2016 St. Louis Catholic Women for Christ Conference

The 2016 St. Louis Catholic Women for Christ Conference took place on February 27, 2016 at
J. Scheidegger Center for the Arts at Lindenwood University.


Elizabeth Ficocelli

Elizabeth FicocelliElizabeth Ficocelli is a best-selling, award-winning author of fifteen books for adults and young people, including Therese, Faustina, and Bernadette: Three Saints Who Challenged My Faith, Gave Me Hope, and Taught Me How to Love; Seven From Heaven: How Your Family Can Find Healing, Strength and Protection in the Sacraments; and The Imitation of Christ for Children.  She has also been published in numerous Catholic magazines such as, Columbia Magazine, Catholic Parent, America, St. Anthony Messenger, and Liguorian. Elizabeth is a frequent guest on Catholic television and radio and is the host for Answering The Call on St. Gabriel Catholic Radio AM 820. A popular national speaker at conferences, parishes, schools, and retreats, Elizabeth and her husband of nearly 30 years have four boys and reside in Columbus, Ohio. For more information, visit www.elizabethficocelli.com.

C. Vanessa White

C. Vanessa White Assistant Professor of Spirituality and Ministry
C. Vanessa White is an experienced workshop presenter, retreat facilitator, spiritual director and teacher. She has been intent on journeying with those who are seeking a greater understanding of God's will in their lives. She has over twenty-five years of experience in ministry and spiritual formation with lay and religious communities. Vanessa is a professed Secular Franciscan with the Sacred Heart Province, she is currently the Convener for the Black Catholic Theological Symposium (BCTS), an interdisciplinary theological association of Black Roman Catholic scholars. She is consultant/advisor for the newly formed USCCB Subcommittee on Certification for Ecclesial Ministry and Service, which approves the standards for ministry for associations certifying Lay Ecclesial Ministers. She is also currently on the Board of Trustees of Divine Word College.

Her publications include the co-edited book Songs of the Heart and Meditations of the Soul – a book of prayers published by St. Anthony Messenger Press (with Cecilia Moore and Paul Marshall, SM) and Liturgy and Justice (contributing author –“Liturgy as Liberating Force) published by Liturgical Press.  She is also a regular contributing author for the daily prayer/worship aid – GIVE US THIS DAY, published by Liturgical Press. She has articles and book reviews various publications including the National Religious Vocation Conference journal – Horizons, New Theology Review, St. Anthony Messenger Press, Horizons – The Journal of the College Theological Society and U.S. Catholic Magazine.  She was invited to contribute to the CNN series - Black in America.  Her essay on Black Catholics, “Authentically Black and Truly Catholic,” can be viewed on CNN.com.

Sr. Elizabeth Beussink, T.O. R.

Sr. Elizabeth Beussink, T.O.R. 

Sr. Elizabeth Beussink was born and raised in Jackson, MO where she attended Notre Dame Regional High School and Southeast Missouri State University (for one year). She transferred to Franciscan University of Steubenville where she graduated and was introduced to the Franciscan Sisters, T.O.R. of Penance of the Sorrowful Mother. Sr. Elizabeth entered that community in 2007 and made Perpetual Profession in 2014. She has been privileged to do many things in her religious life, but one of her favorite ministries was working on the campus of Franciscan University of Steubenville in the Office of Evangelization, serving as the Coordinator for Women’s Ministry. She has a particular zeal to help women understand their feminine dignity and identity. Spreading the truth about the feminine genius and opening the eyes of women to the beauty of their innate feminine gifts is a personal call Sr. Elizabeth feels the Lord has given to her. Sr. Elizabeth currently resides at Our Lady of Sorrows Monastery in Toronto, Ohio and serves the community as the Vocations Coordinator.  

Sr. Elizabeth Beussink, T.O.R.
Hometown: Jackson, Missouri
Entered Community: 2007
Feast Day: May 31, The Visitation
Fun Fact: I grew up riding horses with the ambition of working with a Therapeutic Horsemanship program.

Click here to read her vocation story: http://www.franciscansisterstor.org/about-us/meet-the-sisters/sister-elizabeth/ — at Franciscan Sisters, T.O.R. of Penance of the Sorrowful Mother.