The following story appeared in the August 12 Idaho Catholic Register.
Women’s Conference logo by Bizzy Schorr
By Emily Woodham
It’s rare that people have the opportunity to learn from parents whose children are in the canonization process. However, those who attend the 2022 Idaho Catholic Women’s Conference on Saturday, Sept. 10, will get to hear from Antonia Salzano, the mother of Blessed Carlo Acutis.
Salzano will be giving a virtual presentation to the conference, which has for its theme,
“Triumphant in Joy and Sorrow.”
“Antonia is extremely generous and wants to share about the life of her son,” said Carol Brown, director of marketing and community relations for Salt & Light Radio, which is presenting the annual event. “Losing her son through leukemia and his path to sainthood really matches our theme.”
The conference will be at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Nampa and also available online. The Sept. 10 event begins with Mass celebrated by Bishop Peter Christensen at 8 a.m. Keynote speakers, in addition, to Salzano are author Kimberly Hahn, wife of well-known Catholic apologist Dr. Scott Hahn, and Boise native Sister Maria Juan Anderson, RSM.
“The conference theme is something particularly apropos in our turbulent times,” Brown said. “The conference date is close to the feast days of Our Lady of Sorrows and the Triumph of the Cross.”
Sister Maria Juan of the Religious Sisters of Mercy was born and raised in Boise, a parishioner of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. She entered the convent in 2012 and made her perpetual vows last year.
“I am excited and really honored to be invited back to Idaho for this conference,” Sister Maria Juan said. “I owe so much of the gift of my faith and the fostering of my vocation to the priests and people of Idaho.”
It is important for women to come to events like the conference, Sister Maria Juan said.
“The experience of being with other women who are striving to live their life for Christ and His Church, other women who are seeking to grow in their faith, encourages all of us. The culture can make us feel like we are alone in our faith, that no one else thinks like we do, or believes in Jesus. We are witnesses to one another, and we must encourage one another in the Christian life.”
Hahn is a former Presbyterian whose father was a minister. She entered the Catholic Church in 1990, four years after her husband, scholar and author, Scott Hahn. The couple recounts their conversion story in their book, “Rome Sweet Home, Our Journey to Catholicism,” in which Hahn discusses her struggles with some Catholic beliefs before being received into the Church. She holds a Master of Arts in Theology from Gordon-Cornwell Theological Seminary and is the author of several books.
The logo for the conference was created by Bizzy Schorr of the Idaho Conference of Catholic Women. In the center of the “Triumphant Rose” is Christ in the Host, honoring the Eucharistic Renewal in the Diocese of Boise and throughout the nation.
“The intensity and brightness of the colors speak of God’s desire that we have life, and life abundantly,” Schorr said. “God’s love for us is constant, no matter where we are in the cycle of joy and sorrow. Our life is vibrant no matter what we are going through.”
For those who attend in person, breakfast and lunch will be provided. A wine and cheese party follows the conference at 3 p.m. in Marist Hall on the St. Paul’s Parish campus.
The day includes opportunities for Adoration and confession. A mother’s room for nursing babies will also be available. Participants will be given
time to peruse the vendors on the Catholic Marketplace. All those who register for the in-person conference will also have access to recordings of the conference online.
The coordinators of the conference are hoping that women will be encouraged that although life has obstacles, we can be triumphant in Christ, Brown said. “So frequently we focus on all the good times in life, yet sorrow is a true reality and can help us grow in our relationship with Christ.”
“Women are givers and frequently do not take the time to replenish themselves. This conference is an opportunity to step out of routine, rest and receive,” Brown said.
TO REGISTER FOR THE CONFERENCE
The registration fee for in-person on or before Friday, Aug. 26 is $49. Thereafter, the fee is $60. For high school and college students and active military personnel, the fee is $29. Registration for the online platform is $29 per person. At press time, only 30 percent of tickets are left for in-person registration.
A commemorative t-shirt and jacket are available for purchase with registration until Aug. 17.
Due to the high cost of gas and travel, coordinators for the conference have made provision for remote watch parties, said Carol Brown of Salt & Light Radio. Parishes or individuals who want to host a watch party can contact Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org. The party will then be added to a list, which women can choose from when they register for the virtual platform of the conference. All those who attend the watch party must still register for the conference.
“Costs associated with bringing in speakers and online platforms which require additional trained professionals are just a part of the online experience that is being offered,” Brown said. “These special events take
several months of planning and organizing on the part of several women. When watch party attendees register, it tells us how many women are attending, which is very important to us, and helps us make informed decisions for future conferences. It also keeps the conference going and affordable for everyone.”
To learn more about the conference and to register go to idahocatholicwomen.com or call 208-344-4774.
If you enjoyed this story and would like to read more like it, please consider buying a subscription to the Idaho Catholic Register. Your $20 yearly subscription also supports the work of the Diocese of Boise Communications Department, which includes not only the newspaper, but this website, social media posts and videos. You can subscribe here, or through your parish, or send a check to 1501 S. Federal Way, Boise, ID, 83705: or call 208-350-7554 to leave a credit card payment. Thank you, and God bless you.