The Catholic Guy+Leah Darrow+Closet Challenge+Novena to St. Therese!


The Catholic Guy+ Leah Darrow + Closet Challenge + Novena to St.Therese!  
How could these connections possibly affect what you wear?


Courtesy of Used by permission. All rights reserved.

I love The Catholic Channel (Sirius Radio 129.) Lino Rulli, “The Catholic Guy,” drives me crazy sometimes, but I can’t turn him off. Not sure why, he just has that gift. So driving home one afternoon, as I am struggling to follow Lino, I hear a woman talking about closets, fashion, and a challenge! Suddenly Lino trails off the subject, miles pass and I have to park in my own driveway hoping he will repeat her name just one more time! Finally, he did and I jotted down the names Leah Darrow and Sarah Kroger.

A couple of clicks on my laptop later, I found myself viewing Leah Darrow, a gorgeous America’s Top Model participant with a devotion to Jesus and a Closet Challenge! She is a young woman studying Theology of the Body, sharing her discipleship, and inspiring many to follow in simplicity and holiness. Then I found Sarah Kroger, a beautiful singer/songwriter, a published artist blogging about her love of clothing and her decision to go on a clothing fast! These two young women came up with the idea of the Closet Challenge!

Right then, I decided I wanted to try this! Fall is here, and my closet definitely needs a challenge! Thank you, Lino! But what does the Closet Challenge have to do with St. Therese?

sttherese_faceWell, in my September post I wrote about St. Therese’s upcoming feast day and I encouraged everyone to say a novena to this beloved saint. When I realized Leah and Sarah’s motto and prayer for the Closet Challenge is a quote by St. Therese, “Jesus, help me to simplify my life by learning what you want me to be and becoming that person” a Closet Challenge Novena seemed like an exciting, fun, and not-30-day-long adventure!

What if we embraced the Clothing Challenge for 9 Days while saying the Novena starting October 1, St. Therese’s feast day? A powerful Novena partnered with personal sacrifice and personal inconvenience as a reminder throughout each day of our unspoken (no complaining) offering of prayer!

Could you choose 7 items from your closet to wear for 9 days? What would you choose? Would you consider sticking to this challenge if you felt it was going to bring growth in your spiritual life and maybe even your bank account? Could this clothing fast, as Sarah put it, cause you to look more at the eternal things of God, simplicity, and give you an opportunity to experience how “less can really be more”?

If you are intrigued by the idea, HERE IS THE HOW TO!

  • The Prayers: Each day for nine days, daily prayers of the Novena will be posted. Pray these prayers. Do not just say the words and leave them. Think about the words; take them into your heart. Picture what you are reading. Listen to yourself as you read the prayers out loud. Reflect on them throughout the whole day. Silently remember your offering, your personal sacrifice that no one has to know about (no complaining) but you and Jesus. Additionally each day, you will receive a quote of encouragement from Leah or Sarah.
  • The Saint! I encourage you to read about St. Therese and understand her spirituality as you unite your prayers with her and receive her intercession! She has offered her love of Jesus as a gift to us with these words, “I will spend my Heaven doing good on earth!” St. Therese died at only 24 years of age. Join yourself to her ordinary path toward sainthood, her “Little Way” which we can all embrace! Oh, and don’t forget, St. Therese often leaves roses. Don’t be surprised if roses appear unexpectedly.
  • Your Personal Experience! I also invite you to reflect on this clothing fast. Write down your thoughts! Share on this post, or write for your personal reflection. At the end of the nine days it will be interesting to look back on each day’s experience. Take a picture of your selected items and clothing combinations! How creative you can be as you mix and match, and match and mix again, and again!  Post a few of your favorite pictures!


You can find detailed instructions for the Closet Challenge as created by Leah and Sarah described on each of their blogs.   

Remember, we are adapting their 30-day challenge to a 9-Day Novena Closet Challenge.

2015-02-LeahDarrow-Speaking-CollegeStudentsLeah Darrow on the Closet Challenge

Sarah Kroger jpgSarah Kroger on the Closet Challenge

Copyright  2015 Celeste Zepponi
Photos from and Sarah used by permission. All rights reserved.
Photo of St. Therese of Lisiuex: public domain


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  1. What a great idea! So practical and it fits right in with St. Therese’s life of simplicity. As I was reading through I was thinking about emptying out all the clothes I don’t wear anymore (mainly because I’ve “grown,” so to speak. :-)). It may not seem like a sacrifice to get rid of clothes you no longer wear but it’s the organization and the shear labor of sorting everything out, and then bringing them someplace to give away) that makes it a sacrifice for me (albeit, a small one, but that’s why it fits in so perfectly with this novena). Pope Francis did say last week that the small things are what really matter (Mother Teresa said that too).

    Thanks for this great idea!

  2. So true Susan, It is a sacrifice of time and effort to go through our closets!

    I hope you are going to participate in the Closet Challenge Novena! Have you picked out your seven items? Remember shoes and sweaters and aren’t limited. Have fun! I am already wondering how I can do this for nine days. Leah and Sarah did this for 30 days!

  3. What a lovely idea! I’m a few days behind but Sunday is as good as any to begin a novena. And in case I had any doubts, my daughter is sitting next to me wearing her only shirt with roses on it.

  4. Hi Kate,

    I am so excited your are beginning this novena today! I definitely think your daughters shirt is a wonderful affirmation. Go St. Therese’ !

    I am truly enjoying my limited clothing choices! Having fewer clothes made getting dressed for church this morning so much easier. My limited wardrobe does remind me that being simple yields more of an atmosphere to simply pray! Less is best!

    Leah has decided to continue her Closet Challenge beyond her initial Challenge. Read her thoughts:

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