On March 25, in Santa Clara, more than 30 young adult men hosted a formal event called “The Beloved Dinner” to honor women in their Catholic community. This event was not sponsored by any church or organization — rather, it was single-handedly put on by laymen who enlisted the support of their friends to create a truly memorable night to honor women. I was fortunate enough to be one of the ladies invited to attend the dinner.

This event was on par with a wedding reception. From the wax-sealed invitations mailed far in advance, to taking into account our dietary preferences, and the raffle with amazing Catholic prizes — these men went above and beyond. While attending the dinner, I became inspired to write about this experience because, throughout my 10 years of involvement in various young adult groups (both Catholic and Protestant), I have never seen anything done quite like this — especially by men with no formal training in event planning. In the month leading up to the dinner, Catholic women were all abuzz about what they were going to wear to the formal event. It truly felt as though we were invited to a Catholic ball!

Many women speculated that this dinner was held in March due to International Women’s Day, but when I asked Josh Harmon, 24, co-creator of Beloved, he said, “No, it was because of the feast of the Annunciation being in March.”

Each table had a Marian theme with an icon of our Blessed Mother. Each setting included a name card for the woman who would sit there. I was touched by this simple gesture because it reminded me of how our Lord calls us each by name. He knows us intimately as individuals — not as a monolith, grouped by gender, age, race or status.

These men not only fed our bellies but also our hearts and minds. Josh Jeremiah, 26, gave an incredible speech, explaining the reason for the event. He summarized what Pope John Paul II called the “feminine genius,” St. Thomas Aquinas on love and willing the other’s good, and Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen on women being the “pinnacle of creation.”

Jeremiah said, “To will the good of the other for the sake of the other also means considering how the other person wants to receive love. Women have an intuition, a sense, a ‘feminine genius’ … that equips them with a special sensitivity to know not just that we ought to love people but how we ought to love people….”

Full story at National Catholic Register