Submitted by Nancy Huffaker | Chair, Commission on Women in Church and in Society

Join hundreds of women from the Diocese of Syracuse and beyond at the Oncenter Convention Center Saturday, Oct. 26, for the Catholic Women’s Conference. This full-day event provides the perfect opportunity to gather in fellowship, pray with other faith-filled women, and be inspired by dynamic speakers.

The conference will begin with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass celebrated by our new shepherd, Bishop Douglas J. Lucia. Liturgical music will be provided by the award-winning Select Chorus from Seton Catholic Central in Binghamton under the direction of Jan DeAngelo. This talented group of students has been invited to sing for Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Basilica next year.

Throughout the day, there will be opportunities for reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and Investiture in the Brown Scapular. Additionally, many Catholic vendors and exhibitors will be available for purchase of religious items and information on their services.

Three passionate Catholic speakers will lead conference attendees in an encounter with the boundless love of the Father, the infinite mercy of the Son, and the everlasting peace of the Holy Spirit as they expound on the theme, “Fountain of Life.” In this edition of the Catholic Sun, the first speaker, Sister Mercy Marie, SV will be highlighted. The other two speakers, Jane Brennan and Father Peter Van Lieshout, will be featured in subsequent editions.

A graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, Sister Mercy Marie holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She professed her first vows in 2017, and currently ministers to women through the Hope and Healing mission of the Sisters of Life. The Sisters of Life, a religious community founded in 1991 by the late Cardinal John O’Connor, take a vow to protect and enhance the sacredness of human life, in addition to the traditional vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Following the example of our Blessed Mother, the Sisters lead others to the heart of Jesus and His tender mercy. At the upcoming Syracuse Catholic Women’s Conference, Sister Mercy Marie will share a message on the beauty and dignity of all human life. Through His life, death, and resurrection, God has granted us a share in His life and His love. With stories from the missions of the Sisters of Life, Sister Mercy Marie will highlight the joy that accompanies living life with a love that shares in Jesus’ merciful heart.

Cost for the conference, which includes a light breakfast and a seated lunch, is $55 online through October 19 or by mail postmarked by October 14; $70 at the door. Reserved tables for a group of ten are available for $550. To register, or for more information, visit

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