Local authors remind young women they’re ‘Daughters of the King’ in new book

Therese Bussen

With so many voices competing for the attention of young people, living in the world as a Catholic millennial can be a confusing journey, especially when it comes to learning what it means to be truly masculine or feminine.

Thankfully, there are plenty of resources; but most resources for young adults and teens are produced by their parents’ generation.

This is where Colorado residents and fellow college-age women (now recently graduated) Kaylin Koslosky and Megan Finegan decided to get creative.

Their book, “Daughter of the King: Wait, Where’s My Crown?” ($12.95, paperback) is written for the modern-day young woman, from her perspective — and the result is refreshing.

Koslosky and Finegan approach a wide variety of topics with an authentic, relatable and easy to understand manner. Themes include how to have a healthy body image and love oneself; what modesty means and how to practically live it; navigating relationships and chastity; what it means to live a life of faith and encounter Jesus; their personal testimonies; and addressing what they call “buzz topics,” like relativism, the college party scene, contraception and more.

All of these topics have been approached by other writers, speakers and leaders before, but the voice of these young women, which encourages readers in everyday struggles with invigorating honesty, is a welcome take on living as an authentic and truly feminine woman.

Each of the women takes her turn sharing her experiences with the various topics. Since their personal journeys have been very different, just about any woman can find something in the book to relate to, no sugar-coating added.

The intended readers are high school and college-age women, so some women a bit farther along in these areas or who are older than the intended audience might not find it to be challenging enough; still, it’s a quick and easy read for any woman – and is full of practical advice, reflective questions and exercises to grow in virtue and in relationship with God.

The most intriguing thing about the book is that rather than it being written by an authoritative voice, it’s the peer voice speaking to other peers. These women have lived through these challenges, have come out on the other side and are still growing. It’s as if an older sister who’s “been there, done that” wrote down her experiences and passed it down to her younger sister just a few steps behind her.

And the most important message they’re passing on is the worth of the woman.

Koslosky and Finegan told Catholic News Agency, “No matter what you’ve done or where you’ve been, or what your past is or isn’t, you’re beautiful, you’re loved and you’re a daughter of the King.”

More resources for women on all of the topics covered in their book are available on their website, restoreyourcrown.com.

COMING UP: New Lourdes church ‘in harmony with the beauty of the Liturgy’

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New Lourdes church ‘in harmony with the beauty of the Liturgy’

Our Lady of Lourdes in Denver completes renovation of continually growing church

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When the first parishioners of Our Lady of Lourdes began their community in 1947, they never imagined the growth that the parish was going to have decades later.

Today, more than 70 years later, the parish, which began as folding chairs and the hardwood floors of the first Masses celebrated in the gymnasium of a children’s shelter, has become not only one of the fastest growing parishes in Denver, but also one of the most recognized Catholic schools nationwide.

Father Brian Larkin, pastor of the parish for the last 5 years, has witnessed huge growth in the last few years.

“I believe Lourdes has flourished in so many ways simply because the glory of God’s redemption has been allowed its proper place,” Father Larkin told the Denver Catholic. “Once the love of Christ is given its primacy, allowed to radiate in all its splendor, then our faith moves from simply being an obligation and becomes what it really is: the good news of our redemption.”

Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila dedicated the altar in the newly renovated Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Denver Sept. 10. (Photo by Brandon Young)

Lourdes is a very vibrant and young parish. They have large RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) and marriage preparation programs to support and teach parishioners the “why” of the Catholic Church and its faith.

“The Catholic intellectual tradition is greater than any that exists, but most people aren’t aware of it,” Father Larkin explained. “I teach our RCIA class every year and I invite anyone and everyone to come regardless of whether they are already Catholic or not even interested in becoming Catholic.  Our program had about eight people in it my first year, this year we’re averaging around 90 people each week.”

In 2016, Father Brian announced the beginning of the “Capital Campaign” which intended to repair, restore and embellish the church, as well as to add a narthex gathering space for the growing community. Although at times it seemed impossible, with the contributions of parishioners and the hard work of their general contractor, Fransen Pittman, the project was successfully completed this past summer.

The current church at Lourdes was built in 1966 and had remained unchanged since then. The renovation updated and fixed major issues with mechanical and electric systems, but the main objective of the project was to improve the aesthetics of the church.

For the last couple of years during construction, half of the school gym turned into the church, but in September, Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila finally consecrated the altar and re-dedicated the church.

Lourdes pastor Father Brain Larkin said he hopes the parish can be a refuge from the world.. (Photo by Brandon Young)

“A friend of mine used to say that his church ‘lied to his congregation,’ meaning that churches are meant to teach us the faith by the way they are built, and that his didn’t measure up to that standard,” Father Larkin said. “Prior to the renovation, our church wasn’t one which lied, but it didn’t inspire a deeper faith. The new church, in my opinion, is in harmony with the beauty of the liturgy — the music and the gospel resonate with the beauty of the church itself.

“Our numbers have grown, but more importantly, people are drawn into prayer with the aesthetics of the church.”

With a new and renovated parish, Our Lady of Lourdes is now serving the growing community of the south side of Denver. The parish also has one of the most recognized Catholic schools for its unique classical model of education that has been expanding over the last couple of years. In addition to the classical method of education, the school is firmly Catholic, offering daily Mass and monthly confessions, and making devotion to the Blessed Mother one of its pillars.

“Our Catholic faith is the most important part of our mission here at Lourdes Classical and everything we do begins and ends in prayer. We participate in the sacraments frequently and help our students fall in love with Jesus in the Eucharist every day,” said school principal Rosemary Vander Weele.

Evangelization means that what is eternal enters into time, so the timelessness of God breaks into 2019 America. We try to embody that paradigm in our events, in our liturgy, in our community.”

Father Larkin said he is afraid of the future of our culture and the anti-Christian feeling that seems expand daily in our country and our society. Therefore, one of his main goals at Lourdes is to deepen the faith of his parishioners.

“Christians of the coming century in the United States need to know their faith and be on fire for it, or they will likely leave as the culture battles against the Church,” he said. “My hope for Lourdes is not that we do everything, but that we go deep, that people have strong relationships with God, with each other and that the parish can be a refuge from the world.”

Furthermore, one of the greatest challenges for the pastor is to reflect the incarnation of Jesus in our society and remind us that God sent his only begotten Son into the world to provide us salvation. At Lourdes, Father Larkin said this is at the core of the parish’s ministry.

“Christ is fully God and fully man, but it has always been easier to strip him of his divinity or of his humanity.  I see evangelization that way: it’s easier to either remove Jesus from humanity and make him someone wholly alien to the 21st century, or conversely to make him just another human who looks like us, but not like God,” Father Larkin said. “Evangelization means that what is eternal enters into time, so the timelessness of God breaks into 2019 America. We try to embody that paradigm in our events, in our liturgy, in our community.”