Sunday, March 1, 2009

Women of Christ


Yesterday, I went to the "Women of Christ" conference. This was the first gathering of what they hope will become an annual event...over 2,400 women registered for the day. Its aim was to offer spiritual development and time away for the women of the diocese. There were a few religious sprinkled in the crowd, but the day was really offered for the lay-women. I was amazed at the age range of attendees, grandmas through grandchildren.

The speakers were pretty good. They had four main speakers to address different aspects of women's lives: prayer and healing, the Blessed Virgin, women & men, and women and children. Okay...I was surprized so hold on...Mother Assumpta of the Dominican Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist spoke about the Blessed Virgin in women's lives. It was good. Her script was a "letter" from Mary to the women, and its focus was sharing how her life connects with the expereinces of women today. For example, Mary understands loss and pain, she lost her community's respect, her husband, her son, and she can understand and walk with women who are now struggling with loss and pain. It was an interesting connection for the women. I was watching the folk around me and they were listening and following M. Assumpta's speech...she knows an audience and how to reach that audience.

Another speaker I enjoyed was Dr. Ray. He is a psych and counselor who has a talk show on alot of Catholic radio shows. Great, I thought (sarcasm). He was hiliarious! He has a large family that his wife and he built through adoption...and he used stories from their own successes and failures to encourage the women with families. I wished that my two sisters had been there to hear his stories and hope for mothers who end up carrying a heavy burden in many families. His advice and stories boiled down to two statements: first, don't let "experts" tell you how a family should be, and second, do what you believe to be good and don't worry about the psychologically "right", do what is good. I thought that was pretty good advice.

Overall, it was a pretty good way to celebrate Lent. I probably won't go next year; it really is designed for lay women who are single, married, or with families. But I enjoyed the gathering and hearing the speakers.


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