I am going to share with you all today an interview with Tami Kiser, the founder and creator of www.CatholicConference4Moms.com Lent is still a little ways off, but if you want to get this rolled out at your parish or in a women's group now is the time to start thinking about it!
Introduce yourself and tells us a little bit about yourself:
Gladly. I am Tami Kiser, aka, Smart Martha in some circles. I live in Greenville, SC with my husband of 28 years. We have 10 children (ages 3-26) and 5 grandchildren. DH is a headmaster at a Catholic School and most of my time is spent managing this large brood providing family dinners, essay edits, haircuts, rides, stories, and lots of advice (mostly unsolicited). I also teach dance part-time and work on this exciting conference whenever I get the chance.
What is the “Faces of Mercy” 2016 Catholic Conference 4 Moms?
It is simply an online conference for this coming Year of Mercy, particularly catered to moms. It is set up so that Mom’s groups or parishes can use the presentations to put together their own simple conference/retreat/mom’s day out. It is also for individual moms to use the presentations on the conference day, Feb. 20, for their own day of reflection, but also to use the presentations throughout all of Lent as a time of growth.
What gave you the inspiration to do a project like this?
I was familiar with online webinars. I was also familiar with Protestant groups doing a similar thing focused on just one presenter (for 1000’s of $!). And I also ran a mom’s ministry, called Smart Martha, where I traveled to parishes and held one day seminars. I blended all these concepts together and came up with this idea. I consecrated the whole thing to Mary, and this is where we are today.
So the day of the conference is February 20th?
Yes, this is the day which we are asking everyone to set aside for the conference so that we can all be united in mission and in prayer on this day. There will be a couple of live presentations on this day and at 3:00 EST we are asking everyone to unite in saying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. But that being said, the online conference is very flexible and can accommodate many different days and weekends. If that day doesn’t work for a mom or even a mom’s group, the conference is still available all throughout Lent after February 20th in order to be flexible with everyone’s busy schedules.
Is there a cost?
There is a small cost, not 1000’s. I am asking parishes or mom’s groups to pay around $60 (use the code HandmadeHost for a discount) for the whole package which includes: downloads, discussion guide, and a hosting information guide. This cost cover’s everyone who is in the group attending. For individuals, the cost is closer to the price of one book, $12 ( use the code Handmade for a discount). Not only does this get them online access throughout Lent, but it also gets them a conference “swag bag” which is full of online gifts and offers suitable for mothers. There are discounts for both of these programs available through the conference affiliates for an even lower price.
When do I sign up?
In November and December, we are looking for parishes willing to be hosts. As the Year of Mercy begins, December 8, we want to see as many parishes as possible be able to announce that this is something their parish is doing for the Year of Mercy. And yes, any mom can do this! Please prayerfully consider this for the moms at your parish. For more information or to sign-up, please go to: http://www.catholicconference4moms.com/host-it.html
Individual conference sign-ups are also available now, but when the season of Lent approaches we will begin emphasizing that aspect of the conference and encouraging moms to sign up then.
Not to sound desperate, but please, please, consider hosting this at your parish or for some moms that you know, even if it is just a dozen of you sipping tea (or wine, or beer) in your living room. The more moms and parishes involved in this—the cooler it will be! And I can guarantee that you will have a spiritually moving experience. It will be a “Jubilee Year of Mercy.”