Blog Post

Harrisburg Women's Conference Renews and Inspires

More than 900 women gathered at Bishop McDevitt High School in Harrisburg, Pa on October 14

Women of Grace had a very large footprint at the Diocese of Harrisburg’s Women’s Conference where more than 900 women gathered to be inspired and renewed in their vocation as daughters of God.

I was honored to be the keynote speaker at the conference and spoke about “The Message of Fatima for Today’s Woman.”

Using my own conversion story as an example of what grace can do – even in the most stubborn of souls – I explained how Our Lady is more than willing to do for us today what she did for the three shepherd children 100 years ago in Fatima – give them whatever grace they need to live the messages she gave the world during that momentous series of apparitions. All we need to do is ask!

“The Bible tells us that ‘where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more’ and I could be the poster child for that verse!” I told the ladies.

Even though I was a birth-control-pill-popping-pro-choice-feminist at the time of my conversion, I had my weak spots. I was a frustrated writer and a divorcee who was desperately looking for another chance at real love and family. It was through these “chinks in my feminist armor” that the Lord’s grace managed to enter and slowly begin to change my heart.

As I outline in my book, We Need to Talk: God Speaks to a Modern Girl, the Lord ever so deftly exposed the empty semantics of the feminist movement, from their pro-abortion “coat hanger” myths to the promiscuity they presented as empowerment but that resulted in leaving most of us loveless and lonely. In the end, it was His Truth that set me free!

(L/R) Sue Jacobsen, Sue Brinkmann, Chris Arnold

“I believe it was Our Lady and all of those people who follow the message of Fatima and the call to pray for the conversion of sinners that won me the grace to turn my life around. And believe me, I’m returning the favor now by answering that call,” I said.

God not only fulfilled my dream of being a writer, but He eventually led me to Johnnette and the opportunity to work on a mission that aims at helping women realize who they really are – not who the culture says they are.

“Of course, I jumped at the chance,” I told the ladies. “After having been so hurt by these split-tongued feminists with their cockamamie empowerment schemes that end up leaving us anorexic and objectified, I only have one thing to say to those gals today: No thank you. You can keep your little pink hat.”

The address was followed by a workshop attended by 65 women who learned about the dangers of the objectification we are encountering today.

“We need to take a stand against these demeaning characterizations of women. Not only to voice displeasure with those who promulgate such vile images of us, but we must also do more to understand – and to help others understand – the vital mission that has been entrusted to women by our God,” I said. “And this is exactly what Women of Grace is all about.”

After showing slides of several statements by the Vatican Fathers on the critical role of women today, “to save the peace of the world” and “to aid humanity in not falling,” I asked how many women were hearing this for the first time.

Almost every hand in the room went up!

“This is our call! This is authentic femininity! And everything we do at Women of Grace revolves around getting this message out to women.”

Women watch a Power Point presentation on Women of Grace and Young Women of Grace programs

After explaining the adult program, I asked the participants to “imagine being able to infuse the minds of our girls with the same exalted view of their femininity!” and then introduced them to Young Women of Grace.

When the presentation ended, Sue Jacobsen, New Jersey Regional Coordinator, and Chris Arnold, Pennsylvania Regional Coordinator, who are both veteran facilitators of Women of Grace, explained how meetings are run as well as what comes in the kits.

During a Q&A session later, Sue and Chris answered questions about how to get a group started, how to get girls interested in Young Women of Grace, where to seek funding for those who can’t afford the materials, etc.

There was a great deal of enthusiasm for the program and its message to women at the conference. Coupled with the endorsement of the Bishop of Harrisburg, Rev. Ronald Gainer, a new springtime for women may soon be coming to this part of the beautiful state of Pennsylvania!

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