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

Announcing Series Two: Advanced Issues in Sponsorship

Series Two of CHA's popular Sponsorship: Sustaining the Ministry webinar program will explore more advanced questions such as recruitment and formation, assessment and the relationships of sponsors to mission leaders. The six-part series will take place on the second Wednesday of the month from March 10 – August 11, 2021 from 2-3:30 p.m. ET.

Session One: Sponsors and the Board Relationship

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

We will present on the history of boards as they moved from consultative to deliberative and how they now relate to non-traditional sponsors. Sr. Pat Eck, CBS, of Bon Secours Mercy Ministries, and Kathy Vestal, Ph.D., chairperson of Bon Secours Mercy Health, will discuss the distinct roles and responsibilities of board and sponsors and best practices for communication. There will be time to share best practices and other learnings.

View the webinar recording (member log-in required)

Session Two: Prophetic Action and Advocacy

Wednesday, April 14, 2021, 2-3:30 p.m. ET

Kathy Curran, senior director, public policy at the Catholic Health Association, will discuss the role of sponsors in advocacy highlighting CHA's Confronting Racism by Achieving Health Equity initiative. The focus will be on the prophetic role of the sponsor to envision the ministry's role in bringing about the Kingdom of God. There will be time to share innovative programs and changes that work to bring about health equity.

View the webinar recording (member log-in required)

Session Three: Sponsor and Mission Leadership Relationship

Wednesday, May 12, 2021, 2-3:30 p.m. ET

David Pringle, senior vice president, mission integration of SCL Health, and Rita Turley, incoming chairperson of Leaven Ministries, will explore the connection between the sponsor's duty to uphold the mission of the ministry and the system mission leader's role in promoting it within the ministry. The methods of communication as well as structure of the reporting relationship will be explored. There will be time to share best practices and other learnings.

View the webinar recording (member login required)

Session Four: Recruitment and Selection of Sponsors

Wednesday, June 9, 2021, 2-3:30 p.m. ET

Sponsor members will discuss the methods and best practices for recruitment of sponsor members as well as a process for selection. The focus will be on qualities necessary for all sponsors in addition to specific areas of competency that should be represented in each sponsor group. The new sponsor competencies, Sponsorship in Catholic Health Care: A Guide to Purpose, Qualifications and Competencies, will be presented and discussed.

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Session Five: Initial and Ongoing Formation of Sponsors

Wednesday, July 14, 2021, 2-3:30 p.m. ET

Diarmuid Rooney, senior director, ministry formation at the Catholic Health Association, and Mary Anne Sladich-Lantz, group vice president, ministry leadership formation at Providence St. Joseph Health, will explore models and programs for initial and ongoing sponsor formation offered by CHA as well as by individual systems. How do we determine what kind of formation sponsors need? What are common onboarding and ongoing formation practices?

View the webinar recording (member log-in required)


Session Six: Ministry Identity and Sponsor Assessment

Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021, 2-3:30 p.m. ET

CHA staff will discuss CHA's Ministerial Identity Assessment Tool to explore the emerging need for sponsor assessment and what it might look like. In light of a sponsor's purpose statement, how do they evaluate their progress? How does evaluation support potential recruitment and selection?

View the webinar recording (member log-in required)

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

Here is a list of webinars from 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.  

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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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?

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