kelly wahlquist

Catholic Evangelist & Speaker

Kelly Wahlquist is a dynamic and inspiring Catholic speaker whose gift of weaving personal stories and Scripture together with practical advice allows her audience to enter more fully into what Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict have called us into - to be witnesses of our faith and part of the New Evangelization.

Talk Titles and Descriptions

Our Supreme Role in the New Evangelization: Living “The Joy of the Gospel”

Blessed John Paul II  said, "Each believer in Christ has the supreme duty to proclaim Christ to all peoples." If you believe in Christ, you have a duty, not just any duty, a supreme duty to evangelize. In this talk we will look at how we fulfill our vocation to evangelize and learn how to go from "evangephobia" to confident "evangelizer" , something we can do by following the words of Pope Francis in his first apostolic exhortation, “The Joy of the Gospel” (Evangelii Gaudium). We will also look at the ultimate model of living the Gospel with joy, the Blessed Virgin Mary. Not only is Mary the model disciple; she is the model evangelizer too.  The joy and the humility she exudes in her prayer, the Magnificat, are virtues that we too must live in our evangelistic efforts.  A closer examination of the Magnificat will help us take a look at how we can evangelize and joyfully share our faith as Mary did.


Why the Church Needs WINE: Women In the New Evangelization

Blessed John Paul II  said, "Each believer in Christ has the supreme duty to proclaim Christ to all peoples." As women, we have been created in a special way to do this, and as women in the New Evangelization, we find our vocation and mission in using this beauty bestowed on us in our creation to profess the faith in fullness and with renewed conviction, with confidence and hope. This talk will utilize the words of Pope Francis as laid out in his first apostolic exhortation, “The Joy of the Gospel” (Evangelii Gaudium) to look at how we, as women, can joyfully fulfill our vocation to evangelize and it will show us how we have been given the ultimate model, the Star of the New Evangelization, Mary, to lead us.  Not only is Mary the model disciple; she is the model evangelizer too. 


Living Your Faith with Courageous Faith and Contagious Joy(Wonderful talk for Women’s Conferences)

Do you find yourself in a situation you never thought could happen to you? Are you struggling with how to endure suffering in your life? Ever wonder how you can live a life of faith in a world that seems to be losing faith? All of it takes courage! Join us for a heartfelt and dynamic look at what courage truly is, how we can obtain it, and to whom we can look as true examples of how to live the “life you never dreamed of” with courage, renewed conviction, confidence, and hope! 


Hidden Gifts, Clandestine Cultivation

In every circumstance and situation, God's grace can come to us through others. People who come into our lives and stay bring us continuing gifts, opportunities, and yes, challenges; and, each of us bring gifts of grace into the lives of others. Often these gifts, which bear the grace of God are hidden - at least to us - until God calls them out into action in His perfect timing. Many Old and New Testament saints had hidden gifts for the building of the People of God. We too have been given gifts to help build His Mystical Body, the Church, but at times we may feel we have no idea what they are. We need to learn to ask God to reveal our hidden gifts, to recognize them, and to put them into practice for the greater glory of the kingdom and the praise and glory of His Name.


Letting the Peace of Christ Rule Your Heart in a World That Wants to Rule All of You

Pope Benedict XVI asked, "How can we experience peace within ourselves, in spite of problems, darkness and anxieties? " Not only did he ask, but he answered, giving us the key to unlock the doors to the interior peace which we ought to have amid the sometimes tumultuous and confusing events of history, events whose meaning we often do not grasp and which disconcert us. With highlights on history and glimpses of humor we will look at some practical ways we can experience inner peace in a world ruled by constant chaos, confusion, and noise.


God Doesn’t Call the Equipped, He Equips the Called: The Personal Testimony of a Wife, Mom, Nurse and Friend

Blessed John Paul II said, “Whenever the Spirit intervenes, he leaves people astonished. He brings about events of amazing newness; he radically changes persons and history.” That one sentence perfectly sums up my life perfectly! 

A good friend once told me that God gives us what we need wrapped in what we want. In 2003, with three little children under the age of six, I wanted to experience conversations that didn’t revolve around Barbies, Match Box cars or potty training.... What I needed was a relationship with Jesus Christ. 

In a swift instant, and through the actions of one sneaky friend, my life was radically changed and a deep, new found, love of Scripture transformed my heart and instilled in me the passion to not only be with the Lord, but to share the joy I had found in Him with all. Soon my life went from wiping runny noses, to running a Bible study of over 600 people; from aspirations of being Director of Nursing to directing the leadership country-wide for The Great Adventure; from creating a network of friends sharing recipes to co-creating the Hearts Afire Parish-based Programs for the New Evangelization; from just making people laugh to sharing the Joy of the Gospel with all in ear shot, and the journey continues. This talk is my personal story and truly shows that God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called. And guess what? He’s equipping us all to share His kingdom!


Created to Relate: The Radical Role Women in Family, Church, and Society

Pope Francis proclaimed that women make an indispensable contribution to the Church and to society "through the sensitivity, intuition and other distinctive skill sets which they, more than men, tend to possess." So, what is this distinctive skill set that we women tend to possess that makes us indispensable? The answer is simple. It is because women are radically relational—and we can see it in everything we do! Our abilities to cry at coffee commercials, make new friends on the way to the ladies' room, or instantly turn our head and sigh when we see a baby, aren't just things we can laugh about with girl friends, they are beautiful insights into why God made us the way He did.

In this talk, we will explore how women, in a very special way, have been created in and built for relationship. We will examine "the proof" that lies in the pages of Genesis and look at the examples of the women, whose stories are told throughout Sacred Scripture, to help guide us on our journey to True Happiness. We will see how women have been given specific gifts that allow us to bring our families, our friends, and our parishes fully alive! All will walk away from this talk inspired to live our indispensable feminine "skill set" with joy, and on fire to live our faith with renewed confidence, with conviction, and hope!

* This talk focuses on concepts from Kelly's book Created to Relate: God's Design for Peace and Joy, which will be available through Servant Books in February 2015.

What Does a 21st Century Woman Disciple Look Like?

Discipleship! What does that mean? The call to discipleship requires an openness to God’s will and a willingness to give selflessly—not for personal gain, but as an act of charity towards one another. Yet, today we live in a country in which we are no longer upholding Christian principles; where we are redefining truth; where we are redefining life; and one can’t help but think, “Can I truly live as a disciple in such a world?” The answer is a resounding, “Yes!” Not only can we live as true disciples of Christ—as women, we are created in a very special way for this charge.

Some of the first disciples of Christ were women who lived in a world that had lost truth and was even farther away from the values our Lord taught than we are today.

By looking to the first women who answered Jesus’ call to “follow me” 2,000 years ago, by understanding the Rabbi-Disciple relationship, and by reflecting upon the transformative (and for the times, “edgy”) relationship Jesus had with women, we learn how we, as women, can follow Christ. The women of the New Testament, along with our sisters the saints, show us how to listen to Christ, to seek Christ, and to love Christ. They teach us how to be disciples in our world today.