Every young woman has been entrusted with a mission: to cultivate her own unique gifts and initiate positive change in the world through the love that is exclusively hers to give.
GIVEN will bring together young Catholic women leaders from across the United States for a week-long immersion in faith formation, leadership training and networking. This full-scholarship, encouragement-driven event features inspiring talks by Catholic lay and religious women leaders, dedicated time for prayer, and the opportunity to delve deeper through conversation and our signature evening activities. The GIVEN Forum is a launch-pad for what St. John Paul II called the feminine genius and a response to Pope Francis’ call to activate women’s gifts in the Church. By creating an environment of mentorship, the next generation of Catholic women leaders will be equipped to develop and implement initiatives to utilize their gifts for the life of the Church.
Throughout the week, participants will engage three principal themes:
- Receive the gift you are
- Realize the gifts you’ve been given
- Respond with the gift only you can give
Upon returning home, each GIVEN attendee will implement an Action Plan: her own unique initiative to unleash the gifts of the feminine genius in the Church and in the world.
“Father, they are your gift to me.” Jn. 17:24
Sessions will include discovering the beauty and truth of the feminine genius, living from your identity as a beloved daughter of God, and understanding your own temperament.
You are a gift of the Father! God loved you into being, chose you for a particular moment in history, and fashioned you in His image and likeness. You reflect a facet of the glory, the beauty, the mystery of God, and this communication is specific and was entrusted to you. God made you totally unique…and your finger prints bear witness to the trembling wonder that you are the only you that has ever been and ever will be! If He would take such care in designing the pattern of circles on the tips of your finger, how much more the love of your heart?
Your life is God’s pure, unmerited gift to you, but receive His loving affirmation- you are also a gift to Him.
“The manifestation of the Spirit is given to each for the profit of all.” 1 Cor. 12:7
Learn the truth of the faith as handed down by the Church and develop leadership skills to cultivate your own natural gifts.
The Church bestows gifts of grace through the Sacraments. In our Baptism, we share Jesus’ intimacy with the Father as daughters of God. In Reconciliation, we are forgiven, healed and more conformed to Christ. In Holy Communion, we receive the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus. And at Confirmation, we are sealed with the 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit.
There are gifts of nature too – as each woman possesses the gifts of the feminine genius, that is, those attributes, traits and qualities of her femininity she shares and expresses with her love, creativity, and self-offering.
You have also been given specific gifts, particular qualities of character and virtue, as well as distinct strengths, talents and personal charisms. Realize what you have been given by God for His glory, your joy, and the building up of the Kingdom of Heaven.
“To whom much is given, much is expected.” Lk. 12:48
Be inspired by women who have shared their unique gifts with the world, be encouraged by other rising leaders, and become equipped to see the desire of your heart be made manifest.
Because you possess the unique love of your heart, and have received gifts and a mission particular to your life and vocation, you are the only one who can make a response.
We find ourselves in the gift of ourselves, which is to say, when I give my talents, time and very self, I become who I was created to be and experience the depth and fullness that God intended.
Mother Teresa was a woman whose loved reverberated through the cultures and continents because she lived the truth she spoke, “Everything that is not given is lost.”
If you find yourself eager to engage the pressing needs of the day, ready to take risks for the sake of that which is truly worthy, and brimming with a love to unleash – the family needs you; society needs you; the Church needs you, and awaits the gift only you can give.
Each applicant for the GIVEN Forum will submit an Action Plan, a way of placing her gifts at the service of her home Diocese, work place or university. See more under ACTION PLAN.