From staff reports
St. Denis Parish, Manasquan, will pilot a new program for middle school girls based upon the popular “Walking with Purpose” Catholic Bible study for women.
The “BLAZE: Set the World on Fire” ministry is designed for girls in grades seven and eight, a particularly vulnerable time in their faith development, said Jennifer F. Mahoney, who will lead the ministry beginning at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 12 at in the St. Denis School cafeteria, 119 E. Virginia Ave. Meetings will continue two to three times each month until May.
Mahoney, a seventh-grade teacher for the past two decades, said she realized the need for young women to understand today’s society and that truth can be found in the Lord’s teachings.
“Even that young, they are told that they need a boyfriend to be happy, and they have no worth if they don’t have one,” said Mahoney, herself a mother of a seventh-grade daughter.
The multi-part BLAZE ministry offers a liturgical antidote to the confusion and self-doubt of the pre-teen years. The leader’s guide has 20 lessons during which the girls will be led to a deeper relationship with Christ. The “Between You and Me” mother/daughter 40-day devotional is meant to spark conversations about secular culture and the truth found in Scripture and lead to a new level of honesty between them. A “BLAZE kit” filled with lesson-based take-home gifts and other resources will further develop the topics discussed in the group. A prayer journal with daily Bible verses encourages the girls to share their thoughts and feelings with God by writing each day.
“This is a pilot program, and it is open to those in other parishes as well,” Mahoney said. “If adults want to come to the open house [7:30 p.m. Sept. 25 in the school cafeteria], they are welcome to see what this is about.”
Registration is $25, and forms may be found at www.wwpnjshore.com. For more information, contact Mahoney at [email protected].