By Kathryne A. Sparaco

It was an inspiring morning at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on Oct. 23 at the second 2021 Syracuse Catholic Women’s Mini-Conference.

Titled “Encountering Christ,” the mini-conferences begin with the rosary and Mass, followed by a guest-speaker presentation, Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction, and the option for confession. These mini-conferences help women grow deeper in their faith and offer an opportunity to meet Christ in the sacraments.

“We hope women are able to encounter spiritual healing and a deeper appreciation for the faith,” stated Elizabeth Stewart, Chairwoman for the Syracuse Catholic Women’s Conference.

Bishop Douglas J. Lucia celebrated the Mass, and guest speaker Sister Jane Dominic Laurel, member of the St. Cecilia Congregation of Dominican Sisters of Nashville, presented “Suffering and the Narrative of Redemption,” focusing on the benefit of accepting the inevitable suffering in our lives.

“This pouring ourselves out for others, this suffering—it purifies us. It makes us more into the person God wants us to be,” she said, adding that our Catholic faith calls us to repeatedly let go of our own expectations and allow God to lead us and trust He will never leave us. “We have to descend with him,” she said. “By descending with him, we will encounter him and become the saint he wants us to be.”

Christine Kimak, who attended from Baldwinsville, thought the event was run very well. “The whole morning was wonderful. Sister’s talk was so uplifting,” she said.

Two more conferences will be held; the next Nov. 6 at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Binghamton and the final one Nov. 13 at St. Joseph–St. Patrick Church in Utica. For more information or to register, visit


Kathryne A. Sparaco is the Administrative Assistant for the Office of Vicar General, Chancellor/Director of Communications, Vicar of Religious and Synodal Planning, and

Director of Facilities.

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