Catholic women’s spirituality fueled by ‘WINE’

By Christine Bordelon, Clarion Herald

Sometimes, all it takes is an invitation to find one’s passion in life.

For Lori Kilgore, a Mary Queen of Peace parishioner in Mandeville, it was fellow parishioner Karen Sheehy encouraging her to get involved with WINE (Women in the New Evangelization) that led to her doing so.

“We are all sisters with the same mission and same goal to raise our family to be closer to God and use Mary as our model,” said Kilgore, now a Northshore WINE core team member.

“The thing I found alluring and exciting – and why I continued to help with WINE – is that it’s the most fabulous feeling to be around other women striving in their lives to be closer to God and to learn that it is acceptable to have failure, because you build each other up,” Kilgore said. “To go to an event and see other women talking about their faith is inspirational. …  It’s an opportunity I wouldn’t have had otherwise.”

Kilgore heard Kelly Wahlquist, WINE’s founder, and local WINE evangelist and music missionary Kitty Cleveland sing at her first WINE event, and there was no turning back. Kilgore says WINE empowered her to express her faith with other women, something she previously wasn’t inclined to do.

“It is a Catholic women’s organization but it’s calling all women together and empowering women and, hopefully, they bring this back to their family and parish,” she said. “I feel different personally. I feel closer to getting where I am supposed to be, living the life I’ve meant to live, putting God first and not just making time for God on Sunday.”

WINE conference June 9

Kilgore will attend her first WINE Catholic Women’s Conference on June 9 with the theme, “Hope: An Anchor for the Soul,” inspired by Hebrews 6:19. The event will be held at St. Angela Merici Church in Metairie. Doors open at 8:30 a.m., with the conference from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. featuring praise and worship music, shopping, prayer, confession, adoration, lunch and chocolate.

Keynote speakers will be ValLimar Jansen, an internationally noted catechetical speaker, singer, composer and storyteller; Renee Bondi, a singer who shares her quadriplegic journey of hope; and New Orleans native, singer, music minister and recording artist Lorraine Hess, New Orleans.

Kilgore is fascinated by the caliber of speakers.

“For me, it’s the perfect way to spend your day,” she said. “You have socialization with women going through the same faith journey, you can pray, you can shop. There is so much offered, there’s probably not enough time.”

Blogger and WINE specialist Karen Sheehy who developed www.spiritual, said local ministries will have tables (Archdiocese of New Orleans Retreat Center, Archdiocesan Spirituality Center, Rachel’s Vineyard, Catholic Women in Action, Woman’s New Life Center) for “women to find out how they can be involved with the Catholic Church.” She thinks WINE involves women finding and sharing their God-given gifts with each other.

Deadline to register for the conference is June 1. Cost is $65; $25 for religious sisters or the consecrated. Visit:

Christine Bordelon can be reached at

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