It’s been 100 years since women earned the right to vote, 56 years since that right was extended to all women in our society. But the divisiveness and animosity of recent election cycles have left many feeling jaded, depressed, unheard, frustrated, and just plain over it. Can you relate?
“As I reflected on the Given Forum 2019, the word ‘receptive’ had been planted on my heart. I had uncertainty about whether I was magnifying my gifts in my current life as a high school history teacher and coach at an all-girls Catholic school outside of Washington D.C. I loved the school, my students, and my coworkers, but I still felt a sense of restlessness in the silence. I was ready and receptive–with arms stretched out– to use my gifts to glorify God and to follow wherever He was leading me."
During Women’s History Month, we are all more keenly aware of the impact of women leaders upon society. Especially on March 8th, media outlets and all of our favorite Instagram accounts were proudly promoting women’s accomplishments and sharing stories of heroines. But does Women’s History Month include Catholic female leaders? Sometimes, yes! Last week, CNN released the headline that Colorado will replace Columbus Day with Cabrini Day, the first paid holiday recognizing a woman in the US. I was thrilled to see this Catholic religious sister, known as the patron saint of immigrants, being recognized by secular outlets!
Pentecostal experience. These are the two words I use to describe my GIVEN experience. For over a year, I had longed and prayed for something like GIVEN to help discern my lost vocation. Before GIVEN, I was studying international relations and was presented with the opportunity to work for the Long Beach Mayor’s Office. My passion and drive to bring about peace surfaced all the more as I assisted with the city’s international trade. Three months into my internship, I was invited to the United Nations Leadership Summit in Washington D.C. My dream at that time was to work for the United Nations, so this opportunity was a dream come true.
The day is over now, with all its cares and worries. I stand in front of the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe and slowly lay my head against her chest. I imagine her arms encircling me. Wrapped within her mantle, I can almost hear the slow beating of her heart. Here, I know that I am loved. Without a need for words, I allow her to hold me at the end of this day, her love my place of refuge. “Am I not here, I who am your Mother?” she gently asks, “Could there be anything else you need?”