Friday, June 22, 2012

Young Women I Admire

There are certainly enough horror stories in the news. But occasionally there is something that gives one some hope that the next generation is not as bad as the one before it. I recently read two stories of young women who went against the prevailing culture to do what's right, and thought I would share their stories.

Meghan Vogel is a runner; the 1600 Meter Ohio state champion, and the pride of her high school. But what makes them proudest is not the 1600m race she won, but the 3200m she didn't win.

She was just trying to finish the race when it happened.

"I was coming around the turn and I had probably 100 meters left and she was 50 meters in front of me and I saw her fall," Meghan said.

What Meghan did next not only lifted up another runner, but an entire stadium.

"I just didn't think twice about it. I knew I was going to pick her up and help her out," she said. "If you work to get to the state meet, you deserve to finish no matter who you are. I was going to make that happen for her no matter what."

The official results show that Arden McMath from Arlington High School finished 14th in the 3200 meters, Meghan Vogel 15th, but in reality they finished together.
Although it is technically illegal to "assist another runner", officials did not disqualify her , and the crowd gave her a standing ovation.

Such was  not the case for Margeaux Graham (pictured above), a high school junior from Florida. Margeauxwas invited to take part in the American Legion Auxiliary's prestigious 9-day leadership event, the "Girls State" program. Unfortunately, she was forced to decline the honor because it would mean violating her conscience.
Margeaux is a faithful Catholic. That is, she takes her obligation to attend Mass as just that - her obligation. When she inquired about nearby Catholic churches to plan where she would attend, she was told by the staff that the only opportunity any of the girls would have to participate in a Sunday service is to attend the "non-offensive", non-denominational service offered for all at the conference. The event takes place at Florida State University and the cathedral is nearby the campus. [see update] A member of the national American Legion even contacted the Auxiliary to arrange for a priest to celebrate Mass on campus, and this accommodation was denied.

So Margeaux took action herself. She wrote to the organizers declining the invitation, with firm resolve, unless she was allowed to attend Mass.
 Read the whole article, but an excerpt from Margeaux's letter:

As a Catholic Christian I find it offensive that I am not allowed to attend Mass and am perplexed as to how this service could accommodate the beliefs of other religious groups, such as Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and all Christian religions. I am disappointed to see the lack of respect for religious creed from the Florida Girls State program by limiting participants to only one religious paradigm.
Amen, and hats off to these inspiring young women.


Thank you for being a faithful Catholic!!!

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