Have you ever felt inadequate for the task? Have you ever sized yourself up to others and felt you had climbed into the wrong ring to fight?
This was no less how I felt going into the, "Women Alive! In God’s Mercy Conference" for the Diocese of Pittsburgh. Prayer and a total abandonment to the Lord and and His mission for me brought me through this, but seriously, the accolades of my fellow women speakers are astonishing! I will highlight them in full so you may also be drawn to their work. They are true material of the heroic, from Helen testifying to truth in the belly of the beast in the realm of academia and ideas, to Sr. Rosemary defying the most tangible of evil, one which enslaves and tortures children, with her simple smile and lots of thread. I introduce you to them such that you may also find their work invaluable!
Helen Alvaré is a Professor of Law at George Mason University School of Law, where she teaches Family Law, Law and Religion, and Property Law. She is an advisor to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, founder of WomenSpeakforThemselves.com, and an ABC News consultant. She cooperates with the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations as a speaker and a delegate to various United Nations conferences concerning women and the family.
I thought Helen delivered an especially disturbing talk, and rightly so, because she was delineating the struggle facing us in regards to family, personhood and gender in this country. She knows well the statistics and the quantifiable reality of the trends were are setting and promoting here and elsewhere. It is with firmness of purpose that she remains out there in our defense even leading the charge against the HSS Mandate.
The most frightening realization came with her saying that everything we are "offering" as a Church to the "woman" and the "person" is seen and heard as anti-human rights and completely hate speech, so twisted are the times. She is a versatile and well read lawyer doing indispensable work while keeping her Catholic Faith as her highest priority.
Sr. Rosemary is a champion for humanity!
For the last 30 years, Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Juba, South Sudan, has served the least among them from the epicenter of bloody and violent civil wars that have decimated northern Uganda and South Sudan.
Armed with only a sewing machine, Sister Rosemary openly defied Joseph Kony and the rebel soldiers and commanders of the Lord’s Resistance Army in their 20-year reign of terror. Since 2002, Sister Rosemary has enrolled more than 2,000 girls who had been previously abducted by the LRA or abandoned by their families.
She is the director of Saint Monica School in Gulu, Uganda, where she has taught these brave girls to make their own clothes, grow their own food, learn a valuable trade, and show mercy to others that are less fortunate.
Sister Rosemary was named by TIME magazine in 2014 as one of the world’s most influential people and in 2007 received the CNN hero award.
I was particularly impressed with the powerful witness of this mover and shaker in the Faith. She is unafraid to do what is right and nothing short of that! She has a "backbone" and maybe more than one! She was a delight to watch as she related the pain and fear that she heals everyday. It was, in fact, a hardship for her to come back to the U.S. for this speaking engagement because her school was very short on food and she had to set out to break up new ground and place more seeds in the earth to ensure a better future and food for the many women and children under her care.
She shows the courage of a saint and the frailness of a sinner. Her end mission is to help rescue these people from enslavement to sin and hate. She encourages all of them to offer mercy and forgiveness for even the worst of crimes perpetrated against them. She frees the girls at her school to make a way secure into their future through business and farming. Some are child warriors who were made to return to their hometowns to kill even their own siblings. Others of them are young sex slaves who conceived several children by a warlord from whom they escaped or were rescued.
You and I living in our safe bubbles of this life cannot hardly understand these realities. I will continue to support her and help her girls find their wings because someone somewhere has a heart to care.
She has a Netflix movie and book both entitled “Sewing Hope.” Get your hands on these!
Sacred Heart Church Pittsburgh, PA
My efforts seem seriously dwarfed by the contribution these two greats of the Church, and yet, here at Fit Catholic Mom I am planting the seeds of a new kind of revolution. One where the Catholic mother can hold a road map to being fully healthy in the Truth. She will understand the Church’s mission within physical exercise and how it lends itself to the moral excellence and character requisite for a healthy spirituality. She will go forward unafraid of the anti-family message of the world which promotes the cult of the body, to sacrifice everything for it’s sake. She will undergo a new education, and along with the Church, know how to properly promote the harmonious development of the whole person as the Catechism calls us to. She will become a force among giants. She will regain power within her family to help her family search for and communicate the Truth more effectively through a rightly ordered physicality. She will even become an “attractive Catholic” showing the world a still more excellent way to follow Christ and communicate the beauty He offers through her body and soul.
So go amongst the giants today with your heart prayerfully attuned to His power in you. As Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati says, “apart from God you will do nothing, but if you have God as the center of all your actions, you will reach the goal.”