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Women Leaders in the Ignatian Family

Lisa Calzonetti

Institution: Ignatius Jesuit Centre

Title: Director

City: Guelph, Ontario

Do you have any other Jesuit institutional connections?
My father was one of the first retreatants to Loyola House in Guelph in the mid 60s! I remember coming here when I was very young — to pick apples, attend midnight Mass and walk the trails.

What does your job entail?
I am the lead business director of the centre, including human resources, financials and operation. I work closely with the organization’s managers to ensure long-term sustainability of this beautiful and sacred place.

What is your favorite part of your job?
The diverse range of our apostolate allows me to engage with many different people over many sectors, building a strong and intentional community.

 What is one of the challenges you’re facing right now?
I find myself discerning the age of our Jesuits and what that means for the province. These priests and brothers sometimes work well into their 80s, and I think it’s time to reframe that model. Diocesan priests retire and I believe Jesuits need the same freedom.

 What are some of the lights and shadows you’ve experienced as a woman working in partnership with a men’s religious order?
I’d hoped that we would move away from the men/women references in 2023! It’s just people working with people and that is life-giving and grace filled.

How does Ignatian spirituality shape your approach to work?
Likely the greatest tool has been that of discernment — the deep dive into consolation and desolation is invaluable.

 How could the Jesuits and the church as a whole foster women’s leadership more effectively?
Allow women to preach at Mass in all churches. 

What’s one of your favorite quotes about leadership or the best leadership advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it!