St. Brigid, a fifth-century Irish Celtic saint, was a woman pioneer in the Celtic and Christian traditions of Ireland. She founded two monasteries, was known for her commitment to the equality of women, was a woman of hospitality, believed that holiness was inherent in all people, was committed to caring for others who had few resources, promoted peace and was dedicated to changing the world around her. In fact, St. Brigid continues to inspire women today to create a more beautiful and just society, and has inspired Brigid’s Place, whose mission is to provide education, dialogue and celebrations that foster the personal and spiritual transformation of women.
Brigid’s Place was established in 1993 as a new kind of women’s ministry, but the name, Brigid’s Place wasn’t adopted until 1995 and in 1998, Brigid’s Place became a non-profit organization that is housed in the Christ Church Cathedral. J-Vibe Online Magazine was lucky enough to meet with the Executive Director of Brigid’s Place, Lauren Santerre, who is a young, beautiful, thoughtful woman that captures your attention immediately. We love Brigid’s Place because it is all about bridging the gap between the faiths and the communities as well as empowering women from within.
It doesn’t matter who you are, if you are developing spiritually, you are welcome at Brigid’s Place, and there is a place where you can fit in. The events that are offered there are based through learning about interesting people doing interesting things. One of the events that Brigid’s Place has are Table Events. Imagine if you will, a group of 8 – 10 women sitting down for a meal at someone’s home, it’s intimate and it’s cozy. Everyone has a story to tell, and this is a place to tell yours. A topic is picked for the evening, and for those two hours, you eat and talk about the topic at hand in a deep and meaningful way. You not only leave with your belly full; but with your soul full.
The Many Faces of Mary Magdalane
One of the more interesting programs that Brigid’s Place has coming up in July, is The Many Faces of Mary Magdalane. This is a month long program that will include art, teaching and scholarship about Mary Magdalane, who was a fascinating woman of many faces. Mary Magadalane was with Christ when he was crucified, and she also found him resurrected and she was the woman who started the official Church. Later, she was branded a prostitute by men, and that is what most know her for, but she is more than that.
By retelling her story and showing her beauty and strength, Brigid’s Place is hoping to show how everyone can identify with Mary on the inside. Every person has an outside persona, or someone who people believe them to be, but that might not be who they really are on the inside, and the hope is that this will show people that they are beautiful on the inside and to tell who they really are. As Lauren Santerre put it,
In God we are already where we need to be, which is comforting.
This month long celebration will feature an art show, where artists from around the country have been sending in their renderings of who they think Mary Magdalane was and these pieces are being judged. The 24 winning pieces will be displayed on July 10, 2015 at a Free Event called, Not Your Mama’s Pearls, at the Cloister Gallery, Christ Church Cathedral at 1117 Texas Ave., Houston, TX 77002 from 6 – 8 pm. You can RSVP here. The festivities will end with a weekend workshop, given by Dr. Kayleen Asbo, which will include lectures, history, art and reflections of a woman who transcends religious boundaries.
Women of Beauty
Each month over the past year, Brigid’s Place has highlighted one woman in the community who is doing great things in the city and who has a beautiful soul. Someone who is beautiful not just on the outside, but on the inside as well. These women are then featured on their website. The series is called Women of Beauty, and was brought about so that both men and women can think of beauty in a different way and redefine beauty. It is all about love, just like Brigid’s Place.
When I asked Lauren to sum up the one thing she would want our readers to know about her #vibingcommunity, she said this,
We want to create a community where women feel loved and inspired to live joyfully.
From what J-Vibe Online Magazine, saw, that is exactly what Brigid’s Place is doing.