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Our History

Over the past few decades, we have seen a growing need for Catholic women to fill leadership positions – roles where they are able to share their values, gifts, and talents in powerful and meaningful ways.

Women & The Church

Women have always had a significant role in the Catholic Church. Historically, women held roles as educators, philosophers, and doctors in the Church. Others have had a tremendous impact on the world through their service of the sick, poor, and hungry. Biblically, stories of women range from acts of charity, hospitality, to spreading the Good News with the Apostles themselves. Today, Catholic women are at the forefront of the Church – serving in administration, engaging in speaking events, involved in social justice – and spreading their faith in the workplace, their home, and the world. Women's voice and leadership in the church continues to be enhanced as a more collaborative vision for church leadership is gradually realized.

Image by Anna Hecker

Sisters of Service of Canada

The Sisters of Service of Canada, looking to their legacy, approached the Catholic Women’s League of Canada (CWL) with a gift and a challenge.  Inspired by the shared mission of a just, merciful, and compassionate world nurtured by women, the CWL and the Sisters of Service had a vision to transform the leadership landscape through the education and training of Canadian Catholic women to serve as transformational leaders .  Matching funding from both organizations led to the establishment of the Catholic Women’s Leadership Foundation an independent charitable foundation to further their vision and legacy.

Building a Strong Foundation

The founding board was established in January 2015 and began the organizational work necessary for a new public foundation.  The League had provided $100,000 seed money to assist in the incorporation, registration, and first board meetings of the foundation. The Sisters of Service contributed a generous $500,000. In August 2015, the CWL membership at the League’s National Convention in Vancouver voted to donate $400,000 to the Foundation – matching the Sisters’ gift.

Praying Together

What Our Future Holds

We are excited as we look to the future and most grateful for the courageous vision and generosity shown by the Sisters of Service and the Catholic Women’s League of Canada.

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