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New Girls' Group Being Formed


Approximately 70 people gathered for a picnic with Bishop Bernard Hebda in August in Gaylord. The afternoon included prayer, fellowship, discussion, and even time for Frisbee and “waffle” ball. About 40 girls in junior high and high school gathered at the second event hosted by the Diocesan Vocations Advisory Committee for the young women in the Diocese of Gaylord. Bishop Hebda greeted the young ladies and the parents and opened the afternoon leading the Angelus. Girls traveled from across the diocese for the event including Manistee, East Jordan, Lake Leelanau, Petoskey, Traverse City, Cedar, Roscommon, Elk Rapids, Mio, Indian River, Wolverine, Acme, Johannesburg, Lewiston, Houghton Lake as well as Gaylord.

“Each person is called to a specific vocation,” Bishop Hebda noted. “The goal for this group is to help young women grow in faith and to help them discover what unique vocation God is calling them to and how they will live their life as faithful Catholics.”

Similar to the young men’s St. Andrew Task Force, the girls’ group will meet for prayer, service projects, fellowship and fun.

Forming a group for girls in 7th-12th grade is just one of the many ways that the Diocese of Gaylord is reaching our young people.

“Young women today need as many opportunities as we can give them to educate them about our faith and really understand the gifts we have been given within the Catholic Church,” commented Marie Hahnenberg, who has taken the lead role in heading up the group. “When I was in junior high and high school, I believe I was protected from a lot of pressures that young women face today. Now I’d like to help these young women, along with their parents, be prepared to counter the many secular influences we face in our media so that we can hear Our Lord speak to us and ultimately discover true peace and happiness.”

The picnic with the Bishop was the second event held by the diocese for the new girls’ vocations group. In May, the diocese held a workshop for young women and had different religious sisters from the diocese as well as religious sisters from other orders speak on the religious life and a mother speak on the vocation of marriage.

“It has been such a wonderful opportunity for our young women to have events such as these to help them really think about what God is calling them to be in life,” added Fr. Don Geyman, Vocations Director for the Diocese of Gaylord.

“It really is exciting to be Catholic! Whatever Our Lord is asking of us in life, we simply need to say ‘Yes’ to Him and be open to His Almighty Will,” Hahnenberg stated.

Toward the end of the picnic the girls brainstormed different ideas for a name for the new group and then several girls offered to lend their creative talents to designing a logo based on the suggested themes. Their designs will be distributed among the group who will then select the final name and logo.

The young women also shared numerous ideas for future gatherings including retreats, service projects, camping, visits to religious orders and days of prayer and reflection.

“We’re planting seeds here and reaching out to our young people in new ways. I’m really looking forward to the fruits that will be borne from these efforts,” added Bishop Hebda.

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