The feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe isn’t situated in the middle of Advent out of coincidence. Advent was made for women – and not just because we bake all the cookies and buy all the gifts. Like us, Mary was made for this season and the way she completed her mission in Guadalupe gives us a blueprint of how to confront the challenges of today.
An Italian Catholic doctor has been acquitted of charges brought against her by LGBT activists who accused her of defaming their community after she published a Facebook post declaring homosexuality a “health hazard.”
Commentary by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
If it wasn’t such a serious a matter, I would laugh every time another breathless reporter reveals the fall of another so-called “icon” of Congress, or the press, or Hollywood, after he was accused of sexual harassment. How could the media – or anyone for that matter – be so surprised by a phenomenon that women have been experiencing for centuries? Has it taken this long for them to realize that the sexual harassment of women is a systemic problem throughout the world?
Thanks to the hard work of Women of Grace and the Altar and Rosary Society of St. Joseph’s Church in Coopersburg, Pennsylvania, dozens of women were able to enjoy an afternoon of reflection on the meaning of Advent.
Graduates of the Young Women of Grace program from Regina Academy at St. John the Baptist Church in Ottsville, Pennsylvania traveled to Allentown this past weekend to spread the good news about this exciting new program for teen girls.
The faithful at St. Thomas More parish in Allentown received first-hand testimony about the Young Women of Grace program from three graduates, Maria, Anna, and Ena, who completed the program at Regina Academy this past spring. Accompanied by their facilitator, Mrs. Suze Middleton, they were invited to speak after the 9:00, 10:30 and 12:15 Masses on Sunday morning and share their experience with the congregation.
“In a few weeks, I will be starting high school and will be facing the moral challenges which society offers,” Maria, 14, told the congregation. “God gives all women the gift of maternal love. I have learned through the Young Women of grace program how to use this gift everyday by offering people a kind hear and a loving hand wherever I go.”
She was followed by Anna, 14, who said: “One of my favorite topics was spiritual warfare. Satan is always trying to tempt us through things that either look good, feel good, or taste good. He wants us to scare and lead us to sin. But we don’t have to be afraid of him,” she told the congregation. “He has no power over us because we have the sacraments and prayer to guard us. I will rely on God’s power to protect and guide me through my life.”
Ena, 14, just couldn’t say enough about her favorite part of the study – the saints. “I really enjoyed learning about the many different saints throughout my time in the Young Woman of Grace program,” she said. “I can apply their stories to my own life because they are easy to relate to. In high school, I will rely on these saints and their intercession.”
Young Women of Grace co-author Susan Brinkmann also spoke for a few minutes about both programs and the importance of women learning more about their role in society and the Church.
“We need to be prepared to take our rightful place in this world not as objects for entertainment but for who we really are, creatures made in the image and likeness of God with a special gift to imbue this world with life and love – which is our feminine genius.”
But not all women are aware of this special call, which is why the parish is also offering the Women of Grace® program for adult women beginning September 20.
“Even if you don’t have a daughter to enroll in the Young Women of Grace program, this is the perfect opportunity to learn the Church’s foundational teachings about women,” Susan said.
Christine Adelizzi and Bernadette Monchauk-Barski are facilitating the Women of Grace® study at the parish. Michelle Espinosa is facilitating the Young Women of Grace study which begins on Saturday, September 16 and will run every other week until June 2.
If you want to discover your feminine genius, or are looking to be renewed in your vocation as a daughter of God, Join us for an exciting weekend conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico from September 8-10. Click here for more information!
A new book by psychologist and body image researcher Renee Engeln says we all need to spend less time talking about beauty in order to “put it in its place” behind other more important matters – and mothers, grandmothers and aunts need to quit complaining about their bodies in front of young women!
By Diane Tousignant
It is said that a journey begins with the first step but I believe that it actually begins with a gentle push from God. The first time I heard Johnnette speak was in 2003 at a small church called St. Mary’s in Lutz, FL. I purchased her book, “Full of Grace” and fell in love with the concept of Women and the Abundant Life. Read the rest…