I didn’t understand originally why God led me to join the Commission for Women of the Diocese of Worcester, but I’m sure glad He did! The Commission is a dedicated group of 12-15 volunteers who, among other things, puts on a major women’s conference at the DCU Center in Worcester. Known as “Gather Us In,” this women’s conference was the first of its kind in a Catholic diocese. The conference was first staged in 2002 and there have been 5 ever since featuring such notables as Immaculee Ilibagiza, Paula D’Arcy,Joyce Rupp and Antoinette Bosco.
The theme of this year’s conference was “Gratitude: Acknowledging and Affirming God’s Grace in Our Lives.”
Liz’s inspiring and electric keynote spoke of God’s grace leading her to Sudan, and how that country transformed her from a news anchor to a minister. Liz created a grassroots organization known as My Sister’s Keeper and after 10 years, helped build a school for girls in Sudan through that organization.
Kathy Sherman, a sister of St. Joseph, shared her thoughts on gratitude in story and song. Many women were moved to tears by her music, and uplifted as well.
Workshops were also presented at Gather Us In 2011 and included the following presenters:
- Elizabeth Dreyer, PhD, speaking on how to become a grassroots theologian
- Pat Gohn, describing how a spirit of gratitude can translate into women becoming spiritual mothers
- Christin Jezak, presenting her one woman play dealing with encountering Jesus in every person through the lens of Mother Teresa
- Talk Back – Your Turn, run by Commission members Marie Fusaro Davis and myself, giving the women a chance to share stories and feelings in relation to what they heard at the conference
I feel humbled and privileged to have been elected as the chairperson of this fantastic Commission for Women, they are the best!
Copyright 2011 Susan Bailey