Lisa-Ann D’Souza

Young women build new ministry

By 
  • July 25, 2014

TORONTO - A new grassroots initiative is reminding young women in the Archdiocese of Toronto that they are made for more than settling with the wrong man.

The group, aptly titled Made4More, was born when Lisa-Ann D’Souza, 22, and a friend graduated from university and realized that a lot of their female friends settled in relationships of convenience with men they didn’t truly love. The two spoke about authentic femininity, their own past relationship mistakes and the void left in their lives when they ignored the voice from God telling them that men they wanted weren’t right for them. They wanted young women to understand authentic love.

“We wanted to expose that and show women that there’s more to you,” said D’Souza. “It’s just not what you look like or how fun you are or how skinny you are. It’s the fact that you were made with such a great purpose. You were made to one day be united with God. And any kind of a relationship and any true love, the main goal should be that you and the man should bring each other to heaven, should bring each other closer to God. If you don’t get the formation at those formative years in your teenage life, then you grow up thinking a certain way about love, when that’s not actually the true understanding of what the Church teaches, which calls us to a love that is made for heaven, made for something so much greater than Earth.”

The key purpose of Made4More is education, empowerment and outreach. Just beginning, the ministry exists online with plans to build a platform where women can discuss their struggles. The dream, says D’Souza, is to run a formation program for young women to learn about apologetics and John Paul II’s Theology of the Body and to have a hub of female speakers accessible to parishes in the archdiocese.

“They will have these women who are locally trained, locally educated,” said D’Souza. “They’ll be so cost effective for the archdiocese because we’re all here.”

Aside from the hub of female Catholic speakers, Made4More will target its workshops, outreach, retreats, etc., to women ages 14-35. D’Souza says the wide age range will be divided into groups with two staff per group dedicated to mastering the issues and programs geared towards the groups.

“Amidst our present reality, Made4More is a movement committed to building a Culture of Life in Toronto by educating young women on the pro-life stance and the chastity message that promotes the freedom that purity brings,” according to M4M’s mission statement. “This ministry will empower and educate young women on a range of topics, including but not limited to: selfesteem, relationships, chastity, modesty, true femininity, authentic love and life.”

Hoping to be running in full force by 2015, D’Souza says they are in the process of building relationships with female theology professors in Toronto, building partnerships with high schools, connecting and learning from youth ministers, connecting with women’s groups on campuses, being visibly present at Catholic events like the Steubenville youth conference and the Lift Jesus Higher Rally, evolving the web site and recruiting sponsors.

If Made4More can get sufficient funding, D’Souza wants a training certificate program for staff, which now stands at four with hopes of growing to six or eight. The team wants this program to include education on pastoral counselling. Essentially, they want to develop a formation program for themselves so they can run formation for others.

The hope is that “by next year, we’ll have an agenda, we’ll have a curriculum, we’ll have connections with different organizations,” said D’Souza.

Made4More can be found on Facebook and Twitter. For more information, visit the blog at www. made4moreministry.tumblr.com.

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