My name is Susan Brinkmann and I've got a story to share with you.
It started about eight years ago when I was standing in line in a supermarket in Horsham, Pennsylvania. It was a long line so I picked up a magazine from the rack to keep myself occupied while I waited my turn to check out. It was the current issue of TEEN Magazine. The cover was full of screaming headlines hawking articles like, “What to Wear to Turn Him On!” and “How to Look HOT This Summer.” I was horrified. Girls as young as 10 read this magazine! Is this what we're teaching them, that the only thing that matters is how “HOT” they look? My first thought was, “We can do better than this! We MUST do better than this!”
But what? I'm one of those people who gets sick of hearing herself complain. I frequently chide myself: "Sooner or later, you gotta put up or shut up!" This little kick in the pants has a way of motivating me and it did so this time. I began to seriously consider ways to counter this destructive message.
Thankfully, I work for Johnnette Williams, founder of Women of Grace. Her Full of Grace Foundational Study became my inspiration. I decided to adapt this vital message about authentic femininity into a magazine-like format that’s perfectly suited to young girls. It took several years to complete, but Young Women of Grace was finally launched in 2016. Last year, we kicked it off with a “pioneer” group of girls at my own parish where we realized we could have fun and learn how to be a daughter of God at the same time!
This is why I’m writing to you today.
I am inviting you to join me in our Giving Tuesday "Catholic Girls Change the World" campaign aimed at raising money to keep this vital program funded. Even though our pocket-book is hurting, our spirits aren't! Because we know that people like you are with us in this important mission, we're full of hope for the plans we've made for the future of this program.
In the coming year, we're hoping to create a series of fun-filled one-day "retreats" for girls that will open their eyes to the beauty of their faith and their unique feminine genius. For example, our "Dare to Prepare" Advent retreat is being test-marketed in suburban Philadelphia next month!
In the future, we hope to interest Dioceses across the country in sponsoring these retreats, thus expanding our outreach to young girls.
We're also adding a Young Women of Grace event to all of our Women of Grace conferences and retreats in order to spread this vital message as far and wide as possible.
And because we're all in this together, we want to support those who are working with us by issuing a quarterly newsletter aimed at helping all of those generous women who are facilitating a Young Women of Grace program in their parish or community. This newsletter will be a vehicle for sharing ideas and plans for how to make our classes interesting and fun.
A monthly Facilitator Network Conference Call is also in the planning stages to help us exchange ideas about how to keep our classes fun and interesting.
With so much confusion about the meaning and purpose of womanhood in our world today, it's vitally important that we keep our daughters grounded in the Truth of who they really are. Help us to help them!
You can do this by:
Making a donation
Joining my team
Sharing on social media. Please be sure to use our hashtags: #youngwomenofgrace #givingtuesday #catholicgirlschangetheworld #givecatholic
This Giving Tuesday, please help us to continue to reach young girls with the message of their authentic feminine vocation through your prayers and gifts of support.
Our goal is to raise $30,000 by November 27th. My personal goal is $1,000. Give whatever you can! No gift is too small!
Thank you for whatever you can do for our girls!
With much love and prayers,