Sponsorship: Sustaining the Ministry – A New Webinar Series for Sponsors, Executives, Mission Leaders, Bishops and Board Members


Although religious congregations of women and men have sponsored ministries in the Catholic Church for centuries, the term "sponsorship" is relatively new. As lay persons have become increasingly involved in these sponsored ministries, a new "juridic person" model was established to carry out and sustain these vital ministries of the Church into the future.

New Sponsorship Webinars from CHA

CHA is pleased to offer "Sponsorship: Sustaining the Ministry," a new webinar series to explore the theoretical and practical dimensions of these contemporary sponsorship models and the distinctive roles and responsibilities of sponsors. The program will also provide practical insights about cultivating effective working relationships with bishops, church leaders, executives and boards.

To address the specific needs and interests of new and seasoned sponsors and board members, the program will be offered as a two-part series. The first six-part series from Aug. 12, 2020 to Feb. 10, 2021 will focus on "Fundamentals of Sponsorship." The second six-part series from March 10, 2021 to Aug. 11, 2021 will address "Advanced Issues in Sponsorship."

Each 90-minute webinar session will feature presentations from noted experts along with breakout sessions for dialogue and interaction. A pre-read, video or news item will be offered in advance of each session. Each webinar will take place from 2-3:30 p.m. ET on the second Wednesday of the month, starting Aug. 12, 2020

Recordings of all sessions will be available to serve as helpful resources for the orientation of new sponsors, board members, CEOs and others.

This distinctive sponsorship program is offered as a complimentary service to CHA members. Non-members may participate in an individual webinar for $100 or $600 for the six-part series.


  • Strengthen sponsors' understanding of their own evolving role in leadership of institutional ministries;
  • Enable those who work with sponsors to build solid working relationships with them.

Who Should Attend

This program is relevant for the following groups:
  • Sponsors
  • C-Suite Executives
  • Board Members
  • Bishops
  • Senior Mission Leaders

What the Experts Say

"No organization is better prepared than CHA to offer this series of webinars on sponsorship. For decades, those responsible for Catholic health care have studied the issues and sought to delineate the rights and responsibilities of sponsors, religious and lay. Experienced experts will present, session by session, the history, nature and evolution of sponsorship dedicated to maintaining excellence in ministry along with clear ecclesial identity." Sr. Sharon Holland, IHM, JCD, Canonical Consultant, IHM Sisters

"When I think of those who will come after me, preparing them for the unique aspects of Catholic-sponsored ministry leadership is paramount. I can't think of a better way to do this than through CHA's Sponsorship: Sustaining the Ministry seminars. This foundational series will be invaluable for anyone engaged in the vital work of leading sponsored ministries." Scott McConnaha, President and Chief Executive Officer, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Sponsored Ministries, Inc.

"CHA's Sponsorship: Sustaining the Ministry program fills an urgent need: It articulates a contemporary and practical understanding of the essential role of sponsorship in Catholic health care. In addition, it gives sponsors and leaders the opportunity to reflect on their calling to serve in the Church's healing ministry." Rev. Joseph Cardone, Ph.D., Chief Mission Officer, Bon Secours Mercy Health

"CHA is there for us again when we need it. As a twelve year sponsor of a Catholic health care ministry, I strongly recommend that sponsors, management and governance invest the time to be part of these webinars. We have distinct roles, but we also have shared responsibilities. When we understand who we are, where we came from and where we are going, we will lead our ministries more effectively in these challenging times. This program is a necessity for all senior leaders in Catholic health care." Ned Dolejsi, Sponsor Council, Providence St. Joseph Health

Series One: "Fundamentals of Sponsorship"

This six-part series from Aug. 12, 2020 to Feb. 10, 2021 will focus on basic theology, history and structures of sponsorship. Each 90-minute webinar takes place from 2-3:30 p.m. ET. Register for all six sessions or individual sessions.  

Please Note: To obtain maximum benefit from the comprehensive nature of the program, we strongly recommend that you register for all six webinars in the "Fundamentals of Sponsorship" series. Recordings will be available after each webinar for your ongoing reference and formation.

CHA Members: Free
Non-Members: $100 per session, $600 for all six sessions

Session One: Theology, Ministry and Sponsorship

Aug. 12, 2020
2-3:30 p.m. ET

Fr. Charles Bouchard, OP will describe how health care is a ministry and what ministry sponsorship means. He will also invite participants to discuss how their call and vocation have evolved through their work in Catholic health care.

View the webinar recording (member log-in required)

Session Two: Evolution of Sponsorship – Past and Future

Sept. 9, 2020
2-3:30 p.m. ET

Fr. Charles Bouchard, OP, and Lori Ashmore-Ruppel will focus on history, theology and spirituality of Catholic health care sponsorship beginning with the founding congregations, and then several subsequent "waves" that led to our current structures. What will be the fifth wave? How will current structures respond to changes in society, the Church and health care?

Sr. Mary Haddad, RSM, CHA's President/CEO, will join us for a portion of the webinar to discuss why sponsorship is important to the Church and to Catholic health care in the midst of political upheaval and the pandemic, and how she sees it as a part of CHA's future strategy.

View the webinar recording (member log-in required)

Session Three: Models of Sponsorship

Oct. 14, 2020
2-3:30 p.m. ET

Sr. Jean Rhoads, DC; Ron Hamel; Sr. Teresa Maya, CCVI; and Larry Warren will describe and compare different models of sponsorship – traditional, distinct, "mirror" and hybrid. Discussion will focus on advantages and disadvantages of each type.

View the webinar recording (member log-in required)

Session Four: Canon Law, Juridic Persons and Sponsorship

Nov. 11, 2020
2-3:30 p.m. ET

Canon lawyer, Sr. Sharon Euart, RSM, will discuss the canonical aspects of sponsorship including the technical meaning of a juridic person and the varieties of juridic personality that are defined in canon law. She will also discuss the process for submitting a petition for a new juridic person and reporting requirements.

View the webinar recording (member log-in required)

Session Five: The Sponsor and the CEO

Jan. 13, 2021
2-3:30 p.m. ET

Laura Kaiser and Rodney Hochman, MD, two major health system CEOs, will discuss their experience of sponsorship. How are sponsors viewed by the CEO? What do CEOs expect from the sponsor? How should a CEO relate to a sponsor and how should sponsors relate to the CEO while respecting the CEO's accountability to the Board?


Session Six: Sponsors and the Church, Local and Universal

Feb. 10, 2021
2-3:30 p.m. ET

Daniel O'Brien and Bishop William A. Wack, Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee, will discuss the relationship between the sponsor and the Church with diocesan bishops, the Holy See and the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. How do sponsors acquire an "ecclesial prudence" that enables them to maintain healthy relationships with the Church? What are the bishop's rights and responsibilities, and what do they expect of ministries in their diocese?


Series Two: "Advanced Issues in Sponsorship"

March 10, 2021 – Aug. 11, 2021
2-3:30 p.m. ET

Series Two will explore more advanced questions such as ecclesial relations, recruitment and formation, assessment and the relationship of sponsors to mission leaders.

Registration for Series Two will be available in Jan. 2021.