Year Attended: 2016
Location: Fredericksburg, Virginia
Job Title: Director of Youth Ministry
Education: University of Mary Washington; Franciscan University
Degree: Bachelor of Science, Psychology; In Progress: Masters of Arts, Catechetics and Evangelization
“GIVEN was such a blessing! I learned that as women we are given gifts that only we can give, but that those gifts are given to us so that we may put them to use. And I learned the importance of empowering and building other women up so that they may also reach their full potential in the Lord. “
Please share a little about yourself – feel free to include a fun fact!
Hello! My name is Tatiana Beltran and I live in Virginia. I was born in El Salvador and immigrated to the States at the age of seven. I have four sisters (one of them is my identical twin who is also my best friend) and one older brother. I graduated from the University of Mary Washington with a degree in Psychology and I am currently enrolled at Franciscan University working on a Masters in Catechetics and Evangelization. Fun fact: My mom didn’t know she was pregnant with twins and they told her she was going to have a boy. She found out she was having twins while giving birth!
Describe your professional work. How were you led to this? What are you passionate about?
I was raised Catholic and attended Sunday Mass growing up but it wasn’t until college that I made my faith my own. It was through campus ministry that I developed a prayer life and learned what it means to serve my Church. And it was through the invitation of our university chaplain, Fr. Christopher Vaccaro, that my life was changed. He invited my sister and me to a retreat and provided us with the opportunity to meet with him monthly for spiritual guidance.
I found out about the 2016 GIVEN Forum through our campus ministry office and Fr. Vaccaro was the one who wrote my letter of recommendation. All those opportunities are what led me to where I am right now–serving my Church. I work as a Director of Youth Ministry and one of my greatest desires is that others may also come to know Our Lord and His Church.
“One of my greatest desires is that others may also come to know Our Lord and His Church.”
What are the personal strengths that you’ve been given and how do you utilize them?
I am not afraid to speak to anyone. This has been such a blessing because it means that I can reach out and invite others to come to know God.
What women inspire you, and why?
Our Lady is definitely my number one inspiration. Her fiat and her total surrender to God’s will is something that I know I need to be able to do and there is no woman who has done better than Our Lady.
My mom is another strong woman who inspires and encourages me. She has experienced many trials in her life and is a single mother, but even in her suffering, she taught me and my siblings to always stay close to Our Lord. She has taught me what unceasing prayer looks like and the importance of hospitality and a willingness to help and talk to those in need. My twin sister, Keiry, is another woman who inspires me to be the best version of myself and to not give up even when it gets hard. She has been at my side literally since birth and is my biggest supporter (other than my mom).
I also LOVE St. Teresa of Avila, St. Therese of Liseux, St. Teresa of Calcutta, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Zelíe, St. Faustina, and St. Gianna Molla! All these women are such an inspiration because whether married or religious they loved God first and had a zeal for souls. They knew that in order for God to work through them, they had to become little and humble.
“Whether married or religious they loved God first”
Are there friends and mentors that you depend upon? How do they support you?
YES! You can’t get to heaven on your own. Everyone needs community and mentors. One of the members of my community is my twin sister, Keiry, who always supports me but also calls me out when I need to do better, especially with regard to academics. However, she is also always there if I need a word of encouragement. She reminds me that “I wasn’t made for comfort but I was made for greatness.” I also have two best friends who are like sisters and I can always count on for prayer and accountability.
“I wasn’t made for comfort but I was made for greatness.”
What is the best advice/encouragement you’ve received about vocational discernment?
God will never force you to do anything against your will and He cares about your desires. I’ve learned that I need to invite Him into the process, be honest with Him, and surrender myself to Him because His plan is a lot better than mine.
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?
During my personal prayer time I love praying with Scripture, especially through Lectio Divina. Scripture is God’s word put into writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit, Our Lord is literally speaking to us, there’s no better book to read than God’s word.
“Scripture is God’s word put into writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit”
During my personal prayer time I also love to pray the rosary and ask for Our Lady’s intercession, as well as just sit with God in Adoration–which is the BEST!! For little moments of prayer throughout the day, I love to pray the Angelus because it gives me the opportunity to give a moment of my day to the Lord and His Mother. Other favorite prayers of mine are the St. Michael Prayer, the Memorare, asking my guardian angels for their intersession, and consecrating my family to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I believe that it’s essential to take a couple of minutes throughout the day to call to mind God’s presence in my life.
Do you have a favorite inspirational quote?
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; be not frightened, neither be dismayed; for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. ~Joshua 1:9.”
No matter where we are, as Christians we, through Baptism, have God dwelling within us at every single moment. God has a mission for me and I know that He will be with me every step of the way.
What were your key takeaways from the 2016 GIVEN Forum?
GIVEN was such a blessing! I learned that as women we are given gifts that only we can give, but that those gifts are given to us so that we may put them to use. And I learned the importance of empowering and building other women up so that they may also reach their full potential in the Lord.