Skip to content

Time to Sign up for the 7th Annual Diocesan Women’s Conference

2021 Diocese of Harrisburg Women’s Conference

16 October 2021

Bishop McDevitt High School, 1 Crusader Way, Harrisburg, PA 17111

Register Here

Visit the Diocesan Webpage for Schedule and More Details



Keynote Speaker – Theresa Farnan, PhD
Title – From clown socks to crazy socks: St. John Paul II’s insights about women, culture, and our maternal vocation.

Description: In Christifidelis Laici 51, Pope Saint John Paul II noted that “women have the task of assuring the moral dimension of culture.” He locates the primary place for women’s role in evangelization in the care of the most vulnerable, especially in the family and in support of families. This talk will consider how each one of us is called to shape our culture in the particular circumstances of her vocation.

Bio: Theresa Farnan is the co-founder of the Person and Identity Project. She has taught at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary and at Franciscan University of Steubenville, and served on the USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth. She and her husband, Michael, are the parents of 10 children, ages 10-28.

Workshop 1 – The Most Reverend Ronald W. Gainer, DD, JCL

Title: “When Tommy wants to be Tammy”: A Look at Gender Dysphoria from Our Catholic Teachings

Description: The gravity of the new gender ideologies cannot be overestimated. Agendas that insist that we are not identified by two sexes and that the body-soul unity of the human being is arbitrary have created a moral pandemic in our society. We will examine the reality of gender dysphoria from the perspective of our Catholic faith.

Bio: (Put Bishop Gainer’s official bio here.)

Workshop 2 – Sister John Sheila Galligan, IHM, STD

Title: Arise and Call Her Blessed

Description: Come to celebrate God’s gift of his Mother – whom we usually refer to as the Blessed Virgin Mary. This presentation will focus on the implications of the special Marian descriptive: “Blessed”, and provide a practical way for each of us to claim the title “Blessed” as disciples of the Lord.

Bio: Sister John Sheila Galligan is a Sister Servant of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. She teaches Theology at Immaculata University. Sister earned her Doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas (The Angelicum) in Rome. She has spoken at many events and has been published numerous times.

Workshop 3 – Miss Becky Davis

Title: Praying with the Women in Scripture

Description: The women in the stories of Sacred Scripture are really not much different than we are. Though they lived in different times, these real women shared similar joys and struggles that we face today. We’ll spend some time looking at what a few of these women’s personal stories were, how they might relate to us and how that can lead us into deeper prayer. Various types of prayer such as Lectio divina and Imaginative prayer will be introduced in this session.

Bio: Becky is the Pastoral Associate at Saint Katharine Drexel Parish in Mechanicsburg, a convert to the Catholic Faith, and involved with Young Adult leadership in the Diocese. In her spare time, she enjoys outdoor adventures, watching football, hanging out with friends, and snuggling with her two kitties Lily and Rosie.

Workshop 4 – Sister Geralyn Schmidt, SCC

Title: If Only You Knew the Gift of God

Description: The words “If only you knew the Gift of God…”, were spoken by Jesus to “the woman at the well”. They reflect a modern-day fact that few women truly understand the gift of being a woman. This workshop will focus on the Four Pillars of true Feminine Spirituality given to us by Pope Saint John Paul II from his Apostolic Exhortation: The Dignity and Vocation of Woman.

Bio: A Sister of Christian Charity, Geralyn Schmidt, is the Wide Area Network (WAN) Coordinator at the Diocese of Harrisburg, Director of Formation to the wives of the Permanent Diaconate, retreat master, spiritual director, contributor to The Catholic Witness, and vlogger. Throughout her ministry, Sister Geralyn challenges others to respond to God’s call to live a life of holiness.

Workshop 5 – Mrs. Patty Price

Title: The Seven Sisters Apostolate: Praying for Priests

Description: Our priests face enormous cultural and spiritual challenges today in living out their sacred consecration to the Lord. They need many prayers. Women in our Diocese can help fill that need by offering Holy Hours for our pastors and priests. Is God calling you to bring this apostolate to your parish? Come and see!

Bio: Mrs. Patty Price is a member of St. Mary’s Parish in Lebanon. She served many years in youth ministry, and is a catechist in adult religious education and RCIA. She also serves as an annulment assessor for The Tribunal.

Workshop 6 – Mrs. Tina Kowalski

Title: The SHINE Faith & Fitness Exercise Ministry Experience

Workshop Description: Join us in this interactive session to exercise your body and soul with motivating music, basic exercise movements, and prayer! It is just right for every “body” and will get you feeling happy! Shine Faith-Infused Exercise Program targets the physical body with a wide variety of exercises, nourishes the soul with prayer and fellowship, and involves group charity efforts. Attend this session to learn about it, and experience a sample of it for yourself (no sweat required)!

Personal Bio: Tina Kowalski formed Shine in November 2017 at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Palmyra as a result of her faith, fitness, and family passions. She is an ACE-Certified Personal Trainer and has been teaching group fitness classes for 17 years. She is active at Holy Spirit Church as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, team member of the Adoration Chapel Committee and Ministry Leader of Sparkling Hearts, the parish cleaning ministry. She previously served on the Parish Pastoral Council for four years. She is married to Rich and has three sons Richie, Ryan, and Reece.

Workshop 7 – Mrs. Bonnie Finnerty

Title: Being Women of Life

Workshop Description: In a world so darkened by sin, how do we bring a message of life and love into the culture? How do we boldly proclaim truth while showing compassion to the wounded? With Our Blessed Mother as our model, we will reflect on what our individual and collective Fiat looks like in today’s culture and how we can answer the call to be women of life.

Personal Bio: Bonnie Finnerty is the Education Director at the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation. Prior to that, she was a DRE, catechist, English teacher, and homeschool mom. She and Tim, her husband of 34 years, are blessed with five children and four grandchildren.





  • Mass Times

  • Saturday Vigil:  4:30 p.m.
    Sunday:  8:30 a.m. & 11:00 a.m. (live stream)

  • Monday: No Mass
    Tuesday: 9:00 a.m.
    Wednesday: 7:00 p.m.
    Thursday: 9:00 a.m.
    Friday: 9:00 a.m.

  • Click Here for Live Stream Link for Sunday Mass

  • Sacrament of Penance/ReconciliationWednesdays: 6:00 p.m.

  • Fridays: 8:00 a.m.
    Saturdays: 3:30 p.m.
    Anytime by appointment or request

  • Holy Days of Obligation
    Please check Bulletin for Mass Schedule

  • Mass & Confession Times

Saint Katharine Drexel