Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My new project

Joy Anderson, a friend of mine and my household sister, studied at Franciscan University of Steubenville with me and was also a Theology and Catechetics/Youth Ministry major wrote a "Princessology" as her senior thesis (please check out her blog).This Princessology has been on my heart and mind for a long time and last year I had her e-mail me what she had (I was a youth minister at the time and thought that perhaps I would be able to implement something for my girls based on it...that didn't happen). About 6 weeks ago I began teaching Religion at a Catholic high school and a few weeks in some girls approached me about started a girls lunch group where we could be women and learn about being women of God together. At the time I had to turn them down as I was overloaded as it was and had no idea what to prepare for them (not to mention planning my wedding...). I was going through some papers several weeks later and found the Princessology and read through it again. It was a Divine incident. I had the perfect material for a girls' lunch group!

The problem. The Princessology currently only covered three princesses. Joy designed the Princessology around Disney princesses because the are the most universally recognized and their stories are well-known, but she only had time to analyze three of them: Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), Belle (Beauty and the Beast), and Ariel (The Little Mermaid). We all know that there are many more Disney princesses! Snow White and Cinderella to name two! Not to mention the "unconventional" princesses like Nala (The Lion King) and exemplary Disney heroines like Wendy (Peter Pan) and Alice (Alice in Wonderland) and several lesser known Disney princesses such as Eilonwy (The Black Cauldron). I knew what I must do. I must put all of my talents (and majors--Theology, Catechetics/Youth Ministry, English Writing) together and expand the Princessology.

This is my project--expand the Princessology in quantity of both princesses and content. I currently have a list of 25 princesses (including Thumbelina and Anastasia--non-Disney princesses) that I am researching and analyzing seeing if they fit as individuals into the Princessology. Also, in Joy's tradition, I am attaching Marian virtues to each princesses and other virtues as they fit. What I will also be doing creating is a "test" to find out which princess you are--containing elements of both your personality as compared to a princess's and also a spiritual dimension to see where or how you wish to grow in the Lord.

This could potentially be a great break-through for women's ministry. I guess we'll see how it goes with the girls' lunch club! I will keep you all updated with the Princessology progress and will share parts of it on here from time to time as well.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Begging for Life like Mary Magdalen: Lenten Post 1

It was Fall 2004 at Franciscan University of Steubenville. Jenn and I were attending a women's seminar on sexuality. A lady began talking about her experience with masturbation and not only did I connect, but I felt like she was reading my soul. I was shocked at her accuracy for things I did not even know how to articulate. That is the plight of 19-- lots of words and feelings but little understanding and articulation. The lady finished and we were given a ten minute break. Jenn and I walked to the restroom, but I waited outside for her. I leaned against the wall trying to take in what I heard and was experiencing. Jenn walked out and looked concerned. I must have been in a daze. She asked if I was alright. I opened my mouth and what came out in a whisper was a roar from deep inside of me, from something that I did not know existed in me: I didn't know I hurt so much. I could not stop repeating it; tears slowly began to roll down my cheeks. Poor Jenn, she did not know what to do, so she fond one of the evening's coordinators, Dr. Storm. Trulie talked about her but this is how Storm and I met. I could not say my name, nothing except that declaration of my being. I new masturbation was wrong, I knew it hindered my relationship with God, I knew that I had struggled with it for all of my life that I could remember, but I did not know the damage it was doing to me, did not know the wound that started or perpetuated it. I began that self-discovery and healing that night, a journey that would culminate a little more than a year later, a journey that still takes places today, little by little, day by day.