It’s great to be a girl – as long as you remember why God created you just the way you are, down to every last freckle on your face.
That was just one of the messages a crowd of young girls and their mothers heard Nov. 11 when they gathered in St. Mary’s Hall at St. Peter Catholic Church in Covington.
“Mothers and Daughters: Growing in God’s Image” is a mother-daughter human sexuality program sponsored by the Family Life Apostolate of the Archdiocese of New Orleans. St. Peter’s has been hosting the program on the northshore for 16 years, said Tammy Campo, one of the organizers.
“You have a great treasure,” Campo told the girls, ages 10 to 12. “You bring God’s own life and love into the world.” She added that although not all girls will have children, “some of you may be called to be a mother in another way, like Mother Teresa … bringing spiritual life to others.”
Created out of love
Whether girls grow up to be married, feel called to religious life or live a single life, God created each of them out of love and for love, the speakers emphasized.
“God imagined you the way you are; he knew exactly how many freckles would be on your face,” Cara Lewis told the girls in her talk, “It’s Great to Be a Girl.”
Lewis teaches first-, second- and third-grade religion at St. Peter, and she encouraged the girls to discover, treasure and share their unique gifts and talents.
“God set aside a place in this world for you and only you,” she said. “Culture tries to tell us that we’re not good enough, but it’s a lie. We are beautiful by being ourselves.”
Share your unique gifts
Lewis emphasized the fact that what might seem like “little” gifts in the world’s eyes can bring peace and joy to others.
“You don’t keep your gifts inside the box,” she said. “They are meant to be shared. You can use your small talents in a big way. Your job is to change the world; all God needs is for you to say ‘yes,’ just as the Blessed Mother said yes when she was called to bring Jesus into the world.”
Girls should treat their bodies as “temples of the Holy Spirit,” Lewis added.
“Our bodies should be honored and cared for,” she said, encouraging the girls to dress modestly, use words that are holy and especially remember one thing: “It comes down to one word: Love.
“Love is the reason God created you,” Lewis said. “Love brought you into the world. So love your life, love prayer, and cherish time to just be you. Love the journey you are on to the young lady you are becoming. Love being a girl – even the hard moments.”
ABCs of growing up female
Dr. Ann Kay Logarbo dealt with some of the hard moments of being a girl, describing the fertility cycle and the changes young girls will go through, emotionally and physically.
“You are going to turn into your mother,” Logarbo said.
Her talk was followed by a break for refreshments so mothers and daughters could spend some time together.
Other topics of the day included The Beauty of Motherhood with Lisa Flood and The ABC’s of Growing Up with Breanne Bizette and Molly McKenzie, who offered a teen perspective on the changes ahead. Their alphabetical list included things such as “G is for Gossip, just walk away” and “V is for the Virgin Mary, she is our role model for life.”
Leah Persons, an alum of St. Scholastica Academy who now teaches French at the all-girls’ Covington school, spoke about peer pressure. She encouraged the girls to remember that they don’t have to fill up with what the world offers as “cool.”
“You are loved by God, and you don’t need anything else,” she said. “You were created by the creator of cool – and that’s cool!”
Karen Baker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.