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Young Women of Grace Shine in Allentown!

Back row (l/r) Michelle Espinosa, Christine Adelizzi. Front row (l/r) Kae, Sarah, and Riley

It was two years ago at a Women of Grace® retreat when Michelle Espinosa and Christine Adelizzi first heard about the Young Women of Grace® program and decided the Holy Spirit was calling them to start a group. They had no idea how to facilitate a class, but they acted in faith, bought a Facilitators Kit and left the rest up to God.

Michelle and Christine are now facilitating a group of seven girls at St. Thomas More parish in Allentown, Pennsylvania who are expected to complete the course in early June.

“It’s been a great first year,” said co-facilitator Michelle. “The girls are really special. I am amazed that they willingly give up their Saturday mornings to come together to strengthen their Catholic faith and to fellowship with one another. I pray that the valuable lessons of this program will carry them through high school and college.”

Judging from the comments the girls made about the class, this hope may be on its way to fulfillment.

“I’ve grown strong in my faith and learned how to respect myself,” said Sarah, 14, one of a set of triplets whose sister, Riley, is also in the class.

“I’ve learned how important it is to be a woman and to listen to God and try to be close to Him and do His will,” said Riley, 14. “I also learned the importance of prayer, and how important it is to come together in this community and listen to what other girls have to say.”

Kae, 16, said the program taught her how important it is to come together in a small group with other girls who share the faith. “The group encourages us in our role as women. In sharing our experiences and building each other up, we can learn to live as Catholic women in the world in spite of what the world is trying to tell us," she said.

For co-facilitator Christine, who is a grandmother of two and has no experience teaching, she wanted to take on this loving labor after seeing the kind of world her granddaughters would be facing in the years ahead.

“I see the ways of the world and they are not good, especially toward women and family life,” Christine said.

Seven years ago, it was a Women of Grace® course that emboldened her with the truth of what it meant to be created female. The course introduced her to the writings of the Church on femininity, and when she read St. John Paul II’s Letter to Women, she felt something stir in her soul.

“Women of Grace changed my life,” she said, and her innate sense of spiritual motherhood naturally makes her want to share this gift with others.

“One year later, I’m enjoying facilitating Young Women of Grace®. I feel as though I am doing something to educate the girls in the truth of the Catholic Church and life. I couldn’t let this generation of girls go into Junior/Senior High and beyond unarmed about the ways of the world and the ‘culture of death’ we live in.”

Her and Michelle are planting the seeds, but letting God do the watering and the “Son-ing” to let the growth take place.

“One of my hopes for the girls is that they are learning discernment skills, by using the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, thought and prayer before acting," Christine said. "I am impressed at how the seed has taken root, and in time who knows what our Lord has in store for these Young Women of Grace!”

© All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly®/Women of Grace®  http://www.womenofgrace.com

 

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Young Women of Grace Comes to Allentown

Young Women of Grace graduates Anna, Maria,  and Ena

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.

(L/R) Anna, Ena, Maria, Suze Middleton, Christine Adelizzi, Michelle Espinosa, Bernadette Monchauk-Barski

“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.

For more information, visit Women® of Grace Foundational Study and Young Women of Grace: Embrace Your Femininity

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!

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