WASHINGTON (CNS) — Some 300 young women interested in using their talents to serve the Catholic Church and the world will be part of a weeklong conference in June sponsored by the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious.

The GIVEN Forum, set for June 7-12 at The Catholic University of America in Washington, will bring together women between ages 20 and 30 for immersion in faith formation, leadership training and networking.


Organizers said the program is a response to St. John Paul II’s call to activate women’s gifts in the church. They expect that the women will be inspired enough to return to their home diocese, workplace or university “motivated to use the insights and tools acquired … to unleash the gifts of the feminine genius in the church and the world.”

The forum will include a series of speakers and discussions interspersed with opportunities for reflection and prayer as participants develop an individual “action plan” to carry out when they return to their home community.

The event is one of many the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious has organized in connection with the Year for Consecrated Life declared by Pope Francis. The year ends this Advent.

Speakers include Helen Alvare, professor of law at George Mason University School of Law; Gloria Purvis, who hosts programs on the Eternal Word Television Network; Carolyn Woo, president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services; and Dr. Elvira Parravicini, neonatologist at New York Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital and assistant professor of pediatrics at Columbia University. The forum’s theme is “Cultivating Authentic Femininity for the Life of the Church.”

Planners will select participants to receive scholarships covering the cost to attend based on an online application. Participants must be an American citizen, a practicing Catholic or in a Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults program, and hold or be working toward a college degree.

The application deadline is Feb. 2. More information is available online at www.givenforum.org.

The program is supported by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.