By ROB HERBST
The Catholic Week
While COVID-19 has curtailed many gatherings, the “Called to Love” conference will provide women a chance to come together once again.
The Archdiocese of Mobile-sponsored women’s conference is slated for Saturday, Sept. 26 at McGill-Toolen Catholic High School. Like many events, conference series planners were unsure if an in-person conference was realistic. But after discussion and prayer, the conference will take place, in-person and online.
“We’ve been through some really crazy months,” said Janet Masline, associate director of the office of evangelization and family life for the Archdiocese of Mobile. “What we’re hoping comes out of the conference is that ladies are able to come together, just because we haven’t been able to do that and also to reflect on these last few months, see where our Lord is calling us to be, especially within the home.
“The last few months have given us some time to think about what we’re supposed to be doing and the importance of bringing our faith home.”
Social distancing guidelines must still be implemented so in-person ticket sales will be limited to 80 registrants. Those attending will have their temperatures checked and be asked to wear masks.
Online sales will be limited to 120 tickets and those choosing that direction will be given a link to the video conferencing app Zoom.
“One of the really heavy crosses for people has been a sense of isolation, a sense of being alone, a sense of being cut off from the community,” said Pat Arensberg, director of the office of evangelization and family life. “I think it’s really exciting for them to have the possibility to come together, largely in person, but for those who are less comfortable with that, online.”
Registration and lunch begin at noon for those attending the conference in-person. Cost is $25. Online attendees will join at 1 p.m. and the cost is $10.
The registration fee includes conference bags and art supplies. St. Dominic Catholic School art teacher Debora Castelin will lead particpants in prayer through a guided meditation through art as she teaches participants to paint the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Online conference participants who purchase their tickets by Sept. 16 will be able to pick up their supplies from their respective parish office during the week of Sept. 20. Those purchasing tickets for the online option after Sept. 16 can pick up supplies at the Department of Catholic Education office, 352 Government St.
Other speakers include McGill-Toolen theology teacher, campus minister Lauren Allen, St. Ignatius Parish Ministry Coordinator Melinda Seiter and Fr. Andrew Jones, parochial vicar at St. Michael Parish in Auburn. Holy Name of Jesus Parish family life coordinator Mary C. Sylvester will provide music and Fr. Peyton Plessala, parochial vicar at Little Flower Parish, will lead in Adoration.
“We’re using a lot of the well-loved talent around here,” Masline said. “It’s people who folks already know and love and have been serving their parishes and schools.
– For more information and registration info, visit http://ctl.mobarchconferences.org/.
By ROB HERBST