June 16, 2024

I remember pulling on my lime green wellies and trekking across town in perhaps the worst blizzard of my lifetime.

Even if five people can make it, I prayed, all this work will have been worth it. I arrived at the women’s conference venue to discover no less than 20 men—fathers, brothers and husbands—hard at work with shovels, setting tables, and drying the snow covered floor.

Slowly, women began to arrive and I delighted when I counted the five I prayed for. But then, six, then 60, and then 300 scurried into the warmth. The joy in the room was palpable and electric.

Women from all stages and all walks of life greeted each other warmly, found a hot cup of coffee and waited anxiously for what God had in store for their heart that day.

Halfway through the conference, a young woman approached me. I knew her and her story and was acutely aware of the tremendous grief of miscarriage and infertility that had plagued her life over the last year. Yet, she approached me with a bountiful smile. “I can’t tell you how much I’ve been anticipating this day. I knew God had something for me today and He has not disappointed. I spent the morning in the Adoration Chapel set up for us here. And God spent the morning consoling my heart, showing me His faithfulness and letting me sit on His lap. I missed the keynote. But that’s exactly where He wanted me.”

By the end of the day, it was clear that God had done something even greater than we imagined and I was overwhelmed at the site of it all when I was approached once more, this time by an elderly woman. She grabbed my hands in hers, a clear indicator that she had something important to say and I instinctively knew it would be wise. She had a knowing smile and the most gracious sparkle in her eye, “We have been waiting for this for 50 years. Thank you.”

As humans, we have a deep ache to be known and loved. We wrestle with the question of who we are and what we’re made for. And even when we have found the answer, we often need to be reminded, encouraged and supported as we seek to stay rooted in that truth. The answers to these deep questions can only be found in Jesus Christ, revealed most perfectly in and through His Church.

A woman on a popular social media account recently shared that it was precisely because of the Church’s teachings on women and the feminine genius that she became Catholic. Countless women commented expressing that they, too, found great freedom and abundance of life when they embraced their God-given identity as beloved daughters.

Perhaps that is why the young woman and elderly woman who approached me last year left such a lasting impression upon me. They were waiting for an opportunity to be reminded of an identity they had already discovered and amidst their seeking, in the presence of sisterhood, God revealed Himself in abundance.

Well, women of the Diocese of Sioux Falls, you need not wait any longer. Whether you’re asking the big questions, or could simply use the reminder and encouragement in the trenches of everyday life, we are confident that Beloved: A Women’s Conference will have something for you.

So grab a friend, sister, daughter or your mom and join us for a joyful day of celebrating the great gift of femininity. We are delighted to see what God has in store for your heart at this year’s Women’s Conference and we hope to see you there, Beloved.