Diocesan News

Endow Catholic women’s group introductions May 5-7

LINCOLN (SNR) - Women and teenage girls who are interested in learning more about Blessed John Paul II’s writings on the dignity of women will want to attend one of the three gatherings planned for May 5-7 that will introduce Endow to the Diocese of Lincoln.

Co-founded in 2003 by three Denver-area laywomen, Endow is an international apostolate that teaches authentic feminism, as God intended. Through well-planned study materials, Endow helps women of all ages deepen their faith as they learn to live out what Blessed John Paul II called "the feminine genius."

Endow uses the late Holy Father’s episcopal letter, "Mulieris Dignitatem, (On the Dignity and Vocation of Women)" to help women and teenage girls understand their God-given dignity and respond to our culture’s desperate need for an authentic feminine presence to transform every aspect of life and society.

The name "Endow" is actually an acronym for Educating on the Nature and Dignity Of Women. Groups typically consist of eight to 12 adults or 10-30 youth who meet at local parishes, schools, or in members’ homes.

Trained facilitators guide the women through the study materials. Adult groups typically start with "Letter to Women," a study of the teachings of Pope John Paul II on the dignity of women. For youth, there is a three-part "Girl Genius" series for middle school girls and "True Beauty Revealed" for high school girls.

Later studies cover various topics based on a combination of papal writings, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Church history, and Sacred Scripture.

The goal is for each woman to fulfill her vocational calling — whether that’s motherhood, a religious vocation or single life — and to serve as a testimony to true godly feminism, instead of the false notions presented by the secular culture.

Testimonials from the Endow website show women transformed by these study materials.

"There were a lot of ‘aha’ moments in my first Endow study group," wrote Michele. "‘Letter to Women’ has helped me hear my Heavenly Father’s voice… I have learned to love my Catholic faith."

Former FOCUS missionary Nikki Shassare, now a member of St. Teresa Parish in Lincoln, belonged to an Endow group while she was working in Colorado and later trained to be a group leader in Michigan. She called Endow, "the perfect blend of material to invite ‘any woman in the pew’ to join."

Mrs. Shassare’s Endow group catered to women of all walks of life – married, single, with kids or without, and a full range of ages.

"Together, all could relate to and learn from one another through the study," she said.

One key benefit to Endow is that there is no "homework." Busy women simply gather once a week or so to go through the materials together.

"I appreciated having an actual study and guide to help unpack the beautiful writings of our late Holy Father," Mrs. Shassare said. "The brilliance of JPII speaking to all women was evident, as it was helping our FOCUS missionary group grow and learn."

In fact, Mrs. Shassare recalled hearing that another Endow group in Denver helped one of their members leave her high-ranking job at Planned Parenthood.

"I was thrilled when I learned about Endow coming to our diocese," Mrs. Shassare added. "I’m excited to see how the material has developed since I was involved."

She’s just one of a number of Lincoln-area Catholic women who are eager to learn more about starting Endow in the diocese. With the help of Bishop James D. Conley, a fan of the study program, they are hosting several meetings featuring Endow staff member Kate Sweeney, who will be in Lincoln to introduce Endow.

She will start at Pius X High School on Sunday, May 5, at 7:30 p.m., speaking to young adult women, college students and high school students. The group will meet at the L-PAC auditorium on the west side of the building. Refreshments will be served.

On Monday, May 6, women of all ages are welcome at the Bl. John XXIII Diocesan Center. Coffee and dessert will be served, beginning at 7 p.m., and a free-will offering will be taken Ms. Sweeney will speak at 7:30 and answer questions after the talk.

On May 7, also at 7 p.m., there will be Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament at St. Teresa Church in Lincoln, followed by Ms. Sweeney’s talk and more information about Endow study groups. To learn more about Endow, visit endowgroups.org. 

For additional information about the Sunday night Endow talk at Pius X High School, contact Maria Benes, campus minister, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 402-488-0931, ext. 10136.

Women planning to attend either the Monday or Tuesday evening events are asked to R.S.V.P. to Emily Haden at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 402-432-9814 so that organizers can prepare for the correct number of guests.

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