Text and photos by Katherine Long, editor

More than 840 women from the diocese and beyond gathered for the sixth annual Syracuse Catholic Women’s Conference at the Oncenter Nov. 7.

The day began with Mass celebrated by Bishop Robert J. Cunningham. In his homily, he recalled words from Pope Francis: “Married women, single women, women in consecrated life — young, old and those in between — you have so much that our world needs. A society without women would lack the ‘witness of tenderness, dedication and moral strength.’ It is you who pass on the seed of faith and the deepest meaning of religious practice and devotion.” (Read Bishop Cunningham’s homily in full on page 3 of this issue.)

Attendees heard from three speakers: Father Andrew Aposotli, a founding member of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, writer, EWTN personality and Fatima expert; Sister Miriam James Heidland, SOLT, missionary, speaker and author; and Simcha Fisher, mother of 10, freelance writer and columnist for National Catholic Register. Each speaker offered insights and reflections ranging from the personal to the practical to the purposeful.

The Sacrament of Confession was available throughout the day, as was veneration of a relic of St. Marianne Cope. Dozens of vendors were on hand to share information about their varied ministries and provide attendees with books, rosaries, nativity sets and more.

The 2016 Catholic Women’s Conference will be held Oct. 29. Visit syracusecwc.com for more on this year’s event and to stay up to date on plans for next year’s conference. Visit thecatholicsun.com for more photos and video.

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