In 2012, the Sisters of Service and the Catholic Women’s League of Canada had a dream. It was to transform the leadership landscape education of Canadian Catholic women. In 2014, enabled by the leadership of Claire Heron, Velma Harasen and Kim Scammell, Catholic Women League members, the Catholic Women’s Leadership Foundation (“Foundation”) came to fruition and the dream and vision, of the Sisters of Service and the Catholic Women’s League became a reality.
In further response to this vision, in 2015, the newly expanded Foundation Board was charged with the responsibility of developing a high quality leadership program for women, consistent with Catholic values. Since then, and in partnership with the Providence School of Transformative Leadership at Saint Paul University, Ottawa, a Leadership Program for Catholic women has been developed. This year long Leadership Program for Canadian Catholic women will begin in May 2018 and with your support will continue for many years into the future.
Essential ingredients of the Program are the integration of personal, professional and faith development, supporting participants in the Program to be transformational and influential leaders where they live, work and volunteer. A Catholic faith perspective informs the entire Program.
The Program is offered online and face to face, guided by highly respected facilitators and Saint Paul University faculty. It includes the following:
- Online introductory module, May 2018
- A five-day in-residence session at Saint Paul University , June 2018
- Seven online study modules (10-15 hours per month) consisting of videos, readings, personal reflections and discussion forums, August to April, 2018-19.
- A four-day in-residence session at Saint Paul University , May 2019.
- An ongoing mentorship program during and after the Program is completed.
The Program, including the educational elements and all travel and living expenses, costs the Foundation $120,000 for each group of participants. Program participants demonstrate their commitment to the program with a $1,000 contribution to the Foundation and their commitment of time.
At the successful completion of the Program the candidates will receive a Certificate from Saint Paul University and the Catholic Women’s Leadership Foundation.
We are excited to announce that 14 enthusiastic women have been selected for the Leadership Program for 2018 – 19. They are from all regions of Canada (three from the Atlantic; five from Central; four from the West; and 2 from the Territories) and include First Nations and visible minorities. This group of women have different careers, a range of ages and they all have one thing in common and that is their desire to build “a just, merciful, and compassionate world nurtured by the genius of women”.
Support and the Future
The dream has become a reality because of the support of many. The initial gifts from the Sisters of Service and the Catholic Women’s League of Canada set the stage for the dream to form and development of the Program to begin. With a substantial financial donation from the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy and the Sisters of Presentation of Newfoundland, the dream grew and details for the Program were further developed. The generous gifts from many other donors across Canada: our religious congregations; our parishes; our dioceses; charitable foundations; and many Catholic Women’s League members helped to make the dream a reality and the Program ready to implement.
We are very grateful to those who have contributed so far and continue to support us in so many ways. The Board Members would appreciate your continued financial support so we can continue the Program well into the future.
The participants in the Program would be grateful for your prayers as they blaze our future Catholic presence in Canadian society.
Rita has been a member of the Catholic Women’s Leadership Foundation since January 2015 and was appointed Chair on January 1, 2017.