Submitted by the Commission on Women in Church and in Society

Women will be inspired and refreshed at the tenth annual Syracuse Catholic Women’s Conference on Saturday, Oct. 26, at the Oncenter. This year’s theme, “Fountain of Life,” came together in several stages, guided by the hand of the Lord.

Many months ago, the organizers of the Conference asked the Sisters of Life, a religious community consecrated to the sacredness of life, to send a speaker to the upcoming Conference. Shortly after, New York State enacted the Reproductive Health Act, which eliminated restrictions on late-term abortions. According to Judy Wright, chairwomen of this year’s Conference, this legislation “pierced the hearts of so many people.” The members of the Women’s Commission “realized it was the Holy Spirit stirring our hearts that this year is the appropriate time to have a theme celebrating the precious gift of life.” The theme, ‘Fountain of Life,’ is drawn from Psalm 36:9: ‘For with you is the fountain of life, and in your life we see light.’ Wright reflects that inspiration for the theme “came like a whisper from the Holy Spirit.”

At the conference, three speakers will draw listeners closer to Jesus, the Fountain of Life. In addition to Sister of Life, Sister Mercy Marie, SV, who was featured in last week’s edition of the Sun, conference attendees will hear from Father Peter Van Lieshout, a priest from the Diocese of Rochester, and counselor and author Jane Brennan, MS, who will be highlighted this week.

A former pro-abortion activist, Jane travels throughout the United States to conferences and parishes, and speaks of her dramatic conversion to the Catholic Church. Her moving testimony outlines her journey from Planned Parenthood volunteer and member of the National Organization for Women to a passionate advocate for life. She tells of her post-abortion struggles and subsequent healing and peace found in the merciful heart of Jesus. She authored the book, Motherhood Interrupted: Stories of Healing and Hope after Abortion, and recorded the CD, Feminism Misunderstood: One Women’s Journey to Peace, as well as appearing on EWTN’s Life on the Rock, Father Frank Pavone’s Gospel of Life show and Catholic Connection radio with Teresa Tomeo. Brennan received the Pro-Vitae award from the Archdiocese of Denver, in recognition of her promotion of respect for life.

The conference will open with Holy Mass celebrated by Bishop Douglas J. Lucia. Music will be provided by the Seton Catholic Central Select Chorus under the direction of Jan DeAngelo. There will be opportunities for silent prayer in the Adoration Chapel, Confession, and a Holy Hour. Also, religious items will be available for purchase from many Catholic vendors.

Visit to register online by October 19. Mail-in registrations postmarked by October 14 can be sent to Women’s Commission, 240 E. Onondaga St., Syracuse N.Y. 13202. Cost is $55, but will increase to $70 at the door. Or check with your parish to see if they have reserved a Table for Ten.

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