Women from all walks of life gathered for the annual diocesan women’s conference at St. John’s University, Jamaica, Oct. 20.
The theme of missionary discipleship was present throughout the day as women were reminded to see themselves through the loving gaze of God, their Father.
Recognizing the integral and varied roles that women embody within the Church, keynote speakers were able to encourage their identity as women of God.
The day began with the celebration of Mass with Auxiliary Bishop Paul Sanchez followed by opening remarks from Theodore Musco, director of the diocesan School of Evangelization.
“Be Marian women!” said Mother Adela Galindo, S.C.T.J.M., founder of the Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary. She led the morning talk, “No Tengan Miedo de ser Santas y Apóstoles del Tercer Milenio,” or in English, “Do Not Be Afraid to be Saints and Apostles of the New Millennium.”
More than 300 women were in attendance and had the opportunity to immerse themselves in different sessions, held in both Spanish and English. Conference-goers were able to participate in talks ranging from human dignity and contraception to the role of women in the Church today.
Attendees were also able to avail themselves of the sacrament of confession right before lunch and exhibits.
(Photos: Secretariat for Evangelization and Catechesis and Holy Child Jesus Parish)
Deacon Ernesto Avallone of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, Jackson Heights, led the afternoon Holy Hour.
Leah Darrow, a former contestant on America’s Next Top Model, was one of the keynote speakers. She offered the women this encouragement: “Life is not about competition; it is about contribution.”
Reflecting on the day, Musco said, “Whether at Mass or at one of the sessions, one could sense a true sense of peace and joy from those gathered.”
He noted that he heard many women comment on what a wonderful day it was. “All in all, from what I gathered, I think this conference was a great success,” he said.
Contributing on this article was Joann Roa.