‘Graced & Gifted’ event aims to offer inspiration to Catholic women

| Sharon Wilson for The Catholic Spirit | October 10, 2013 | 0 Comments
Kitty Cleveland

Kitty Cleveland

Hundreds of women are expected to gather Oct. 26 for an event seeking to inform, refresh and nurture Catholic women across the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

The “Graced & Gifted Catholic Women’s Day” will be celebrated at St. Michael in Prior Lake.

The brainchild of Monica Schneiderman and Brenda Schroll started because of a mutual interest.

“We both were involved in Bible studies and women’s prayer groups, each in our perspective parishes,” Schneiderman said.

The two women collaborated on a few programs and the idea grew. “We saw a need for women to be more involved in their faith, and the idea of bringing in a speaker formed,” Schroll added.

Starting with their connections in neighboring parishes, the two set up coffee dates with women lay leaders. Five parishes joined the effort, and the idea became a reality.

The first “Graced & Gifted” event was in 2008 and drew more than 250 women. The group organized four events over the course of 2008 and 2009 but took a hiatus after Schneiderman’s husband was diagnosed with cancer.

He passed away in 2011, and Schroll decided it was time to get her friend involved once again in the effort.

This year’s conference is entitled “Graced & Gifted: Courageous Faith & Contagious Joy — A Day for Catholic Women.”

Kelly Wahlquist, whom the two knew from her work with Jeff Cavins’ Bible Timeline groups, had been traveling around the country speaking to Catholic women’s groups. The parish collaboration grew to include Wahlquist, and she will be one of the headliners at the event.

Interested in going?“Graced & Gifted: Courageous Faith & Contagious Joy — A Day for Catholic Women” is from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Oct. 26 at St. Michael in Prior Lake. The cost to attend is $55.

Event information and registration

Sharing faith’s riches

The second headliner for the event will be Kitty Cleveland, a nationally known Catholic singer, songwriter and evangelist.

Cleveland said her testimony and music “is to encourage people — whether through music, storytelling or teaching from the great Catholic spiritual writers and my own life experiences.”

“My heart burns with a desire to share the riches of our Catholic faith, especially to lapsed or lukewarm Catholics,” she said.

Schneiderman invites all women to attend the event. Those who attend should expect “a day set apart — to make a new friend, to cry, to be nurtured. It is a day for mothers, daughters, grandmas and girlfriends.”

The event has the potential for growth. The women hope to bring this event to more women by expanding to other parts of the archdiocese. Talks have already begun about having a similar event in spring 2014 in the northern suburbs.

The day begins with Mass at 8:30 a.m. with Bishop Lee Piché and includes breakfast, lunch, speakers and entertainment. The event is co-sponsored by the archdiocesan Office of Marriage, Family and Life.

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