Mother-Daughter Tea Teaches About the Beauty of Femininity

In a world that increasingly attempts to erase what St. Pope John Paul II called “the feminine genius,” we see a critical need to unravel the mystery of femininity.

In his “Theology of the Body,” Pope John Paul II wisely said, “The body, in fact, and only the body, is capable of making visible what is invisible: the spiritual and the divine.”

The Mother-Daughter Tea, offered by the Diocese of Allentown April 28 at St. Francis of Assisi in Allentown, brought together nearly 150 mothers and daughters from across the Diocese and covered topics that enlightened how human beings are body-soul composites. The speakers broke down information, including biological processes and ways to dress, to express the unique nature of one’s femininity.

The Diocesan Natural Family Planning Task Force, in partnership with the Bishop’s Commission for Women, provided activities, resources, and content to strengthen mother-daughter bonds and “break the ice” on important coming of age topics with the goal of building an ever-growing relationship of trust between them.

Speaker Kathleen Chovanes, a FEMM Fertility Awareness Instructor, discussed that who we are as women is “written into our bodies and souls.” We know this by real scientific examples of delicate equilibriums between “the biology of the female reproductive system, what hormones are, and how they affect change in a young girl’s body, brain, and emotions.”

She warned about internalizing cultural stereotypes of femininity and called on those present to recognize that women contain a balance of “intellect, will, and emotions, and are called to build virtue.” Chovanes continued, “Our emotions are not us.”

While more education is needed to understand scientifically based natural fertility awareness, a fertility app and information about pro-life ob-gyn Dr. MaryAnne Freeman-Brndjar were recommended to the mothers to help with the basics of fertility tracking for both them and their daughters.

Lillian Fallon, author of “Theology of Style: Expressing the Unique and Unrepeatable You,” brought another perspective through her strong faith and previous work in the fashion industry. Her foundation in Catholic theology has led her to recognize how personal style can express how “the uniqueness of who you are is made visible in your appearance.” She believes certain forms of “faith and fashion coexist” and that women and men are called to “dress in a way that shows the beauty of your soul and not just your body.”

Fallon invited the girls to think about how God himself created and is beauty, and called them to develop a concept of “personal style” that is both fashionable and not trapped in the trends of the fashion world.

Between dessert and tea, Lasandra Morena and her daughter Gabriela of St. Margaret Parish in Reading, expressed their gratitude for the occasion. “When I saw this great [and healthy] opportunity for mothers and daughters, I thought it was a good opportunity to spend time with my daughter,” said Lasandra.

Gabriela believes she has opportunities to talk with her mother, but this particular opportunity will allow them to feel more “comfortable to talk about anything.”

Expressing similar sentiments were Michele Kush and her daughter, Grace, parishioners of St. Jane Frances de Chantal, Easton. Smiling, Grace voiced she enjoyed herself, and Michelle thought the speakers “brought the two pieces together very nicely – girls growing into young women and the idea of them developing their own personal style to express the beauty of their soul.”

“I think it is so special to share an event like this with my daughter, who is growing up, and to learn God’s plan for her as she grows into a woman of God.”


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