By Matthew Doeing
On 9 March, our community was proud to welcome a group of laypersons who brought a message about the importance of management, best practices, and lay leadership in the Church. In particular, our visitors consisted of laywomen who had been invited to participate in “Voices of Faith”, a conference held in the Vatican on International Women’s Day.
As such, some of our discussion reflected women’s roles in the Church. During our community evening dinner, Kerry Robinson, Executive Director of The National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management, presented a talk on how developing and utilizing finances, human resources, and other factors essential to the Church’s day-to-day operations, is integral to the flourishing of our Catholic communities.
For example, Robinson explained that activities traditionally seen as “mundane” or disconnected from spiritual affairs, such as fund-raising, are not only a necessity for the Church’s continued well-being, but also should be seen within the context of the ministerial aspect of our faith. Working to perfect these areas also naturally draws persons who can use their talents in conjunction with their faith, therefore also creating a more dynamic Church.
In relation to the subject of women’s roles in the Church, Robinson expressed concern for deeper searching of how woman can be more fully involved. Also of note, Robinson talked about the Raskob Foundation, of which she is a member and has served on the board of as a trustee.
The Raskob Foundation was founded in 1945, its mission being to “support domestic and international projects from institutions and organizations identified with the Catholic Church”. The foundation has given nearly $200 million in grants to Catholic organizations and programs both nationally and internationally.
This talk was a good way to keep in mind that all are fully called to participate in the Church. Furthermore that working towards the implementation of better and more diverse ways of participation, in accordance with the talents and distinctions of the faithful, is a vital objective that we need to be mindful of. People may be called in different ways but that does not mean that one’s work is less important than another’s.