This semester we’ve focused our Women’s Nights series on Theology of the Body. These nights are built into our programming as a clear space for women to come together and learn from other, often older, women how to be women of God.
The first part of our four-part series was an introduction to the Theology of the Body, taken mostly from Pope John Paul II. The talk was given by one of my fellow missionaries, Teresa, and covered the basics of what it means to be a woman, how our femininity and human sexuality play into who we are as daughters of God, and touched briefly on our complementary relationship with masculinity. We had a time for questions and answers afterwards and used them to inform which topics to address in the next three Women’s Nights.
The second part of the series was a panel discussion hosted at my Household. The panel was three women: Allison, a young, single professional; Rachel, one of the FOCUS missionaries we partner with; and Michelle, a married women with two young boys. They each talked about how knowing Theology of the Body has affected their lives, especially in the discernment of their vocations. The students all had time to write down questions, and I was blown away by how vulnerable their questions were! I think the women on the panel being so open to share had given these students the freedom to ask the hard questions, which was exciting to watch.
Our third talk was given by Dr. Kalamerides, an OBGYN from the Vitae Clinic in Austin. He’s a Catholic doctor who is very knowledgable in the medical side of female sexuality. He talked on various topics such as birth control, NFP (natural family planning), and how young women deserve a new sexual revolution — one that will empower them with true knowledge of their bodies and how they were designed by God.
Next week will be our fourth and final Women’s Night and we’ve invited Dr. Kalamerides’ wife, Heather, to talk to us more in depth on NFP and the Creighton model of fertility awareness. We’re excited to have her with us and I’ve been so encouraged seeing the students engage so well with this material! Many of the women are in our Formation Program where we’ve been talking all semester about becoming men and women of God. It’s sweet to see how all of the things they’ve been hearing have meshed together so well, and I’ve had many great conversations with them about it. I’m praying these conversations continue long after our last planned Women’s Night!