#112 Our Lady of Guadalupe with Gia Riney

In the bustling heart of Mexico City, amid the chaos and clamor of urban life, lies a sacred haven – the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. This iconic pilgrimage site draws countless Catholics yearning for healing, connection and an encounter with the Blessed Mother and her Son. In today's show, we embark on a journey through the eyes and experiences of Gia, a devoted Catholic midlife mom whose recent pilgrimage to Mexico City left an indelible mark on her faith and motherhood journey.

Gia's connection to Mexico runs deep, rooted in a year of mission work she undertook in an orphanage just outside of Mexico City after college. The opportunity to immerse herself in serving abandoned children infused her with a profound sense of purpose and ignited a lifelong passion for combining faith with compassionate action. Her return to Mexico City, decades later, was a poignant homecoming, marked by anticipation and emotional resonance.

Led by Catholic influencer, Katie McGrady, and Dominican friar Father Patrick Henry, Gia's pilgrimage group embarked on a soul-stirring exploration of Mexico City's rich Catholic heritage. Amid visits to historic churches and shrines, the highlight was undoubtedly the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. For Gia, witnessing her fellow pilgrims' first encounters with Our Lady's presence knowing her devotion to the Blessed Mother was a profound experience.

As Gia reflects on her pilgrimage experience, she connects with the common theme weaving through each pilgrim's journey – an openness to allowing the Blessed Mother lead them closer to her Son and a heart ready to act on their faith. Drawing parallels between her faith journey and her professional life, Gia emphasizes the importance of listening and obedience, recognizing that true fulfillment lies in aligning one's actions with God's will.

Delving into the history of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Gia shares the story of St. Juan Diego, a humble indigenous man chosen by the Blessed Mother as her messenger. Amidst the miraculous encounters and divine interventions, Gia finds moments of profound resonance, particularly in the iconic phrase inscribed on the Basilica – "Am I not here, your mother?" – a timeless reminder of Mary's eternal love and guidance.

As the show comes to a close, Gia shares a poignant message inspired by Our Lady of Guadalupe – a message of love, acceptance, and empowerment. Encouraging midlife women to embrace their worthiness and trust in God's plan and purpose for their lives. Gia implores them to magnify Christ in their daily lives and spread love and faith in their communities, especially within their homes.

Jennie Guinn is a Catholic speaker, Life Coach, Podcaster, Weekly Radio Show Host on Nashville Catholic Radio and Radio Maria USA, and the founder of Catholic Moms in the Middle. After 26 years of working in Catholic education, Jennie felt God calling her "to step out of the boat" to serve in a new way. In her new ministry, she equips and encourages middle-life women to encounter the love of the Father and to be transformed and healed by the power of the Holy Spirit so they can MAGNIFY Christ in their corner of the world.