The opportunity of a lifetime was presented to us when the Office of African American Ministries invited women from parishes with an African American presence to participate in this historic experience. Many women responded to the call, and we met at the Chancery at St. Dominic in the spring of 2001 for informational meetings. Our Houston group had high energy as we made our decision to attend.
“Sisters in the Spirit” was the name chosen for our group and committees were put in place to plan our trip. The majority of the women chose to travel to the conference by bus. A 28-hour bus trip to Charlotte would give us an opportunity to network, share personal stories, build relationships, and bond as Christian women. Bishop Joseph A. Fiorenza graciously provided an opportunity for funding for our transportation and we chartered a bus for the trip; we then selected our workshops, ordered tee-shirts, were interviewed and photographed.
Prior to the trip, Monsignor Patrick Wells celebrated a special Mass for the Sisters in the Spirit at Warren Chapel at the Chancery at St. Dominic, where he challenged us and sent us forth to learn, network, and return to evangelize. He also encouraged us to be bold in sharing our faith experiences and become more involved in ministry.
The group grew to 53 women and we set individual goals and expectations for attending this historic event.