Submitted by the Commission on Women in Church and in Society

Hundreds of women from across the state and beyond have already registered for the 10th annual Syracuse Catholic Women’s Conference, to be held on Saturday, Oct. 26. If you would like to join these faith-filled women for a day of spiritual renewal, it is not too late. There are still seats available and online registration has been extended until
Oct. 21.

 The event opens with recitation of the rosary just prior to Holy Mass, which will be celebrated by Bishop Douglas J. Lucia. In his letter of welcome for the 2019 Women’s Conference, Bishop Lucia writes that the theme, Fountain of Life, reminded him of Our Lady, and the “fruit of her womb, Jesus, from whom flowed the ‘font of all life and holiness.’ This fountain of life continues to flow through the Sacrament of the Church, our Mother, and through her Seven Sacraments.”

Music for the liturgy will be sung by students from the Seton Catholic Central Select Chorus, accompanied by Music Director Jan DeAngelo. This choir, comprised of students in seventh through twelfth grades, has gained international recognition for their performance at the Boston Heritage Festival, winning gold medals in the Men’s, Women’s, Concert, Swing and Jazz divisions. Because of their success at the competition, they have been invited to perform for Pope Francis at St. Peter’s Basilica in 2020 and at Carnegie Hall in 2021. After Mass, Jan DeAngelo will provide additional music for the Conference and has composed three original pieces to be performed that day.

During the Conference, there will be opportunities to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation, visit the Adoration Chapel, and view the miraculous Pilgrim Rosary that is currently under the guardianship of CNY Marian Center. Attendees will hear from three inspiring speakers: Sister Mercy Marie, SV, of the Sisters of Life; Jane Brennan, author and counselor; and Father Peter Van Lieshout, a priest from the Diocese of Rochester. The conference will conclude with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, and Benediction.

In the previous two issues of the Catholic Sun, Jane Brennan and Sister Mercy Marie, SV were featured. This week, Father Peter Van Lieshout, the afternoon speaker, will be highlighted. He currently serves as pastor of St. Peter’s Parish, Clifton Springs, which includes St. Dominic, St. Felix and St. Francis Churches, and acts as co-director for the Office of Priesthood Vocation Awareness for the Diocese of Rochester. An adjunct at St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry, Father Van Lieshout received his Bachelor of Sacred Theology in 2013 from Pontifical Gregorian University, and studied at the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas in Rome, Italy, where he earned a Licentiate of Sacred Theology in 2015. With a warm and engaging demeanor, Father Van Lieshout will draw the women at the Conference deeper into an understanding of the ocean of Divine Mercy, and will lead us in contemplation of the Blood and Water which flowed from Jesus’ Heart. He will expound on God’s plan of mercy and forgiveness for the whole of humanity and explore its foundation in the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. After Father Van Lieshout’s talk, all three presenters will form a panel and answer questions from the audience.

The Conference will be held at the Oncenter Convention Center in Syracuse and includes a breakfast snack and a seated, plated lunch. Registration opens at 7:30 a.m. Exhibitors will be on hand throughout the day with a wide selection of religious items and information on available services. Cost is $55 online or $70 at the door if space allows. To register, visit

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