Women in the Archdiocese have the opportunity to learn more about Pope John Paul II’s “Letter to Women,” a pastoral letter that affirmed the rights and dignity of women, and become facilitators of small study groups through Endow (Educating on the Nature and Dignity of Women).

“Letter to Women” is the introductory study for new Endow groups, and training sessions will be offered Friday, Jan. 17 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 18 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Philadelphia.

Eileen Love from Endow will lead the sessions, which are cosponsored by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Office for the New Evangelization and the Office for Catechetical Formation.

Kate Sweeney, director of programs for Endow, explained that the sessions are a follow-up to the Catholic Women’s Conference held last month in Philadelphia.

“We hope to continue the spirit of joy that started at the conference,” Sweeney said. “Many women commented that they really enjoyed the fellowship with other Catholic women. That was a huge reason they came to the conference, and that was a huge thing they took away from it – the sense of community with other Catholic women.”

She noted that the small study groups provide women with the opportunity to get to know one another and share their Catholic faith throughout the year.

“I think there’s a hunger for that in Philadelphia, and the study groups are a beautiful way to respond to that desire for deeper growth and learning,” Sweeney said.

The trainings are “for any woman who feels called to be a facilitator and bring a small group to their parish or their community,” Sweeney said. “You don’t have to be an expert or have a theology degree” to become an Endow facilitator.

After the initial “Letter to Women” training, Sweeney said women can lead any of the Endow courses, including programs geared to teens and girls. An audio training for leading the youth programs is available on the Endow web site.

The session costs $69 and includes the training, “Letter to Women” materials and lunch. To register for either training session, visit the Endow website or call 720-382-5242.

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Elena Perri is a freelance writer in Havertown.