Gala to honor dignity of women

The ninth annual Endow gala to celebrate and support the Catholic study program, Educating on the Nature and Dignity of Women, is set for Feb. 8 at the Hyatt Regency Convention Center in downtown Denver.

The evening will begin at 4 p.m. with Mass—celebrated by Los Angeles Archbishop José H. Gomez, a founding board member of Endow while serving as auxiliary bishop of Denver—followed by cocktails, silent and live auctions, dinner and a keynote address by nationally known journalist and media regular Kathryn Jean Lopez. (For more on Lopez, see related Q-and-A here.)

At the gala, Endow will also honor long-time Endow facilitator, Martha Reichert with the annual Julia Greeley Award “for her care and commitment for the women of the Samaritan House,” according to Kate Sweeney, director of programs.

Reichert, an Endow facilitator for seven years and board member for five, began leading studies at the homeless shelter of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Denver in 2011. There, she shares Blessed John Paul II’s 1995 “Letter to Women”—a document where the soon-to-be canonized pope describes the special place women hold in the family, the Church and the world.

“I love learning about my faith and reading documents from the Church with other women,” Reichert said. “It’s been an intellectual journey for me with the added benefit of forming life-long friendships!”

While it’s uncomfortable to be recognized for her work, Reichert said, she is thrilled.

“I’m thrilled that, because of the Julia Greeley Award, people will be able to see the challenges and the fruits of working with homeless and marginalized women,” she said. “If I didn’t have the powerful words of Pope John Paul II, I never would’ve had the resources I need for these women.”

The award is named after Greeley, a former slave and Catholic convert, renowned in Denver for her piety and care for the poor.

“Endow is a gift to all women in the Church,” Reichert continued. “For that, I am truly grateful.”

Tickets for the gala are $200 each and can be purchased at www.endowgroups.org. The Hyatt Regency Convention Center is located at 650 15th St. in Denver. For more information, call 720-382-5242.

Endow Gala 2014
What: Mass, dinner, talk, award ceremony, and auctions
When: Feb. 8, 4 p.m. Mass, 6:30 p.m. dinner
Where: Hyatt Regency Convention Center, 650 15th St., Denver
Tickets: $200
Register: www.endowgroups.org
Information: Call 720-382-5242

COMING UP: Q&A: USCCB clarifies intent behind bishops’ Eucharist document

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Last week, the U.S. bishop concluded their annual Spring meeting, during which much about the Church in the U.S was discussed. In particular, the bishops voted to draft a document on the meaning of Eucharistic life in the Church, which was approved by an overwhelming majority.

Since then, speculation about the nature of the document has run rampant, the chief of which is that it was drafted specifically to instigate a policy aimed directly at Catholic politicians and public figures whose outward political expressions and policy enactment do not align with Church teaching.

The USCCB has issued a brief Q&A clarifying the intent of the document, and they have emphasized that “the question of whether or not to deny any individual or groups Holy Communion was not on the ballot.”

“The Eucharist is the source and summit of Christian life,” the USCCB said. “The importance of nurturing an ever
deeper understanding of the beauty and mystery of the Eucharist in our lives is not a new topic for the bishops. The document being drafted is not meant to be disciplinary in nature, nor is it targeted at any one individual or class of persons. It will include a section on the Church’s teaching on the responsibility of every Catholic, including bishops, to live in accordance with the truth, goodness and beauty of the Eucharist we celebrate.”

Below are a few commonly asked questions about last week’s meeting and the document on the Eucharist.

Why are the bishops doing this now?

For some time now, a major concern of the bishops has been the declining belief and understanding of the Eucharist among the Catholic faithful. This was a deep enough concern that the theme of the bishops’ strategic plan for 2021-2024 is Created Anew by the Body and Blood of Christ: Source of Our Healing and Hope. This important document on the Eucharist will serve as a foundation for the multi-year Eucharistic Revival Project, a major national effort to reignite Eucharistic faith in our country. It was clear from the intensity and passion expressed in the individual interventions made by the bishops during last week’s meeting that each bishop deeply loves the Eucharist.

Did the bishops vote to ban politicians from receiving Holy Communion?

No, this was not up for vote or debate. The bishops made no decision about barring anyone from receiving Holy Communion. Each Catholic — regardless of whether they hold public office or not — is called to continual conversion, and the U.S. bishops have repeatedly emphasized the obligation of all Catholics to support human life and dignity and other fundamental principles of Catholic moral and social teaching.

Are the bishops going to issue a national policy on withholding Communion from politicians?

No. There will be no national policy on withholding Communion from politicians. The intent is to present a clear understanding of the Church’s teachings to bring heightened awareness among the faithful of how the Eucharist can transform our lives and bring us closer to our creator and the life he wants for us.

Did the Vatican tell the bishops not to move forward on drafting the document?

No. The Holy See did encourage the bishops to engage in dialogue and broad consultation. Last week’s meeting was the first part of that process. It is important to note that collaboration and consultation among the bishops will be key in the drafting of this document.


Featured photo by Eric Mok on Unsplash