At the final resting place of Australia’s first official saint – a woman – a new initiative was recently launched aimed at inspiring and empowering women to use their unique God-given gifts in the service of the Church and others.
The new Australian Catholic Women’s Mentoring Program was launched on 20 May at Mary MacKillop Place in North Sydney.
Around 200 guests gathered for the occasion which commenced with Mass celebrated by Fr Greg Bourke in the Chapel housing St Mary MacKillop’s tomb.
In her address to attendees Senator Deborah O’Neill, Shadow Assistant Minister for Innovation and Shadow Assistant Minister for Mental Health, referred to St Mary MacKillop’s belief that we should never see a need without doing something about it.
She also said the Catholic faith is a radical choice in today’s world which can bring hope to others.
Program coordinator, Christine Pace, said, “This program is different to professional development and corporate programs; it sees mentoring as a tool of empowerment which can help us to become what God created us to be.”
“I firmly believe that Catholic women who are strong and affirmed in their faith and their capabilities can do amazing things to transform society,” she said.
“Faith-filled women, on fire with the Holy Spirit, can be the hands and feet of God through their lives. To do this, we need solid formation, spiritual nourishment and encouragement from others in our faith.”
Ms Pace also said that mentoring is effective for empowering women because “its flexible and relationship-based structure helps develop your potential in a safe and supportive environment.”
“The right mentor can redefine the way you view yourself,” she said.
According to organisers “the Australian Catholic Women’s Mentoring Program is a national program aiming at building the skills, confidence and networks of Australian Catholic women and encouraging them in their faith.”
Australian Catholic women can sign up with the program as mentors and mentees via the website: www.catholicwomensmentoring.org.au Twitter: twitter.com/cwmentoring; Facebook: www.facebook.com/CatholicWomensMentoring/