Katie Hartfiel is an author and speaker dedicated to sharing the intense love of the Lord. As a teenager, Katie fell in love with Christ at a Steubenville youth conference in her home state of Colorado. She received a degree in theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville and served as a youth minister for seven years in Houston, where she now resides with her husband, Mark, and two daughters. In 2012, Katie released her first book, Woman in Love. This work coaches young women as they strive for purity through praying for and journaling to their future spouse. She has been blessed to watch hearts come alive with the realization that our faithful God hungers to exceed our deepest desires.
I first met Katie and her husband Mark when they gave a talk at my school. It was part of a series of lectures called Bottom of the Cup. Katie’s testimony inspired me to address my journal entries to my “Beloved,” which could apply to a future earthly husband or a godly one.
What was the inspiration behind the Woman In Love book and the brand as a whole?
Woman In Love is a term that was coined by the girls in my youth program and I as an alternative to the phrase “Woman of God.” We tended to associate the thought of being a “Woman of God” with images of churning butter. There is nothing wrong with such an image, but we felt that what really described us was that we were women who were madly, deeply, passionately in love. This love radiates into everything we think, do and say. We are defined by this love. This is the heart of being a Woman of God… being a woman who loves and who is beloved. The book focuses on the fact that when we accept Jesus as our First Love, He is free to mold us for our second love- whether that be the Church or a spouse.
What are you doing nowadays?
I was a full time youth minister in Houston for seven years and left my position about 6 months after my second child was born. I am now a full-time stay-at-home-mom. My kids and I sleep too late and them stumble around getting ready for our day. I homeschool in the mornings, play in the early afternoon and work on my ministry in the late afternoon. Evenings are usually spent on my holey couch with my husband and a hot beverage. On the side I do some speaking and writing which allows me to be with teens and share my passion.
What do you have to say to those who think young adults aren’t participating enough (or even at all) with church activities?
It is hard to find a home in parish life when you are a young adult. Many programs are geared toward youth or families… and let’s be honest– a lot of old people. The truth is that the church will benefit from an awakening of the young adult demographic! Their gifts are endless! I have so many young adult friends who have given so much to our parish through heading fundraising efforts, teaching and serving. The truth is that when we give to our parish we receive.
What do you think is the best thing about being married and being a mother? How different is it from being single or a religious sister?
The best part is the experience of meeting God in my kids and husband. They teach me all the time about God’s unconditional love for me. At least once a day, usually more, I find myself looking at their faces and feeling overwhelmed in adoration of God’s generosity. When we find the path God is calling us on, He WILL encounter us. He does so in a particular singular way through marriage, and He does so in a particular singular way through single life and a particular singular way through religious life. He knows the place that will set our hearts on fire.
Who is your go-to saint for things relating to motherhood? Who was your go-to saint when you were waiting for your husband-to-be? Any saints that you designated for your daughters?
I spend a lot of time shooting arrow prayers to the Blessed Mother during the day. I often like to ask her to come and take over so I can have 5 minutes.
A saint that has really introduced herself into my life beginning during my Husband-To-Be prayer days is St. Philomena who is the patroness of purity for the 21st century. She stood up against her country, family and the most powerful man in the world in the name of purity and she is a powerhouse. She has been very faithful to me in her intercessions! My daughters both have a love of St. Philomena and St. Clare, but they are particularly partial to St. Therese.
What advice would you give to young women and their mothers about discerning vocations and relationships?
Trust. God will never be outdone in generosity, and if we are generous with God He will be generous with is. I heard before that faith is knowing that when you step off the cliff you will either be given solid ground to walk on, or be given the wings to fly. We tend to rush things in discernment, but young women- you aren’t waiting for your love story to start- you are living it RIGHT NOW. Today is an important day in your formation for your vocation. Worry about today and live one step at a time.
If you could go back to when you started writing letters to your HTB, what would you tell her?
I think about this a lot actually. I would say, “Katie, put your head down and just make it. It’s all going to be better than you could imagine on the other side. God is hiding you in His wounds and sharing tears beside you- He is sharing in your cross, but He will also share with you His Resurrection.”