Testimonials from Past Leadership Program Participants

I came away from the program forever connected to the “13 sisters” I journeyed with over the course of the year.  The leading-learners were gifted individuals who journeyed with us but also challenged our opinions, stretched us to view issues from different lenses, and invited us to be a part of the community. The ‘experts’ they connected us to challenge our belief systems and encouraged us to apply new learnings in our home communities. The best part however was being witness to others’ stories and feeling gratitude for the sharing and trust amongst the learners and the leaders.

Sue Ross (Harding) - Participant 2018-19

The CWLP [Catholic Women’s Leadership Foundation Program) had nurtured the Catholic Leader in me. It ignited my passion and fully equipped me to pursue my calling. I am blessed to be a part of such a mission.

Forever grateful …

Liz Menses - Participant 2019-20

It was a true blessing to study leadership from a Catholic perspective and to meet women from across Canada from many different business settings who want to lead with Christian values. The leading learners encouraged us to open our hearts and minds to listen in a manner that opens new possibilities for how we lead in our world. 

 “To be on a spiritual journey we have to be engaged with the world.” Dr. Heather Eaton. When we contemplate that we are a member of the earth, which is only a small part of the Milky Way and the universe, all of which God created, it changes our image of the Divine to be both larger and more intimate. 

The week that we all came together in Ottawa made a profound influence on my life. I have never been in a room full of women, who connected so quickly and so intimately. I felt welcomed by women from all walks of life and all over Canada, all there to be transformed by this experience. 

Belinda Halbach - Participant 2018-19

The Catholic Women’s Leadership Foundation gifted me the ability to understand transformational leadership while engaging with other people in dialogue and critical thinking.  I thoroughly enjoyed our small group sessions that met online monthly to listen and discuss issues while learning how to decern. This experience has been invaluable and has taught me what spiritual leadership is all about. 

Michelle Khatib - Participant 2019-20

The Catholic Women’s Leadership Foundation program was so much more than I had ever hoped for.  I learned how to reach deep into my soul and base my leadership from a perspective of faith and integrity.  I have learned to be more understanding and open to the resistance people experience with change and reflect on how to help them evolve.  Until the program, I never realized how my leadership style was based on the corporate culture I worked in.  

One other huge benefit from the program is the bond you share with the women in the program.  We may live all across the country, but we have a deep friendship that celebrates the highs and help through the lows.  This program was one of the best experiences of my life.

Lisa Fillingham - Participant 2019-20

I wanted to grow as a professional but wasn’t wanting to pursue another degree or designation.  I work in the field of Education, with my Master’s degree in Theology.  So I feel most alive when faith blends with practice. I was excited to hear about a program where I could grow both professionally and spiritually while meeting other like-minded women across the country.

Our week-long sessions were part retreat, part conference, part university lecture, part liturgy – all in the best sense of these terms.

One of the best parts of the program for me has been meeting and getting to know such wonderful women across the country.  I have received encouragement from them in my role as a women leader but also in my role as a mother.  We share books that we’re reading or ways of praying and living out the sacraments that are helpful to us.  So the training, while very beneficial to our work, is also beneficial to our life.

Rachel Ng - Participant 2019-20

Call for Candidates for the 2021 Catholic Women’s Leadership Program

We are pleased to announce that we are accepting applications for the 2021 cohort of our Leadership Program, scheduled to begin in April 2021 facilitated by the Providence School of Transformative Leadership and Spirituality, Saint Paul University, Ottawa.

The program is open to all Canadian Catholic women, from all walks of life who have a genuine interest in making a difference in their communities and places of work.

A candidate must be a Catholic woman, at least 21 years of age, demonstrate oral and written English language competencies, have a genuine desire to cultivate her gifts of leadership, and have made a previous contribution to her community in some capacity.

The Program is a 13-month Certificate program with an ongoing mentorship once the course work is completed. Throughout the Program, participants will be guided by professional facilitators from Saint Paul University. The Program is specifically designed to integrate faith and life, personal and professional leadership development. Spirituality and a Catholic faith perspective are the foundation of all activities; prayer and reflective practice are core elements integrated throughout the program.

The Program will have an introductory get-to-know-you online module in April 2021; a five-day intensive component is planned for May 30, 2021 to June 3, 2021. This is scheduled to be through ZOOM, and you will be expected to participate in every session.  All other modules are online and consist of videos, readings, personal reflections, and discussion forums. 

The final face-to-face residency component is scheduled for May 1 to 5 2022 in Ottawa.  To assist with your planning, an announcement will be made by January 8, 2022 about whether this will be online or in person.

Details of the content of the different components and timelines can be found on the website at www.cwlfcanada.ca/our-leadership-program.

If you are or know of a Catholic woman who wishes to be a transformational and influential leader, we invite you to complete the application process by November 20th, 2020 which can be found at www.cwlfcanada.ca/our-leadership-program.


CWLF Welcomes 2020 Program Group

The Catholic Women’s Leadership Foundation Board is honoured to announce the 2020 cohort.  Fourteen outstanding, talented women from across Canada will form for the class for the third Certificate program in Catholic Women’s Leadership developed in partnership with Saint Paul University’s Providence School of Transformative Leadership and Spirituality.

Thank you to all the inspiring women who applied for the program.  The Foundation was humbled to have a pool of women diverse in age, experience, and education from all parts of Canada who demonstrated strong Catholic values and lives of faith in service.

CWLF Newsletter Volume #1, Issue #1


Welcome to the inaugural edition of the Catholic Women’s Leadership Foundation Bulletin! We are proud to present this new communication format that is bound to ignite further push for women’s leadership. We bring to you the latest news from CWLF, reflect on important milestones, and welcome any opportunity for your future input and feedback as well. In 2019, strides were made to augment and fortify the Catholic women’s genius. Together, we celebrate these successes and welcome more to follow. We believe in a just, merciful, and compassionate world nurtured by the genius of women. Read on to learn more about the foundation, our leadership program, and all that inspires Catholic women to be transformational and influential leaders.

In This Issue

Page 2: Welcome to our new Chair!
Page 3: Call for Candidates: 2020 Leadership Program now accepting applications!
Page 4-7: Inspirational Stories from 2018 and 2019 Leadership Program

Check out CWLF Member at Large, Arienne Castellon’s Blog

Adrienne Castellon holds a Doctorate of Educational Leadership from Simon Fraser University. Over the past twenty-five years she has been a secondary teacher, elementary principal, education consultant and university instructor. Dr. Castellon teaches at Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia where she is the Stream Director for the Master of Educational Leadership. She is involved in the K-12 system through various projects and professional development consulting.

The intention behind this blog is threefold:

  • to help me be a more reflective practitioner,
  • keep in contact with students and colleagues and
  • contribute to a wider Community of Practice in Educational Leadership.