Friday, Feb. 18, 2022
By Linda Petersen
SALT LAKE CITY — The Diocesan Council of Catholic Women’s 2022 conference will be Saturday-Sunday, April 23-24 at the Sheraton Hotel in Salt Lake City. The theme of this year’s conference is “A Vision for the Future.” Most of the speakers at the conference will focus on Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical Laudato Si (On the Care of Our Common Home).
The keynote speaker is Dan Misleh, a founder of the Catholic Climate Covenant. On Saturday, he will present “Integral Human Development: The Key to Our Future in a Climate-Threatened World.” Later that day, Deacon Mike Bulson, who serves at St. Andrew Parish in Riverton, will speak about “Creating Wholeness in a Broken World: Thomas Merton and Pope Francis in Conversation.” On Sunday, Jean Hill, director of the director of the diocesan Office Life, Justice and Peace, will speak about “Living Laudato Si in Utah.”
Gayle Kasen, a Kirkland, Wash. cancer survivor who was given six months to live in 1998, will also share her faith journey.
DCCW chair Becky Colombo hopes that hearing Kasen’s experience will inspire Catholic women in Utah.
“Maybe this will also help the women take this message back with them to their parishes, renew their faith and be inspired again,” she said.
Elizabeth Canto, youth minister and faith formation assistant at St. John the Baptist Parish in Draper, will speak on service.
Buses will transport conference-goers to the Saturday vigil Mass at the Cathedral of the Madeleine, at which Bishop Oscar A. Solis will preside. Following the Mass will be the traditional Woman of the Year banquet at the hotel. This year for the first time the awardees will receive a booklet highlighting each of the recipients.
Over the two days, there will be several prayer opportunities, a raffle, silent auction, and exhibits from Catholic Community Services, the Commission for People with Disabilities and others. The DCCW Service Commission will collect donations for backpack food programs that offer families free groceries for weekends and school breaks.
Colombo is hoping the number of people attending this year’s convention will be closer to prepandemic levels; last year the number of participants was down by about 100.
However, “I have received reports from council presidents that the women are still very wary about committing to attend; they’re worried about the variants that keep appearing,” she said. “I’m hoping that we do at least as well as last year, when we had just over 200 participants.”
The annual convention is a wonderful place for Catholic women to connect with each other, Colombo said. “We’ve made so many friendships over the years; the women just bond as they are gathered together.”
The total cost to attend the conference including meals and the Woman of the Year banquet is $150. Partial packages (one-day; banquet-only) are also available. To register or for information, contact your parish women’s council or visit www.dccwutah.org.