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Women of the Church hosted its second regional forum on Friday, May 31 – Sunday, June 2, 2024, at the Saint Meinrad Archabbey Guest House. The theme was “Eucharistic Living.” We gathered to break open what Eucharistic Living entails throughout our life. Topics included living as the Body of Christ, the grace of gratitude, and the Paschal mystery as lived faith in daily life.

There was time and space to listen and learn from leaders in the Church and to bring our own experiences into conversation with others. It was a joyful and sacred time.

We would like to thank our sponsor, The Saint Meinrad Young Adult Initiative.




  • Kimberly Baker
    Associate Professor of Patristics, Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology

    Kimberly got her start in teaching as a child when she organized her stuffed animals into her first class. Since that auspicious beginning, she earned her PhD in Theology from the University of Notre Dame and joined the faculty of Saint Meinrad. Her research specialty is Augustine’s preaching on the Church’s life as the Body of Christ in the world.

    Kimberly’s interest in theology first developed during her two-year post-college campus ministry experience in Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa. In recent years, she has led the fundraising efforts for several community development projects in Togo, West Africa.


  • Agnes Kovacs
    Director, Continuing Formation and Associate Director, Graduate Theology Programs, Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology

    Agnes Kovacs, a native of Hungary, has lived in the United States for over three decades.

    She completed her MTS degree at Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology while working in parish ministry. Agnes joined the administration at Saint Meinrad in 2011. Her areas of interest include liturgy, sacramental theology, catechesis, prayer, and an appreciation for music, poetry, and the visual arts.

    As a mother and grandmother, Agnes is eager to help families recognize themselves as domestic church and deepen and broaden their life of prayer.

  • Brother Zachary Wilberding, OSB

    Brother Zachary Wilberding has been a Benedictine monk for over 25 years.  Prior to entering monastic life he had a career in nursing in clinical and education settings.  He has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Nursing from the University of Iowa and a Master of Divinity degree from Aquinas Institute of Theology, St. Louis, MO.  He serves as vocation director for Saint Meinrad Archabbey as well as giving retreats and editing the Community Bulletin.

  • Liturgical Leaders
  • Debra Dyko
    Liturgical Musician

    Debra Dyko is Director of Music at St Meinrad School of Theology in Indiana. She studied with Dr Timothy Howard and the late Carl Swanson. She is a Colleague of the American Guild of Organists.

    In addition to being an organist, she won the First prize in Composition in 2022 held by the Center for American Church Music, and also First place in the Emerging Composers Competition held by the Canticle Singers of Baltimore.

  • Dr. Sharon Schuhmann
    Preacher for Opening Liturgical Celebration

    Sharon earned a Masters degree in Theological Studies from Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology in 2011 and a Doctorate in Preaching from Aquinas Institute of Theology in 2016. Her passion for Sacred Scripture and proclaiming and preaching (outside the Eucharistic Celebration) encouraged her pursuit of the Doctorate in Preaching degree. She currently teaches homiletics at Saint Meinrad School of Theology.

    Her ministry experiences in the Archdiocese of Louisville include Coordinator of Evangelization and Coordinator of Pro-Life Ministries and Parish Formation and Pastoral Associate responsibilities in several parishes.

    She has been married for 46 years. She and her husband, Charlie, have four adult children and eight grandchildren.

  • Father Eugene Hensell, OSB
    Celebrant for Mass

    Father Eugene Hensell is a Benedictine monk from the Archabbey of Saint Meinrad. He was born in Logansport Indiana in 1942 and did his undergraduate and seminary education at St. Meinrad being ordained a priest in 1969. Subsequent to ordination Father Eugene pursued and obtained an M.A. degree (1971) and a Ph.D. degree (1975) in Biblical Languages and Literature from St. Louis University.


  • Friday, May 31, 2024
    • 2:00 – 4:45 p.m.Registration
    • 5:00 – 5:30 p.m. Vespers with Monastic Community (optional)
    • 5:30 – 6:15 p.m. Dinner
    • 6:30 – 7:00 p.m. Welcome and Opening Liturgical Celebration
    • 7:15– 8:15 p.m. Plenary Session 1: Kimberly Baker, "Living as the Body of Christ"
    • 8:15 – 9:15 p.m. Reception
  • Saturday, June 1, 2024
    • 5:30 – 6:15 a.m. Vigils and Lauds with Monastic Community (optional)
    • 7:00 – 8:30 a.m. Breakfast
    • 8:45 – 9:15 a.m. Prayer and Morning Announcements
    • 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. Plenary Session 2: Brother Zachary Wilberding, "The Grace of Gratitude"
    • 10:45 – 11:45 a.m. Gathering the Wisdom
    • 12:00 – 12:15 Midday Prayer with Monastic Community (optional)
    • 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Lunch
    • 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. FreeTime, Self-Guided Tours, Library
    • 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. Plenary Session 3: Agnes Kovacs
    • 3:30 – 4:45 p.m. Gathering the Wisdom
    • 5:00 – 5:30 p.m. Vespers with Monastic Community
    • 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. Dinner
    • 6:45 - 8:15 p.m. A Breath of Beauty
    • 8:15 - 9:15 p.m. Reception
  • Sunday, June 2, 2024 (Corpus Christi)
    • 7:15 – 8:00 a.m. Vigils and Lauds with Monastic Community (optional)
    • 7:00 – 8:30 a.m. Breakfast
    • Please check out of the room by 9 a.m.
    • 9:00 – 9:25 a.m. Prayer and Morning Announcements
    • 9:30 – 9:45 a.m. Reflection: Kimberly Baker
    • 9:45 - 10:15 a.m. Small Group Session
    • 10:15 – 10:45 a.m. Gathering the Wisdom
    • 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Closing Sendoff Mass
    • 12:15 – 1:00 p.m. Lunch Available


  • On a bright Friday afternoon on the Archabbey campus we welcomed 19 women for our second regional forum.
  • But first, Agnes worked her magic creating beautiful flower arrangements using the Japanese art form called Ikebana.
  • Sharon Schuhmann preached on The Visitation for our opening liturgy.
  • Agnes led us in singing "Hope for Tomorrow" written by Janèt Sullivan Whitaker.
  • Our opening Plenary Session Friday evening was given by Dr. Kimberly Baker on "Living as the Body of Christ".
  • Following the opening plenary session everyone enjoyed a reception of light appetizers and wine.
  • Some ended the evening with casual conversation.
  • Friends from Bourbonnais, Illinois enjoy conversation during the break time.
  • During the break conversations continued between Marisa Tichenor, Jane Cruthirds and Joan Huber.
  • Saturday morning started with our second Plenary Session given by Agnes Kovacs on "The Paschal Mystery as Lived Faith in Daily Life".
  • Jackie Farrer shares her thoughts during Agnes's session on the Paschal Mystery.
  • After the second plenary session we practiced "The Conversation in the Spirit". A model of listening from the Instrumentum Laboris for the October 2023 session of the Synod on Synodality.
  • Sharing and listening using the model of "Conversation in the Spirit".
  • Br. Zachary Wilberding, OSB led our third Plenary Session titled: "The Grace of Gratitude".
  • Jan Figenshu shares her thoughts with everyone during Br. Zachary's session on gratitude.
  • Kimberly Baker and Sharon Schuhmann share before we "Gather the Wisdom" during an Emmaus Walk.
  • Fast friends, Maria Burnett and Selma Jacinto Domingos got to enjoy conversation in their familiar Portugese language.
  • Saturday evening for the Breath of Beauty portion of the weekend, we created a beautiful cross with colorful paper representing what inspires us. Each person shared with the group what inspires them and proceeded to pin a piece of paper to the cross. It was a joy hearing what inspires everyone!
  • The cross and paper before we started.
  • Kathy Peters
  • Elizabeth Taraska shares what inspires her.
  • Corinna Waggoner
  • Jacqui Rapp
  • Sr. Denise Glazik, OP
  • Marisa Tichenor
  • Kimberly Baker
  • The cross after each one of us pinned our piece of paper.
  • Completing the cross together.
  • Cheryl King and Agnes Kovacs share a few words.
  • Jan Figenshu and Kathy Peters
  • Sharon Schuhmann and Sr. Denise Glazik, OP
  • Jackie Farrer, Kimberly Baker and Janet Millen wash the dishes after the reception Saturday evening. Photo taken by Kristen Templin.
  • Maria Burnett proclaimed the first reading for the closing send-off Mass on the Feast of Corpus Christi. Fr. Eugene Hensell, OSB presided.
  • Jackie Farrer offers the second reading.
  • Fr. Eugene Hensell, OSB preaches at the closing send-off Mass.
  • We had the west and east coasts represented at our Forum: Maria Burnett from Watsonville, California and Jan Figenshu from Madison, New Jersey!
  • The contingent of women from Bourbonnais, Illinois who joined us thanks to the invitation by Chris Lord. L-R: Chris Lord, Cheryl King, Mary Talone, Rochelle Murphy Joseph and Debbie Kershaw.
  • Women of the Church Leadership Team: Janet Millen, Agnes Kovacs and Kimberly Baker.
  • Our entire group (minus two who had to leave early) before everyone went their separate ways after a wonderful weekend together. Until next time... L-R Janet Millen, Sr. Denise Glazik, OP, Cheryl King, Elizabeth Taraska, Rochelle Murphy Joseph, Jan Figenshu, Mary Talone, Agnes Kovacs, Maria Burnett, Debbie Kershaw, Joan Huber, Jackie Farrer, Mary Talone, Jane Cruthirds, Corinna Waggoner, Jacqui Rapp, Marisa Tichenor, Chris Lord, Kristen Templin and Kimberly Baker.