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Women Leaders in the Ignatian Family

Cheryl Archibald

Institution: St. Matthew the Apostle Catholic Church

Title: Parish Life Coordinator

Location: St. Louis

In a few sentences, what does your job entail?
I sit in the seat of the pastor. The work is to service this local parish community by sharing my gifts of administration, pastoral leadership and pastoral care. 

What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite work is journeying with people and providing pastoral and administration leadership through the lens of a woman. 

What is one of the challenges you’re facing right now?
One challenge is lack of resources needed to ensure the parish is successful. 

What are some of the lights and shadows you’ve experienced as a woman working in partnership with a men’s religious order?
I found the men’s religious order open and supportive of working in partnership with women. Although, most see it as relieving the burdens required to serving a parish versus a true partnership. 

How does Ignatian spirituality shape your approach to work?
Ignatian spirituality invites me to pause and discern and/or reflect on the work in front of me, as well as invite me to examine the work and interactions of each day to further form me. 

How could the Jesuits and the church as a whole foster women’s leadership more effectively?
Decisions are already made before we are aware of them. It would be more effective if we are at the table from the beginning.