Several weeks ago I attended the Dynamic Women of Faith conference. It is held in Toronto each year, and is a day full of talks, prayers, songs, and joy.
Have you ever walked into a room and felt instantly at home? That’s the warm welcoming feeling that I get each year walking into that big conference room. A room full of women, most I have never met before, but all so very dear to my heart. A room full of dynamic and strong women who love their Catholic faith, and love having a relaxed social day full of inspiring stories and great talks. And of course, there are a few men as well; Priests, musicians, and a speaker or two have shown up over the years to offer their testimonies and share their perspective on being Catholic.
This year, the line up of speakers did not disappoint at all. I knew several of them before hand, and have grown to adore the others as I learned more about them that day, and read up about them afterwards. Talks about being a mother in every sense, homeschooling, entrepreneurship, the Dignity and Vocation of women, so many incredible women sharing about their struggles and successes as Catholic women.
For me the highlights were Michael Coren, Lisa Hendey and founder and organizer of the event Dorothy Pilarski.
Michael Coren shared very personal stories from his life. Moments that helped shape his faith, he called them those extraordinary moments within the ordinary days of life. He of course made us laugh, but he also made us cry. My husband and I have been fans of his for years now, so seeing him speak in person was just incredible.
Lisa Hendey flew all the way in from California for this event! I have also been a fan of hers for some time, reading CatholicMom.com as well as her books. She was also so very incredible live. She talked about Saints (oh how I love our Saints!) and how they are there for us and can help us heart, mind, body, and soul. She mentioned specific saints that I knew very little about, and have now become some of my favourites! Such a moving and educational talk!
The lady responsible for this conference, Dorothy Pilarski, also spoke. Every year she is a highlight, both in her talk, and her introductions of the other speakers. She is so very full of passion and love, it is incredible to be in the same room as her! Dorothy spoke about making your mid life the best part of your life, but as she pointed out, since we do not know how long our life will be, we do not know when mid-life is! She encourages us to look and see how we have been blessed and restored. She also talked about understanding suffering, and how we need to learn to suffer because life is never going to be perfect, and we need to use that time to become closer to Jesus. So inspiring!
If you ever get the chance to attend a Catholic conference, I highly recommend it! Even if the idea of going alone terrifies you, do it! I did, and it helped to break me out of the shell, you will never be in a more welcoming setting than a room full of Catholic women! My only regret from the weekend was not sticking around afterwards to chat and take pictures! I left right away, assuming traffic would be bad getting out of the city. I missed the chance to chat with Dorothy, with Lisa, and with Terry (of 8 Kids and a Business, among other things) who chatted about entrepreneurship. But, there is always next year, right?!