April 7, 2006

Catholic women’s conference to feature nationally known speakers

By Mary Ann Wyand

“Journey in Trust, Called to Trust, Courage to Trust,” the third annual Treasuring Womanhood Conference on April 22 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, will feature two nationally known speakers who will discuss the truths of the Catholic faith, Divine Mercy, and Mary’s gifts to the Church and the world.

Rosalind Moss, a staff apologist with Catholic Answers, a non-profit organization based in El Cajon, Calif., which is dedicated to promoting the Catholic faith, will discuss her decision to leave her Jewish upbringing and embrace Catholicism.

Annie Karto, a Catholic singer and songwriter who grew up in Indianapolis and now lives in Treasure Island, Fla., will share stories about the healing mercy of God and sing several Marian songs.

The conference is sponsored by the archdiocesan Office for Pro-Life Ministry and the Marian Center of Indianapolis.

Msgr. Joseph F. Schaedel, vicar general of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, will be the celebrant and homilist for the eucharistic liturgy.

Franciscans of the Immaculate Father Michael Gavreau, superior of the religious order’s priests at Mother of the Redeemer Retreat Center in Bloomington, will lead a reflection during the conference. He is the author of The Providence of God and the Existence of Evil, a philosophical thesis on the problem of evil and suffering in the world.

The conference, which is open to women of all ages, also will focus on the gift of the great treasure of womanhood.

Servants of the Gospel of Life Sister Diane Carollo, director of the archdiocesan Office for Pro-Life Ministry, said that in order “for contemporary Catholic women to deepen their spiritual lives, there must be an authentic understanding of what it means to be a woman of faith. The conference is designed to provide that understanding.”

Sister Diane said the Treasuring Womanhood Conference offers sound spiritual principles, practices and Catholic theology through its presenters and activities.

“Unlike some spiritual programs in vogue today that are tainted by New Age philosophies or embedded with non-Christian approaches that invoke energies and life forces that are channeled, the Treasuring Womanhood Conference is totally Catholic in its identity,” Sister Diane said. “It is the Holy Spirit of God that we invoke to be our ultimate life-giving energy and force, who will bring us to spiritual perfection.”

Kathy Denney, a member of Our Lady of the Greenwood Parish in Greenwood and a coordinator of the Marian Center of Indianapolis, helped organize the Catholic women’s conference.

“We’re really excited to have Rosalind Moss from Catholic Answers,” Denney said. “The Marian Center’s mission is evangelization, and she is what’s called an apologist. She really explains our Catholic faith. She was Jewish, and I don’t think ever knew she would become Catholic. Once she did, she embraced it, and she can explain our faith to anyone.”

Denney said Karto has a beautiful voice and her songs are inspirational.

“Her mission is Divine Mercy,” Denney said. “She talks about different events that happened in her life that have led her deeper and deeper into her re-conversion to the [Catholic] faith. We’re really excited to have her speak. The conference is [on] Divine Mercy weekend, and this is her life mission.”

During a telephone interview, Karto said she grew up in the former Assumption Parish and later attended St. Ann Parish, both in Indianapolis.

“My mom and dad, Bill and Nita Reuter, were both singers,” she said. “My mom sang with the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir. … Sometimes she would fill in for the organist at St. John the Evangelist Church downtown.”

One of eight children, Karto grew up singing with family members.

“We were soaked in music,” she said. “We sang all the time.”

Karto said she experienced a “deep conversion” in 1989 while praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament during a visit to Catholic musician John Michael Talbot’s Little Portion Hermitage in Eureka Springs, Ark. Talbot is a family friend.

“It was a turning point in my life,” she said. “I just felt like the Lord could see right through me. I felt so broken [inside] and cried tears of repentance.”

Karto went to confession, and realized that God was offering her healing and forgiveness. Now she spreads the message of God’s healing mercy through her music, which also promotes love for the sacraments and religious vocations.

“Divine Mercy is the heart of my music ministry,” she said. “… I will also have a tribute to Pope John Paul II, who died on the vigil of Divine Mercy Sunday last year.”

(For more information or to register for the Treasuring Womanhood Conference, call the Marian Center of Indianapolis at 317-924-3982 or 317-888-0873. The conference fee is $35 per person and includes lunch if received by April 19. Registrations will be accepted on the day of the conference, but the $35 fee will not include lunch.)


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