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
We are pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for the 2020 cohort of the Catholic Women’s Leadership Foundation (CWLF) Leadership Program, to commence in May 2020 at the Providence School of Transformative Leadership and Spirituality, Saint Paul University, in 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 thirteen-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; an initial, five-day, face-to-face residency component in Ottawa; a 10-month online component, consisting of videos, readings, personal reflections, and discussion forums; and a final, four-day, face-to-face residency component in Ottawa. Details of the content of the different components can be found at 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, which can be found at cwlfcanada.ca/our-leadership-program.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 has been a member of the Catholic Women’s Leadership Foundation since January 2015 and was appointed Chair on January 1, 2017.
The graduation of the inaugural leadership program took place on Wednesday, May 4, 2019, complete with the celebration of Mass and presentation of certificates.
Congratulations to the participants, leading learners, coaches, guest speakers upon completion of this successful and transformative program.
“I WILL GIVE YOU THANKS IN THE GREAT ASSEMBLY, AMONG THE THRONGS I WILL PRAISE YOU” Psalm 34:18
As we just completed our first year-long Leadership Program I express gratitude:
To the Sisters of Service and the Catholic Women’s League of Canada for having the foresight and wisdom to set the seeds and provide initial funding for a leadership program for Catholic women;
To the Steering Committee (Claire Heron, Velma Harasen, Kim Scammell) who did not give up, although met by many obstacles, to having the Foundation incorporated and receive charitable status and continue to support us;
To members of the First Board (January 2015) and those who have joined the Board along the way, providing a Vision and Mission, for ensuring we had the finances to offer a Leadership Program, approving format and guiding principles for such a Program, and accept every task that comes their way;
To the Campaign Committee, chaired by Claire Heron, and the many CWL women in each province of Canada, who gave so generously of their time, talent and perseverance to solicit the financial support we so needed for the Program and who continue to support us by making their members and friends aware of the Foundation;
To all donors, for believing in us, and for your generosity;
To Betty Anne Brown Davidson who so generously volunteered her time to be ‘bookkeeper’, provide receipts and ensure every donor was thanked for their generosity;
To all the applicants who applied for the first program. If not selected the first time, I hope you will reapply;
To the 1st Cohort who so willingly began the journey with 14 other Catholic women in a Program that integrated faith and life. It was so obvious in our final days and reflections together experienced “ a change of mind, a change of heart, a change of consciousness’;
To Chantal Beauvais, Rector, Saint Paul University(SPU), who connected with me December 2017 and suggested SPU and the Providence School of Transformative Leadership and Spirituality could provide the Leadership Program we had in mind. It did. My lucky day! The Foundation’s lucky day!
To Miriam Martin, psvm, who became my contact at the Providence School of Transformative Leadership and Spirituality, who so easily understood what we wanted to do, and translated it into a program that integrated faith and life, personal and professional leadership development.
To Miriam Martin, Director, Lorraine Ste. Marie, Carol Kuzmochka, and all the leading learners, guest speakers, and online facilitators for allowing us to be part of such an exceptional program whose underlying philosophy is that leaders are whole persons and an effective leadership program must take into account the whole leader.
To Gabrielle Dupuis, administrative assistant for the Program at Saint Paul, who looked after us so well, arranging for good accommodations, nutritious meals and, of course, our technological needs.
God’s blessings on you all.
Vice-Chair and Treasurer
Neysa is the Vice Chair of the Catholic Women’s Leadership Foundation and has served in that capacity since January 2015. On January 1, 2017 she was appointed Treasurer.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 has been a member of the Catholic Women’s Leadership Foundation since January 2015 and was appointed Chair on January 1, 2017.