Ten years ago, my friend Christina called me and shared the exciting news that she was starting a Catholic Women’s Conference for our diocese. She and her bible study group felt called to take on this enormous task and were looking for a few more volunteers to help fill the leadership roles. Since my husband had been attending Catholic men’s conferences for years, I was delighted to hear that something would be offered for women and immediately gave her my “yes.” Initially, I thought I would be taking on a simple task like helping serve bagels for breakfast, but by the time I hung up the phone I found myself appointed secretary of the board of directors for the conference!
I would never have dreamed that this small little “yes” would change my life. I walked into the first meeting only knowing Christina but by the end of the process I’d made numerous amazing new friends. Our hard work and preparation paid off and our first conference was a huge success with a sell- out crowd of 1,000 women! We expanded our volunteer team and moved to a larger venue for the second conference as our ministry continued to grow. I worked closely with the director for several years and then eventually became the co-chair of the conference, a position I still hold today. It has been a remarkably humbling and beautiful opportunity to serve God by reaching out to my sisters in Christ and celebrating the great gift of our faith. Each year, our conference grows in numbers and we anticipate 3,000 women gathering this February.
The conference has brought a plethora of blessings into my life over the past nine years, most notably the extraordinarily faith-filled people, many of whom are now my closest friends. I’ve also started a network of Catholic Women’s Conference Planners to connect with women who plan conferences across the country and I’ve been blessed to connect with women from many states doing the same type of work.
Today, I write this post as an invitation to you to be part of our Columbus Catholic Women’s Conference this February 20, 2016. If you live near Ohio, I invite you to attend the event in person. If you can’t be there physically, we hope you’ll listen live to all the amazing speakers and behind the scenes interviews by streaming it on your phone or computer. The live audio stream is possible thanks to our partnership with St. Gabriel Catholic Radio.
We are also very excited to announce that we have partnered with fellow Catholicmom.com contributor Tami Kaiser and the online Catholic Conference 4 Moms and will be video streaming Jennifer Fulwiler’s talk so you can view part of the conference live as well! To learn more about our speakers and read more about our conference, visit us at www.columbuscatholicwomen.com.
Copyright 2016 Michele Faehnle