Rural School of Faith Leadership

ResourcesA team of Josephite sisters and rural women work together to organize and present a unique form of faith formation for rural women. The aim of the Rural School of Faith Leadership (RSFL) is to establish strong lay leadership in country communities.

The first Rural School of Faith Leadership was held in 2010 and ran from Friday evening to the following Monday afternoon. Originally planned as a one off session, urging of participants and speakers, encouraged the organizers to make the program more comprehensive and regular. Thus RSFL is now a three year program. 

Since 2010 there have been three series over 2010-2012, 2013 -2015 and 2017-2019.  In 2016 we invited any of the women from the first two series to come together for a weekend and that was well attended.

The first two series were held in the Bathurst Diocese at Dubbo and the most recent targeted the Wilcannia-Forbes diocese and sessions were held in Forbes and then in Parkes. In 2020 the school will be back in Dubbo as it is a central location, being the junction of several highways.

A strength of the school is that there have been many wonderful presenters - Srs Virginia Bourke and Carmel Drew have been great supporters as have been Srs Ellen Royan, Michele Connolly and Jill Dance, amongst many others.

The aim is to create a program that is relaxing as well as a formative where women connect and support each other.  There is a balance between quiet times for reflection, input, craft workshops and massage opportunities. 

Each school begins with the women mapping their own life experience - the ups and downs and the graced moments.  Input over the three years include sessions on the portraits of Jesus presented in the four Gospels; the sacramentality of all of life, the sacraments of the Church; ways to pray; finding their own charism and how to share that charism with others.

The three years form a series:

Year 1 is My Story, God’s Story Our Story.
Year 2 is God revealed in Word and Sacrament.
Year 3 is Being Joyful Missionary Disciples.

The Rural School of Faith Leadership is open to Catholic women from rural areas. For further information and to enrol for 2020 (31 July-2 Aug) contact Sr Alice Sullivan




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GPO Box 368
Canberra ACT 2601

0448 234 775
Australian Catholic Council
for Lay Pastoral Ministry
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