Former “America’s Next Top Model” contestant and nationally renowned Catholic speaker and author Leah Darrow spoke to more than 350 attendees on Monday, October 23, in the Barrette Business and Community Center.
Sponsored by the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Giving Society, Darrow shared some of her personal failures and wins in life regarding faith, fashion, dating, career choices and vocation.
“God ordained you to be here right now. So as we go on about our evening, it is good to remember that we are not alone. God is speaking to us as a friend, as a savior, as a redeemer and as deliverer,” said Darrow. “God is telling us ‘Give to God what is God’s.’ God doesn’t want just a piece of you. He doesn’t want the parts that you ordered nicely. He doesn’t want the parts that look really good. He wants the messy, the chaos, the hurt, the suffering, the sin, the disgusting, the secrets. He wants all of you. Not a piece of you. How often in our spiritual life do we want to give God just a piece of us? What I love about our God is that He is relentless. He won’t give up. It’s not good enough for Jesus to have just a little piece of you. He wants all of you. And He will seek us.”
Named in honor of the patroness of the Brothers of Christian Instruction, Walsh’s founders, the goal of the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Giving Society is to inspire the next generation of Catholic students to continue the legacy of Walsh. Earlier that day, Darrow held a special presentation for the students at Canton Central Catholic High School. Weaving humor with a down-to-earth approach on life, she demonstrated how we can take responsibility for our actions, make wise decisions and fulfill who we are called to be.
“This evening’s event is sponsored by some people who are very supportive of Walsh University, the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Giving Society, who very specifically decide to support, endorse and help to make events such as this happen,” said President Richard Jusseaume during his opening remarks. “It’s one thing to talk about values, it’s another to talk about principles. But it’s quite a different kind of talk when it’s from a person who is sharing her own story. That is what we get to share tonight. Someone’s personal story on what it means to not just talk about the values and principles but to live them.”
Leah Darrow made her national debut on the reality TV show “America’s Next Top Model” and spent several years as a professional model in New York City. She now travels the world speaking about her experiences, her conversion, and the virtues of modesty and chastity in light of Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, doing her small part to further the new evangelization. In her presentations, she shares how her pursuit of pop culture's definition of love and happiness led to a moment of mercy and conversion in her life.
As a full-time motivational speaker, Darrow brings her experience of the fashion world and the Catholic faith to young audiences around the country. In addition to appearing on secular and religious media programs, she spoke on behalf of international youth at a United Nations’ panel discussion in July 2011. Her audiences have included the World Trade Center in Manila Philippines, Pro-Life events, and local parishes on five different continents.
For more information on how you can get involved in the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Giving Society, contact Derrick Wyman at 330-490-7580.