The Pilot Program

In October 2023, Catholic Women’s Network brought together 30 women across Sydney to participate in our inaugural Pilot Mentoring Program. This was an opportunity for us to explore how to best support and serve the spiritual needs of women.

Women were matched together in a mentor relationship and then undertook a six month journey of spiritual accompaniment. Women had the flexibility to determine how and when they would connect over the six months. Some chose to catch up over coffee or a meal, some went to Mass together, others connected only via virtual meetings. We provided two events, one at the beginning and the end of the journey, for all to gather and connect in person.

On a monthly basis all participants received spiritual reflection material to use on their own or together for the purpose of their meetings. This was to assist their conversations and provide some guidance if needed.

Mentees were encouraged to set a goal for the journey. Either something they wanted to achieve, or a vision of where they would like to grow spiritually, by the end of the journey. This was to help women articulate for themselves their intrinsic motivations for joining the program. “It’s not about ticking the box and meeting the goal” said Helena Roumanus, CWN Project Officer. “It’s understanding why you said yes to this. Where do you want this to lead you? Don’t be surprised if the Holy Spirit shows up in this journey and re-writes that goal for you!”

At the conclusion of the program, women gathered in celebration of their relationship and journey. It was an important opportunity for the CWN team to receive direct feedback from mentors and mentees on the fruits and struggles of the pilot program.

In April 2024, CWN began a discernment process of where the program needs to be further developed. This involved an in-depth evaluation, reflecting on all feedback given by participants and others. As a result, the Emmaus program was born. Building on the foundations and fruits of the pilot program, this new and slightly improved spiritual accompaniment program, will launch in 2025 for women across Sydney.