Dorothy Pilarski

Women of Faith conference balances the spiritual and feminine

By 
  • February 24, 2021

Dorothy Pilarski is only half joking when she urges the women in her mother’s group to use their kitchen counters as a pulpit.

With the overwhelming demands and expectations society places on modern women working both inside and outside the home, the spiritual health of the family, she argues, is what suffers most. With the pressure to “do it all” — hold a down a career coupled with managing children’s busy extracurricular schedules and household duties, all while trying to uphold society’s often unrealistic beauty standards — something is usually sacrificed in all of that which often ends up being the family’s commitment to faith and going to church.

Pilarski, who calls the situation a national emergency, has been on a mission to revive the vocation of motherhood.

“What happens when the natural fallout is praying less and less sacraments?” asks Pilarksi. “Less prayer and less sacraments equals a weaker woman, equals a weaker man, equals a less virtuous woman and a less virtuous man. So now we have more and more opportunities. We’ve gotten more educated. We’re more traveled obviously with the exception of COVID, but the national emergency is we’re at the threat of losing generations and generations of Catholicism because our cup is so full.”

On March 6, Pilarski will be hosting the annual Dynamic Women of Faith conference, a full-day virtual event open to women regardless of their vocation and station in life. The conference aims to help women find balance in today’s world by reconnecting with the feminine energy and spirituality essential to her own health and that of the family.

Celebrating its 12-year anniversary, the conference will feature a lineup of speakers including author Dr. Carrie Gress, who will be exposing what she calls the anti-Mary spirit, Gary Zimak providing a reflection on how women can lean into faith to break the toxic cycle of worrying, and Dr. Josephine Lombardi who will unpack the life example of Mary as an expert in humanity full of grace, strength and courage.

“We do (Mary) a great disservice and I think it would pain her to think that we would see her as inaccessible,” said Lombardi. “I recall having a conversation with someone once who said, ‘You know, Mary is meek and mild,’ and then someone else replied and I was happy with this other person who said, ‘She was also bold and beautiful.’ She was bold. She was strong and to be meek just simply means to be gentle. She’s got a story and I know that she wants to be accessible because there’s still so much to learn and know about her.”

Pilarski founded her women’s ministry 24 years ago after giving birth to her first child. She had achieved success in the corporate world, delivering training programs and seminars in Canada and around the world, but realized something was missing.

“I found myself at one point thinking, the feminist said that we shouldn’t be a slave to the kitchen, which I agree with, but now I’ve become a slave to the corporation,” she recalled.

She realized in her efforts to climb the corporate ladder she had become more masculine, thinking that was what she needed to be effective, but the vocation of motherhood required a very different skill set. The experience started her on a spiritual journey of becoming reacquainted with the beauty of her own femininity.

Pilarski approached Toronto’s Cardinal Thomas Collins in 2014 about starting a Mothers Group Ministry which has now expanded across the archdiocese. The four components of the meetings include prayer, catechesis, friendship/fellowship and a call to action.

For more, see dynamicwomenfaith.com or email dorothypilarski@gmail.com. 

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