Speaker to present at LDCCW convention April 25-26 in Lincoln, July training planned in Hastings
Story by S.L. Hansen
(SNR) - The Lincoln Diocese Council of Catholic Women (LDCCW) is recruiting women from across the diocese to become Endow facilitators. Endow (Education on the Nature and Dignity of Women) is a unique Catholic study group focused on the “feminine genius,” using Pope John Paul II’s “Letter to Women” as a foundation.
The training will be held Saturday, July 12, at St. Cecilia’s Centennial Hall in Hastings.
Kris Sarver, who is spearheading this effort, said she became interested in Endow after reading Bishop James Conley’s Register column about the program. As past president of the LDCCW, her role includes leadership training, and she felt that Endow was a natural fit.
“He mentioned how Endow courses help women discover and appreciate their feminine genius, and in doing so become more effective leaders,” Sarver recalled.
“Endow is a totally new way of approaching leadership training—by having women become more effective leaders by growing in their knowledge of their Catholic faith and their God given feminine genius,” Sarver said.
She was so intrigued, she became a certified Endow facilitator last year. Now she is facilitating a course for her home parish, St. Clara in Peru.
“St. Clara’s is a very small parish, so I was astounded when nine women signed up for the course,” she said. “That is around 75% of our women!”
She said that the group has been inspired by Blessed John Paul II’s “Letter to Women,” and the respect he shows for women in their various roles.
“We are all awed by his profound grasp of the equality and complementarity of men and women, and shocked by the historical situation that caused him to write his letter,” she said. “All of us are learning a tremendous amount from it.”
Sarver believes the Endow studies can help women across the diocese, “appreciate the enormous gift God gave them by creating them female.”
She added, “At the same time, it will cause them to think about how they can use their feminine genius more effectively in their own families, parishes and work places to spread the good news of the Gospel.”
Sarver approached the LDCCW about hosting another Endow training session in the diocese and was met with unanimous approval. On the Friday and Saturday after Easter, Endow’s director of programs, Kate Sweeney, will be in the diocese to address the LDCCW conference.
“I’m going to share about the dignity of women, the feminine genius and how to get a program started,” she said.
Sweeney said Endow is unique because it engages both the mind and the heart in a way that is approachable for any woman.
“We talk a lot of joy and freedom and dignity,” said Sweeney. “The fruits are transforming, as women open themselves up to greater gifts that God has given them.”
Sweeney believes that women are so tuned into giving to their spouses, children, careers and parishes, they often lose sight of their own need for spiritual rejuvenation.
“Endow gives them the sustenance to be a great wife, a great mother, a great manager, whatever,” she said. “I am so thankful I have my hour with my Endow group once a week… Every time, it’s so renewing!”
The LDCCW intends to have one trained facilitator in every parish of the Lincoln Diocese.
To that end, the LDCCW has asked all the Parish Councils of Catholic Women (PCCW) and altar societies to work with their pastors to identify a woman who has the potential to become a good Endow facilitator.
There is no need for a woman to be actively involved in her parish’s PCCW or altar society to become an Endow facilitator. Indeed, all women in the diocese are automatically members of their PCCWs, even if they don’t attend meetings.
The training is also open to any woman who is simply interested in what Endow has to offer.
“Even if a woman hasn’t been officially selected by her parish to attend the Endow training, she is more than welcome to come,” stated Sarver.
Participants will learn how to facilitate Endow studies, which includes 10 different programs for women, one for high schools students and three for middle school girls. As part of the training, Endow teacher/trainer Eileen Love will facilitate the organization’s study on Blessed Pope John Paul II’s “Letter to Women.”
Following training, each of the participants can become certified as Endow facilitators by completing an application and providing written endorsements from a priest and one friend.
Participants should sign up for training as early as possible by going to www.endowgroups.org, clicking on “Events” and scrolling down to “Facilitator Training – Nebraska.” There is a cost of $65, which some parishes may be able to subsidize.