One of the primary questions at the heart of the Moss Program on Christian Social Thought and Management is that of what it means to be a person of faith at work. Our efforts are directed at providing both material for reflection on this question, as well ascreating and supporting various forums that allow for a deeper exploration of therelationship between one’s faith and professional life.

Since fall 1999, we have been collaborating with the local chapter of a new organizationcalled Catholic Women @ Work, providing both resources and assistance as the group began to form. The chapter has grown considerably since then, and in February 2001, the Institute for Catholic Social Thought co-sponsored and hosted a visit by the organization’s founder, Susan Toscani. Toscani, executive director of sales developmentat Forbes Magazine in New York, spoke to 40 women from a variety of professional areas on both the original inspiration for Catholic Women @ Work, its basic principles, and on what it means to live one’s Christian faith in the workplace.

While Roman Catholic, the mission of Catholic Women @ Work is to support all women of good faith who are seeking to integrate Christian principles and beliefs with their professional responsibilities and the realities of the workplace, a hope grounded in the assumption that religion, ethics and personal responsibility are compatible with professional success. As an organization, it promotes the view that the “feminine genius,” spoken of so eloquently by Pope John Paul II in his apostolic letter to women, is a true asset in the workplace, a gift to be celebrated and valued. The group’s activities are intended to “nourish the Catholic professional woman’s spiritual, intellectual and emotional capabilities through the study and understanding of Catholic teaching” and thus to foster “her leadership skills within her family, the workplace and the community.”

A fundamental principle of Catholic Women @ Work is the recognition that, while women today quite often must balance competing claims for their time and attention, the family is the primary source of spiritual and physical nourishment. All of us must seek practicalapproaches to integrating the spiritual, professional, and personal dimensions of ourlives, but women have a unique challenge in achieving their full realization as women, wives, mothers and career professionals. The principles of Catholic Women @ Work are based on the belief that this is impossible without pursuing a mature and active spirituallife.

The Twin Cities chapter events have varied in their format and focus, but always include the celebration of Mass, either a speaker or panel discussion, and time for fellowshipand reflection. If you would like more information on Catholic Women @ Work, please contact the Moss Program in Christian Social Thought and Management at (651) 962-5713, or send an e-mail to pdsavage@stthomas.edu.