Teen Mom, Ave Maria

Ave Ave Ave Maria!
Hail Hail Hail Mary!

“I am 21 years old. My name is Danielle Vaughan I got pregnant at the age of 14; I was in 8th grade. I did graduate high school, but it was extremely tough! I did not pursue my dream at a four-year university out of fear that my daughter would feel abandoned. I work hard in dead end jobs, while attending online courses, living paycheck to paycheck. I was luckier than most, I received large amounts of support from my mother and my grandmother. Eventually, my luck ran thin and I had to move out on my own, with my daughter. It’s been she and I ever since!

Growing up, I imagined my life so differently! I was going to take a year off after graduation and just travel the world. I definitely didn’t see myself as a single, 15-year-old mom. I was always classified as the responsible one. I always felt untouchable, like teen pregnancy could NOT happen to me. I was so sure that it wouldn’t. On the one hand, I loved this little girl with all of myself, but I resented her for stealing my childhood away from me. I remember looking out the window at my old girlfriends, standing in the street with the boys, having fun and laughing so loud. I cried.

I wish I’d known how hard life would be, not only for me, but for everyone around me who supported my daughter and me financially. I wish I knew how my social life would diminish, and how every activity I participated in would have to be child friendly, or I would have NO part in it. But, more than anything, I wish I had known how tough life would be for my sweet little girl, how I wouldn’t be able to get her what she wanted, when she wanted it. I wish I knew that she’d be so mature so early on, that she would see me struggle.”[1]

Ave Ave Ave Maria!

  • 8 out of 10 teen fathers don’t marry the mother of their child.
  • Daughters of teen mothers are 3 times more likely to become teen mothers themselves.
  • Sons of teen mothers are twice as likely to end up in prison.
  • 70 teens get pregnant each hour.
  • The U.S. has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the Industrial World.

Ave Ave Ave Maria!

What is so miraculous about the Christmas story is that the Gospel locates Divinity in a 16-year-old pregnant refugee out of wedlock. The God of Christmas is found in a place least expected, a muddy ditch with farm animals, astrologists, and the night sky looking in.

The question being asked of us in today’s gospel: How might this change the way we discover God today?

[1] This was an interview found on the The Candie’s Foundation, a non-profit organization that works to shape the way the youth in America think about the devastating consequences of teen pregnancy and parenthood.

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