Input shared during recent local listening sessions for the worldwide Synod reflected questions and concerns about the role of women as leaders in the Church, prompting Nativity Parish in Fair Haven to host a conference that would address the topic. The resulting event, titled “Women of Leaders of the Diocese of Trenton,” will take place June 25 and will welcome women from across the Diocese.

Explaining the rationale for the conference, Father James Grogan, Nativity Parish pastor, who had participated as a facilitator in about 15 listening sessions, said, “knowing many influential women leaders, I wanted to make their stories available to serve as models for other women of faith to consider.”

The conference will begin at 9 a.m. with presentations by each keynote speaker, followed by a town hall question-and-answer period. After a break for lunch, a spiritual reflection on the leadership of women saints will conclude the day.

Featured speakers will include Terry Ginther, diocesan chancellor; Marlene Laó-Collins, executive director of Catholic Charities Diocese of Trenton, and Mercy Sister Rosemary E. Jeffries, past president of Georgian Court University, Lakewood.

Noting Pope Francis’ intent to listen to the people of the Catholic Church during the Synod sessions, Father Grogan noted, “I can listen now to what they wanted, and they can immediately see the fruits of their comments at this conference.”

Ginther holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from The College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, Va., and a master’s degree in pastoral ministry from Caldwell University, Caldwell. She has worked in various leadership roles within the Diocese of Trenton for almost 20 years, and as chancellor, she reports directly to Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M.

Laó-Collins holds a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University in business management and accounting and has led Catholic Charities Diocese of Trenton for more than 10 years. Previously, she worked for the New Jersey Catholic Conference in Trenton.

Mercy Sister Rosemary E. Jeffries served as the eighth president of Georgian Court University from 2001-2015, guiding the Lakewood institution through its transition from college to university and the change to a co-educational institution. She currently serves as executive director of the All African Conference “Sister-to-Sister,” which supports the empowerment and education of women religious in sub-Saharan Africa.

To register, contact Carolyn in the Nativity Parish office at 732-741-1714 ext. 10, or via email at CarolynM@nativitychurchnj.org before June 22. A box lunch will be available for $15., payable the day of the event, for preregistered attendees.

Attendance will be capped at 100 participants. An abridged recording of the conference will be available on the parish website on a future date. All are welcome to attend the 8 a.m. daily Mass in the church. Nativity Parish is located at 180 Ridge Rd., Fair Haven.