About 150 young women from across the region crowded the newly renovated lower hall of St. Agatha-St. James Church in University City, Philadelphia on Saturday night, Feb. 16 to hear dynamic Catholic speaker Emily Wilson.
The author who has spoken at conferences around the world was the keynote of the Speaker Series for the University of Pennsylvania’s Newman Center, based at St. Agatha-St. James.
Wilson is largely known for her You Tube videos where she addresses topics most women struggle with: sex before marriage, social media comparisons and the hook up culture, to name a few.
Her talk focused on overcoming the challenges of recognizing the blessings in one’s life. Comparisons to others, coveting what others have and developing a mindset of gratitude were at the heart of the night’s discussion. She also challenged the women to speak the truth of their beauty to other women on campus.
“It’s so rare to find someone who isn’t afraid to vocalize what we all feel,” said Gabbie Ramos, a junior at Penn. “I’ve followed Emily for years and have always found such inspiration in her unapologetic approach to standing up for what women deserve.”
Marya Lieb, a senior at Penn, has been working on getting Emily to speak at St. A-J’s for more than a year and a half. “You have to book her months, if not years, in advance because of the demand, but persistence paid off.”
The Women’s Household prepared the refreshments, and although the audience was overwhelmingly women — some traveling nearly two hours to attend — a handful of men were also present.
Alejandro Gómez, a graduate student at Villanova, came because he heard of the event through his sister.
“Although I was skeptical at first, I felt deeply moved by the message she had to bring,” Gomez said. “(We) men struggle with the voices in our hearts that tell us, ‘You’re not good enough’ and ‘You’re not worthy of goodness and beauty’ as well. (Wilson’s talk) reminded us that we too have dignity and are blessed, even when we don’t realize it.”
Alberto Amaral, a 2017 graduate of Penn, echoed this, saying, “I really enjoyed Emily Wilson’s talk. Even though it was geared towards women, I think a lot of the wisdom she shared was applicable to men’s lives as well.”
Wilson also had the audience laughing. A southern California native, she quipped, “I might not always notice or express gratitude when driving next to the ocean, but I noticed Boathouse Row.”
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103