Women's event focuses on mercy - Catholic Courier

Women’s event focuses on mercy

The third-annual Rochester Catholic Women’s Conference has been scheduled for March 12 at Rochester’s Aquinas Institute.

The theme this year is ‘Love One Another,’ which Christine DiNovo said fits perfectly with the extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis.

The theme comes from Jesus’ lessons about the commandments, "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment" and "You shall love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 22:37-39), explained DiNovo, chair of this year’s conference committee.

"Last year, our theme ‘Body, Mind and Soul’ focused on the first part of the greatest commandment and how we live out the call to love God with everything we are and have," she added. "This year, our theme focuses on the second part of the greatest commandment: Love one another. Our speakers will address loving others through the corporal works of mercy, the spiritual works and mercy, and seeking God in all that we do. They will also talk about how we as women are uniquely designed to be giving (and) nurturers."

Scheduled speakers for the conference are: Sister Clare Matthiass, community vicar with the Community of the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal based in New York City; Marcus Grodi from the Coming Home Network and Kelly Wahlquist, founder of Women in the New Evangelization (WINE), she added.

Sister Matthiass will discuss the corporal works of mercy she performs in the work she does with the poor of New York City. Grodi will talk about spiritual works of mercy — such as counseling the doubtful and comforting the sorrowful — as well as his ministry, which seeks to provide fellowship, encouragement and support to men and women who have become Catholic or who are exploring the Catholic Church. And Wahlquist, whose ministry aims to invigorate Catholic parishes by inspiring, supporting and nurturing women in the faith, will discuss seeing God in all a person does.

"We, as a committee, felt that each of the speakers this year were beautifully suited to our theme," added Amy Degnan, chair of the speakers committee. "We have heard all three speak, and each one is a gifted speaker who knows both how to inform and entertain their audiences."

More than 900 women attended last year’s conference, which featured the Sisters of Life from New York City whose members also presented an intimate gathering for young adults at a coffee shop prior to the conference.

"The feedback from our past conferences has been very positive, and we are looking forward to being together with the wonderful women of our diocese," DiNovo said.

The conference will begin with a Mass celebrated by Bishop Salvatore R. Matano, who also will be present throughout the daylong event, she said. Vendor booths and Information on Catholic ministries also will be available. Lunch will be provided, but attendees are asked to bring a nonperishable food item (no glass containers) to be donated to area food pantries.

The conference costs $50 for those who register before Feb. 19 and $55 thereafter. The cost for women ages 18-35 is $35. For more information or to register online, visit www.rochestercwc.org.


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