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UST's Society of Macrina Empowers Women

By Jenna Barnes, University of St. Thomas Communications Student
4/17/2013 (4 years ago)
University of St. Thomas (stthom.edu)

UST's Society of Macrina Empowers Women

Senior Brittany Garza, founder and president of Society of Macrina, said she recognized a disconnection among the students at the University of St. Thomas and decided to form an organization that would unite the women on campus.

Pictured left to right:
Bottom: Brittany Garza, Nadeen Mustafa, Chloe Jester
Top: Maire Kelley, Rebecca Skaff, Bonnie Treece

Pictured left to right: Bottom: Brittany Garza, Nadeen Mustafa, Chloe Jester Top: Maire Kelley, Rebecca Skaff, Bonnie Treece

The Society of Macrina, created in September 2012, seeks to promote empowerment in women through friendship, education and charity. The Society of Macrina is named after St. Macrina, a woman dedicated to living out her faith by taking care of her family and the sisters in her convent. She was also the sister of St. Basil, who UST's Chapel of St. Basil is named after, and a bell in the Chapel is named after her.

Garza said she was inspired to create the group after she read Erin Weed's "Girls Fight Back," a book about sororities and the bond of sisterhood.

"The organization aims to provide networking and a good environment for friendships to form on a deeper level," Garza said.

Garza said the Society of Macrina is focused on the development of women through faith and character, and is designed to address issues that are relevant and beneficial to women of the 21st century. The organization empowers women through charitable activities, life skills classes and Tea Time Talks.

During the month of April, the Society of Macrina will host a series of weekly events, "Series of Fashionable Events," focused on bringing authentic femininity back into fashion. Each event highlights an aspect of what it means to be a woman, how to foster beauty inside and out and how to cultivate the unique gifts encapsulated in John Paul II's concept of the "feminine genius."

Below are upcoming events to empower women.

  • April 4 - Mary Kay Make-up Workshop   
  • April 9 - Women's Vocations Panel
  • April 17 - "It's So You: Fashion and the Feminine Genius"
Garza said the Society of Macrina emphasizes the importance of community involvement and aims to participate in one charity event each month. Since its launch in September, the organization has participated in the Dig Pink volleyball game, which benefited breast cancer awareness and research, and the National SleepOut, which raised awareness about homelessness. In November, the Society of Macrina hosted free self-defense classes. Garza said she plans to offer more classes in the spring, including car maintenance and makeup application classes.

Each month the organization hosts Tea Time Talks, where a female guest speaker answers questions and gives advice based on personal experiences, beliefs and life lessons. Marianne Ivany, first lady of UST, spoke in December. Garza said it was an evening of laughter and insight into motherhood.

"Mrs. Marianne Ivany challenged us to think of Mary in motherhood and her crucial role as the bearer of salvation," Garza said. "We all shared personal stories over tea and were able to relate on many levels concerning topics of family, culture, faith, career paths, and poetry."

For more information about the Society of Macrina and upcoming events, visit their Facebook page.

Story by Jenna Barnes, UST communications student

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The University of St. Thomas, dedicated to educating leaders of faith and character, is a private institution committed to the liberal arts and to the religious, ethical and intellectual tradition of Catholic higher education. St. Thomas is Houstons only Catholic University and was founded by the Basilian Fathers.


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