The conference sponsors are the Arlington Diocese Council of Catholic Women and Joyful Spirit Gifts

Meet the 2018 Speakers!

Welcome to your Future with Hope!

Mary Elizabeth Sperry is the author of Making Room for God:
Decluttering and the Spiritual Life
and four other books. Her
articles have appeared in a number of publications, including
Give Us This Day. She is the associate director for permissions
and New American Bible utilization for the U.S. Conference
of Catholic Bishops, and her degrees include a master's in
​liturgical studies. Mary will speak on "Decluttering Post-40."

Alejandra Segura has more than 20 years of professional experience in research, teaching, and fundraising for women's and children's rights. Her current focus is on the promotion of the culture of life as well as social and economic rights for needy children in Africa and Latin America. She also was the driving force behind the landmark 2014-2015 exhibition "Picturing Mary: Woman, Mother, Ideal. Alejandra will speak on "What Is Your Fiat Post-40?"



Maria Suarez Hamm is a native of Cuba and the proud
mother of twelve living children and six in heaven who
range in age from eighteen to forty-one. She holds a
bachelor of arts from Harvard University and is enrolled in
the master's of theology program at the Catholic Distance
University. She and her husband, Peter, have been married
​for forty-one years. Maria is a former executive director of
Centro Tepeyac in Silver Spring, a crisis pregnancy center,
and recently received an honorary degree from Catholic
University for her work there and as her work with the
National Institute of Womanhood. She works for the Archdiocese of Washington, where she was director of Hispanic Family Life and Leadership Development. Maria will speak on "Growing in Faith and Years."

                                                         Erin Benbennick has never lived more than 15 miles from                                                           her "home base" in Vienna, Va.  She learned to knit                                                                 when she was a Brownie, and in 2008 started a prayer                                                             shawl ministry at St. Thomas a Becket, where more than                                                           300 shawls were presented. Currently, she's an active                                                               member of the St. Mark prayer shawl ministry. She's                                                                 spun story yarns at campfires; her sons' and grandsons'                                                               bedsides; and local, state, and international speaking and                                                           storytelling events. Erin will provide a personal                                                                           witness titled "A Tangled Skein."

Anthony (Tony) DeCristofaro is a Catholic
blogger and public servant. In 2006, he
founded 
Your Daily Tripod  and continues to
serve as a contributor and the editor. When
not blogging, he works at the Office of
Personnel Management as deputy director of
the Combined Federal Campaign. He and
his wife, Beth, have been married thirty-eight
years and have two adult daughters. In “Pity,
​Piety, and the Pieta: A Look at Duty, Obligation, and Love,”
Tony will take us on a “virtual” spiritual journey from today to Rome and then on to Jerusalem until we end at the foot of the cross with Mary as we explore what Piety means in art, scripture and, most importantly, our daily Catholic-Christian lives.