Those of you familiar with Among Women, or my book, Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious: Celebrating the Gift of Catholic Womanhood, may recognize Terry Polakovic’s name. Terry was one of the founders for Endow, a wonderful ministry to women that specializes in educating on the nature and dignity of women. She later became its President and one of the more public faces of the organization over the last 14 years. Endow’s growth has been powerful, and has now spread to hundreds of women’s groups throughout North America.
Terry graciously penned the foreword for my book, and was a guest on my show, in the early days when I was just getting Among Women off the ground. (Terry was a guest on AW #24.) We also worked together on a webinar for Ave Maria Press when my book was published. She has been such an inspiration to me.
I have just learned that Terry Polakovic is stepping down from her position at Endow. She will be missed. But I’m so happy that our paths crossed along the way.
Thank you, Terry, for your wonderful and prayerful support of my book and my work. Your graciousness and friendship have been a true blessing, even from across the country, and amidst a busy calendar. I’m grateful for the few projects we’ve shared, and I wish you all the best in the years ahead.
In other news, Terry Polakovic is slated to speak at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. I hope to see her there!
Here’s the letter that Terry wrote to Endow’s followers about her news of her retirement and introduces the new President, from the Endow newsletter.
There is a beautiful passage from the Book of Ecclesiastes, which tells us: “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” I am one of the founders of Endow and for nearly 14 years, I have had the privilege of leading this organization. I will be forever grateful to God for giving me this opportunity as I have loved every minute of it. However, during this past year, I have come to realize that my season is over. Consequently, I will retire from Endow on September 30, 2015.
When we began this apostolate, I was terrified. I felt certain that it was a call from God, but I was completely unprepared for the task ahead. I had grown up Catholic, but I was not accustomed to speaking openly about my faith. Added to that is the fact that I honestly didn’t know very much about my faith. But there was a pull in my heart to say “yes” and once I did, God literally did the rest.
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M., Cap., who was the Archbishop of Denver at that time gave us his support, as well as an office in the Chancery. Sister Prudence Allen, RSM, Ph.D., who is a world expert in Catholic feminism providentially moved to Denver to help start our new seminary at exactly the same time that we were starting Endow. For five years, she taught us about the writings of Pope St. John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, and other Catholic thinkers and saints. Additionally, then-Bishop José H. Gomez, S.T.D. (now the Archbishop of Los Angeles) joined our board of directors and it was his guidance that helped launched the organization. All of these years later, Archbishop Gomez still serves as our spiritual director.
Most importantly, through all of these years God has sent women to Endow and He is still sending them. Thousands of them. All of these women are open and eager to learn, as they search for something different than what the current culture has to offer. Inherently, as women we know that we are made for more than what the secular world proposes. Thankfully, Endow provides a place to look for answers to these important questions.
When I think of what I will miss the most as I leave Endow, it is definitely the men and women I have met along the way. People have asked me if there is one story that stands out more than the rest, and truly there isn’t. Every single person I have met has a unique story, and each one is on his or her own journey, a different journey ordained by God. As far as God is concerned, each one of us is an only child.
I will carry your stories in my heart and I thank you for enriching my life in ways that were unimaginable to me when we began this apostolate. A special thanks to Archbishop Chaput for believing in me, to Sister Prudence Allen for teaching me, and to Archbishop Gomez for walking with me every step of the way.
In closing, I am thrilled to tell you that the Acting President is Martha Reichert. Martha has been involved with Endow for many years, and she started our Outreach Program, which serves women in homeless shelters, jails, and other vulnerable situations. Two years ago, we honored Martha at our annual gala, and if you click here, you can see the short video that we used to introduce her. As you will see from her letter below she is a women of trumendous faith.
I could not be happier to have Martha follow me in this apostolate that I love so much!
Your Sister in Christ,