For the past few years, men that I know embarked on the Exodus 90 journey, altering their lifestyle to include prayer, fasting, and aesthetic practices. In 2019, a group of girls attempted to complete the Nineveh90 which is similar to Exodus but focuses on a number of Marian prayers (Nineveh can also be completed by either men or women and was developed in preparation for the 100th anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima). When I say attempt, I mean that that is all that it was, an attempt. Before the 90 days were over I began reflecting on why my guy friends had been so successful while we…had not. I came to three conclusions.
First, there was a serious lack of accountability in our small group. Whenever one of us messed up, we would confess to the group and receive a chorus of “that’s ok”, “don’t worry about it”, and “as long your trying”. We were great at encouraging each other, but not great at holding each other accountable.
Second, we never met in person as a group. I believe that in-person check-ins bring accountability and encouragement to a new level; it also reinforces the community that you have formed.
Finally, Exodus is aimed at men. Nineveh is aimed at men or women. I came to the belief that if we were completing a program that were to help us grow in our femininity that we would be more successful because we were growing close to God’s natural plan for us.
The next step was to create a program, and on Holy Thursday 2019 I sat in a parking lot after visiting Seven Churches and my friends and I created an acronym that would guide our next steps: FIAT: Faith. Integrity. Accountability. Truth. Over the next few months we looked at both Nineveh and Exodus and created the practices that we believed would merit grace, draw us closer to God, and help us grow as women. We also discovered a small program also called FIAT90 that was developed at Benedictine College, and we felt called to shorten it as 40 day Lenten devotion as well. However, as most of us were no longer in school many of their practices did not apply, but I will give them a shout-out for inspiration. So thus we created a booklet and program, and prayed and discerned about the disciplines that were to be apart of FIAT90, especially specific to the feminine genius.
Veronica is a history teacher in Buffalo, NY who enjoys examining the impact of the Church on society throughout history. An avid reader, you can usually find her curled up with a good book- or talking about one. Veronica’s passion is building authentic Christian community through many little fiats. Hoping to raise a big family one day, she currently is entrusting her single years to whatever they need to be. Her favorite Marian Feast Day is Our Lady of Sorrows, because it is a reminder that the cross accompanies the resurrection, and often sorrow and joy accompany each other.
Growing up in a large Catholic family, Church was always a huge part of her life. It wasn’t until graduating from college that it became a priority in her personal life. Since then she has fallen in love with Jesus, the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Confession. She is blessed with a wonderful family, and amazing community of friends. Some of her hobbies include traveling, camping, reading a good book with a cup of tea and snowboarding. Her favorite Marian Feast Day is Stella Maris, “Star of the Sea” on September 27th, because of the reminder that we are all searching for direction in our lives, and Mary is the true guide to her Son. .