Toronto, Canada (Monday, 03-16-2015, Gaudium Press) The 6th Annual Dynamic Women of Faith Catholic Women’s conference held on the 14th March 2015 at the International Plaza Hotel in Toronto was well attended by women of all ages. The conference organized by Dorothy Pilarski has been growing over the years, and featured inspirational talks by Thomas Cardinal Collins of Toronto; Dr. Josie Lombardi assistant professor of Pastoral and Systematic Theology at St. Augustine’s Seminary; Gary Zimak a Catholic author and radio host who appears on EWTN; and catholic authors Ellen Gable Hrkach, Moira Noonan, Enza Rattenni, Tanya Granic Allen and the organizer herself.
Cardinal Collins talk on Mary, the Mother of God our Model for becoming dynamic women of faith’ emphasized the importance of faith and faith in action. Using the Gospels of Matthew and Luke he indicated how Our Lady lived her faith through her Fiat at the Annuciation and acted on her faith in the Visitation. He went on to say that in our lives the Annunciation (the divine invitation) must always lead to the Visitation (charity – faith in action). The cardinal stressed that we live in difficult times, and must imitate Mary by living our faith as she did at the foot of the cross, never wavering in hope and in love.
His Eminence explained the biblical basis for the Hail Mary and the Angelus. He remarked hat Our Lady always tells us, as she did in the wedding at Cana, ‘Do what He says’, thereby drawing us to the heart of God. Cardinal Collins touched upon Catholic doctrine and dogma on Our Lady and traced how all of these have their seeds in the Gospels. He proceeded with how to discern Marian apparitions by verifying the sanity, the sanctity, the fruitfulness, and the orthodoxy of the seers. He concluded by urging the auditorium to pray the Angelus three times a day as well as the importance of Eucharistic Adoration, before blessing everyone present.
Gary Zimak covered the topic of worry and anxiety and how to overcome these by prayer and by the sacrament of the present through the abandonment to divine providence. This theme was echoed in the personal testimony of Ellen Gabel Hrkach while also alerting the audience to the blessings received in times of loss and tribulations. Dr. Lombardi’s talk on Perfect Love covered topics such as factors which keep women away from perfect love (the commandment to love God and Love ones neighbour) and steps to overcome these factors. In response to the audience’s interest, Moira Noonan spoke about the general dangers of the new age, focusing on reiki, and other dangerous spiritual deceptions in the culture that we live in. Enza Rattenni powerfully shared her passionate example of Christ working through us, with an inspired collection of true life tales that inspired the listeners to do more to support the pro-life movement. Tanya Granic Allen’s talk was a rousing reminder of our primary duty, to know, love, and serve God in our everyday lives, whether it be at the level of her work with the UN or in changing dirty diapers. Dorothy Pilarski concluded the conference with a summary of all the wonderful spiritual and temporal tools catholic women have to get closer to God.The conference was well attended and the women were deeply touched by a sense both of unity as well as blessedness as they delved into deeper understanding of God as well as communion with each other.
Various books were available for further reading as well as sacramental confession. The Sisters of Life were in attendance, and their words and religious habit reminding those present of their services, both to save lives endangered by abortion and to help the women who have suffered this tragedy.