Lisa Hendey

Dual events to rejuvenate Catholic women and girls

  • March 29, 2014

TORONTO - Raising daughters today is difficult because much of what they learn at home is attacked by modern culture, says Dorothy Pilarski, Catholic mom and author.

Pilarski has organized two events — Calling All Girls and Dynamic Women of Faith — to educate and recharge teens and women to help them lead lives as Catholics in these challenging times.

Calling All Girls is an evening for mothers and daughters on April 11 and Dynamic Women of Faith for Catholic women is a day-long conference on April 12. This is the fifth year for the women’s conference, but Pilarski felt compelled to run Calling All Girls for the second time since 2011 after the suicide of a girl her daughter knew.

The first three parish secretaries to contact Pilarski about Dynamic Women of Faith will receive free admission on Saturday. And the first three school principles to contact her about Calling All Girls get free admission on Friday night.

The Keynote speaker at both events in Lisa Hendey, author of The Handbook for Catholic Moms, who will be flying in from California.

On the Friday night, Hendey will give a talk titled The Grace of Yes “about hearing and answering God’s will for our lives,” she said. “I really hope that they walk away completely uplifted, but also open to prayerfully discerning God’s will for their lives and just very cognizant of the potential that lies within them to do amazing work for God, for the Church and for themselves,” she said.

For the main Dynamic Women of Faith event, she will talk about saints as companions for your life.

“Sometimes we have a tendency to neglect our own self-care, so one of the things I try to do in my work in general is just really lift up and encourage women to care for themselves, because we can’t be effective in our roles as women if we don’t do that,” said Hendey. “I’ll be highlighting some saints I turn to in my life as a woman to find spiritual friendship and to find encouragement in the way they live their life (and) also as motivation, almost companions for my journey.”

Hendey has a deep devotion to St. Gianna Beretta Molla, a 20th century mother and doctor in Italy. She was a doctor when few women practiced that profession, said Hendey, which makes a her a good role model for the modern-day working woman. But Molla is best known for carrying a risky pregnancy to term, and dying soon after the birth.

“She specifically chose life for her child,” said Hendey. “A woman who was a beautiful pro-life advocate, a champion for life, but also a woman who worked, who raised a family, who dealt with many of the stresses that women like you and I face in our lives.”

Other speakers appearing over the two events include Dr. Julia Cataudella, who will talk about the problem with the pill, Ryerson University student Monica McIlroy on surviving high school, Michael Coren on his personal testimony and Pilarski on making relationships great.

For more information, visit or call (905) 279-7702.

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