How We Started
The history of Endow, like most compelling stories, is a testament to the wisdom and generosity of Divine Providence as God brought just the right people together at a particular time and place to found this unique apostolate.
It all started in 2003 when three laywomen in Denver—Betsy Considine, Marilyn Coors, and Terry Polakovic—encountered the teachings of Saint Pope John Paul II on the nature of women and the Catholic understanding of authentic femininity. Moved by works of St. John Paul like The Dignity and Vocation of Women and his Letter to Women addressed to the UN, the original foundresses of Endow were both inspired, but incredulous. As lifelong Catholics they were puzzled,
“Where has this wisdom of John Paul about our dignity as women been all our lives? Why are we only hearing about this beautiful teaching now?”
Nudged by the Holy Spirit, they began praying about how they could share these incredible documents and their profound truths with their sisters in Christ. They themselves were not theologians, but 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 renowned Catholic scholar Sr. Prudence Allen R.S.M., they began by writing small-group study guides on John Paul’s two seminal documents on the “feminine genius” that would help wives, and mothers, single and consecrated women to encounter the beauty and depth of the Holy Father’s teaching.
What began with just 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 laywomen, 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 mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends who are transforming culture by living the fullness of their feminine genius.
What We Do
Endow is an educational apostolate that writes study guides for small groups of women that makes the rich wisdom of the Church accessible to the “woman in the pew.” By offering background information, definitions of theological terms, historical context, quotes from Scripture and the Catechism, insights from scholars and saints, and thought provoking questions for group discussion, an Endow study makes some of the most profound documents of the Church and writings of her saints accessible to teens and women alike. You can see a complete list of our courses here.
How We are Transforming the Lives of Women
“The hour is coming, in fact has come, when the vocation of women is being acknowledged in its fullness, the hour in which women acquire in the world an influence, an effect and a power never hitherto achieved. That is why, at his moment when the human race is undergoing so deep a transformation, women imbued with a spirit of the Gospel can do so much to aid humanity in not falling”. (Dignity & Vocation of Women, 1)
Endow trains women to become group facilitators and provides resources for them to invite women in their community to join them for an Endow study. Groups usually consist of 8-12 women who meet for 8-10 weeks to grow in knowledge of and love for their Catholic faith together. We recommend that each adult group begin with Letter to Women, a study of the teachings of Pope John Paul II on the dignity of women. For youth, we provide the three-part Girl Genius series for middle school girls and True Beauty Revealed for high school girls.
At Endow we are determined to make our program as easy and accessible as possible. Why? Because we want every woman to have the opportunity to discover her dignity and encounter Christ’s love and truth. This why our materials are only $29.95 for adult studies and $24.95 for youth studies. This also why all Endow material is written for the “woman in the pew” and read aloud together, instead of assigning homework to do outside of your class. We’re even in the process of translating three of our studies into Spanish, so that we can reach out to more of our Hispanic sisters!
We also have a special heart for women who are particularly in need of hearing the truth about their dignity and God’s extraordinary love for them. This is why our Outreach Program ministers to women in homeless shelters, prisons and crisis pregnancies.
Endow loves being a part of the New Evangelization so we are frequently hosting our own events or providing speakers for retreats and conferences across the country. Our annual Gala celebrates and supports the women and programs of Endow. You can check out our upcoming events for more details.
Lastly, our quarterly magazine Illuminate and email newsletter Thoughts provide inspiring stories, book recommendations, insightful interviews, and best of all they’re easy to share with friends over email, Facebook, or Twitter.
What Women are Saying
The result of a recent study of Endow alumnae informed us that:
- An enthusiastic 97% of women told us that more women should experience Endow.
- Nearly 90% of Endow participants told us that their time of study has helped them to be better wives, mothers, co-workers and friends.
- 83% of women felt that Endow positively and directly impact their ability to fulfill their role as mother/grandmother
- 84% of women told us that Endow had directly impacted their ability to answer objections to the Church’s teachings.
- When asked if Endow had greatly effected the amount of evangelization they engage in, 74% of women said “yes,” with only 5% saying “no.”
We also have some beautiful Testimonies from women describing the powerful impact Endow has had on their life.
Endow at the Proto-Cathedral
Title of the NEXT Endow study: