Conference Speaker Urges Women to ‘Love Like A Saint’

Posted on May 15, 2022 in: News, Norwich Diocesan Council of Catholic Women

Conference Speaker Urges Women to ‘Love Like A Saint’

The stories told of two unknown yet faith-filled women inspired participants at the 12th Annual Diocesan Women’s Conference to ‘Love Like A Saint.’ 

Keynote speaker Liz Kelly, an award-winning author, professor and spiritual director, told women attending the virtual conference, “If love needs revision in you – a reboot or a deeper conversion – you can trust Jesus is here. He is calling your name. He is calling you to him, personally and passionately.” 

Through the stories of two women featured in her latest book, “Love Like a Saint: Cultivating Virtue with Holy Women,” Kelly showed how Jesus worked miracles in the lives of these women, calling them to a deeper understanding of the virtues of perseverance and love.

Kelly began with the story of Blessed Benedetta Bianchi Porro, a young woman from Forli, Italy whose aspirations of becoming a medical missionary doctor were thwarted by a debilitating degenerative disease that took her life at age 28. Through her physical suffering, Benedetta became aware of the richness of her internal life and the faithful presence of Jesus accompanying her. “In my Calvary, I do not lack hope,” Benedetta wrote in her diary, “I know that at the end of the road, Jesus is waiting for me.”

Kelly called Benedetta a perfect example of someone who practiced the virtue of perseverance, which she defined – using a quote from her former professor – as ‘the graced ability to continue giving one’s deepest heart.’ “Perseverance has nothing to do with one’s ability to be tough and not give up,” said Kelly. “The emphasis is on what God will do and my deepest confidence in Him. It is my confidence in His ability to give me the graced ability to continue giving my heart to Him no matter what may be happening to me.”

She called Benedetta’s life a powerful example of that graced ability and the mysterious ways Jesus brings each of us to flourish even in the most unexpected environments. While Benedetta never achieved her dream of being a missionary doctor, Kelly judges she became a doctor, nonetheless. 

“Her life teaches us that the path to being made new with Jesus is not always painless or perfectly easy. In receiving this graced ability, she becomes a doctor of another sort – a surgeon to those souls that came to her.” Kelly called her a ‘spiritual doctor’ who had the capacity to read souls and to know their needs with an uncanny capacity to radiate joy despite the limitations of her life. Pope Francis beatified Benedetta in 2019. 

Kelly also talked about Eve Lavalliere, a star of the Paris stage in the early 20th Century. Despite the fame and fortune Eve achieved, she could never rid herself of the demons that tortured her following her traumatic childhood. That changed drastically for Eve when she encountered the life of St. Mary Magdalene in a book that she prayerfully read on her knees about the saint’s life.

“The woman who got up thereafter was a new creation,” Kelly said. Eve became a joyful penitent, received communion for the second time in her life and left the distractions of the stage and her once lavish lifestyle behind her. She spent the later years of her life working with the underprivileged, making several trips to North Africa asking the question each day, ‘Where is my love needed?’

“In Magdalene’s story, Eve found something of her own…she saw the unconditional love of God and the mercy of Jesus and the power of love it would bestow on the recipient,” Kelly said. “This modern Magdalene, born on Easter, would be born again when Jesus made His presence known to her.” Ironically, Eve died on Easter Sunday 1929 at the age of 63. Scripture tells us that Mary Magdalene’s life was reborn through her encounter with Jesus and was one of the first people Jesus appeared to on Easter morning. 

“Eve’s story reminds us that we all fall down in love,” Kelly said. “I want to reassure you that there’s nothing you can have done, no sin you can have committed…no place where the love of God cannot find you. There’s no place where Jesus will not go; no darkness He will not enter to find you and to love you just like He did with Eve.” 

In living out this virtue of love in our lives, Kelly said each of us must ask the question Eve asked herself, ‘Where is my love needed?’ 

She closed by challenging participants to prayerfully consider, “Who needs your love right now and how might you bestow it? Also consider that maybe the person who needs your love at this moment might be you. It might be you.” 

The annual women’s conference is co-sponsored by the Diocesan Office of Faith Events and the Norwich Diocesan Council of Catholic Women. 

By Mary-Jo McLaughlin


Most Viewed Articles of the Last 30 Days

Here’s When Easter Officially Ends

Posted on April 04, 2024 in: News

1429

Here’s When Easter Officially Ends
Catholics recognize Easter — when Jesus Christ rose from the dead after sacrificing his life for all of humanity — as the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the spring equinox. But, as it turns out, they can continue saying “Happy Easter” into May or, in some years, into June. Easter lasts for a total of 50 days, from Easter Sunday until the feast of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles, Mary, and the first followers of Christ.  This year, 2024, Easter was on March 31 and runs until Pentecost Sunday, ...

Read More

The Shroud of Turin - The Most Holy Cloth

Posted on March 19, 2024 in: News

1282

The Shroud of Turin - The Most Holy Cloth
It is said to have been brought from the Mideast to Europe by the Knights Templar, and it is purportedly the most studied artifact in history. But the greatest claim made for this cloth is that it is the actual burial cloth of Christ, the Shroud of Turin. On the cloth can be seen a faint image of the corpse of a tortured man, with blood stains indicating wounds around the head, chest, arms, hands, and feet. The first photograph of the cloth was taken in 1898, and to everyone’s amazement, it revealed that the image was something akin to a photographic negative, whic...

Read More

A Glowing Celebration of Faith- Candlelit Easter Vigil at the Cathedral of Saint Patrick
A sea of candlelight cast a comforting glow over those gathered in the darkened Cathedral of Saint Patrick for the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday, March 30th. The Liturgy of Light (Lucernarium) commenced as Bishop Michael R. Cote and ministers proceeded in silence and darkness to the rear of the Cathedral. There, the Bishop spoke to the faithful about the significance of the vigil before bestowing a blessing upon the new fire, which would be used to light the Paschal candle. Father Brian Romanowski then carried the lit candle down the main aisle into the dimly lit Cath...

Read More

Sacred Oils, Sacred Vows - Chrism Mass 2024
"May your holy oil, O Lord, be blessed by You, for our sake" The annual Chrism Mass took place Tuesday morning, March 26th, at the Cathedral of St. Patrick in Norwich, continuing the celebration of Holy Week leading up to Easter.  The Most Rev. Michael R. Cote, D.D., Bishop of the Diocese of Norwich, blessed the sacramental oils that will be used by parishes throughout the diocese in the coming year for baptism, confirmation, anointing of the sick and the ordination of priests.  In his homily, the Bishop remarked, "It is the c...

Read More

St. Joseph - Husband of Mary and Patron of the Universal Church
St. Joseph is honored with feast days throughout the Liturgical Year. This feast encourages us to look at Joseph's role as husband and head of the Holy Family. Most of what we know about the life of St. Joseph comes to us from Scripture and legends that have sprung up regarding his life. Though Joseph is only mentioned by two of the evangelists, he is paid the compliment of being a "just" man. This is a way of saying that Joseph was such a good and holy man that he shares in God's own holiness. In addition, Joseph gives us an example of h...

Read More

Singing ‘Alleluia’ to Praise the Lord: Experience the Seasonal Difference
Have you ever noticed that the liturgical seasons affect the use of the word “Alleluia”? In the spring, it comes and goes and comes back again – from Ordinary Time, to Lent, to the Easter Season. This shift in language – coupled with music, instrumentation and mood – is expressed in all Catholic parishes. So take note. But perhaps it is most noticeable in those with extensive music programs and professional choirs, such as at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford. LENT: ABSTAINING FROM ALLELUIA On the Sunday before Ash Wednesday &nda...

Read More

Annual Catholic Appeal

ACA DONATE

English

Español

 

 
Signup for Weekly Newsletter


    Recently Added Galleries
    Click to view album: Nativity photos
    Click to view album: Archbishop Kevin S. Randall - Episcopal Ordination, Nov. 4, 2023
    Click to view album: Rite of Election
    Click to view album: Mass of Ordination  for Fr. Jacob Ramos
    Latest Articles
    Love for God - Our Lady Queen of Hope Award
    'This is a Gift for You' - Hope & Faith Video Series
    Paths to the Cross- Journeys into the Heart of Catholicism
    The Secret Weapon to a Stronger Marriage
    A Question of Faith- What is Papal Infallibility?
    Sharing in Our Humanity
    Family and Community Are Key to Overcoming Secularism, Pope Says
    Calendar of Events

    Roman Catholic Diocese of Norwich
    201 Broadway
    Norwich, CT 06360-4328
    Phone: 860-887-9294