Who we are ~ Whose we are

Inspired by the relationship between Our Blessed Mother, Mary and her beloved cousin, Saint Elizabeth, ENCOUNTER GRACE is an organization dedicated to helping women build community, one grace-filled encounter at a time. Scripture tells us that Mary and Elizabeth shared a special bond, making the effort to stay connected despite being separated by miles, age and circumstance, all the while keeping Christ at the center of their relationship.

And so with this relationship as our model, our mission is to create authentic, engaging opportunities where women can come together, encountering and witnessing each other's stories, sharing this thing we call life, all while having a few laughs along the way.  Just as Mary and Elizabeth journeyed together, we hope that no matter where you are on your own faith journey, you will find friendship and joy with the women you encounter at one of our events.


Penny A. Bailey

I am a woman on a journey - of faith and encounter. A lifelong Catholic I spent most of my life living my faith on the margins, living as a Catholic in name only. 6 years ago I had a deep reversion to the faith, ending that long, spiritual dry spell. Today, I have a much clearer understanding of what God has called me to do and who He has called me to be. This journey has taken many twists and turns over the years. Looking back, I'm so blessed that by my side through it all have been my husband and our two beautiful, high spirited and deeply devout daughters.

Launching Encounter Grace is another step along this path the good Lord has seen fit to put me on. It is always my prayer that my encounters with and witness to others, women especially, will encourage them to take a fresh look at how God sees them, embracing the gifts they have and finding a way to say yes to God's plan for their lives.

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Laura K. Roland

I am a cradle Catholic who has recently landed in Washington DC. An educator for 22 years, 14 of which were in Catholic education, this new adventure as co-founder of Encounter Grace has been a step in a direction I never knew I needed to take.

My other claim to fame is that I am the wife to my husband of 29+ years. We have three amazing grown children (key word grown because that = independent of our bank account) and one amazing son-in-law. Their wit, intellect and love for good cinema comes from their dad and their need for direct flights when travelling and great books to read comes from me.

These days as my heart has been drawn more deeply into women's ministry, I write and speak about living an authentic life in the faith, encouraging women to tell their stories. It is my strongly held belief that we all should share the beauty that is this life one sweet conversation at a time.

Learn more about Laura as a speaker here.