On March 27, 2004 at St. Pius Fine Arts Center, 86 mothers and daughters participated in the first Mother/Daughter retreat day sponsored by the Elizabeth Ministry of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe Social Justice Office. Elizabeth Ministry is part of the Archdiocesan Respect Life effort, and is based on the Biblical story of Mary’s visitation to her elder relative Elizabeth when both had miraculously conceived. The Elizabeth Ministry is a parish based effort founded on this practice of women “visiting” other women in times of need, comforting and providing company to each other during child bearing years and beyond.
Adult daughters and mothers as well as teen daughters and their mothers were represented at this event. Our theme was “Seeds of Holiness, Seeds of Faith: Exploring the Sacred Bond between Mothers and Daughters.” Christina Pumphrey, a young adult who is a Senior at UNM and is active in the Aquinas Newman Center, spoke to the group about her strong relationship with her mother and her deep faith. In addition, Germaine and Justine Otero, a mother and daughter pair who are parishioners at Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Catholic Community, offered reflections about their relationship with each other and their shared faith. We also explored stories of women in the Bible.
Throughout the day, we explored faith as a woman and living as a woman of God through models and mentors of faith, Biblical women’s stories, and shared stories between mothers and daughters. We also encouraged awareness about healthy self-esteem, body image, making conscious choices about healthy eating, sweatshop-free clothing, preservative free make-up and body care products. We had a fashion show featuring tasteful clothing for young women and informed participants how to find sweatshop free clothing. Inez Arroyo, one of the hosts of KUNM’s radio program, Women’s Focus, and parishioner at St. Thomas Aquinas in Rio Rancho, emceed our fashion show, and encouraged young women to be involved in their faith and speak out for those who have no voice. We concluded the day with a prayer service honoring Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Through the generous donations of many, we were able to give away 15 great door prizes, and provided some scholarship assistance to some in attendance. The feed back from the group was very positive and enthusiastic, and many asked for another event for mothers and daughters. We hope this is the first of many events that support mothers and their relationships with their daughters!If you are interested in learning more about the Elizabeth Ministry or want to start this wonderful outreach in your parish, please contact the Office of Social Justice, 831-8167 or e-mail us at email@example.com