New tickets! Audrey! SiriusXM! — I’ll try not to pass out from excitement as I type this update about the 2015 Edel Gathering

January 20, 2015 | 18 comments

When I walked into the ballroom on Saturday afternoon at last year’s Edel Gathering, I was surprised to see a woman sitting in the back row, dabbing tears out of her eyes with a crumpled Kleenex. Soon, almost all the women in attendance would be weeping openly in response to Marion Fernandez-Cueto’s heartfelt talk, but at this point the Saturday event had barely begun.

“Are you okay?” I asked.

She nodded. “I just can’t tell you how much it means to me to see an entire room full of women who understand my life.”

After a long break to manage the holiday unmitigated pandemonium celebrations, Hallie and I are back to being at work on the 2015 Edel Gathering. Given that we both have six young children, she’s pregnant, and I recently started a radio show, there are times when I feel too tired to do one more thing for this event.

But then I think of that moment with that beautiful woman, I remember how much we all need something like this, and I recall our original mission.

  • We believe that too many Catholic women feel like they’re the only ones fighting the good fight.
  • We believe that there is an epidemic of loneliness among mothers, especially those who are also women of faith.
  • We believe that a lot of Catholic moms are struggling, but feel like they can’t admit it for worry of people misunderstanding or judging them.

…And we believe that new friends, lively conversation, good food, prayer, and a glass of wine can go a long way to making things better.

On that note, I am thrilled to report that Hallie and I have been pouring our time and energy into finding new ways to make the 2015 Edel Gathering even more powerful and memorable than the last one.

We are releasing a new block of tickets tomorrow, Wednesday 1/21, at 10:00 AM ET, which we reserved since so many people said they couldn’t make the decision until after the holidays. You can purchase the tickets here.

Along with the new block of tickets, I have the following EXTREMELY EXCITING announcements. (Excuse the all caps, but when you read these updates you’ll see that they were absolutely necessary):


We have had a special secret keynote speaker in the works for a while, and we’re thrilled to finally be able to announce her identity. The woman who will be giving the keynote address at the Saturday night dinner is…




Audrey will open up about struggles she’s faced as a woman and a mother, with powerful words of wisdom about how she found grace and balance and peace in the midst of her challenges. We loooooove her music (I Shall Not Want — oh. my. gosh.), and so I’m pretty much counting the days until we get to know a whole new side of her when she gives this talk.

. . .


What could be better than having a famous recording artist at the event? How about if we brought Jesus too?!

We have confirmed that there will be Eucharistic Adoration on site, as well as a special vigil Mass for Edel attendees.

. . .



We have confirmed that SiriusXM is sending a crew so that the Catholic Channel can broadcast from the 2015 Edel Gathering! We’re setting up an event that will involve a live audience open exclusively to Edel attendees, which would feature some of the fabulous women in attendance. We know that many of our ticketholders are involved in a lot of great projects, and we hope this will be a chance to highlight some of them on national radio. More details soon!

. . .



Our fabulous emcee, Jenny Uebbing, has turned up pregnant, due right around the time of the Edel Gathering. (In fact, so many women have turned out to be pregnant and due around Edel that we considered having a midwife with a mobile birthing center just set up in the corner.) Oddly enough, Jenny didn’t want to see “Possible Labor and Delivery by Jenny Uebbing!” penciled in to the official schedule, so she’ll be cheering us on from afar. The new emcee is Haley Stewart, who gave an amazing talk at last year’s event!

. . .

On Saturday night of last year’s Edel Gathering, after the dinner was over, I took a break from the dance floor because I saw the woman whom I’d met in the ballroom during the day event. We talked for a while, and it came out that both of us hadn’t realized how isolated we’d felt until we arrived at this event.

“I don’t think I knew how much I needed to go to a good party with a bunch of Catholic women, ” she said, half-shouting over a Maroon 5 song that was blasting in the background.

“I know, ” I agreed. And I said the words that had been coming to mind over and over again as I walked among the women of the Edel Gathering: “I feel like I’ve finally found my people.”

New tickets for the 2015 Edel Gathering go on sale tomorrow at this link. I can’t wait to see you there.

. . .

P.S. To answer one of the most common questions we’ve received: The Edel Gathering is targeted to the needs of Catholic mothers, particularly those who still have children at home. However, all women are welcome. If you’re female and this event sounds like fun to you, we welcome you with open arms!


  1. Maia

    and…I just got a little sadder (for me) that I can’t make it cross country and a little more excited (for the others who can go)!

  2. Debra

    Oh wow. That’s fabulous. I really hope Audrey’s presentation (indeed, ALL of the presentations) will eventually be online for those of us who live too far away to come … like Australia.

  3. Debra

    Actually, I just re-read my last post and it sounded kinda demanding. I just mean I’d LOVE to hear what Audrey says. But I’m sure you’ve probably got enough to do without feeling under pressure to post things for whiney Australians! Enjoy the gathering.

  4. Mary

    So if I’m dying of loneliness, don’t drink much, can’t take loud music, & am almost old enough for social security, should I come???

  5. Jeri-Lynn Woods

    I realize this is only Edel #2, but… when are you going to organize an Edel Canada? (Quick tip: schedule it for the summertime!) Meanwhile, it’s great that this Edel will be broadcast on SiriusXM! I’ll pray for your stamina!

  6. Emily D.

    SQUEEEEE!!!! I am so excited about this!!!!

  7. RebeccaRaye

    while this sounds great, I’m not a mom.

    I’m wondering if there is anything a Catholic woman who isn’t a mother would enjoy, or is this totally a mom focused event?

    • Emily D.

      Rebecca, I’m not a mom either, and I’m totally going. Come anyway!

    • Sandra

      See Jen’s PS at the end.

  8. Kristin Sanders

    This sounds so amazing!!!! I was 100% planning on coming this year as it is so close to our July vacation spot…but alas…I will join the having-a-baby-the-week-of-the-event club. Maybe I’ll get a little taste via the SiriusXM broadcast!!

  9. Susan

    I SO WISH I was coming this year! But, I am one of those women who has turned up pregnant (with #6) and am due right around the time of the gathering (June 27). While I am excited about the baby, I really could have used the weekend!

  10. Lisa Schmidt

    You gals KNOW how to throw a party. Thank you for allowing the Holy Spirit to work through you as you have!

  11. Sarah

    I am sad 🙁 I am missing 2015’s Edel gathering…. please please bring it back next year!

  12. Tara

    This is amazing! I can’t attend, but I am so happy for those who can! Knowing there are other women out there who are doing their best to live faithfully is so encouraging. I hope you post the talks again this year for those who will not be there. Thank you for the work you are doing.

  13. Becky

    I’d tell everyone planning to attend to have fun, but I think that sort of goes without saying! Sounds like a blast. I am so excited Catholic Channel will be covering it. If there wasn’t an $800 plane ticket between us, I’d totally be there. 🙂 I hope this event just grows and grows. I would love to see it come to the central Midwest someday. Perhaps Minneapolis, or Omaha. *hint hint* 😉

    • Becky

      This Becky agrees with the other Becky! And I’m from Minnesota too! 🙂 I would also love to go, but like so many, cannot afford the plane ticket. Come to the Midwest!~

      • Kelly

        I am from Minnesota and I agree with Becky. Come to the Midwest.

  14. arleta

    Sorry if these are silly questions but is the $279 for admission and the hotel room has a separate fee? I went into the website to buy my ticket and was a bit confused on how to get the hotel and admission tickets. I apologize if you have answered these questions already at some point.

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