Monday, November 3, 2008

Women of Grace

As a devoted Catholic, my main activities outside of schoolwork are church-related. My husband and I are members of Our Lady of Victory parish on Westerly Parkway, which has a wonderful faith community. On campus, I have participated in a study called Women of Grace for two semesters now. In the spring, I was a member of the group; this fall, I am co-facilitating a group with another graduate student.

Women of Grace is an intensive, challenging course in spiritual reflection, designed by Johnnette Benkovic. It is centered around Church teaching and Sacred Scripture. In the study, we explore the nature of our femininity and God's call to each of us women to aid humanity. We learn about woman saints and discuss how to actively live our faith daily. We also discuss the struggles we face, both spiritually and emotionally.

I have found this to be a very enriching and supporting group. We come together realizing that we are all sinners in great need of God's help, but filled with an ardent desire to live more fully in the light of God's love. We pray for each other and gather strength to combat our daily challenges, no matter how big or small. Sara, the student with whom I am co-facilitating this semester, suggested that she and I could provide supper to the group each meeting (there are about 8 of us). Beginning each meeting with a meal adds a great amount of comfort to the atmostphere. It is a "safe place" where we can openly talk about our hopes, dreams, fears, troubles, and concerns.

The presentation on campus groups this week was very interesting. I think that in the future I would like to join the Ballroom Dancing club. I have several friends from back home who really enjoy dancing, and their enthusiasm has piqued my interest. Last weekend, I went to a Halloween dance in a town near Columbus with three of my best friends, one of whom lives in that area and takes lessons at the studio where it was held. It was a blast, even though I barely can dance (although I'm better than this guy below ;).

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