Brenda Dooley, our indefatigable Regional Coordinator in Louisiana, spearheaded the program for the parish. She served under the guidance and direction of Father Michael Russo, pastor, and Stephanie Supple, the parish administrator. Four women from the school, all of whom facilitated Women of Grace studies in the past at the parish, generously volunteered to facilitate the girl's study. It was coordinated throughout the 2017-2018 school year and culminated with a graduation event and reception on May 18, 2018.
Highlights from the year included an event in December where the girls were able to share an afternoon with Leah Darrow, a Catholic speaker, author, and former professional model. Leah presented a spiritual exercise to the girls and their mothers on the virtue of modesty.
It was just one of many inspiring moments for the girls who had nothing but praise for the study. Some of the girls gave their own testimonials about the Program and how it has impacted their lives:
- “I have learned so many new things and feel I have grown in my faith.”
- “This program has given me time for God. I am most grateful my Mom signed me up for this program!”
- “I enjoyed the program this past year because we got to learn more about ourselves and build a better relationship with God.”
- “[Young Women of Grace] has brought me closer to my friends and more importantly, God.”
- “My experience here has taught me about how I should trust Jesus [and] how to act as a young teen.”
Fr. Russo praised the girls for their commitment to grow in the spiritual life and reminded them that in salvation history, God often calls young people to do great things for the Kingdom. He expressed his enthusiasm for the Young Women of Grace Study Program and how its implementation for the future should make a profound impact on the spiritual health of Fatima Parish.
The Young Women of Grace Study Program is an adaptation of the Women of Grace Foundational Study, "Full of Grace: Women and the Abundant Life," and presents vital Catholic teaching in a colorful magazine-style workbook that is packed with fun facts, testimonials, and stories of the Saints and other Catholic role models. Bringing the Young Women of Grace Study Program to your parish, school, or community is simple! For additional information or to place your order call 1-800-558-5452 or visit us online.
But this isn't the only "first time ever" for Young Women of Grace. We are thrilled to offer the Young Women of Grace Retreat Day in conjunction with the Women of Grace Annual Retreat at Malvern Retreat House! The Young Women of Grace Retreat inspires teen girls ages 13+ to "Get Spirit Savvy" and understand the gift of their feminine genius and how to use it to thrive in today's culture. Through fun, interactive, hands-on activities, inspiring Catholic speakers, and great music, girls will leave the retreat ignited by the Holy Spirit and ready to "step out into the deep" wherever God calls them to follow!
Betsey Sawyer is an attorney and adjunct instructor in Mississippi, and works for Women of Grace as the Mission Advancement Coordinator. She can be reached at email@example.com. (Photo courtesy of Eliza Kennard Photography).