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Girls Gather in Gaylord for Diocesan Vocations Event
On Saturday, May 7, girls in 7th-12th grade gathered with their mothers for a special Diocesan vocations events for young women in Gaylord. The event was themed Discovering True Womanhood: How is God Calling You? and hosted by the Diocesan Vocations Advisory Committee. After being welcomed by Fr. Don Geyman, Director of Vocations, participants spent the day listening to speakers, praying, playing outside and enjoying time together.
The excitement was just contagious, commented Marie Hahnenberg, who has taken a lead role to help develop a program to support young women in their faith journey and to discover their unique vocation. There was so much joy and grace experienced. I believe Our Lady was truly present watching over us and continues to do so.
There has been a desire for a group for young women in the Diocese of Gaylord similar to the St. Andrew Task Force which was established for young men in 2006. Last year, Marie attended a Holy Hour for Vocations at Christ the King Acme and met Fr. Geyman.
I asked him if anything was being done to help promote vocations for women, said Hahnenberg. Since then the Holy Spirit has been moving in my heart to serve the young women in our diocese through vocations. That conversation ultimately led to what is hoped to be the first of many events planned especially for girls.
Girls heard from Sr. Rita Epple, RSM, and Sr. Catherine Anderson, OP, who serve in our Diocese, as well as Sr. Colleen Clair from the Salesian Sisters in New Jersey and Sr. Colleen Ann and Sr. Mary Colman from the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist in Lowell, Michigan. Each of these women spoke about how they discovered their call to religious life and provided information about their orders. Displays from other religious orders were also set up for participants to view with materials that could be taken home as well.
The young women also heard from Elizabeth Gengle who discovered her vocation was to be a wife and mother. She also serves as the youth minister for senior high youth at St. Francix Xavier Parish in Petoskey and Holy Childhood Parish in Harbor Springs. She shared stories and pictures of her family and explained how through living the Sacrament of Marriage and raising her children in the faith, she tries to live out her call. She encouraged the girls to look to Mary as the example of true faith and trust in God. She ended her talk by presenting each participant with a daisy which they were invited to place at the feet of Mary as they offered personal prayers.
The girls also spent some time discussing what a new vocations group for girls might encompass, what types of events they might hold and potential names. They were also invited to send follow-up notes with additional ideas and suggestions so that another event might be planned.
What I really see as the ultimate goal for this group for young women is to help them come closer to Christ and discern the vocation that Our Lord is calling them - whether it is to become a religious sister, to be a wife and a mother, or to live out the single life, Hahnenberg stated. There are fruits and graces that come forth from all vocations.
For more information or to get added to the mailing list for future events, contact