Updated: May 5
The Catholic Women’s Leadership Foundation Board is honoured to announce the 2021 cohort. Thirteen 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.
Dr. Adrienne Castellon has worked as a secondary school teacher, elementary principal, education consultant and Director in North and South America. Adrienne works at Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia where she is the Associate Dean for the Masters of Leadership and Masters of Educational Leadership. She enjoys teaching graduate courses in leadership and education.
Dr. Castellon stays current in the K-12 system through government and private consulting and school-related projects.
Research interests include Indigenous curriculum and relationships, women in leadership, effective practices in K-12 education, the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, special education, applied servant leadership. She is the author of a book, several chapters in edited volumes and numerous articles. Adrienne has presented at conferences in Canada, the USA, England and India.
In her local community Adrienne has served in the Langley Childhood Development Society and currently on the boards of Citizens for Public Justice and Catholic Women’s Leadership Foundation. She is active in her church and enjoys living in Fort Langley, British Columbia.
Adrienne was elected a director of the Catholic Women’s Leadership Foundation effective January 1, 2017 and was appointed co-chair in January 2021.
Ann Brooymans Donald has lived and taught art in Saskatoon for over 20 years. She moved to Saskatoon with her husband and 2 children after teaching outside of Toronto with the York Region Catholic School Board for 15 years. She enjoys captivating art images from her environment. Her connections with the Creator and nature inspires her work and her teaching. Her current work celebrates the prairies. Ann has been in numerous exhibitions throughout Canada and Holland. She has been teaching art in galleries, museums, high schools, elementary schools and universities. Ann holds degrees related to creating and teaching art from Mount Alison University, Concordia University, University of Western, York University and an Art Academy in Enschede, Holland. Ann Donald now teaches art and graphic design at Holy Cross High School, in Saskatoon and will retire from this position in June 2021.
Connie Lunde and her husband Doug of 38 years live near Edmonton, Alberta and within close proximity to their 4 grown children and 5 grandchildren.
After graduating from NAIT with an Administrative Management Diploma, the plan had been to move into the business world once the kids were older, but God had a different idea in mind! Connie recently retired from working for almost 25 years with the Catholic Church. After working for 4 years in the parish office, she started working at the Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton first as an Assistant to the Co-Chancellor, then Coordinator of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council and Together in Ministry Program, then as Associate Director of New Evangelization Initiatives. Her final 9 years were spent as the Director of the Development Office. In this latest position, Connie also assumed the role of Executive Director of the Foundation of St. Joseph Seminary & Newman Theological. Her team of 5 women accomplished an incredible amount of fundraising with a volunteer “family” that numbered as many as 142 people annually.
Over the years, Connie has volunteered in many parish ministries and committees including Chairing a Liturgy Committee, serving as coordinator of several different sacramental preparation and catechetical programs, and most recently participating in developing a capital fundraising plan for her parish. In addition, she has spent time in the curling world – playing, teaching, organizing bonspiels, and now in the past 3 years, playing competitively at the senior women’s level.
Connie feels very blessed to have spent her “unexpected” career working in the Church. Connie is excited to embark on this journey of growth through the CWLF Program. She looks forward to finding new and exciting ways to share her gifts with the world as she begins a new chapter in her life.
Denise Briggs lives in Calgary, Alberta and comes from a very large family. Growing up with nine siblings was often an adventure. Prayer, celebrating the sacraments and a focus on family values permeated her childhood home. Denise continues to value the importance of faith, family and relationship. She and her husband will be celebrating 21 years of marriage this summer and have two teenage boys of their own.
As a child, Denise completed her own K-12 education as part of the Calgary Catholic School District. From the age of seven, she knew without a doubt that she was going to be a teacher. Denise fulfilled her childhood dream and has been working for the Calgary Catholic School District for 22 years. Denise received her B.Ed. and M.Ed. in Leading for Learning through the University of Calgary. She also completed her Religious Education and Administrative Policies Certificate through St. Mary’s University in Calgary. Denise transitioned into leadership ten years ago and is currently working as a Principal in SE Calgary
At her parish, Denise has been a volunteer on the Parish Pastoral Council, a liaison for the community and has served as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. Her Pastor, Father Avinash Colaco says, “Her willingness to give of her time and talents to assist in whatever is needed, is a blessing to our Parish. Denise is a kind and compassionate individual and someone who sees Christ in those around her.”
As a current woman in leadership, Denise believes she has the opportunity to evolve the conceptions of what a leader is and who can be a leader. In adding her foundation of Catholic values to her role as a leader, she looks forward to supporting, mentoring and encouraging other women to become the leaders God has created them to be.
Georgette’s first 18 years of her life was spent on a rural farm near the town of St-Jean-Baptiste in Manitoba. Growing up, she was involved in 4H, sports teams, and leadership programs and went to church in French where she would sometimes do the readings.
Georgette moved to Saint-Boniface in Winnipeg to go to University, first in French then transferred to University of Manitoba to complete a Bachelor of Recreation Studies.
She met her husband during the same time period and was married in 1988. Her family is part of Saints-Martyrs-Canadiens Parish. She has four adult children, two boys and two girls, and one grandchild.
Over the years, Georgette has worked as a recreation director in a nursing home, for Festival du Voyageur in volunteer coordination, for the French School Division and in Community Development and Health Promotion for Centre de santé Saint-Boniface for the last 15 years. In her current role, she brings different stakeholders together in the community to work on a common project. Georgette loves empowering the community members to create projects and programs that contribute to the holistic health of the community.
She loves to be physically active by biking, walking, hiking, swimming, and skiing as well as practicing yoga. She also enjoys going outdoors and being in nature.
Georgette has been involved with her parish by being on the Parish Council, the Welcoming and Fraternity Committee as well as the Parish Fall Supper Committee. She has helped with Sunday school and still does the reading and helps give communion. She likes to be creative and bring new ideas forward as well as learning things that will help her continue to contribute actively to my community. She is looking forward to making new connections from across the country to support others as well as to learn from others in this community of faith.
Ikponwosa ‘I.K.’ Ero
I.K. was born and raised in both Nigeria and Canada (She moved to Canada in high school). She has a BA and MA in political science as well as a law degree. She is a member of the Bar/Law Societies of both BC and Alberta. In 2015, I.K. was appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva as an independent expert (2015-2021).
I.K. has served in various capacities in the Church, notably as a speaker of Catholic Voices, Canada, an organization dedicated to explaining many difficult subjects about the Church in the public space by shedding light not heat.
In 2015, I.K. was selected by UNESCO to feature on their List of 70 of Who-is-Who of Women Speakers across the world to celebrate UNESCO’s 70th anniversary. She was named in NewAfrican Magazine’s list of 100 most influential persons of 2017 and in 2020 was named by the USICD as International Advocate of the Year.
Joanne Klone and her two youngest children currently live in Oliver, BC which is in the Southern Interior of British Columbia. Oliver is also known as the Wine Capital of Canada and the only true desert in Canada!
Joanne has been employed as a prison chaplain at the Okanagan Correctional Centre for the Provincial Government for the past four years after relocating from the Fort Saskatchewan Correctional Centre in Fort Saskatchewan, AB. Prior to that, Joanne had a very long history of service as a Pastoral Associate in the parish setting. She was fortunate to largely work with forward thinking priests who constantly challenged her to live out her baptismal call in the diverse aspects of parish ministry including administration, sacramental preparation, R.C.I.A., administration of the cemetery, etc. Her most fulfilling service to the people of the community was found in pastoral care, whether it was visiting parishioners in the hospital or senior’s homes, assisting families in preparing for funerals or leading the prayer vigils and funerals outside of Mass. When Joanne expressed an interest to move into full time hospital chaplaincy; she was reluctantly directed into prison chaplaincy and assured that she possessed the qualities to effectively handle this position. Afraid, but willing to give it a try, Joanne quickly realized that this is exactly where God intended her to be and the rest as they say, is history! This past year, Joanne was appointed to the International Prison Chaplains Association as the Canadian Representative for this world-wide organization that has accreditation with the United Nations. She is looking forward to supporting and maintaining the integral role of a healthy chaplaincy in prisons everywhere.
Joanne’s family of seven children and two grand daughters are the most important aspect of her life, but a close second is her personal passion for her Morgan horses that she loves to ride on the stunning trails and vineyards that surround her home.
Jennifer is quiet natured. She moved around a lot as a child, but has lived in Mississauga, Ontario for more than 30 years. Jennifer is a widow and a mother of two sons, aged 30 and 19. She converted to Catholicism when her eldest son, asked her to attend mass with him. God called her to join the Catholic Church and have her youngest son baptized.
She has been on a journey walking with Jesus since losing her husband after a 12-year battle with cancer. She believes God has been transforming her heart and helping her understand more about herself through this journey. She also believes God is guiding her to embrace her quiet, sensitive side and recognize that this trait is His grace; a gift to lead with.
Jennifer is a CWL executive member and volunteers within her community. She worked in the advertising industry for 25 years and believes the best way to lead is with compassion. At a work lunch, Jennifer was asked what her dream job was. She spontaneously answered, “To be able to give back to the community, and not focus on money.”
Jennifer left the advertising industry shortly after that. She knows God was right there with her through it all and He continues to transform her heart. When a friend sent her some information about the Catholic Women’s Leadership Foundation and suggested she should apply, she knew God was leading her to where He needed her to be and so she applied.
Jennifer is thrilled to be accepted and to continue this journey with the 2021 group and can’t wait to learn and grow with them. Jennifer believes we are all called to transform the hearts of those God chooses to put on our path.
I live in St. Peters Bay, Prince Edward Island (PEI) and work as an operating room nurse at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown. I love the challenge of working in the operating room. It requires critical thinking as I always preparing for the unexpected. It is busy, fast paced, and you need to be able to solve problems quickly. I love to think outside the box and try new things and different ideas. I have also been active in PEI nurses professional associations. I am the current Education Chair for PEI’s Operating Room Nurses Association and have also held the position of President for the PEI Licenses Practical Nurse’s (LPN) Association.
My hobbies include genealogy, painting, travelling, and volunteering. I love to teach and lead projects. I have organized tour groups to and from PEI from Japan, Scotland, and the Caribbean. I have also been a Heart and Stroke CPR instructor, instructor trainer and first aid instructor for nine years and have been actively involved in my church in several capacities for over ten years.
One of my greatest life accomplishments was achieving my Black Belt in Karate in Japan. I lived in Japan for four years where I taught English at a private school, studied martial arts, and became fluent in Japanese.
I have been involved with the CWL for the past nine years, both at the local Council and the Provincial level. I love what the CWL represents and the change and support it can offer to both local communities and our country. I believe the CWL has the potential to bring more Catholic women together to engage, empower, and strengthen our faith, communities, and our country.
Linda Dudar was born in Manitoba and enjoyed her childhood in a small farming community of Grandview. She and her husband Randy currently live in Calgary and have two sons. In addition to her love of faith, family and friends, her passion includes music and education.
Church life is a significant part of her faith commitment. Linda has directed the church choir, for many years and enjoys composing as well as serving as the church cantor and musician.
Linda has 35 years of teaching and leadership experience in both Catholic and public-school districts as well as the University of Calgary and St. Mary’s University. She has recently retired as Dean of Education at St. Mary’s University in Calgary, Alberta and enjoys her own work with leadership development.
She has shared her research and her teaching nationally and internationally and has served and continues to serve various committees and boards including the Association of Alberta Deans of Education, St. Mary’s University and the Canada Ukraine Foundation.
Her doctoral research in educational leadership at the University of Calgary focused on time-sensitive organizational change. Her current research and recently co-authored book explored her research of leaders and stakeholders’ perspectives. This study reports new findings of how difficult changes are implemented much faster than previously thought.
Liz Baile grew up in Ottawa, Ontario and attended St. Pius X High School. It was there she encountered Fr. Bob Bedard, Challenge, Cursillo and youth prison ministry. Liz and her husband moved to Yellowknife, Northwest Territories immediately after they got married and stayed ever since. Over the last 32 years, Liz has served in various roles such as teacher, program support teacher, school administrator and now as an Inclusive Schooling Coordinator for Yellowknife Catholic Schools. She is passionate about mentorship, compassion and collaboration for ALL but especially when working with the most vulnerable.
Liz loves the simplicity and beauty of the North. She has served on various parish committees. Over the last 12 years, she has worked with the Diocese of Mackenize Fort-Smith in the areas of the Bishop’s Appeal, Youth Ministry, Stewardship and co-led the last two Ordinations for the diocese. Liz is currently the president of the new Nohtsi Gots’adi (GodHelps) Catholic Foundation which supports Indigenous women in healing and further education.
Truth and Reconciliation is a call that resides deep within her and being accepted to this cohort is just one more step in her journey of universality, spiritual growth and transformational leadership.
Michelle Lui lives in Richmond, BC. She is a registered Occupational Therapist with public and private practice experience. She is also a Canadian Certified Life Care Planner. In her role as an Occupational Therapist Clinical Advisor at WorkSafeBC, she provides consultative occupational therapy service to seriously injured workers of BC in order to support individuals to maximize their function to live and participate in their community meaningfully post-injury. Combining her clinical practice with her public health training, Michelle is actively involved in research projects that inform clinical practice.
Her faith journey has been inspired by the generosity, faithfulness, and wisdom of those she has crossed paths with at church, in her community and in her volunteer work locally and internationally. Seeing herself as a life-long learner on a journey to deepen her relationship with God, she looks forward to joining other like-minded women in the process.
Robyn Noseworthy, 49 years old, married with one daughter, nurse, and practicing Catholic in St. John’s, NL.
As a nurse since 1999, Robyn has worked in palliative care, critical care, organ donation, emergency, cardiac catherization, nursing education, and now I am returning to the oncology unit as a staff nurse. She completed a Masters in Nursing Education (online), an Occupational Health Nursing Diploma (online), and an Ethics certificate offered by Eastern Health, NL. Robyn also worked as a nurse in Haiti as a part of Team Broken Earth.
As a wife and mother, she has experienced the rewards and challenges of rearing a 16-year old who loves basketball, is a great student, and still “tolerates” her faith practices. Her supporting husband also works in health care.
As a believer, Robyn has received all her Sacraments, attended weekly Mass since birth, and was in the Church Choir as a teenager. Searching for her place as a young adult, Robyn participated in many activities. In 1991, she volunteered for one year with National Evangelization Team (NET), delivering Catholic retreats for junior and senior high students in various parishes across the US. In 1992- 1994, Robyn prayerfully spent 16 months in the Carmelite Monastery in Iron Mountain Michigan discerning her vocation. She has volunteered as secretary for her parish council. Robyn is a newly appointed member of the steering committee overseeing the pastoral care needs of her three merging parishes.
Terry Mae is a passionate, involved 20-year member of the Catholic Women’s League of Canada (CWL) and is continually impressed with the League and its value to society. The power of the League’s voice to make a difference in the lives of others at home, across the country and beyond, drives her desire to contribute her time and improve her skills to serve in the best way possible.
Currently she is a proud member of the Marketing Working Group for the National CWL Strategic Plan; 2nd Vice-President and Communications Chair on the Diocesan council, and executive member on her local CWL council. She serves her parish as co-ordinator for the Walking with Purpose women’s Bible Study program, extra-ordinary Minister of Holy Communion and President of the Carmel of St Joseph’s Guild whose mission is to support the Carmelite Sisters monastery close to her town.
Terry Mae’s education and employment background is in finance, accounting, and office administration. Retiring early, after ten years as a Senior Tax Consultant, she remains busy with family and volunteer commitments; oh and golfing and curling!
Serving on the Board of Directors for the Salmon Arm Golf Course including a term as President; and the several years of executive roles with Parent Advisory Councils, representing parents on many School District Committees, facilitating presentations at local, district and provincial levels; proved to be instrumental in developing organization, leadership and mediation skills which she draws on today.
Terry Mae has been told that she has a contagious energy delivering her message with knowledge, enthusiasm and humour, keeping her audience engaged.
She and her husband live in Salmon Arm BC, they have three married children, and their youngest son Is engaged to be married in 2022; blessed with nine grandchildren and a set of twins on the way (August 2021)! Retirement life is filled with very busy times.
Terry Mae was so excited, surprised and thankful to be chosen for this leadership program! She looks forward to meeting new friends, growing in her faith and building on her leadership skills to serve and inspire others.
Although Tina has lived on the prairie for many years, she remains deeply rooted in her childhood home in Newfoundland. She is married and is the mother to three young children. She has been a registered nurse for more than 20 years with experience in medicine, oncology, palliative care and long term care. She currently works part-time as a clinical care coordinator in a personal care home. She is passionate about providing person-centered care to the elderly who live with cognitive impairments and providing comfort to those who are nearing the end of their lives due to either illness or frailty. She currently serves her local CWL Council as the Spiritual Chairperson. However, she enthusiastically proclaims that she is drawn more deeply into relationship with the Lord when she spends time with children in the atrium as a Catechist of the Good Shepherd. She is grateful for the opportunity to spend this next year growing in her faith with like minded women as part of the Catholic Women’s leadership program.