The New Feminism and Women of Faith: All Movements Start Small

The New Feminism and Women of Faith: All Movements Start Small

by: Mallory Smyth

I had decided out of total obedience to the Lord that I would no longer fight the faith in which I had been brought up. For three years, I had been attending my local non-denominational church. If I was going to mass at all, it was only out of familial guilt. I had fallen in love with everything protestant. The music was great, the preaching was meaningful, but most of all, I was involved in the women’s small groups and these groups were changing my life. I was as shocked as anyone else when the Lord asked me to recommit to the Catholic church, but I did. I left the ministries that I loved, came back to the mass and started looking for ways to get involved.

There wasn’t however, very much offered to a 24 year old like me who wanted to be involved in my local parish. There was only the youth group, so I started volunteering there, but I wanted more.

My life had been completely transformed sitting in those non-denominational circles with other women as we studied the book of Esther, and then Daniel, and then the nature of God. It was in those groups that I could get my questions answered. I learned from the other women how to actually apply the teachings of Jesus Christ to my life as a young adult. I sat with women who were in their 70’s and absorbed their wisdom as they destroyed many of my generational stereotypes. Every time I finished a small group study, I couldn’t believe how much I could know about my faith and how much there was for me to learn.

I was leaving mass one day missing the community I had left and, “I wish there was a Catholic women’s small group” flashed through my head. Immediately I heard, “Then start one.” My excuses started flowing. I’m not from here. I don’t know anyone. I don’t have time. How would I even do that? It didn’t matter, I knew they were excuses and I knew God was asking for a yes, not a million reasons why He was wrong to ask me.

Within a month, I scouted out four other women my age whom I didn’t know. I creepily asked one girl for her phone number after mass and mentioned starting a small group. To my surprise, she told me she had been looking for something more and would love to join. Another girl, I met on a plane and then happened to sit next to her in mass. I invited her, she said yes and brought a friend.

The small group was not a raging success. My invitations were awkward and we only met about five times. Since then, however, I have led about ten catholic women’s small groups. Each time I am more convinced that the Lord just needed my yes so that He could do His job. He didn’t need my expertise. He is the expert. He didn’t need my brilliance. I am not brilliant. He needed my obedience, my willingness to be on mission.

If you have ever thought to yourself that you wish there was a small group in your area or that there was something more for Catholic women at your parish, the Lord may very well be asking you to be the person to start. There are a millions reasons to say no but how would the Lord use you if you said yes? What if you made the time, opened your heart, stepped out of your comfort zone and just do it? How would He change you? How would He change others?

We have received the most amazing inheritance in Catholicism. St. Paul tells us that the riches of our faith are literally unsearchable but too many of us never take the time to begin the search. It is no secret that most Catholic’s know barely a faction of what we should know if Jesus is real and the Church is true. This is in our control to change.

We all know the words of Jesus when He said, “The harvest is plenty but the laborers are few”. The world we live in is thirsting for the Truth. The more that we as Catholics seek that truth in a transformative way, the better we equipped we are to fully participate in the worship of the living God and the better we can be to engage our brothers and sisters who are starving for meaning.

Are you curious to see where the Lord could take your yes to leading a small group? Now is a great time to start and we at ENDOW want to make it as simple as possible! Email us at mallory.smyth@endowgroups.org and join us as we give the Lord our humble yes in the New Evangelization.

 

Events

The Dignity of Woman – An Endow Retreat

Join us for an Endow women’s retreat – an insightful, prayerful, and inspirational spiritual retreat hosted by the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles.

Our featured speakers are Heather King, Emily Stimpson, and Sister Gloria Maria OCD, with Mass celebrated by Archbishop José Gomez.

Cost is $75 and includes meals.

endowgroups.org
carmelitesistersocd.com

A Night with Endow

We are now offering a Night with Endow in California! If you don’t have time to join a small group, want to get a taste of what Endow has to offer before committing, or just need a night to be refueled on your faith – this is for you.

You gather the group, we host a dynamic, thoughtful speaker at your parish. We ask you to just come, sit and be with us as we take care of the rest providing a thoughtful reflection and understanding of where our faith and culture intersect to fuel your light as busy women in this world. See steps below for learning more and setting a date!

Steps for Inquiry

Contact Katherine at:

katherine.meeks@endowgroups.org

  1. Tell us your parish & what date you are thinking
  2. Which topic? (Catholic Feminism or The Christian Meaning of Suffering)
  3. Endow will coordinate with our speakers and match the date and topic with you
  4. Invite women & advertise
  5. Step back and let us take care of the rest!
Sair Del Toro Radio Show

Monday – Friday 10:00 am PST – Guadalupe Radio

Footprints

Women in the pew are experiencing unexpected pregnancies – Care Net‘s survey says 4 in 10 women who have had an abortion were churchgoers when they ended a pregnancy. Unfortunately, most women don’t turn to the Church for help because 65% say church members judge single women who are pregnant.

These women are among us, they are our daughters and our sisters. They need support and love as they accept the unexpected gift from God and the difficult journey that can come from choosing life.

Learn More

Outreach

Endow’s mission is to help all women, especially those most marginalized, recognize the origin of their own dignity and embrace the freedom found in that knowledge.

Endow’s mission includes the important work of outreach to those in need. And in a particular way, we desire to serve the needs of those women in homeless shelters, pregnancy centers, women’s clinics, and jails.

Learn More