Dr. Katherine (Becker) Rafferty

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Katherine Becker
Katherine (Becker) Rafferty Catholic Speaker
Katherine (Becker) Rafferty Catholic Speaker
Katherine (Becker) Rafferty Catholic Speaker

Travels from Des Moines, Iowa

Katherine (Becker) Rafferty, PhD, is married and has two young children. Katherine is a lecturer at Iowa State University and is the author of "The dating fast: 40 days to reclaim your heart, body, and soul," a book that emphasizes the importance of fasting and intentional discernment within one's single life.

Background & Credentials:

For several years Katherine has been speaking to youth and adults about the importance of fasting in the single life to help individuals grow in their personal call to holiness and charity. In 2012, Katherine was a guest speaker on Catholic TV's Clear Voice Show. Her work with the book, The Dating Fast, has also been featured in radio shows (e.g., Relevant Radio and Iowa Catholic Radio) and blogs (e.g., Discerning Hearts and Young Catholic Women). She recently started a blog called Quintesscentially Yours, where she seeks to construct a "new" normal as she writes about motherhood, marriage, and communication research. 

Katherine completed her PhD in Communication from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and currently works as a Lecturer at Iowa State University. Katherine teaches college courses in conflict management and interpersonal communication and is the Director of the Family Health Communication Research Lab. In her research, she studies how families communicate amidst hardships, such as illness and end-of-life care. Katherine is also an Associate Scholar with the Charlotte Lozier Institute. Her research in family health communication has culminated into over 25 conference presentations at national and international conferences, as well as over a dozen publications in academic peer-reviewed journals.

Main Message:

Katherine inspires men and women to actively pursue and fully live out their unique and personal call to holiness. Katherine's message emphasizes how one’s exploration of holiness begins during his or her single life. This stage of life is a period that requires fasting and intentional discernment, so as to develop a personal and intimate relationship with Christ and prepare oneself for their God-given vocation. After accepting one’s vocational call, prayer and fasting allow individuals to serve God and others in the capacity that he or she has uniquely and personally been called to love by Him. For those women who are called to marriage and motherhood, prayer and fasting allows women to continue to cultivate a culture of health, happiness, and holiness within her family.

Select Speaking Topics:

The Dating Fast: 40 Days to Reclaim Your Heart, Body, & Soul
This talk focuses on the concepts from the book - defining the need for a fast, the significance of 40-days, practical tips to consider while carrying out a dating fast, and the many graces received from fasting.

The Sacraments of Vocation: Where the Single Life "Fits"
This talk focuses on the “single-life” and where this period of life fits within the sacraments of vocation. The single life is discussed as both a temporary and permanent vocation.

Remaining His: The Importance of Faith, Femininity, & Fellowship in Today's Culture
This talk focuses on how women can develop their personal faith life, explore their God-given femininity, and share this beauty and love with others. Prayer and fasting are discussed as methods for developing one’s faith life and cultivating families centered on Christ. The hardships and difficulties within today's culture are discussed with different approaches to battling these issues.

Prayer, Fasting, & Almsgiving: More Then a Lenten Thing
This talk focuses on the three elements of Lent (prayer, fasting, and almsgiving) and how each element is needed in our daily spiritual life. Practical tips and personal stories highlight how we are called daily to lives of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.

How Families Communicate Effectively: What the Researchers Have to Say
This talk focuses on the latest research within family communication and provides tips for how “better” family communication may occur to increase spiritual and emotional health, happiness, and holiness for all family members.

12 Lessons from 12 Months of Marriage
This talk is done with her husband, David Rafferty, in which Katherine and Dave discuss their personal and combined perspectives of critical lessons learned and continuously redefined within the sacrament of marriage. 

What Others Have to Say:

"It's brilliant! If you read and live this book you will discover a clarity that most people never have when it comes to relationships!"              -Matthew Kelly, New York Times bestselling author

"This remarkable book serves as a powerful, practical antidote to so many romantic frustrations. I'm certain I'll be quoting The Dating Fast's transformational wisdom again and again." -Pete Mockaitis, author, Team Up: Becoming Accountable to Your Dreams

"The Dating Fast challenges each of us to exercise the courage needed to trust in God and trust in Him to lead us to the fulfillment of our hearts' desires." -Fr. Luke A. Spannagel, Head Chaplain, St. John's Catholic Newman Center at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

"In order to be truly ready for a romantic relationship, you must first love and respect yourself. Katherine Becker's forty-day dating fast is an excellent tool for self-reflection to understand yourself better and grow in love, confidence and faith. Following this fast will better prepare you for relationships, and is a solid step toward a fulfilling life, with or without a spouse." -Anita A. Chlipala, MA, MEd, LMFT, Relationship Reality 312, Inc.

"This isn't just an excellent book. It's a spiritual journey. It has allowed me to replace my hope in Christ. It is well written, practical, and unassuming. It has brought me a sence of peace and trust. Each meditation is designed for someone going through a dating fast, but the wisdom used could be designed for anyone wanting to be healed from hurt and have a closer more intimate relationship with God."            -Anonymous

"You were wonderful! We talk about letting God into our lives, turning to Jesus, availing ourselves of the gifts of the Holy Spirit...but as you were talking it occurred to me that you embody what I am trying to teach them in the classroom." -Judie Gillespie, Religion Teacher, Divine Savior Holy Angels High School in Milwaukee, WI

"It was a joy to have you! I personally received so much from your talk, and I know others did as well! God is doing great things in and through you." -Emily LaLoggia, Director of Youth & Young Adult Ministry, The Basilica of St. Josaphat in Milwaukee, WI

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