“We need to create still broader opportunities for a more incisive female presence in the Church.”
—Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium §103
Women of the Church supports and encourages Catholic women in their work in the Church. Events include a national conference and regional gatherings. The Forum is open to women and men who join together to make manifest the diverse work of women in the Church and to offer resources for discernment and ongoing formation.
We invite you to join us in our Forum activities to be challenged and strengthened by inspiring writings and presentations and renewed for your work in the mission of the Church. We look forward to welcoming you into our spirited and hope-filled conversations now and in the years ahead!
Women of the Church began with a conversation among friends sharing the hope sparked by Pope Francis’ call to give the Catholic Church “a more incisive female presence.” We have responded to that call with the Women of the Church Forum to make visible, support, and celebrate the work of women in the Church.
Our inaugural conference drew 250 people together to beautiful Ferdinand, Indiana, for a spirited gathering on October 7-9, 2016, hosted by the Sisters of St. Benedict of Ferdinand, Indiana, in partnership with Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology.
Pope Francis took notice of the 2016 conference and sent a letter of blessing for the occasion.
Women of the Church next went to Saint Mary’s College, a pioneer in the education of women with over 175 years of empowering women to make a difference in the world. The Center for Spirituality hosted a dynamic and engaging second conference, October 18-20, 2019.
Our work continues to grow and expand in new directions with a vision of bringing Catholic women and men into an energizing network of relationships and programs.
Our national conferences will continue to be offered every three to four years. In addition, we will launch our first regional gathering for emerging leaders, to be held October 22-24, 2021, at Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology. You can also find resources and connect with us through our website and Facebook page.
Our beautiful logo expresses the dynamic spirit of encounter. We love hearing the reactions of others when they see it. The design emerged from our spirited conversations when Women of the Church was a dream on the way to becoming a reality.
After a series of brainstorming sessions about the vision of Women of the Church, we found ourselves stuck when it came to the logo. We knew we had not yet found a vision for our logo, or even articulated the spirit it should convey. Then, Janet reached into her bag, and pulled out a statue. As she placed it on the table, she said, “When I think of the conference, I think of this.” The statue was of two women, clasping hands, gazing upward with joy.
The energy in the room was palpable. At last, our thoughts were flowing. In the joy and wonder of the meeting of these two women, we saw the spirit of encounter, rejoicing in God’s presence in others…and ourselves. This joy of encounter, of which Pope Francis often speaks, is the joy that moved us to dream of Women of the Church in the first place and that continues to renew and direct us. This was the spirit we wanted our logo to convey.
The logo artist went to work. The day the final specs arrived, in full color and with various layout options, several of us gathered around a computer, scrolling through the pages. Each page brought a new shout of joy and laughter. We had our logo at last.
The color green conveys the hope of new life, while the orange provides a beautiful accent color that matches the brilliance of the fall season when our inaugural conference would be meeting. The two abstract images reflect the joy and energy of the two women in the statue…and of our own Women of the Church community.
The logo continues to form and shape our imagination for the Women of the Church activities. The spirit of joyful encounter has become a way of life that is renewed with each new email contact and with each new friend who joins our conversation in Women of the Church.