Corynne Staresinic, GIVEN ’16
“I left feeling not only incredibly empowered and ready to take on my entrepreneurial action plan, but ready to enter into the vocation of marriage, as well! GIVEN was hands down the most transformative, empowering and inspiring Christian women’s conference I have ever been to.” – Corynne Staresinic
Please share a little about yourself – feel free to include a fun fact!
Hey! I’m Corynne Staresinic. I’m a millennial Catholic convert from a non-denominational church, a wife, a mom, and an entrepreneur. I live in the Cincinnati area with my husband, Nick Staresinic and our baby, Eloise. I run The Catholic Woman, a nonprofit dedicated to illustrating the many faces and vocations of women in the Church so that all millennial Catholic women know that they belong here. When I’m not traveling for The Catholic Woman or working with our amazing team, I work out of my home office while taking care of my daughter. Outside of work, I love photography, being outside, watching shows with my husband, and then discussing them together.
Describe your professional work/ministry. How were you led to this? What are you passionate about?
I have a passion for cultivating a culture amongst Catholics that is more welcoming and valuing of millennial Catholic women – especially those who are devout in their faith, but feel like they don’t fit the typical mold for a Catholic woman, and have doubted their place in the Church. Before I became Catholic, I believed that “the Catholic woman” was a judgmental and legalistic woman. She believed that women were called to be either strict nuns or stay-at-home mothers with handfuls of children – nothing more, nothing less.
“I began to see that being a Catholic woman isn’t about fitting “the mold,” whatever that mold may be. It’s about becoming truly ourselves – the women God created us to be.”
It wasn’t until after I converted (through a long series of events) and fell in love with Catholic theology, philosophy, and Catholic feminism, that this vision I had for womanhood started to unravel. I began to see that being a Catholic woman isn’t about fitting “the mold,” whatever that mold may be. It’s about becoming truly ourselves – the women God created us to be. And each of us will live out our Catholic faith and womanhood in unique, different ways because each of is a unique person. This idea was one of the catalysts for launching The Catholic Woman, and is the driving force behind why I continue to devote my time and energy to it today.
What are the personal strengths that you’ve been given and how do you utilize them?
One of my strengths is empathy for the marginalized. I feel a great obligation to care for those who have been written off, belittled or even depersonalized. Though this kind of empathy is a particular strength of mine, I believe we all have the capacity for this, and an obligation to it as Catholics.
“One of my strengths is empathy for the marginalized.”
Are there friends and mentors that you depend upon? How do they support you?
My husband, Nick, is not only my best friend, but he’s often willing to listen to all of my ideas for work to help me figure out the best way forward. Nick is also the funniest person I know – he inspires me to take life less seriously. It’s the best. Then, my close friends, whether local or far away, are always intentional in our friendships. One of my best friends sent me a surprise gift around the time I launched The Catholic Woman to cheer me on. Another good friend of mine brought me beer and flowers after we had a miscarriage. My friends take time to show up, listen and care for me whether things are awesome, average or rough – and I aspire to do the same to them. These are the people that remind me of my personhood.
“My friends take time to show up, listen and care for me whether things are awesome, average or rough – and I aspire to do the same to them.”
Prayer is essential for everyone, but especially for women who are active in the life and mission of the Church. Do you have any favorite devotions or prayers?
The way I’ve always prayed is by writing out my prayers in journals, much like letters to God. Writing out my prayers helps me to stay focused on him. And if I ever read back through old prayer journals, I’m able to see spiritual growth, areas I could grow in and prayers God has answered. Since converting, I started incorporating the Daily Examen into this method.
Do you have a favorite inspirational quote?
“Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy.” ― Thomas Merton
What were your key takeaways from the 2016 GIVEN Forum?
My first takeaway was that there are incredible Catholic women in our Church and the horizon for Catholic women is bright. Second, I left reflecting on the the rich diversity in the Church and how it illustrates the beautiful universality of our Catholic faith. Third, I left feeling not only incredibly empowered and ready to take on my entrepreneurial action plan, but ready to enter into the vocation of marriage, as well (which I did less than a week after the conference)! GIVEN was hands down the most transformative, empowering and inspiring Christian women’s conference I have ever been to.
“GIVEN was hands down the most transformative, empowering and inspiring Christian women’s conference I have ever been to.”
What was your GIVEN action plan? Describe its mission, audience, and impact.
My GIVEN action plan was The Catholic Woman, the nonprofit I run today. Our mission is to illustrate the many faces and vocations of women in the Church to show that the Church welcomes and values millennial Catholic women of all walks of life. Our target audience is millennial Catholic women – women who are finishing up school, just starting out in their careers and/or starting families. We launched in March of 2017 and our reach is over 25K.