Mentoring is simply based on a friendship, a connection and a supportive environment focusing on a strengths based approach to learning, Christine Pace told almost 200 women gathered at the official launch of the Australian Catholic Women’s Mentoring Program.
The Launch took place at Mary MacKillop Place, North Sydney on Saturday evening, May 20. The program is a service project of the 2015-2017 Young Catholic Women’s Interfaith Fellowship participants led by Christine Pace from the Diocese of Broken Bay.
‘It may seem daunting but it’s an exciting journey,’ Christine explained that the program was not about being top of the corporate ladder but rather ‘this program sees mentoring as a tool of empowerment for women’.
‘Faith filled women on fire with the Holy Spirit are gods hands and feet in the world. We need spiritual nourishment. When you are supported in your faith, you can flourish in your faith and life.’
‘It’s common for women to underestimate their capabilities. However, women are developed with their own gifts and talents.’
Christine said that mentoring has been ‘life changing’ for herself by setting the pace and direction of her life. ‘
‘I believe in the power of networking. It’s become my passion because I can see what can happen when connections work. Not for our glory but for God.’
‘This program has the potential to transform lives,’ Christine added.
Special guest Senator Deborah O’Neill, Shadow Assistant Minister for Innovation and Shadow Assistant Minister for Mental Health, said the mentoring program would ‘enable Catholic women to have a wider role in the Church and society’.
Quoting Saint Mary MacKillop, the Senator said, ‘never see a need without doing something about it. We can see a need and we have a responsibility and a chance to do something about it.
‘Today, our Catholic faith is a radical choice. You have an opportunity to organise, deliberately serving this population to shake things up.’
Dr Gerard Goldman, CEO of Broken Bay Institute encouraged those gathered to ‘develop a listening heart’.
Earlier in the evening, Fr Greg Bourke celebrated Mass at the Mary MacKillop Memorial Chapel. Fr Bourke was representing the Bishops Commission for Church Ministry as Executive Secretary. Marking the conclusion and graduation of the two-year Young Catholic Women’s Interfaith Fellowship organised by Andrea Dean at the Office for the Participation of Women, Fr Bourke encouraged the graduates to ‘go out and scatter like seeds and be Christ every where you go’.
He acknowledged the women who travelled from Brisbane, Sale, Perth, Canberra and many more places to participate in the Fellowship completing study, formation, interfaith dialogue and hard work. ‘You are now ready to be scattered like the seeds of God’.