The Fifth Plenary Council of Australia’s Decree Witnessing To The Equal Dignity Of Women And Men is clear in its recognition of the gifts of all; and in its understanding of the vital role of formation as we begin to move forward. The Decree states in part:
We need to deepen our understanding of the human person, to appreciate more fully the gifts that women and men together bring to the life of the Church. This will require scriptural and theological formation and catechesis at the parish, diocesan, eparchial, and national levels.
Here too, there is much work to be done.
In light of the above and aware of the extent of the ongoing challenges, this Plenary Council commits the Church in Australia to acting in ways that witness clearly to the equal dignity of women and men, with their diverse gifts and experiences. It commits the Church to enhancing the role of women in the Church, and to overcoming assumptions, culture, practices and language that lead to inequality.
The exhortation of the Plenary Council has always been part of Good Samaritan life and mission. Since their foundation and throughout their 165-year history, the Sisters of the Good Samaritan have been committed to the flourishing of women. They have educated girls and women from pre-school to tertiary levels and have been engaged in adult education and adult faith formation.
Not only have they educated women, they have companioned them as mentors, counsellors, spiritual directors and simply as friends. The Good Sams recognise the need for women’s leadership within the Church, for only when women contribute their experience and wisdom can the Church truly fulfil God’s mission. The Church suffers when women’s gifts are not called upon.
The Sisters of the Good Samaritan are now inviting applications for the third year of their Study and Mentoring (SAM) Program. The program offers financial assistance for women undertaking tertiary studies at a recognised theological institution. Core components of the program include opportunities for spiritual direction, mentoring and dialogue with like-minded women.
Financial assistance will be offered to a maximum of $A8000 per year. The grant can be spent on tuition or other expenses associated with the completion of the qualification.
It is necessary that there be a consonance between the values of the applicant and the ethos of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan.
- Catholic woman aged 30 years and over who are resident in Australia, Kiribati, the Philippines and Japan – countries where the Sisters of the Good Samaritan live and minister;
- An interest in the academic, spiritual and mentoring components of the program;
- Identification of current study being undertaken or a proposed course at a recognised theological institution;
- Evidence of leadership exercised in any context. Leadership experience in a not-for-profit organisation or a faith-based institution will be highly regarded; and
- Special consideration will be given to women who are experiencing financial hardship or who live in isolated communities.
Further information is available from firstname.lastname@example.org
Applications have now closed.