The first time Catherine Liberatore attended the Maryland Catholic Women’s conference three years ago, she remembers being struck by a sense of spiritual support among the participants.
“I could kneel down in prayer and someone was already praying for me,” said Liberatore, a parishioner of St. Joseph in Cockeysville. “In a world that criticizes religion we can still find like-minded people.”
Women from across the Archdiocese of Baltimore and throughout Maryland will gather once again for this year’s conference, set for Oct. 2 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at St. Joseph in Fullerton.
This year’s theme is “Holy & Beloved,” inspired in Colossians 3:12: “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”
Since St. Joseph in Fullerton is one of the officially designated pilgrimage sites in the Archdiocese of Baltimore for the Year of St. Joseph, those who participate in the women’s retreat can receive a plenary indulgence granted by Pope Francis.
“Women of all ages will be able to experience faith in numbers,” said Liberatore, co-chair of the Maryland Catholic Women’s Conference. Her friend, Stephanie Clancy, serves as co-chair.
“There are local retreats and workshops, but MCWC is the only event in the area with hundreds of women praying for and with you,” she added.
Archbishop William E. Lori will celebrate Mass during the conference. Attendees will have the opportunity of the sacrament of reconciliation at morning and lunchtime and to visit the Blessed Sacrament all day until a Holy Hour that will conclude the event.
The conference will feature keynote speakers Katie Prejean McGrady, who ministers especially to youths and young adults, and Dominican Sister Mary Madeline Todd, chair of the philosophy department at Mount de Sales Academy in Catonsville, who will speak about topics related to the theology of women and “feminine genius.”
The event planning committee, constituted of daughters, wives, mothers, sisters and friends, expects 300 to 400 for this year’s conference, almost double from last year.
Liberatore said the issues women typically deal with — loss, death, job issues, raising kids, separation of family members — are today exponentially more challenging due to the pandemic.
Liberatore hopes MCWC will be “a continuation of joy and helps women to know and embrace they are loved by God.”
Admission for women 25 and older is $45, admission for women under 25 is $30 and admission is free for religious sisters. For more information visit http://marylandcatholicwomen.com
Email Priscila González de Doran at pdoran@CatholicReview.org
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