Sharing courage through testimony: Prodigal Daughter Ministries

BY MATTHEW EBBERWEIN
STAFF WRITER

Feminism, abortion, human trafficking and abuse are a few of the topics addressed by Prodigal Daughter Ministries, the blog run by a speaker, retreat leader and theology and catechetics major at Franciscan University.

Mary Beth Vernau created Prodigal Daughter Ministries as a starting point to focus her ministerial career for women.

Centered on the desire to help women from all different backgrounds find healing, Prodigal Daughter Ministries aims to support women in their search for Christ through loving acceptance, but more specifically, through giving women a safe and peaceful place to share their stories.

Speaking about the foundation of her ministry, Vernau said, “My favorite saint is St. Mary Magdalene because she’s probably one of the ultimate prodigal daughters … she’s the patroness of my ministry and I thought, ‘there are other prodigal daughters out there and I want to hear their stories.’”

Through experience, Vernau has discovered a need for clarity in church teaching so that women might understand the hope and compassion offered by the Catholic Church. Essentially, Prodigal Daughter Ministries looks to address lovingly and truthfully sensitive issues, such as homosexuality or rape, in order to give women the courage to find healing.

Vernau stressed the importance of sharing personal witness.

She commented, “Don’t be afraid of your witness. If we share our stories we can help provide so much strength to other women. Our testimonies give us strength, and they help us overcome our fear; they help us overcome our pain.”

Vernau currently provides most of her ministry outreach online through helpful articles, inspirational material, speaking events and information about opportunities for involvement. Through growing her social media presence, speaking, writing and ultimately remaining attentive to God’s will, Vernau truly hopes to be a light in the darkness for suffering women.

Summing up her goals of Prodigal Daughter Ministries, Vernau said, “You can be real, and you can have an amazing life even after suffering. And you can have an incredible life and live a pure lifestyle even if you haven’t always walked the straight and narrow. And I want girls to know that there is a second chance. As women, we really can grow, and we can change.”

Mary Beth asks for prayers for the growth of her ministry and hopes that people check out her blog so that her message of hope may continue to reach those who need it most.

For more information about Prodigal Daughter Ministries, visit:
www.prodigaldaughterministries.tumblr.com or www.facebook.com/prodigaldaughterministriesofficial.