2018-19 Report of the Board Chair to the 5th Annual Meeting of Members of The Catholic Women’s Leadership Foundation

I am pleased to present this report for the period June 18, 2018, to June 26, 2019, to the Annual meeting of members of the Catholic Women’s Leadership Foundation (Foundation).

Board members as of June 26, 2018 are: Rita Janes, Chair (appointed director January 2015); Neysa Finnie, Vice-Chair (appointed director January 2015); Becky Kallal, Secretary (appointed director January 2015); Irene Lefort, CWL Appointee (appointed director November, 2016), Irene Dayler (appointed director January 2017); Adrienne Castellon (appointed director January 2017); Diana Wielgus (appointed director January, 2018); Theresa Schopf (appointed director January, 2018).

The work of the Foundation Board is directed by the mission of the Foundation, “to fund leadership education that inspires Catholic women to be transformational and influential leaders where they live, work and volunteer” and our vision of a “  just, merciful, and compassionate world nurtured by the genius of women”. 

The Foundation was incorporated in 2014 under the Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act and as a private foundation under the Canadian Income Tax.  By-Laws for the Foundation was approved by the Board and registered with Industry Canada in 2016.

Gift agreements were made between the Foundation and the Daly Foundation (Sisters of Service)  for $500 000 in 2015  and between the Catholic Women’s League of Canada for  $500 000 in 2016 and  $350 000 was restricted from each fund.

Structure and Administration of the Foundation Board

The Board operates within its Articles of Incorporation (2013) and approved By-Laws( 2016). Meetings are held monthly by conference call and/or as deemed necessary.  One two-day face –to–face meeting is held during the year.  This year this meeting was held in Toronto, February 2019.  At this meeting Board Committee Chairs were approved:

Governance – Rita Janes; Finance – Diana Wielgus;   Program –  Rita Janes; Fund Development – Neysa Finnie; Communications – Theresa Schopf; Selection – Linda Dayler; Nominations – Adrienne Castellon.  Becky Kallal serves as secretary for the Foundation.  All Committees are encouraged to form committees to include people not presently sitting on the Board.

In 2018, the Board signed a three-year contract with ManageWise, a company who will handle a portion of the part-time administrative duties of the Foundation, assist with fundraising and donor recognition, the website and social media. We agreed to continue with this contract for another year.  During 2019-20, Diana Wielgus will review the contract along with other Board members who access their services regularly so that changes can be made as necessary.

We are especially grateful to Betty Anne Brown Davidson, past CWL National Chair, for volunteering her services to receive and receipt all donations, along with sending thank you letters to all donors. Betty Anne deposits all monies received, pays all expense claims, and communicates with the Treasurer on a regular basis.  A special thank you to Betty Anne.

Fund Development

In June 2018, the Foundation completed its fundraising contract with the consulting firm of BNP Philanthropic. Consideration was given to a proposal from BNP to be a consultant for a Planned Giving Program but the Board decided it would not contract these services with BNP. Planned giving would become the responsibility of the Foundation Fund Development Committee, chaired by Neysa Finnie, as would other fund development initiatives of the Foundation, such as fundraising and donor recognition. A more comprehensive plan for fund development will happen when the Board schedules a Strategic Planning session in the 2019-20 year.

We remain very grateful to our many donors from across Canada, especially religious congregations and dioceses. In particular, we appreciate the generous donation of $500 000 from the Sisters of Mercy and the Presentation Sisters of Newfoundland.  Special appeals were made to the Catholic Women’s League members and councils in the 2017, 2018 and 2019 spring editions of the Canadian League Magazine. Besides financial donations, many dedicated Catholic Women League members and Councils at all levels promote the Foundation at parish, diocesan and provincial meetings and distribute Foundation brochures.

Nominations and Appointment of Board Members

There will be a separate report by Adrienne Castellon, Chair Nominations subcommittee. New members to the Board will be approved at the Annual General Meeting, including the member appointed by the Catholic Women’s League.

Leadership Program
A main objective of the Foundation, based on our mission and vision, was to develop and fund a Leadership Program and find an educational institution that could deliver the same. We are very proud that after four years of dedication to this task a one-year Leadership Program, delivered both online and face-to-face and so ably facilitated by the School of Transformative Leadership and Spirituality at Saint Paul University with Sister Miriam Martin, psvm, as Director, was launched with Foundation funding in May 2018.

A four year funding agreement was signed with Saint Paul University, December 2018, meaning the Foundation is currently in the second year of a four year agreement.

Rita Janes was responsible for monitoring the Program in the initial year of delivery and accompanied the candidates through all aspects of the Program from April 2018 to May 2019.  Rita met with the Director of the Program at Saint Paul and other facilitators several times by telephone and in-person to discuss the progress of the Program and make changes as needed.

A more detailed Program report will be presented to the Board.

Linda Dayler has been appointed as monitor for the 2nd Cohort and will accompany the candidates in the Program throughout 2019-20.

Communications

A website for the Foundation was approved in 2016 (cwlfcanada.com). There is also a Facebook page which has been very active over the past year. A social media policy was developed over the past year and waiting final approval.

The National Catholic Women’s League had graciously offered the Foundation a space to post information in each issue of the Canadian League Magazine (2016 -18), but this was discontinued in fall 2018 edition of the League Magazine.

The Foundation hosted an exhibit table at the 2018 CWL National Convention in Winnipeg and was pleased to be invited to give a presentation about the Leadership Program to Convention participants. Two of the participants in the 2018-19 Program were included in the presentation and spoke of their experiences in the Program. This was very well received by the Convention delegates. This year we were not successful in getting an exhibit table at the 2019 Calgary Convention or a place to speak about the Foundation on the Convention agenda.

Because of the decrease in the number of applicants for the 2019-20 Leadership Program, time was spent at the February, 2019 face-to-face meeting discussing possible causes of this. A discussion took place on ‘who is a Catholic woman’.  This discussion led us to consider other possible places to advertise the call for applicants for the Program. Also, an article has been prepared for the Catholic Missions in Canada Magazine and an advertisement will be placed in the Living with Christ September Booklet. 

Appreciation

As Chair of the Board, I thank and express my appreciation to:

  • The Directors of the Board for their support and generosity of time and talent to the work of the Foundation and also to those who chair and serve on Committees. Their work and dedication to the Foundation are very much appreciated.
  • Betty Anne Brown Davidson who volunteers her time and expertise as bookkeeper for the Foundation. Her many prayers for the Leadership Program and for the participants are very much appreciated.
  • The Catholic Women’s League members from every Canadian province, who have so generously worked to secure the financial resources in support of Catholic Canadian women’s leadership education and the CWL Councils at all levels who continue to support the Foundation in so many ways.
Rita Janes

Rita Janes

Chair

Rita has been a member of the Catholic Women’s Leadership Foundation since January 2015 and was appointed Chair on January 1, 2017.

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The Leadership Program

Mission To fund leadership education that inspires Catholic women to be transformational and influential leaders where they live, work, and volunteer. Objective 1 To develop women’s leadership capacity-building programs that are of the highest quality and that are consistent with Catholic values by establishing and maintaining partnerships with key educational institutions. Program Partner: Providence School of Transformative Leadership and Spirituality, Saint Paul University, Ottawa. Program Format A one-year certificate program consisting of:
  • a face-to-face residency program at Saint Paul University. The initial face-to-face module is for five days and the closing module for four days. These are all-day sessions continuing into the evening.
  • five online study modules (20 hours per module)  consisting of videos, readings, personal reflections, discussion forums, and real-time reflection and coaching sessions.
Program Features
  • Spirituality and a Catholic faith perspective are foundational in all activities.
  • Integration of faith and life, personal and professional leadership development.
  • Prayer and reflective practice are core elements integrated throughout the program – reflective practice refers to the time and process given for integrating new ideas and developing leadership skills; reflecting on one’s own personal and professional experiences in light of ideas and ideas that are presented and discussed.
Examples of Sessions Presented for Discussion and Reflection:
  • What Does It Mean to be a Catholic Leader Today? Inspirational Catholic Women Leaders
  • What Do We Mean By Transformative Leadership And Reflective Practice?
  • Spirituality: its Place in Transformative Leadership
  • Transformative Leaders and Well-Being
  • Catholic Social Teachings: Bioethics, Care of our Common Home; Moral issues for Leaders
  • Bringing our Faith and Life Together: Our Ecological Responsibility.
Rita Janes

Rita Janes

Chair

Rita has been a member of the Catholic Women’s Leadership Foundation since January 2015 and was appointed Chair on January 1, 2017.

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CWLF at the 2018 CWL Convention in Winnipeg

Very heartening to have so much support for the Catholic Women’s Leadership Foundation at the CWL Convention in Winnipeg. So many interested in applying for the Leadership Program 2019-2020. Applications will be available in September!

Rita Janes

Rita Janes

Chair

Rita has been a member of the Catholic Women’s Leadership Foundation since January 2015 and was appointed Chair on January 1, 2017.

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CWLF Closing Ceremony and New Beginnings with Saint Paul University

Rita Janes, Chair, Catholic Women’s Leadership Foundation (CWLF), presents Dr. Chantal Beauvais, rector of Saint Paul University with a gift of $75 000 to allow the Providence school of Transformative Leadership and Spirituality, Saint Paul University to establish the Catholic Women’s Leadership Program, a first in Canada. This national university-level certificate program integrates personal, professional, and faith development into a holistic program for women.

Dr. Chantal Beauvais, thanks the foundation for the generous gift stating, “Thank you Rita and all the board members who approved this gift, and thank you to everyone who made this week a special gathering. (We) are proud to be partnering with the CWLF to support and promote women in leadership roles”.

Fourteen participants, along with board members and leading learners, gathered in the beautiful chapel at Saint Paul University for a Eucharistic Celebration, giving thanks for an amazing week of learning in a very caring and vibrant community of women leaders from across Canada. The evening ended with a banquet and square dancing to fiddle music.

Rita Janes

Rita Janes

Chair

Rita has been a member of the Catholic Women’s Leadership Foundation since January 2015 and was appointed Chair on January 1, 2017.

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Our Dream Has Become a Reality

The Dream

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.

The Reality

The Program

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.

The Candidates

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”.

 

You can meet these 14 women here.

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 Janes

Rita Janes

Chair

Rita has been a member of the Catholic Women’s Leadership Foundation since January 2015 and was appointed Chair on January 1, 2017.

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