Our "yes" to the truth, beauty and goodness of our bodies
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Monday's with Mary
Suzanne Carter is a co-founder of
ministry that invites and encourages women to gain a deeper awareness of their feminine nature and God’s providential plan for their lives.
from Luke 1:38 actually means “to say yes to God’s will”. Through Scripture combined with St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, Suzanne yearns to be like Mary by saying “yes” to God’s call to holiness. Her desire is to encourage women to embrace their authentic beauty as daughters who are created in the
of God. Suzanne is a wife to Jim Carter and mother of three teenage daughters Alyssa, Lindsay and Michaela and has come to see a great need in our Church to share the beauty of the Theology of the Body to families.
Suzanne was born and raised in the Catholic faith, and her father was always the spiritual leader in the family, but her faith often seemed a given. It was through witnessing the suffering and death of her mother in 2003 to the disease Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), that Suzanne experienced an unprecedented and deeper reversion to the Catholic faith. Suffering was the catalyst that God used to open and transform her heart and prepare her for the life journey she never could have anticipated, but in hindsight, now knows was always God’s plan.
Suzanne grew up as a strong swimmer which led her to a job as whale and dolphin trainer at SeaWorld in Cleveland, Ohio. It was during her early swim team experience, and the unique opportunity to swim with whales, that God began to reveal the abundance of His magnificent beauty to Suzanne. Suzanne often finds herself thinking back to the advice that her swim coach conveyed during those early years. He would often remind Suzanne that if you continue to look left and right and check other lanes to see who is swimming faster than you, you lose the race. He consistently drilled the advice to “keep your eyes on the cross [at the end of the pool lane].” This unintentional Divine wisdom is some that both then and now shapes every decision Suzanne makes in life. She works daily to keep her eyes on the cross of Christ and tries to embrace and trust the Divine will of the Father.
After graduating college, Suzanne started her career in corporate America. Supported by highly-developed interpersonal skills and a driven work ethic, her career blossomed, and she quickly found herself enjoying a highly compensated corporate recruiting job that helped to provide for her growing family. Materialism was beginning to captivate Suzanne’s attention. It was through the witnessing of her mother’s suffering and death from ALS, though, that Suzanne felt a call to channel the inevitable vulnerability that came with the experience into something bigger. She leaned into the foundation of her upbringing and was soon inspired by the Holy Spirit to leave her corporate recruiting job in order to pursue her Masters in Theology from Saint Mary Seminary and Graduate School of Theology in Cleveland, Ohio. Suzanne quickly realized that this new use of her God given talents brought an unfounded level of joy. Suzanne graduated in 2014 after presenting a final symposium titled “Transformation through Suffering.”
Suzanne became passionate to share these impactful teachings while participating in marriage retreats with her husband and youth ministry at local parishes throughout Cleveland, Ohio. Shortly after, Suzanne once again responded “yes” by trusting in the Divine plan when her family was relocated to Raleigh, North Carolina when her husband took a work transfer. Her husband Jim is very supportive of the ministry and often finds himself presenting alongside Suzanne at Marriage Preparation workshops in the Diocese of Raleigh. Suzanne’s daughter Alyssa has felt the calling as well and presents to teens throughout the Diocese to encourage them to “Discover their Inner Selfie”.
Suzanne worked for the Diocese of Raleigh in the Marriage and Family office for 4 years and witnessed first-hand the need to share the “Faithful Fiat” concept and Theology of the Body teachings to both parents and teens. She is currently studying at the Theology of the Body Institute. By taking a different approach Suzanne focuses on igniting and awakening the audience to the beauty and not the prohibition of the Catholic teachings. Suzanne has also witnessed true transformation in her students at her parish Saint Catherine of Siena in Wake Forest as a Catechist.
We are all created with the desire to love. The teachings encompassed within Theology of the Body allow for a profound understanding of how to live our lives to find authentic love and live “fully alive.”
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"Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to Your word."
- Luke 1:38