My name is Catherine (Cath) MacKeil. I live in Toronto, Ontario, but consider myself a “Maritimer” at heart. Fredericton was my home until I graduated from university, and then I lived in the Halifax area for many years. My husband, daughter and I moved to Ontario in 2006 when Scott was transferred for his work. I am fortunate to experience both worlds: the Maritimes’ familiar warmth as I connect with family and friends, and the Toronto area’s vibrant diversity and unique opportunities as I live and work here. One of my favourite parts of WICC work is connecting to people across Canada and internationally. In my past, I facilitated leadership development for Christian women on five continents and I really appreciate the variety of cultures and our global solidarity.
In a way, I’ve been connected to WICC since birth. My mother has been very involved in World Day of Prayer and Fellowship of the Least Coin for over 50 years (!) in Fredericton. For the past four years, I’ve been blessed to work as WICC’s Executive Director.
It is wonderful to encounter both faithful, long-term supporters of World Day of Prayer and new people discovering WICC and its vision. I thoroughly enjoy WICC’s tri-generational discussion events, and it has been exciting to try new creative events, online resources, and help WICC programs stay relevant in today’s spiritual communities. Like a regal tree, we stay rooted in tradition and yet continue to grow and reach out to different groups. Together, we are passionate about prayer, community-minded, and dedicated to making a difference in the lives of marginalized women.
As the Executive Director, I am involved in all board teams and staff functions of the organization. We have many wonderful volunteers, including amazing women on the Board of Directors (who represent 10 national denominations) and over 1100 World Day of Prayer planning teams across the country. If this includes you, thank you! People are WICC’s greatest strength. On an administrative level, our board members and staff actively work towards our mission (Empowering Christians to pursue justice, peace and reconciliation by standing together in prayer and action), and we are excited to ensure that WICC is well-structured to thrive for years to come.
A highlight in my WICC journey was the chance to be a Canadian representative at the International World Day of Prayer assembly in Brazil in 2017. Women from about 125 countries gathered to discuss so many similar issues and challenges that we face. It was a poignant reminder that we are a worldwide team!
I am passionate about people using their gifts and strengths to make a difference. Our world is rapidly changing, yet we are still empowered to pray together and share in a common purpose. We must stand together to end human trafficking, gender-based violence, racism, poverty, and the environment. One of my joys in this role is hearing how connections from prayer events and our grant funding have impacted so many communities and lives. Large gatherings have been disrupted by the pandemic restrictions, and we do not know how long this will last, but our communities can meet virtually and support each other. Now, maybe more than ever, it is important that we remain united in prayer.
Thank you. I enjoyed hearing about Cath’s life and what she does as Executive Director.
Personally I have worked on our Perth WDOP Committee for many years. Before that I was a willing participant. Several years ago I chaired the Committee when it was held at our St. Paul’s United Church in Perth. I have invited area rural churches to join us. Our Ecumenical Committee works so well together. It has been interesting to learn about other countries and their customs. Ladies have happily used the recipes in the guide to serve interesting food to our guests.
Hey Cath! What a wonderful way to share your story and how it has lead to your involvement in Global Leadership that has brought you to WICC “for such a time as this!” Your experience has suited us perfectly as we honoured our strong rootedness in the past 100 years and as we continue to branch out with the vitality and joy of justice to which God calls us. Your skills and leadership are a blessing as together WICC and the women of this prayer movement stretch towards greater compassion through prayer and action.