A Member of the Family

A Member of the FamilyNot long ago I had the opportunity to accompany Sheila Walsh all the way to Ordway, CO to honor the life and legacy of Mary Katherine Ricard. Just a few weeks ago, Mary Katherine was looking forward to attending the Denver Women of Faith event with her daughter. She traded days off so she’d be able to go . . . which is why she was at work on Monday, September 29, the day violence broke out at her workplace in a Colorado prison . . . the day Mary Katherine went to be with Jesus.

While we didn’t know Mary Katherine, losing her felt like losing part of our family.  We cried with her relatives and rejoiced over a life that honored Christ.  At the Women of Faith office we may not meet every one of you, but we consider you our family. We love praying with you about the things you post on our Facebook wall, we get excited about your stories, and we are thrilled to know all that God is doing in your life.

As Sheila and I drove the 160 miles from Denver to Ordway we talked about those of you that make this drive—and similar drives in other states—to come to one of our events. We were blown away in appreciation and gratitude. Many of you drive from different cities, states, and even countries to worship and grow with us. But you don’t stop there…you bring your friends, communities and sometimes even strangers. You are the hands and feet of Women of Faith. You are reaching the communities across the country for Jesus. You are creating a movement around the world of women knowing and seeking God.

Together we are impacting our communities, our nations, and our world. We thank you for being part of our family. Please continue to share with us all that God is doing and let us know how we can help you and your community. We love you!

Lauren is a member of the Women of Faith staff based in Plano, TX.


  1. 2 years ago
    Lynda Parker says

    As I read this story about Mary Katherine and the amazing grace you showed her family during their time of grief, I was reminded that this is exactly what Jesus would have done. Another reason I am
    so passionate about Women of Faith and the amazing messages delivered at each and every conference. I will continue to shout from the rooftops to every woman I meet your mission to bring all of them to our Lord. My journey began from the “nose-bleed” section of the Pepsi Center in Denver in 2000 and my life was changed from that moment. It continues with conferences in Denver and Las Vegas attending every one since 2000 and bringing over 2,000 women with me to hear the Good News. Thank you for all you do for the Kingdom.

  2. 2 years ago
    crystal Mayfield says

    I had the unspeakable blessing of being able to attend this yrs WOF in Denver. This was my first ever event. Words cannot describe the annointing that I received. A day prior to coming I ended up with an extra ticket. I had said to my aunt maybe I should invite my step-mom to go with us. As it turned out my husband ended up attending with us instead. I say that to tell you this…This woman from the prison who lost her life because she was trying to worship with all of you @ WOF, worked in the prison system that my step-mom works in. As it turned out she is a member of the crisis response team that was sent out to help the victims & families of that tragedy. What it reminded me of was how soverign God is. Had Bonnie been able to attend the event with me, she would not have been available to the family of this woman. God knew before hand & already made a way. This was a life-changing event for me. My biggest take away from the conference was in a song the praise team sang. The words said I don’t have to worry about my life, it’s in his hands & my purpose can begin. I get chills & teary every time I hear it. I know God placed me @ the Denver event for a profound reason. I will be attending future events & am bringing a crowd with me. God bless you for being willing to go the distance. Crystal Mayfield

  3. My daughter-in-law and I attended, with our church group the WOF Pittsburgh, PA event. AWESOME. We laughed, we cried, we left blessed. Thank you for including us in the WOF family. You will never know how important YOU are and how you have touched our hearts. Mary Katherine’s family continues to be in our prayers Thank you for sharing.
    God bless you WOF family. I feel like I’m at home when I hear from you.
    In God We Trust!

  4. 2 years ago
    Pat Strand says

    I’d just like to thank Women of Faith for all they do to help spread the Good News!! What a blessing everyone affiliated with WOF is, whether it’s Sheila Walsh singing for us or one of the ladies on the phone helping get tickets ordered, God bless them all for being such a blessing!!!

    We live in Great Falls, Montana, which is about 225 miles from Billings, Montana, where we attend the WOF events. Unfortunately, Montana winters can be pretty bitter, so you always have to be prepared when traveling 225 miles for snow, ice and storms. This year WOF was in Billings in mid-February, which can be questionable weatherwise. My 98 year old Mother absolutely LOVES WOF, however, since WOF was held in mid-February in Billings, I was hestitant to take Mom this year, and Mom agreed. I wouldn’t want to take a chance having Mom out in bad weather in Montana, because towns are few and far between, if we did run into trouble. My Mom will be 99 in January, 2013, and we’re so thankful you’re offering the Christmas program you are, so she’ll be able to attend that.

    The first one day WOF event that was held in Billings, MT, in mid-February, 2012, was FABULOUS!!! I’ve been attending WOF since it started in Billings, and have been a Group Leader for most of those years. When WOF were going to change the Billings venue to a one day event, I was apprehensive. However, after attending the one day event, I left feeling like I’d won a glorious prize and was allowed to go to a very special WOF event that ended up providing an even more personal, spiritual, uplifting program. I’m so thankful I was able to be part of that one day event.

    God bless you all at WOF! Please continue to help all the women of the world continue to grow in their faith, and come to know their Lord and Savior on a personal level. Thank you all!!!

  5. 2 years ago
    Katie Smith Mary's Daughter says

    Thank You so Much for Being there at my Mom’s Memorial Service. I have heard from Many friends and People who attended and some who were not able to attend but watched the service online that Once Sheila Sang they felt Peace!!!! This is still very Raw for me and each day I have to lean on the Lord to just Breathe…. To All of my Women of Faith Family Thank You for all Your Kind Words and Prayers!!! My Moms Death Will Be for Gods Glory!!! The Seeds we have been able to sow in others Lives through our Loss will ONLY HONOR God!!!

  6. 2 years ago
    jackie truswell says

    I have been attending WOF for 3 years now, each time I go it’s another WOW experience,. Yes ladies WE are a family of faith and we are in prayer for the loss of one of our “Sisters”. Shelia Walsh made an impression on the group that I took last year with her blurp about the “Monkies” if anyone could remember just what she said I would be MOST grateful. We have started our own MONKEY circle and would LOVE to share this with my WOF group. Praise God for ALL of you WOF we ARE stronger in numbers.
    God Bless and Keep on praying it works!!

  7. 2 years ago
    Lorraine says

    All I can say is “Thank you”.

  8. When my daughter suggested we go to the OKC, OK conference, I had never heard of WOF. It was six months before the conference and I had no idea of what was ahead. The WOF event changed my life!!!! It changed my direction back toward the Lord and for that I am eternally grateful! I am sure you will never know how many lives you touch this side of heaven but when you are tired and weary from traveling and ministering know that God restores and you are a part of that!!!! Thank you!!!

  9. I am so touched by the email notification about Mary K. Ricard; and that the people of Woman of Faith have cared and shared for this woman that worked at a Co. Prison. My mother is a home missionary who volunteers at a prison in Texas. I attended the Dallas event and it has changed my life. My mother is the founder of Cross Prison Ministries in Gatesville Texas and she ministers to officers, staff and inmates. So this message of love that WOF sent to Mary is bringing tears to my eyes, because it takes special people to work in a prison. I will forward this to my mother and keep her family in my prayers. If her family reads this I would like to tell her family Thank You for your mother who served in a field that most will not serve. Kim

    • 2 years ago
      Katie Smith Mary's Daughter says

      My Mom Was Proud to work for the Department of Corrections!!!! She Was Brave!!!! Thank Your for your prayers and thoughts

      • 2 years ago
        Diana Smith says

        As a fellow Colorado correction officer, I was in shock over the horrific way her life was taken from her. It was an eye opening day for my fellow officers, our families and myself as to what the worst thing is that can happen while we’re on duty. When I found out that she wasn’t supposed to be there that day and that she had traded to go to the WOF conference the next weekend, the shock continued along with the question “why?”. I know I don’t have the right to question God as to “why?”, but I do know that God was with Mary and took our sister home to be with him that day. It is comforting to know that she believed and is now rejoicing in heaven. Thank you to Sheila & Lauren for being there to be a comfort for the family and a representative for God at the service. God bless Mary, her loved ones and all of those lives that she has touched in one way or another.

        • 2 years ago
          Katie Mary's Daughter says

          I believe the only way we are at all able to get through this nightmare is because of our Faith! We know where she is! We are just trying to figure out with Gods help how to live with out her physical being. Every day it gets a little better. The Lord is giving us super natural strength.

  10. 2 years ago
    Kathy says

    I am very much looking forward to driving from one state to another to attend my very first WOF weekend in KC in November! You all bring so much of yourselves to the team and touch something in everyone that hears you, whether in person or not! I have not seen any of you in person, but have seen/heard on Facebook, YouTube, TV, and read many of the speakers’ books. God is truly working through you and thanks be to Him for you all! See some of you very soon! :)

  11. 2 years ago
    Terri Brown says

    I am originally from Ordway and still have family there. I was at the WOF in Denver and when I heard Sheila speak of Mary Katherine I was totally in awe of how God works in peoples lives even when they are total strangers.

    The fact that you guys drove clear out to Ordway, a small town in the middle of no where to be with her family just speaks wonders of Gods love and what he does in your lives.

    Thank you for being so awsome.

  12. I just want you to all know as a Woman of Faith, I have struggled with not being able to find work and then when I did loosing the job as a result of a hearing loss I didn’t know I had. I struggled with being jobless for the first time in over 40 years and became depressed. Then God swooped in and showed me that with all my grand children’s activities and my own chronic pain issues, He wanted me at home. I am a quilter, I make quilts for family and charity and friends. When the tragedy hit in Aurora I set up a Facebook page to get quilts out to over 300 first responders, family members of those lost and survivors. We successfully and completely wrapped Aurora’s communications center in quilts (83 total) and are now working diligently on quilting families of those that were lost and the wounded, fire fighters and paramedics. God showed me through this tragedy, that while I may not have a job where I leave my home each day and bring home a paycheck, He had a job for me to do. Keeping my eye on Him and listening to His voice keeps me smiling. We still need quilters and I hope everyone checks out our site at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Aurora-Colorado-Emergency-Responder-Quilts/401592493230782 we still have so many more to wrap. Thank you Women of Faith for showing me that sometimes being home is where God wants us to be!

    • I also want you to know that I attended for the first time ever WOF in Portland this past week-end and all I can say is I walked out knowing God has me in His hands!

    • We would love to hear more about your story and share in a future WOF Daily. Please share here – http://www.womenoffaith.com/mystory/

    • 2 years ago
      Yvonne says

      Dear QuiltingGranny: You are NOT alone! I am also on disability AND I am a quilter too! Thank you for sharing because now I feel like I’m not alone. I go to a church quilt group on Monday nights, and the ladies have been like stretcher-bearers for me, keeping me going. Here is a prayer request from me. I am asking God for a home that I can put up my sewing machine and quilt at home, not just on Monday nights, and also for a car. I would like to help people get to their appointments in the mornings. There is a need for that in our area. Keep doing good! Keep Quilting!!

  13. I want to thank you for your impact that God has used you to make in my daughters and my life and now my grown grand daughter. My daughters and I began attending the first arena event in Seattle,Wa in 1997. Patsy Clairmont, Barbara Johnson, Thelma Wells, Luci Swindoll, Marilyn Meberg, and my hero Chonda Pierce for having gone thru the trials shes been thru and still make people laugh,
    In 2004 my husband and I moved to Central Point,Or and I would travel to Seattle to go with my daughters but in 2011 I began a crusade to get ladies from my small church to travel to Portland to WOF when my youngest daughter became a group leader there. Most people from this area don’t know about WOF and it was a challenge to get 7 ladies to commit who had never been before. Last year was a turning point because we returned home and this year we tripled that 7 newcomers to 21 and rented a bus to take 26 by bus and 10 more by car.
    My prayer request is; my daughter is stepping down from group leader this year because she is going back to school and working and keeping up with family issues just has a plate full and because I have built this group from Southern Oregon and don’t want to just let them go at age 70 decided, after much prayer and a confirmation from God to step up to the plate and committed to 100 seats. Prayer God gives me the strength and energy to follow His lead and ALWAYS have His love and grace for these ladies.

  14. 2 years ago
    Melinda says

    It breaks my heart to hear about Mary Katherine’s death. The Women of Faith Conferences serve every year to refill my cup; there is nothing I look forward to more. I am so excited because I recently signed up to be a group leader for the 2013 tour season! Honestly, it consumes any free minute that I have in that I am constantly brainstorming for new ways to bring this conference to all the women within my reach! My goal is to share the good news and fellowship with 100+ women and bring every last one of them with me to Milwaukee next year! The family that is Women of Faith has changed my life and I praise our great Lord and Savior that He has put me in a position to potentially give this gift to others!

  15. 2 years ago
    Patti says

    Thank you for letting us be a part of your family. I am so encouraged by the devotionals and love to laugh when y’all have a funny post. We are all part of the family of God and it is so nice to be able to read something that just fits what I need for the day. Times are tough so we are in this together. Be Blessed!

  16. 2 years ago
    Gretchen Cleaves says

    It is nice to know that you love us as we love you. It seems at times, in this world today, that only the well-known are spotlighted. You make a difference in our lives and for that I am always grateful. Blessings to you all. You have gotten me through some rough times with a reminder that God does love us and will guide us if we allow that to happen.

  17. 2 years ago
    Alishia says

    What a great way to show love by traveling and being right their with Mary Katherines family. Thank you Sheila and Lauryn for not only being heares of Gods word but also doers. God Bless everyone in Women of Faith. I attended the Pittsburgh event for the first time this year. I will never forget my experiance. Each speaker brings their own personal testimony of pain and shares how God can restore in our brokeness. I love that you all are real, we all suffer in this life and need one another when we do.

  18. 2 years ago
    Darlene Meeder says

    This is for Sheila Walsh
    I attended WOF in Syracuse,New York in 2011. That weekend really rocked my world! When you were talking about your mother-in-law being sick and you joined her in a hospital bed, I got a vision of 2 people in a hospital bed and just “assumed” it was MY mother-in-law and I…You should never assume anything when God gives you a vision!! I wanted to share that with you then, but I missed your book signing, so I had Lisa Harper sign my Bible. I told her about the vision.My best friend saw the same thing!
    It became clear to me in June of this year, just what that vision was!! I went to North Carolina with my best friend to see her daughter who is dying.As I came down the hall, there was Chris laying in the hospital bed her daughter. I almost went to my knees!! It was my vision!! This is the reason why I never attempted to contact you before. God was waiting for the right time! WOW!!
    God Bless You!
    Dar Meeder

  19. 2 years ago
    Helen Warren says

    Women of Faith. Awesome!!!