Save the date: EDEL 2015!

September 17, 2014 | 30 comments

When Hallie and I started the Edel Gathering, we thought it might be a one-time thing.

Actually, if I’m completely honest, we sometimes wondered if it might be a nonexistent thing when we pondered the sheer amount of work it would take to pull together a multi-day event for over 200 people. There were quite a few moments, especially early on, when there would be long silences on the phone, and one of us would say, “I don’t see how we can do this.”

What kept us going was the fact that this event felt right — so, so right. As I saidย when we first announced it, ย Hallie and I felt called to do this with a clarity that both of us had only rarely experienced before.

When I got to the event this past July, I understood why.

Edel 2014 was an experience like nothing else. There was a palpable sense of relief among the attendees, a great group exhale as women realized that they were finally surrounded by people who understood their lives. The joy that filled the room, especially on that dance floor after the Saturday evening dinner, can only be described as explosive.

So many of us walked away from that event refreshed, revived, and filled with a newfound joy for our roles as Catholic women. We were certain that we simply had to do this again.

And so it is with great delight that I announce that there will be an Edel 2015 — and it will be in a different part of the country so that new people can more easily attend! Here are the details:

. . .

Edel Gathering 2015
Charleston, SC
The Francis Marion Hotel
(with a special rate for Edel attendees!)

July 10 – 11, 2015
Ticket sale announcement coming soon!

. . .



Hallie found the perfect hotel for next year’s event. The Francis Marion is in downtown Charleston, walking distance from the Cathedral as well as famous Charleston restaurants and attractions.


It was built over a century ago, and has a long reputation of hosting elegant banquets and events as only Southerners can.




The rooms have all sorts of gorgeous details — and we got an amazing rate for Edel attendees (more on that soon)!




Just when I thought it couldn’t get any more perfect, Hallie told me that there’s a Farmer’s Market right across the street.



At this last Edel Gathering, the staff from the hotel took me aside to comment on how special this event was. They see events almost every night, and they wondered why this event was so different, when the location, food, and decor were similar to any other. Immediately, I knew the answer:

The people.

What makes the Edel Gathering the special event that it is is the group of women in attendance. It’s proof that when faithful Catholic women come together — even when there is no agenda other than simply relaxing and enjoying a good partyย — great things can happen.

We’ll announce ticket sale dates and all the other details soon. In the meantime, mark this date on your calendar. I can’t wait to see you there!

. . .


  1. Christine


    Also, complete off topic note: I’m a direct decedent of Francis Marion. I don’t think that means anything to the hotel, though. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Christine

      Apparently, I’m so excited I can’t even type.


    • Smoochagator

      I CAN DRIVE TO CHARLESTON, TOO! This is my favorite part of this announcement. As much as I’d really love to visit Austin, I knew that the cost of plane tickets (plus the time to travel) would make attending Edel 2014 pretty much impossible. And then the event sold out in, like, 30 minutes so I didn’t have much time to feel sorry for myself ๐Ÿ™‚ But Charleston makes Edel 2015 more than possible for me. Thank you SO MUCH, Jen and Hallie, for thinking of us on the East Coast this time around.

  2. cajuntexasmom


  3. Christine Lemmon

    Yay!!!!!!! So excited!!!

  4. polly

    WOW! My father lives in Charleston and it is my ‘second home’ (I’ve been going there since I was a baby, and used to spend part of every summer there w/ my grandmother). I can easily drive there from where we live….& meet up with my family as well!! The Francis Marion is beautiful….we’ve hung out in a hotel room there before. (Anyone who wants to parlay this into a longer excursion should try to not miss Drayton Hall on the Ashley River!!)

    So here’s the question: do you have to be Catholic??

  5. Amelia

    Eeek! You’re coming to Charleston! So thrilled to hear this news and the Francis Marion is a perfect place! See you in 2015!

  6. Colleen Martin

    Oh my goodness, I won’t have a newborn and I’ve always wanted to go to South Carolina…I know what I’m asking for for Christmas this year!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Flambeaux

    That’s a long way from Texas. ๐Ÿ™

  8. Jennie

    I hope I get to go! I marked it in my calendar, just in case!

  9. Amber

    Wow, and the CIRCE conference is just a few days later at the same hotel! Think my husband will mind if I just stay for both?? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Looks like a wonderful venue!

  10. Erin

    May I suggest holding the conference in balmy, beautiful North Dakota in 2016? I mean, the southern U.S. shouldn’t get all the love. (;

    • Martha

      Agree, Erin. I was thinking MN myself…

      • Becky

        Yes! I’m from MN too! Anywhere in the Midwest would be great…

  11. priest's wife @byzcathwife

    I’m on the West coast…but we are planning to do a ‘great American road trip’ for vacation….maybe the east coast will happen in July!

  12. Amanda

    Amazing! The location and all you all have done already as well as you and Hallie! So amazing! Need to start getting my save on if we’re going to be able to swing this beautiful event again! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Emily D.

    Yay!!! I’ve been wanting to go to Charleston and so have both of my parents… maybe some family vacay while I conference!!

  14. Michelle @ Endless Strength

    I am shaking I am so excited that I got a room reservation. I was so sad when I couldn’t make it in 2014, but as I scrolled through tweets the weekend of, I said to my husband — “You know, I am GOING TO THIS next year” and you all hadn’t even said you would do it again!!

    I am planning to be there for sure and I’m so ecstatic that you have made this an annual event. I am trying to get my sisters onboard. We ALL need this and I thank you so much for doing it. Now, hopefully, when tickets go on sale, the stars will align and I’ll be able to get those, too!! Thank you, thank you thank you and I can’t wait.

  15. Rosie

    I’m really hoping we’ll be able to make this work! Charleston’s so much more doable than Austin – guess we’ll see what my husband says ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Melissa

    I think it’s fantastic. The location for next year looks so beautiful. I wish I could go, but I’m in Australia, so it’s not likely to happen. I loved your photos from EDEL 2014 and some of the quotes made me cry, e.g. about a bunch of women who’d found their people and the one about us swimming upstream against a culture that couldn’t care if we drowned (and probably wants us to, actually). Best of luck with the preparations for next year. Wish I could go.

  17. Emily

    I know someone asked this last year, but: single women? Are we allowed? ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Misty

    I can drive there too and Charleston is one of my favorite cities ever! Thanks for moving it to the East Coast this time around. I have it on my calendar!

  19. OrvigoMax

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    high quality writing like yours nowadays. I seriously appreciate individuals like you!
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  20. Casey@MyLoveIsTooLittle

    I’ve only been to Charleston once, but I loved it, it was so pretty! And that hotel looks fabulous.

    I doubt I’ll be able to make 2015, though, since I don’t really do airplanes, and it’s an awfully long way to drive from Texas. ๐Ÿ™

    • Caroline M

      But could you be talked into it? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  21. Caroline M

    This Savannah girl is PUMPED!! Charleston is so beautiful y’all. Remember to bring plenty of sunscreen and bug spray though!

  22. Tara

    Aptly named hotel for an event for Catholic women!

  23. Diane

    A great reason to visit my parents! The cathedral and St Mary’s (both close to this hotel) are gorgeous, def worth a visit while you’re in town!

  24. Jessica

    (Loudly sobbing from outside NYC)

    But I’m happy for all of you who can go! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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