While the Catholic Women’s Conference in 2013 was successful, planning for the next conference was postponed due to the World Meeting of Families and papal visit in Philadelphia last September.
The hiatus is over and plans are set for the 2016 Catholic Women’s Conference which will be held Saturday, Oct. 29 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Doylestown. Co-hosted by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and Endow, the conference theme is “Mother of Mercy, Make Our Hearts Like Yours!”
“The 2013 conference was well received – we attracted 900 women – so we knew the desire for something for women was great,” said Meghan Cokeley, director of the archdiocesan Office for the New Evangelization. “We are very happy to be bringing this back for the women. The traffic on the web site and social media activity is strong already, so we have the sense that women are very excited.”
The day will begin with Archbishop Charles Chaput celebrating Mass at 8:30 a.m. Keynote presentations will feature Mary Rice Hasson and Dominican Father Jordan Kelly. In addition, Jeannine Adkins will give a keynote presentation in American Sign Language.
Breakout sessions will be offered for youth and Spanish-speaking attendees. The conference will close with a Divine Mercy prayer service.
“The conference will be an opportunity for formation and an encounter with the teachings of the church, particularly the teachings on women and the feminine genius and mercy,” Cokeley said. “We have dynamic and engaging speakers who can present the beauty of the church’s teachings and also present them practically. We want women to understand how life-giving the church’s teachings are and also how applicable they are to daily life.”
She noted the shrine’s location will also benefit those who attend the conference.
“There’s just a palpable peace and restfulness about the place,” Cokeley said. “We’re hoping that will give women the opportunity to rest because women are so good at giving that I think this will be an opportunity to receive and be tended to.”
General admission is $50, but there is a $10 discount for groups of five or more. “Bring your friends and don’t be afraid to personally invite people you know,” Cokeley said.
“My hope is that each woman personally will have an encounter with Christ and his tenderness,” she said. “I also hope for her to have an encounter with other women around her. That is so deeply life giving when our faith is affirmed by others.”
For more information and to register, go to www.catholicwomensConference.org. Registration includes breakfast, lunch and hospitality bag.
One elective or annual update credit for catechetical certification will be granted to catechists and school teachers of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for full-day attendance.