The Catholic Women’s Fellowship will re-launch in 2012 with a new structure, allowing young women to complete a program of theology, spiritual formation, personal development and interfaith dialogue.
The Fellowship is the result of a partnership between the Bishops’ Office for the Participation of Women (OPW), The Broken Bay Institute (BBI), and the Sisters of the Good Samaritan.
With a blend of face-to-face input and self-directed online study, the academic program offered by the BBI enables women to “live their lives” while completing a Graduate Certificate of Theology.
The academic program will be supplemented by short gatherings at the beginning of each semester for periods of prayer, meditation, reflection and personal growth at the Mount St Benedict Centre in Pennant Hills.
The Fellowship will also offer opportunities for participants to live in community and engage with people from a wide variety of contexts.
Director of the OPW, Donella Johnston, said the changes to the Fellowship would make it more accessible for busy, young women.
“Young women lead full lives. Trying to juggle work, study, and relationships can make finding time to nurture one’s own spirituality difficult,” she said.
“We have much hope for this new direction for the Fellowship and are delighted to be working with BBI to offer this flexible mode of study. Enriched with the Good Samaritan Sisters’ Benedictine spirituality, this will be an opportunity to engage in a life-changing experience.”
Bishop Don Sproxton, the bishops’ delegate for the Council for Australian Catholic Women (CACW), said the Fellowship was well known for producing graduates who went on to serve the Church.
“The Bishops are committed to empowering young women to become active leaders within the Church and wider society, and this Fellowship is a concrete sign of that commitment,” he said.
Director of The Broken Bay Institute, Dr Gerard Goldman, said that as Australia’s largest Catholic provider of Theological distance education, BBI was honoured to be partnering with the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference in providing a program of study for the Fellowship.
“This is an exciting project for us at BBI,” he said. “It taps directly into our expertise in theological online education. It is a great joy and a real honour for all of us at BBI to be able to serve the Church in Australia in this way.”
Applications open Monday 5th March and close Friday 15th June. The Fellowship will commence on Wednesday 18 July and run for 2 years (2012-2014). Application forms can be downloaded at http://www.opw.catholic.org.au/