Conference aims to help women live faith lives more fully

Wed, Jan 20th 2016 10:00 am
Staff Reporter
Helping to plan the upcoming women's conference are (from left) Annie Esposito, Valerie Rottella-Zafuto and Amy Blair. (Courtesy of Amy Blair)
Helping to plan the upcoming women's conference are (from left) Annie Esposito, Valerie Rottella-Zafuto and Amy Blair. (Courtesy of Amy Blair)

A trio of women hope to start a fire in Buffalo, through holding a women's conference in the diocese. With the theme of "Igniting the Fire Within," these women wish to help all Catholic women to live their faith fully each day.

"Our goal is to inspire women to live out their faith in their daily lives," said Valerie Rottella-Zafuto, co-coordinator of the event. "I think there are so many Catholic women that sometimes have a difficult time trying to connect their faith with their daily routines and activities. This is just a way to inspire them to live out their faith in their daily lives."

The Women's Conference will take place Saturday, Feb. 27, at Mount St. Mary Academy in Kenmore. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. Bishop Richard J. Malone will celebrate Mass at 8 a.m. Guest speakers include national radio and television host Dr. Ray Guarendi, and authors Danielle Bean and Hallie Lord.

Reconciliation will take place during lunch. Quiet Waters will provide music during the closing Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3 p.m.

"Our goal was to keep it sacramental," said Rottella-Zafuto. "That is import to us because this is the Year of Mercy."

Rottella-Zafuto, along with Amy Blair and Annie Esposito, attended a conference for Catholic women held by WLOF-FM a few years ago, and wanting to refuel the energy they saw, decided to design their own. With the blessing of Bishop Richard J. Malone, the women formed a non-profit entity called Catholic Women of Buffalo, and sought out help from the Catholic Men's Fellowship, which sponsors the annual Men's Conference.

"They were so excited," Blair said. "They wanted to meet with us, help us to plan it, give us information we would need. It seemed with in a month we were on a rollercoaster. Every door that shut, God opened another door and it blossomed into what it is now."

Rottella-Zafuto said one of the goals is to connect women to ministries and encourage them to participate in ministries.

"Perhaps they'll see a need within their parish," she said. "Catholic women need other Catholic women. It's important to give them those support systems."

All Catholic females are welcome to attend. The conference does conflict with the  diocesan Youth Convention, something the women hope to avoid in the future.

"We really wanted to invite the young people to attend because they're learning about their faith as well. We hope next year to plan it around the Youth Convention," said Blair.

Tickets are $30.

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