SCRANTON – “Mercy is love’s second name.” These powerful words were spoken by Saint John Paul II.
In his book Divine Mercy Explained, Father Michael Gaitley explains that Divine Mercy is a particular kind of love, a particular mode of love when it encounters suffering, poverty, brokenness, and sin. Divine Mercy is when God’s love meets us and helps us in the midst of our suffering and sin.
“Speaking the truth in love all the time” are the words Catholic Women’s Conference Keynote speaker Theresa Bonopartis uses when speaking about healing from abortion and the profound effect abortion has not just on mothers, but fathers, siblings, friends and families.
Bonopartis came to her life’s work the hard way, through experiencing abortion as a teenager. Guilt, shame and regret threatened to consume her life, and for a time they did.
It was only in discovering God’s infinite mercy and capacity to forgive even the most grievous sins that she came to learn how to forgive herself.
She was inspired to reach out to others and speak openly about the most devastating moment in her life. In doing so, she discovered how to love herself again and how to embrace her faith and live her life in God’s love.
She partnered with the Sisters of Life to co-found Entering Canaan Ministry: Healing After Abortion.
Bonopartis has told her story on radio, television and before an almost countless number of audiences. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops highlighted her testimony in a nationally distributed pro-life mailing.
Little would she know that the secret tragedy of her abortion would one day be known by so many. Yet, it would not be the shame and guilt of the abortion which would send her out on her mission, but rather her dramatic healing.
In short, she tells us, “I was healed by the Divine Mercy of God.”
Taking the long road, while not the theme of this year’s conference, applies not only to Theresa Bonopartis but also to featured speaker, Father Chris Alar, a priest with the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception.
After attaining a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering and then his MBA, Father Alar worked in the automotive industry in Detroit and owned his own consulting firm before answering the call of God and entering the priesthood.
Father Alar is the author of numerous works including Explaining the Faith: Understanding Divine Mercy.
In his writing, Father Alar explores the legacy and teachings of Saint Faustina Kowalska and the diary in which she reveals her visions of Jesus and what it means to accept God’s Divine Mercy.
Father Alar tackles the difficult questions we all ask including, “Why does a merciful God allow so much suffering?” He experienced the death of his grandmother by suicide and explores the role of Divine Mercy in healing those affected when a loved one takes their own life.
Join this year’s conference and experience Divine Mercy and the restoration of your soul. In addition to Theresa Bonopartis and Father Alar, Sister Virginia Joy of the Sisters of Life will also speak of God’s healing love.
The day will include Eucharistic Adoration, Recitation of the Rosary, and Mass celebrated by Bishop Joseph C. Bambera.
Uplifting and inspirational music will be performed by Cleveland-born, Christian music artist Taylor Tripodi and her band.
Participants can also enjoy a continental breakfast, lunch and shopping at the Catholic Vendor Marketplace. Cost to attend the conference is $40 for in-person and $20 for virtual. Student tickets are $20, and women religious are welcome free of charge.
Volunteers are always needed and those who sign up for four hours at the conference will receive a free ticket. For more information and to register, visit cwcnepa.com.