Accepting their Apostolic Challenge in Tulsa, OK

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News 19bEvery other Wednesday during the school year, approximately 45 girls ranging in age from 10 to 17 from parishes all over the Diocese of Tulsa gather at St. Pius X Parish for Challenge Girls Club. Challenge is a program designed to help young women grow in their faith and serve the world through apostolic works. The Challenge Girls program states, “The mission of Challenge is to evangelize and transform the world by forming today’s young girls to give their very best to others so that Christian culture will prevail in the hearts of everyone they meet.” Beth Neubauer and Evelyn Moseley help administer the program along with some other mothers, but the girls themselves handle the teaching and service projects. The adults are there only to ensure safety and provide guidance when necessary. Mrs. Moseley was exposed to the program years ago when her family was living in Houston. Her daughter was about to reach the age when she could join, but then they had to move to Tulsa. She and her husband, John, asked the question, “What are we going to do with our girls to help form them in their faith?”Their answer was to help start a Challenge Girls Club in Tulsa. They started with six girls in 2005 and have now grown to their current size. The meetings typically begin with a snack and then move into a Gospel reflection and instruction on the faith. The Team Leaders, who receive disciplined formation and training, share the Gospel reflection and then facilitate the discussion from a well-designed curriculum. They also decide on which service projects the club will undertake. Beth Neubauer, the current president, said, “The Team Leaders go to Oklahoma City and Dallas for their formation and then have monthly webinars to continue their training. They also have Team Leader manuals they follow for the meetings.” The Challenge Girls Club in the Diocese of Tulsa has undertaken a diverse range of projects. They have been News 19aactive in Pro-Life events, participated in door-to-door evangelization, thrown birthday parties for the underprivileged, volunteered at Catholic Charities, hosted canned food drives, visited nursing homes, and assembled mailings for the Chancery, just to mention a few. Madison Moseley, one of the Team Leaders, thoroughly enjoys doing these service projects. “I enjoyed the door-to-door missions because it forced me to jump out of my comfort zone,” she said. “Knocking on doors and asking complete strangers to join you for Easter Mass is not the easiest thing to do, but I grew more comfortable with it. It was awesome to see some of those we had encountered throughout the day at Mass.” Mary Williams, another Team Leader, said, “I specifically love these apostolic projects because they are great ways of showing the girls how to serve others through Christ and really understanding how small actions can make a big difference in our community.” The Challenge Girls Club is not an inwardly focused organization. Their desire is to grow in the faith through study and be active in works of charity. Mrs. Moseley said, “We want to fulfill our apostolic commitment. If there is a need in the Church, then we want to meet that need. We will do anything we can to help.” The program has had an influence on the community and the Church. Challenge has also formed these young women in their own faith. Madison said, “Challenge has immensely impacted my faith because it has given me the tools to live out my faith. I am so much more active in the Church and doing my best to find ways to serve it.” “As a result of my involvement in Challenge, I am, and always will be, so much more involved in my faith. My relationship with Christ has grown and I know I will be convicted about it for the rest of my life,” she continued. Mary has also benefited from participating in the program. “Challenge has affected me in every aspect of my life and helped shape who I am today. It has helped me view Christ as a close friend and build a strong relationship with Him. It has made me into a person who is confident and involved with my Catholic faith. Not only has it prepared me for God’s plan for my future, but it has helped me to be comfortable with leading events and discussions, take initiative, and most of all how to serve others.” Mrs. Moseley said that Challenge has been great for her entire family in the formation of their Catholic faith and identity. “The world wants to take our kids in a different direction. This program has helped keep us grounded spiritually and given us a wonderful community of friends to combat those negative outside influences,” she said. Every year the Challenge Girls Club holds a couple fundraisers to support their service projects and provide scholarships so that girls can attend the annual summer camp. The goal of the club, however, is to provide as much apostolic outreach to the community as possible and not spend too much of their time on fundraising.