Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Girls club takes modesty message to parade route

by Dana Mannino, for the Inland Register

(From the June 9, 2005 edition of the Inland Register)

Members of Spokane’s LILAC Girls Club distributed their modesty brochure attached to water bottles during this year’s Junior Lilac Parade. (IR photo from Dana Mannino)

On May 7, 16 members of LILAC Catholic Girls Club participated in the Spokane Junior Lilac Parade to promote the virtue of modesty.

The club is in its fourth year of existence under the parental supervision of Marie Duchow, and the peer leadership of Karen Mannino, Millie Duchow, and Shelia Donovan.

Its LILAC name is an acronym: Living Inspiring Lives Always for Christ. The club seeks to foster virtues in its members, and help them make their relationship with Jesus a concrete reality.

LILAC sponsors an annual day retreat. Members participate in community service, serve at fund-raisers for Catholic organizations, and evangelize at the mall. This was their first appearance in the annual parade.

Participation in the parade was the most recent development in the club’s long-term apostolate championing modesty.

It started when two club families authored a brochure about modesty, inspired by the club members. Modesty is a delicate issue. To practice it fully one must resist both the pressure to dress immodestly and the temptation to judge people who follow the crowd.

The brochure seeks to promote modesty without pointing a condemning finger. It presents modesty as a safeguard for God’s gift of purity, and discusses remaining pure in all aspects of behavior, from movie choice, to body language, to dress.

This approach is motivated by the idea that too much emphasis is placed on the “how” of proper dress and not enough emphasis is placed the “why” of modesty and purity. The underling assumption is that once a young person is committed to living a pure lifestyle, the details of what is and is not modest will follow.

LILAC members distributed this brochure rubber banded around bottled water to 1,015 parade attendees. The girls wore distinctly feminine yet modest pink shirts with the message, “Modesty: for the 100 % Pure Princess” embossed in silver on the back.

They distributed the water from a truck decorated with banners celebrating modesty. One read, “Modesty: Dare to be Different, Dare to be You!”

The message was well received. Several blocks broke into spontaneous applause as the girls marched by.

The 16 LILAC girls made the last turn out of breath, but elated. Over 1,000 attendees left with water for their thirst and food for thought. They had been touched by the smiles and energy of 16 girls whose belief in basic human dignity is so strong they were willing to put it on parade.

Financial support for the effort came from various district chapters of the Knights of Columbus, the commitment of the club parents, the generosity of Cuda Apparel, and the Spokane Jaycees and the Rotary Club, who sponsor the annual parade.

Modesty brochures and tee shirts are available for purchase. Requests may be sent to

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