Rising : Learning from Women's Leadership in Catholic Ministries
By: Carolyn Y. Woo
“An eloquent testimony to the leadership role that countless Catholic women have played in parish ministries, health care, all levels of education, diocesan administration, national and international organizations, and a profound call for a greater recognition of their essential participation so that the Church may more fully be the Church of Jesus Christ.”—Rev. Edward A. Malloy, C.S.C., President Emeritus, University of Notre Dame
“By sharing the stories and voices of a diverse community of women leaders currently shaping the Church's service around the world, Dr. Woo brings not only hope but also a gifted leader's strategic perspective to an issue that if not properly addressed could prove catastrophic for so many. Never vitriolic and always leading with both intelligence and authentic love, Carolyn and the leaders she highlights provide a way forward and true hope for any woman who desires to lead with virtue and grace.”--Lisa M. Hendey, founder of CatholicMom.com and author of The Grace of Yes
"The power of women is derived from relationship. Carolyn Woo demonstrates this by elevating the voices of sixteen women leaders in the Church along with her own experience of ministry. Given our current climate, Rising offers a timely perspective on the value of the “feminine genius”." - Sr. Mary Haddad, RSM President/CEO Catholic Health Association
Leadership in the Catholic Church is often identified with sacramental ministry, and on that basis it is widely perceived that women have no influence in the Church. Yet, as this book shows, women in fact occupy many leadership roles across a range of Catholic ministries, from the parish and diocesan level to national organizations in the fields of education, healthcare, communications, and social service.
In Rising Dr. Carolyn Woo features sixteen of these remarkable women’s stories, tracing the challenges many of them have faced along the way (including clericalism), but also highlighting the gifts and experiences that women bring to their roles. These are valuable lessons that pertain to every person called to leadership in the church. She concludes with a set of actions for institutions and individuals for inspiring, inviting, engaging, and supporting women’s leadership in Catholic ministries.
Carolyn Y. Woo is herself one of the outstanding lay women leaders in the Catholic church: former dean of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business; CEO and President of Catholic Relief Services (2012-2016); and coordinator, Vatican Dialogue on Energy Transition, to name a few. Dr. Woo serves on the boards of many Catholic institutions, including Our Sunday Visitor, Catholic University of America, University of Notre Dame Australia, University of Portland, and Catholic Charities USA.