“Vocations, Homes, & Family Life Renewed”: An Interview with Laura Zambrana
“God is urging the Church to fulfill this task, the task of making the entire world Christian from within, showing that Christ has redeemed all mankind. Women will participate in this task in the ways that are proper to them, both in the home and in other occupations which they carry out, developing their special characteristics to the full” (St. Josemaria Escriva; Conversations, no. 112).
In this interview, the St. Josemaria Institute speaks with Laura Zambrana who currently serves as the Director of Content for Endow. She shares how small group studies and activities—and, ultimately, Christian friendship—are instrumental to inspiring and uniting women in their desire to serve God, the Church, and others in their families and wherever God calls them.
Q: Can you share with us a bit about your background, family, and faith?
Laura: I am a wife and mother and live in Altadena, CA. I have four children and have been married for 8 years this August. I was raised Catholic and am the oldest of four children. Throughout my life, my parents have been a great example of devotion to the Rosary. I have been blessed to be educated at Thomas Aquinas College and the University of Notre Dame. I am finding that the more I know my faith, the more I love and the deepening of this relationship with our Lord continues! I worked in Catholic Media for 5 years at Family Theater Productions and starting leading Endow groups in the heart of Hollywood. I have now worked at Endow for 5 years and am grateful to see God’s hand at work in our Endow women!
Q: How did you come to know about St. Josemaria Escriva? What has been his role in your life?
Laura: I first heard of St. Josemaria Escriva through a friend. She is a member of the Work and would share stories about his life, his humor and I found him very inspiring and approachable. He has now become a true intercessor and my friend – a saint I know is cheering me on from Heaven and interceding for my needs and the needs of my family. I especially have found the Novena for Work and the Novena for Marriage fruitful and important prayers to me.
Q: Tell us about Endow. What inspired and motivated you to join the organization?
Laura: I was blessed to be an Endow host for years before I joined the Endow organization. Because I saw firsthand the impact that an Endow group has on women’s lives, I was delighted to work for such an important and special apostolate for our times! I am deeply motivated by the encounter with truth and beauty within the context of friendship. I love talking about history, philosophy and theology – and doing this with friends is such a joy. I love that by my work at Endow, I am giving other women the opportunity to do the same! Our age is missing this leisure time – this time to rest together and study. And the Endow method addresses this exactly.
Q: How can small group studies help to bring women back to God and the church? Can you share any anecdotes with us?
Laura: We find that through Endow Groups, women develop their sense of their personal vocations anew. Because we read Church documents and the writings of the saints in our groups and they are read aloud in the group, there is an incarnational experience that happens – the words of Mother Church stir something in us to which we must respond. After reading the words of Pope Saint John Paul II and discussing their implications with friends, you return to the rest of your week different. Your knowledge and perspective have now changed!
We hear incredible stories at Endow about the ripple effect of an Endow woman – marriages saved, atheist husbands converting, women entering religious life, and friendships deepening.
Q: What are some of the spiritual fruits that can grow from participating in these activities? How might it help women in their vocations, homes, and family life?
Laura: Women will find themselves better friends and listeners because of their Endow experience. In an Endow Group you are learning to listen to the voice of the Church as a group and then think about these topics together. It is like a seminar where the teacher is the voice of the Church and then with our Endow study guide, you and your group members get to unpack these riches together. The method develops intellectual muscles all too often neglected post college and awakens a new wonder for the depths of our faith. Women return to their vocations, homes and family life renewed by the time for learning and friendship and will fresh perspective on the dignity of women and most notably their own dignity.
Q: What advice can you share with other women who would like to start something similar at their parish or among their group of friends?
Laura: The time is now! Endow has all of the resources you need to get an Endow Group started with your friends or at your parish. You will be amazed at the ripple effect once you say you’re interested in starting a group. Start asking some friends if they would be interested. You will find many other women in your community are thirsting for community and a place to hold deep and meaningful conversations too. It just takes one person to propose the idea and many others will follow.
Q: Laura, thank you so much for your time. Is there anything else that you’d like to share with us? Where can our readers, especially women, learn more and get involved?
Laura: Thank you! Please go to our website to learn more and start a group in your area. Endow has a great podcast too called “The Endow Podcast”. Look for it on your podcast app where you listen to St. Josemaria Institute’s podcast.
Featured photos of the Zambrana Family and Laura Zambrana used with permission.