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Girls' Vocations Group "Mystical Rose" gathers in Traverse City


In December, 50 girls in junior high and high school gathered from around the diocese to visit the Carmelite Monastery in Traverse City. The day began with Mass celebrated by Fr. Anthony Cureton and then was followed by a short tour of the monastery. Since the Carmelites are a cloistered religious order, only certain parts of the monastery may be accessed by the public.

One of the tasks for the day was to make decide on the name for the diocesan girls’ vocation group. The process had started at a picnic with Bishop Hebda in late summer where the girls narrowed the choices from many suggestions put forth by participants. The list was trimmed to two finalists: St. Therese and Mystical Rose Daughters of Faith. Prior to the vote, group leader Marie Hahnenberg explained how St. Therese and Mystical Rose have many similarities and whatever name the girls chose, both would actually be part of the group.

“St. Therese of Liseux, who did little things with great love, is a great inspiration to all of us,” Hahnenberg explained. “Many girls can relate to this popular saint who is also a Doctor of the Church.” Hahnenberg also explained the promise of St. Therese to shower us with roses from Heaven.

Mystical Rose is a name for Mary, the Mother of God, with the rose as a symbol for purity.

“With so many distractions and misconceptions on what true beauty is in our culture today, it is such a gift that our name is based on Our Lady. Over the past year, as our group has taken root, I have asked different women, including religious sisters what their input would be on our name,” Hahnenberg said. “I continued to hear the theme, Fiat.” “Fiat” is known as “Mary’s Yes” when the Angel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary and announced that by the Holy Spirit, she would conceive and bear a child named Jesus.

“This great example of Mary trusting in the Lord even though she did not understand at the time,” Hahnenberg added. “As women, we should be guided by her great faith and example so that we remain open to whatever Our Lord is calling us to do in our lives.”

After spending some time decorating cookies and having lunch, the girls and their mothers had an hour to speak with the Carmelite Sisters.

“The girls asked a lot of really good questions relating to the Sisters’ daily life,” Hahnenberg noted. The Carmelites spend much of their day in prayer and live out a very fruitful and happy vocation. When asked if the nuns would be able to leave if one of their family members passed away, they explained that thought it would be difficult to not attend the funeral of their loved one, their prayers are just as powerful.

The day concluded with the nuns praying the Divine Office with the girls joining in for the litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

“It was such a beautiful day and God willing, we will have more opportunities to learn from other great, holy women as the Mystical Rose Daughters of Faith continues to grow,” Hahnenberg concluded. “May we pray to Our Lady and ask for her intercession as we continue to discover true womanhood.”

For more information on female vocations, contact Fr. Don Geyman at or Marie Hahnenberg at


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