“Beloved Daughter” next in series of Redeemed conferences
by Kristina Lahr | New Earth
“The world has a laundry list of things it says that women need to do and be in order to matter,” said Colleen Carroll Campbell who will be a keynote speaker for the Diocese of Fargo Women’s Conference. “Jesus is inviting us to scrap that list and find our identity in Him alone – and through Him, to find all the joy and fulfillment we sought in vain elsewhere.”
Colleen Carroll Campbell is an author, print and broadcast journalist and former presidential speechwriter. Her journalism credits include contributions to the New York Times, Washington Post, First Things and America, and appearances on CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, PBS and NPR. She has served as executive producer and anchor of EWTN News Nightly with Colleen Carroll Campbell and as creator and host of EWTN’s Faith & Culture television and radio interview show. She lives near St. Louis, Mo., with her husband and four children, whom she homeschools.
Her most recent book, My Sisters the Saints, includes some themes of her keynote address, such as how the saints help us to accept Christ’s invitation to find joy in him.
“I want to explore what the women saints can teach us about trading the do-more-buy-more-achieve-more craziness the world offers us for the peace of Christ, that peace the world cannot give. I’ll be sharing some of my personal struggles to find that peace, which the women saints helped me to discover.”
Campbell will also share her 12-year experience as a caregiver to her father during his journey through Alzheimer’s. She says that the elderly aren’t just recipients of care but have many gifts to offer through their lives and through their suffering.
“The trick is learning to see those gifts in the midst of the day-to-day slog of caregiving. I plan to take a closer look at saints like Mother Teresa of Calcutta, along with other exceptional caregivers, to distill three secrets of soulful caregiving that can help us emerge from this journey closer to our loved ones and to Christ.”
“If I had a goal for my speeches it would be this,” said Campbell, “That the woman who walks into that conference hall feeling alone, or misunderstood, or buried in stresses and struggles that none of her earthly friends and family fully comprehend, will be able to walk out realizing that she has sisters and brothers in heaven waiting – longing, even – to offer her real support and practical wisdom that can help her find her way back to peace.”
The Redeemed Women’s Conference will host an array of speakers including Sister Mary Elizabeth, Vicar General for the Sisters of Life, and Eric Genuis, composer and virtuoso pianist. The conference will also feature local speakers, Roxane Salonen, Jennifer Anderson, Renae Duppong and Dr. James Link. To register for the conference, go to www.fargodiocese.org/redeemedwomen. The event will take place March 11 at the Holiday Inn, Fargo.
“Our hope for this conference is that women will be able to realize at a personal level their identity as Beloved Daughters of God,” said Jennie Korsmo, Marriage Preparation Coordinator for the Diocese of Fargo. “With this realization they will continue or be able to go out into the world and live their vocation, as married, single or religious, with great love.”
Beloved Daughter is the next installment of the Redeemed conference series. After the Living Reflections of God’s Love Family Conference in the fall of 2015, Bishop Folda wanted to make conferences such as these available on an annual basis for people in the region. A Faith and Family Conference is scheduled for April 7, 2018 and a second Men’s Conference is slated for spring of 2019.
Redeemed Men’s Conference inspires men to greatness
“The goal for these conferences is what we are already beginning to see: renewal, a strengthening in the faith, hope, and love of those who attend, and a deepened commitment to God,” said Brad Gray, Director of Office of Marriage and Family Life for the Diocese of Fargo. “We want people to know Christ’s love for them more intimately and to discover anew the marvel of their own dignity as sons and daughters of God.”
All conferences moving forward will share the name Redeemed, a reminder that we are all redeemed in Christ. It is the foundation of our lives and the source of our joy.
“It is what makes everything new and meaningful,” said Gray. “It simply made sense to let the reality that we are redeemed through the loving self-gift of Jesus Christ be the context for all of these conferences.”
Keynote speaker Steve Wood, a leader in youth, campus and prolife ministries, gave his testimony about his journey to the Catholic Church as an evangelical pastor. During his keynote address, it was clear he has a passion for passing on the faith to all, especially his children and grandchildren.
He gave examples of how fathers can effectively pass their faith to their children by building a “relational bridge.” Fathers could do this by including their kids on adventures and then, little by little, sharing the faith. He suggested it doesn’t take much to get a child or teen connecting to Christ, even one question could open the door to something in his or her heart.
Wood also discussed the harms of pornography and how to combat it. He suggested delving into scripture, and not just reading it, but memorizing verses. That way the mind could more easily be filled with good things in a moment of temptation.
As the first Redeemed conference, the Men’s conference in October has already shown fruits of a renewal. It served as a reminder to men that they are “made for greatness,” as the name of the conference suggested.
“The Redeemed Men’s Conference was designed as a reminder to us men of the unique call that we have received as men made in the image of God. It is not to shrink back in the face of the challenges that we face from the world, the flesh and the devil, but to go out and conquer them through the power of Jesus Christ alive in us.”
“‘Made for Greatness’ seemed such a fitting theme since this is one of the primary challenges that we men face today, the tendency to close in on ourselves and pursue comfort instead of greatness,” said Gray. “But that fails to fulfill the desires of a man’s heart to be great, not merely to appear great, but to be genuinely great, that is upright and noble, whether anyone notices or not.”