Last year, Monica Treviño, a consecrated woman of Regnum Christi originally from Monterrey, Mexico, presented a two-part Spanish language Bible study called Women of the Bible; now an English language version will be offered over the next two years.
The Bible study series, which examines the lives of eight women from the Bible (Part 1 looks at Women of the Old Testament, and Part 2, which will be offered in 2022, explores Women of the Gospels whose lives were transformed by a personal encounter with Christ) was inspired both by Monica’s own love of Scripture and from her experience observing, guiding, and working with women and families over almost 30 years of consecrated life. Throughout her pastoral work, Monica continually encountered women of all ages who had yet to discover their true identity and value rooted in Christ. “I worked with a lot of women who sometimes didn’t know God in a personal way, they didn’t have a personal relationship with Christ, and their identity was based on what people thought of them, how they are seen, how they perform, or what they achieve.” says Monica. “I love the feminine genius, I love the dignity of women, and as a consecrated woman, I love helping women discover their true femininity and their true identity as beloved daughters of God.” The Women of the Bible sessions touch on themes that are as relevant to women today as they were to the women of the Old Testament, like receptivity, maternity, sensitivity, and generosity.
But for Monica, the Women of the Bible series is more than just a Bible study – the participants are prayerfully guided towards applying the lessons from the lives of the women in Scripture to bring about real change in their own lives. “This is not a theoretical course where the participants come out with more knowledge of the Bible, it’s not just about “learning” – that’s not the objective,” says Monica. “The objective is that the participants let God touch their lives and transform them, that they discover – or rediscover – the Father’s love for them, and that they begin to base their identity in the love of God and in being his beloved daughters. That they have a real transformation.”
Each session of the Women of the Bible series begins with an opening prayer before delving into the life, challenges, and virtues of one of eight women of the Old Testament whose life was profoundly transformed by God. While the course provides scriptural and historical context of the life of each of the women – from the beginning of the Old Testament with Eve, all the way to the end with the Mother of the Maccabees – Monica has witnessed the real fruit come when participants are invited to apply the theme of each session to their own lives, through small group discussions and, most importantly, through their “homework,” a set of Scripture readings and questions designed to help them prayerfully consider how God is using each woman of the Bible to bring transformation into each participant’s own life. “As we get to know these women’s stories, we will discover the feminine genius present in them through both their greatness and their imperfections, in their love for God and for others, and how all this relates and applies to our own lives,” says Monica. “This course will teach participants to learn from the past and to live their present more fully, to grow in their spiritual life and in their journey with God.”
The response to the course has been very positive; one of this year’s in-person sessions is already sold out, and the other is filling up this week as the start date approaches. As well, Monica has already been approached by one parish to have her offer the program to its parishioners, which she hopes to be able to do next year. This illustrates to Monica the real need today’s women have for a deeper and more authentic understanding of their inherent dignity as daughters of God and their desire to know more about women in Scripture and their unique relationships with God. She has heard from women of all ages and all vocations how exploring the themes of womanhood through the Women of the Bible series has transformed their lives, from their relationship with prayer and with God to their own understanding and acceptance of themselves. To meet this deep and personal need women have for a true identity founded in Christ, Monica hopes to develop the Bible study series into a book to make it available to a wider audience, and would love one day to be able to offer spiritual exercises, retreats, and conventions specifically designed for women on this theme.
When asked which woman of the Bible personally inspires her the most, Monica replies, “All of them, I love them all! Praying and studying with these women makes me realize that they were women, just like us, very real and very normal. They were not born saints, but they allowed the Lord to touch and transform them. Even if they lived more than 2000 years ago, I feel like they are just like contemporary women in the world today, and their love and passion for God inspires me.”
If you’re interested in virtually joining this year’s The Women of the Bible series, it’s not too late! The series is being held both in-person and online at two different venues in Texas. Monica’s first session, held exclusively in-person at St. Anthony of Padua Church in the Woodlands quickly sold out; the second session, which begins on Tuesday, September 28th is being held in-person and online at Corner Bakery Café in downtown Houston and is still open to virtual participants. This eight-session virtual series will run from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm on the last Tuesday of every month. For more information, visit the Regnum Christi Houston website or register here.
Monica is currently serving in the Diocese of Galveston-Houston accompanying women by providing spiritual direction, preaching spiritual exercises, and offering formation courses like the Women of the Bible series. In June of 2020, Monica offered a meditation novena on the Sacred Heart of Jesus called Behold This Heart which is now available on YouTube and rcspirituality.org and which has reached more than 1500 people.