Feb, 12-19, 2004
By Eileen Jevis/ SUN staff writer
SUN photo(s) Paul Finch
Speaker affirms young women during her presentation on ‘real love’
More than 30 young women braved a blizzard on Jan. 31 and traveled to Justin’s Grill on Carrier Circle to hear a young Christian woman share the experiences of her Christ-centered life. Natalie Caron, an 18-year-old Atlanta native, made her presentation, “Real Love and Where to Find It, “ to a group of young women that ranged in age from 13 to 18. “I’m here to be real with you,” said Caron. “It’s hard to be Catholic. “ Caron said she and her friends all struggle with the same thing –– looking for love. “Everyone wants to be loved, but doesn’t know where to find it,” she said. Caron related tales of her friends who have had their hearts broken by boys who have taken their hearts and their bodies. “Impure intentions from boys is not real love,” she said. “The thing that makes a relationship great is having Christ in your relationship. He will fulfill you. Christ will give you love. He is your Prince Charming.” “Romantic love isn’t real love, she said. “Love isn’t a fairy tale. God loves you so much, He came down from heaven. He left the peacefulness of heaven and came down, was beaten and then killed because of His love for you.”
Caron encouraged the group to put their struggles in God’s hands through the Eucharist. “We all have struggles in life,” she said, “with boyfriends, families or divorce.“ She also reminded the young women that no boy would love them the way Christ does. “No boy will give you the real love like Christ can,” she said. “Christ is waiting for you. His arms are open and waiting. I am fired with love for Christ.” Caron also relayed the story of meeting Mother Teresa when she was 10 years old. Her parents were active in charity work and had the opportunity to meet Mother Teresa in Washington, D.C. While Caron admitted she didn’t remember much about the encounter, she did remember the sense of joy that filled the room when Mother Teresa entered. “She shook our hands and then laid her hands on our heads,” said Caron. “I told her I wanted to be a sister when I grew up. She told me to say three Hail Mary’s a day to pray for my vocation. I’ve been praying those three Hail Mary’s every day since then.”
Katie Cunningham is in 10th grade and is a home-schooled student in Baldwinsville. She went to hear Caron speak because she had enjoyed a previous speaker who talked about angels. Katie admitted that her mom made her go. However, she admired Caron’s ability to get up in front of a roomful of her peers and speak publicly. “She was a good speaker,” said Katie. “It’s was nothing I haven’t heard before, but had an interesting twist.” Siobhan Cavanaugh is in seventh grade and attends Holy Cross Academy in Oneida. She started attending Young Women for the Third Millennium meetings in November when Joan Wester Anderson spoke about angels. Siobhan said that she learned lessons from Caron’s speech. “The knowledge that there are other girls out there who are open and willing to listen to talks that actually relate to our lives and the issues we are dealing with is very practical,” she said. Siobhan also said that Caron’s message was realistic. “She talked about how any girl could really relate to today’s society and stand firm in what she believed in, despite what others may think. Your relationship with God and being honest with people, not superficial just to fit in and be cool, is the only thing that really matters when all is said and done,” said Siobhan.