Women’s Conference, ‘The Face of Mercy,’ is Aug. 27

By Catholic Spirit Staff

About 60 women gathered for food and fellowship on April 29 at St. Thomas More Parish in Austin. This was not simply a social event, however, but a long-awaited kickoff for a diocesan-wide conference especially for women. 
The excitement was almost palpable as the participants prayed together for the success of the conference and heard presentations by Sharon Perkins, Dorothy Polchinski and Carolyn Martinez of the diocesan Office of Evangelization, Catechesis, and Family Life.
Perkins said the conference, which will be held Aug. 27, at St. Helen Parish in Georgetown, is “an opportunity for women from all over our diocese to celebrate what God has done, is doing, and will do in Central Texas — through women.” 
Referring to what St. John Paul II called “the feminine genius” in his 1988 Apostolic Letter to women, titled “Mulieris Dignitatem” (the Dignity of Woman), Perkins said, “It’s clear that many, many women in our diocese are exercising that dignity in service to the Lord. This conference, in part, will acknowledge that.”
The conference theme, “The Face of Mercy,” is also a recognition of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, and the chosen image of St. Veronica and her veil imprinted with Jesus’ face reminds us of the ways that women seek to relieve Jesus’ suffering through their caring responses to those who are hurting and in need. 
“As women, we bring the compassionate gaze of Jesus into whatever situation we find ourselves, and we take appropriate action,” said Polchinski, the associate director of evangelization for the diocese.
Besides booths of vendors, authors and apostolates featuring ministry with and for women, the highlights of the conference will include keynote addresses by Dr. Patricia Sulak, Maria Morera Johnson and Kelly Wahlquist. Bishop Joe Vásquez will celebrate Mass. 
The conference fee of $40 (in advance) or $50 (at the door) includes all materials and lunch. Due to space limitations, the attendance will be limited to 500. Register now at www.austindiocese.org/face-of-mercy.