"I want to encourage the women of our parish to consider being part of the next series of sessions called Endow (Educating on the Nature and Dignity of Women). The series—Aquinas for Beginners, Part I—begins Wednesday, April 18th (6:45pm-ish, after the 6pm Mass), in the St. Thérèse room of the church. To register or inquire, please contact Anna Budinick." --Fr. Todd Strange
Endow (Educating on the Nature and Dignity of Women). The series—Aquinas for Beginners, Part I—
“To be the Catholic voice and home for all women, helping them to become who they truly are meant to be – living vessels of Christ to the world around them.”
We envision a world where every woman has the opportunities, the knowledge, the courage and the support to be the best version of themselves – made in the image and likeness of God. And, being made in God’s image, it is our vision that each woman encounters her infinite value and dignity, untold talents and beauty, each deserving of respect and of love. We envision this world, because we believe the world needs a renewed feminism with truly feminine leaders, sharing the particular genius that is unique to each and every woman.
We see our role as a place of encouragement and of community, educating women from all walks of life to grow in knowledge through our study guides, to experience and encounter who they are, to discover their purpose and to share with each other so they might go forth, presenting themselves renewed, full of life and hope, to the people around them.
Endow began in 2003 when three women – Betsy Considine, Marilyn Coors and Terry Polakovic – encountered the teachings of St. Pope John Paul II on the nature of women and the new feminism. Writings like The Dignity and Vocation of Women and his famed Letter to Women addressed to the UN, became indispensable to them – unpacking truths that ignited their feminine genius. The more they learned, the more it called them to a truer and more authentic way of living and leading as women in the world endowed with unique gifts and their own particular genius.
Despite this growing inspiration, they became troubled. Why wasn’t this being taught to women?
“They asked each other, were our hearts not burning within us?”
They began praying about how they could share what they were discovering with other women; women who wanted progress while remaining rooted in an authentic understanding of who they are and the unique path God has called them to. They knew there had to be a way to make the rich wisdom of the Church’s teaching accessible to the “woman in the pew.”
With the help of Archbishop Chaput, Archbishop Gomez and renowned Catholic scholar Sr. Prudence Allen R.S.M., a leading academic on the philosophical concept of womanhood and current member of Pope Francis’ International Theological Commission, they began by writing small-group study guides on John Paul’s two seminal documents on the “feminine genius” that would help women from all walks of life – wives, and mothers, single and consecrated women to encounter the beauty and depth of the Church’s teaching.
What began with those two studies has since expanded to 17 different courses written for middle school girls, young women in high school and adult studies on documents as varied as Pope Benedict’s God is Love, Pope Paul IV’s Humanae Vitae, Lumen Gentium from Vatican II, as well as studies on St. Edith Stein and St. Catherine of Siena.
Through the grace of God and the generosity of many bishops, priests, consecrated and lay men and women, Endow has grown from a lunch-time conversation in Denver, Colorado to an international apostolate in over 130 dioceses that has reached over 25,000 women who are going forth to transform the culture by living the fullness of their feminine genius. Endow is now led by Martha Reichert a previous board member and founder of Endow’s outreach program, who has expanded the program from Denver to include an office in Los Angeles, while revamping the original studies to reach Latina women through Endow’s Spanish language program.