I might be an alcoholic, but convinced myself that I was too young. As my drinking progressed, many well meaning friends suggested AA and when I was eighteen-and-a-half I attended my first meeting. At first I was afraid that I wouldn't be accepted because of my age and I was surprised when I was so warmly welcomed. I also met other young alcoholics like myself. I found a sponsor whose sobriety I liked. She had come into AA at nineteen and had five years of continuous sobriety. Through her and many meetings, I learned what AA was all about.

A few months later I had the privilege of being on the steering committee of a young people's group. The age range was from sixteen to thirty-five. We have had great success with this new venture, and through it I had the opportunity of talking with many young people who had a drinking problem. They, like me, were skeptical. They thought themselves "too young" to be alcoholics. Because I was close to their age and spoke their language I was able to explain AA to them in their own terms.

After a few months of sobriety I quit my psychiatrist. Although he had helped me in some ways, AA was the answer to my problems.

Recently I met and married another young alcoholic. Together, and with the help of AA, we now have a very full and wonderful life.

If you are young, and have a drinking problem, don't cheat yourself, give AA a chance. Remember, no one is too young for polio or cancer and no one is too young to be an alcoholic.


"April has 365 Days".  1961.  4 Apr 2021

NOCCO Appreciates Your 7th Tradition Support

Even though meetings, 12-step services and operations have shifted to a hybrid environment, expenses continue as we navigate the re-opening of meetings, which underscores the importance of practicing the Seventh Tradition. We still stock literature, handle 12-step calls around the clock, and assist those with a desire to stop drinking. Your generous support is critical and appreciated.

PayPal or Credit Card
Venmo: @nocco-aa

I am Responsible. 

When anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help, I want the hand of AA always to be there. 

For that, I am responsible.

Thanks to all contributors who support NOCCO.  

© Copyright, 2021, North Orange County InterGroup Association of Alcoholics Anonymous Groups, Inc. • 1661 E. Chapman Avenue - Suite 1H, Fullerton CA 92831


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