WEST BEND — Julie Sarnowski, one of the organizers of the fifth annual Women of Christ Conference, termed the event a success in spite of competition from another largely attended Catholic event.
“We thought that the Soles for Education Walk was going to detract from the conference, but we ended up having about 1,700 women attend this year,” she said. “We are very excited at how well this went.”

Planning for the event takes about six months, but speakers are lined up a year or two in advance. The next conference will be Nov. 1, 2014, and Jesuit Fr. James Kubicki, national director of the Milwaukee-based Apostleship of Prayer, will be one of the featured speakers.

Guests travel from around the United States to attend the one-day conference that includes eucharistic adoration, confession, Mass and presentations.

“We had the most women from Wisconsin, Upper Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana and South Dakota,” said Sarnowski, a member of St. Roman Parish, Milwaukee.

Women of Christ began after the overwhelming success of the Men of Christ conference.

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“This is our mission and our calling as baptized Catholics,” said Sarnowski. “Our mission statement states that, ‘As Women of Christ, we recognize the unique dignity of our womanhood and our baptismal call by God to holiness. Empowered by the Eucharist and united in the truths of the Catholic Church, we are called to live, defend and pass on the faith as witnesses to the Gospel message.’”

The feedback is positive and encouraging to conference organizers, according to Sarnowski, and as it grows, they hope to have more volunteers.

“This is such a beautiful thing,” said Sarnowski. “I hope to keep doing this as long as I can. I enjoy seeing all of the women, and young mothers and their babies. I hope more, that even more women will come next year for this wonderful day.”