Alright, I’ll admit it. When I first saw the e-mail from Dorothy that the Dynamic Women of Faith Conference was still a go but online, I wasn’t about to wave my proverbial poms poms in the air. As a mother with two young children, the first thoughts racing through my head were, “Oh great, I’m going to have to listen to a conference on my laptop all day while I attempt to block out the running, whining and shouting of the chimpanzees I call my kids. I even reached out to Dorothy asking if I could have a full refund.
However, as I reflected on my initial reaction, the tune of my heart changed. I realized now more than ever, with Masses being cancelled for the unforeseen future and Churches being closed even for private prayer before the Tabernacle, we need to come together as Catholic women now!
I wanted to share with you my top 5 reasons why the online Dynamic Women of Faith Conference really is a great thing.
1. The Resiliency of Dorothy and Her Team
COVID-19 has turned everyone’s world upside down and has forced us to come up with creative alternatives to connecting with one another. With all the chaos and confusion around us, there needs to be light and that is what this conference is about; setting our hearts aflame with the truth of our Catholic faith and spreading the hope that only Christ can give. I ask you to pray for Dorothy and her team as they are working around the clock to add some surprises for all of you. They need your spiritual support!
2. Hear Great Speakers
Back in 2013, I attended the Defending the Faith Conference at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. I heard Kimberly Hahn give a talk entitled ‘Why Worry’. She was so inspiring and reminded me of the great role we play as wives and mothers in nurturing the faith of our families. In-person or online, Kimberly Hahn has a message all women need to hear. I’m equally looking forward to tuning into Colleen Campbell’s talk and have her heard great reviews of her book, My Sister’s the Saints from Catholic girlfriends. I really appreciate how the Dynamic Women of Faith Conference looks to find a variety of well-known Catholic speakers year after year at a time we need to hear them the most.
3. Reach a Wider Audience
An online conference means more accessibility to women that typically wouldn’t have attended. Had it not been for my friend Kathie Borys from Kitchener that invited me to the Dynamic Women of Faith Conference five years ago, I wouldn’t have known about this event and wouldn’t have attended. It is because of Dorothy and the witness of so many other moms that inspired me to start up KW Catholic Moms in my local community. There were no Catholic Moms group that existed for the tri-city of Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge and the Catholic Moms group that I lead is changing lives for the better! One conference can have a ripple effect on our community of faith. I encourage each of you to spread the word on your social media pages. You never know who may feel called to attend.
4. Zoom is Super User Friendly!
Before making the decision to be a stay-at-home mom several years ago, I worked for a high-tech company in an internal HR Communications role. I worked with several different conferencing platforms and can attest that Zoom is very easy to navigate. Even the least tech-savy person can jump right in. Just last night I had a Catholic Mom cocktail hour with some girlfriends and we used Zoom to check in on one another while staying at home to flatten the
COVID-19 curve. We all came away with our spirits lifted (no pun intended!) as we were able to connect and know we are in this together.
5. Avoid GTA traffic
As someone who doesn’t drive on the highways that often, taking the 401 towards Mississauga can be quite daunting. So much so that I need to carpool with other women who can drive because it causes me anxiety. I’m actually looking forward to setting a pot of coffee, folding laundry, cooking a meal and all of these typical things we do around the house while turning into the Dynamic Women of Faith Conference from the comfort of my kitchen. My husband is still planning to watch the kids so I can actually pay attention to what’s going on. He’ll be taking them for walks to our local park, kicking the ball around and exploring the backyard. They’ll spend some quality time together and I can have the opportunity to come away feeling renewed in my faith!
Andrea Szrejber, Catholic wife and mother who ministers to moms in the Kitchener Waterloo area