Year Attended: 2016
Location: Fredericksburg, VA
Job Title: Associate Campus Minister
Education: The Catholic University of America; Franciscan University of Steubenville
Degree: Bachelors in Biology, Minor in Theology; Masters in Catechetics and Evangelization
“Our role as women is to rest in knowing our identity as a daughter of God and to share the gift of ourselves with the world.”
Describe your professional work. How were you led to this? What are you passionate about?
I serve the Lord through campus ministry, which is such a blessing! I had always desired to share the Gospel on college campuses, and God led me to serve as a campus missionary with FOCUS six years ago. It has been a gift to have since become a campus minister. For the past two years, I have overseen both the evangelization and Bible studies on campus, forming the student leaders both catechetically and spiritually. It brings me joy to see the college students passing on the faith to their peers and bringing others closer to Jesus Christ through the sacraments, especially the Eucharist!
What women inspire you, and why?
There are many women who have inspired me. My mother has always encouraged me to be the woman that God is calling me to be. She raised me in the Catholic faith and I will be forever grateful to her for that. I have had wonderful role models, such as my Lolas (both living and deceased) who are so prayerful and who raised large families. Then, of course, the saints – St. Bernadette, St. Zélie Martin, St. Thérèse of Lisieux, St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and St. Catherine of Siena – just to name a few! I will be forever grateful to God for all of the women who have witnessed to the faith in my life.
Are there friends and mentors that you depend upon? How do they support you?
Plenty! They encourage me by sending text messages or praying with me. My mentors also include my spiritual director, who helps me grow in my prayer life and make vocational decisions.
What is the best advice/encouragement you’ve received about vocational discernment?
Stay close to Jesus in daily prayer and in daily Mass, if possible. Be open to what God has in store for you and do not be afraid. There is a beautiful plan that God has for you. Trust Him in the waiting! We often feel that we need to make a decision immediately – but it is important to let the flower bloom at the right time. The present moment is a gift. Cherish it!
“Be open to what God has in store for you and do not be afraid. There is a beautiful plan that God has for you. Trust Him in the waiting!”
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?
My favorite is the First Friday devotion to the Sacred Heart. This devotion was passed onto me by my mother, and to her from my grandmother. Every First Friday since I was a little girl, we have gone to Mass and honored the Sacred Heart – Jesus, who loves everyone so much and receives such little gratitude in return! I have seen the promises of the Sacred Heart fulfilled and I love to share this devotion with others.
What were your key takeaways from the 2016 GIVEN Forum?
Our role as women is to rest in knowing our identity as a daughter of God and to share the gift of ourselves with the world.
What was your GIVEN action plan? Describe its mission, audience, and impact.
My action plan was to start the Flowering Buds of Mary. The mission of Flowering Buds of Mary is to help women bloom, heal and grow into the women that they are meant to be by imitating the virtues of our Lady, the model of authentic femininity.
“The mission of Flowering Buds of Mary is to help women bloom, heal and grow into the women that they are meant to be by imitating the virtues of our Lady, the model of authentic femininity.”
The women who participate in the Flowering Buds of Mary can deepen their identity as daughters of God and imitate the virtues of our Lady. Since the group started, it has grown to include almost 50 women who have attended our Lenten Retreat, Pilgrimage to our Lady, monthly meetings, and Healing Adoration Nights. We have also started the Young Buds of Mary, which is an extension of the group for young teenage girls – from 8th grade through high school.