Diocesan News

‘Feminine Genius’ to be next topic in bishop’s lecture series

By S.L. Hansen

LINCOLN (SNR) - Women and men alike are invited to learn more about the “Feminine Genius” at the next installment of the Bishop Conley Lecture Series.

Endow’s Terry Polakovic will speak at the John XXIII Center in Lincoln Thursday, Feb. 19, and again at St. Cecilia Parish in Hastings Friday, Feb. 20. Each of these free lectures will begin at 7:30 p.m. and will be followed by a question-and-answer session.

Polakovic is co-founder and the executive director of Endow, a Catholic study program with a mission to “transform the hearts and minds of women and girls by inviting them into the joy, freedom, and dignity that come from living out their gift of authentic femininity in Christ.”

Endow is built around Pope Saint John Paul II’s Letter to Women,” in which he focuses on what he calls “the Feminine Genius.”

“There has been a tremendous interest in Endow in the diocese,” noted JD Flynn, special assistant to the bishop. “Since so many women will be formed by Endow, we thought it would be a good idea to have Terry come speak.”

Her talks will not be of interest only to women, however.

“Whether a person is male or female, there are so many misunderstandings about what feminism is,” Flynn stated. “All of us can benefit from understanding what feminism really is.”

He mentioned a movie scheduled to open on Valentine’s Day. The film “Fifty Shades of Grey” is based on a popular secular novel that promotes a seriously flawed view of women and human sexuality.

“It’s such a huge misconception about what it means to be a woman and what it means to be a feminist and what it means to promote the dignity of a woman,” Flynn lamented.

Polakovic’s talk will be an instructive antidote.

Flynn offered his thanks to Father Joseph Walsh, St. Cecilia pastor, for making it possible for Polakovic to deliver her talk in Hastings as well as Lincoln.

He noted that each speaker brought into the diocese for the lecture series is chosen based on their apostolic work, experience and wisdom regarding the New Evangelization.

“The vocation of lay Catholics is to reanimate the world with the spirit of Jesus Christ,” he said. “We need to understand what’s happening in our culture and respond to it, not just critically but creatively - in such a way that draws people into the Christian life.”

He added, “We really need to be proactive in building Catholic culture.”

On behalf of Bishop Conley, Flynn welcomes suggestions for speakers and/or topics for future lectures in this important series. Send your ideas to him via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

There is no cost to attend Polakovic’s talk at either location, nor is there any need to pre-register. All are welcome, and all are invited to bring non-Catholic family and friends who are interested in true feminism.

Editor's Note: Video of the first two talks are available in the Register's video gallery. Dr. Anthony Esolen spoke Oct. 13 on "The Importance of Good Relationships Between the Sexes" and Maggie Gallagher spoke on "The Future of Marriage - Catholic and Civil" Jan. 14.

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