New coordinator appointed for women’s leadership program

Sr Ruth Durick OSU

There is a “crying need” for the voice, intellect and compassion of women to engage in the mission of Jesus through the Church, according to the newly-appointed coordinator of a peak Catholic leadership program for women.

Sr Ruth Durick OSU, who facilitated The Young Catholic Women’s Interfaith Fellowship from 2006 to 2009 and has been provincial of the Ursuline Sisters, has just been appointed to the role of coordinator for Leadership for Mission.

The program, a two-year, part-time course open to Catholic women aged 25-35 with diverse personal and professional experiences from across Australia, is structured across four residential sessions and supported through an online learning management system.

Announcing the appointment, Andrea Dean, director of the Office for the Participation of Women, said Sr Ruth brings extensive leadership experience, plus a deep commitment to the holistic formation of young women to this key role.

“We couldn’t have found anyone more suitable,” Ms Dean said.

Sr Ruth said there was a strong desire among women to be engaged in leadership roles in the Church – to imagine new possibilities in the 21st century.

“There is also a strong call in the present time for the space to widen so that the gifts of women might flourish more and the whole of Church and society be more deeply enriched,” she said.

“We are all called through our Baptism to share in the mission of Jesus.”

Sr Ruth said the program provides a formative experience for younger women in order to help them bring their gifts to leadership, wherever they found themselves in the Church and society.

Leadership for Mission is a joint initiative of the Council for Australian Catholic Women, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Catholic Mission and the Australian Catholic University.

Designed by and for women inspired by the Gospel, the program brings the leadership experiences of women within the Church together in the context of an academic and collaborative learning environment.

Ms Dean said: “Framed by an engagement with Scripture, theology, spirituality and leadership, this program encourages participants to reflect on their faith in the context of our contemporary world.

“In the company of other women, the participants explore how and in what ways their personal mission and vocation can contribute to a vision of leadership for the Church and society that promotes equity, equality, and reconciliation.”

Upon completion, students are awarded a graduate certificate in theological studies.

Applications open July 1 and close October 14. Full details and application forms are available at