Catherine of Siena Institute


Catherine of Siena Institute

The Catherine of Siena Institute was co-founded in 1997 by Sherry Weddell and Fr. Michael Sweeney, a Dominican priest.  In the years since, the institute has put on live formation events in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Germany, Kenya, Indonesia, and Singapore. The Institute is fostering vocations by equipping the laity to grow deeper in their faith as disciples, and to step out as apostles while discerning their unique charisms. The institute is best known for creative resources and training in parish-based discernment, evangelization, and lay formation. Barbara Elliott has taught with the Catherine of Siena Institute since 2004. 

60,000 people have participated in their “Called & Gifted” discernment process, which is designed to assist individuals in discovering the spiritual gifts from God and the accompanying call to use them serving others. Nearly 500 live “Called and Gifted” workshops have been given throughout the world and  2,500 leaders have been trained to facilitate further discernment.  The discernment materials are available in English and Spanish.

Institute Co-Directors and other CSI presenters have spoken at a wide variety of formation events and locations, including more than 50 parish missions; the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology;  the US Bishop’s Conference, as well as at seminaries throughout the US, and many, many parishes; to Clergy at the North American College and Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) Rome; Archdiocese of Vancouver, BC; Dodge City, KS; the Archdiocese of San Francisco; the Archdiocese of Omaha, Diocese of San Diego; The Companions of the Cross, the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, and the Western Dominican Province. In addition:

To seminarians at the North American College and Angelicum, Rome; St.Patrick’s Seminary, Menlo Park; St. Mary’s Seminary, Houston; Western Dominican Province

  1. At Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit; MA/STL course on the theology of the laity at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in the summer of 2009 

  1. Ministry days for the Archdiocese of Seattle; the Archdiocese of San Antonio; dioceses of Corpus Christi, TX;  Colorado Springs, CO; Pueblo, CO; and Lansing, Michigan, among many others.

  1. Regional and International Catholic Stewardship conferences

  1. 2008 World Youth Day in Australia


A project in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles was offered beginning in fall 2010, which reached 800 participants. A four-day seminar helps post-modern adults make the spiritual journey to intentional discipleship.  Barbara Elliott co-anchored the California program in January 2011 with Sherry Weddell.    The “Making Disciples” seminar also has been offered in Colorado, Maryland, California, and Wisconsin to pastors, diocesan and parish staff from across North America & Australia and for the (arch)dioceses of Omaha, Kansas City, KS, Boise, ID, Los Angeles, CA, and Melbourne, Australia.   The institute has also presented portions of “Making Disciples” in the Archdioceses of Detroit and St. Paul-Minneapolis.

Barbara Elliott has developed a new workshop called “Faith that Works” that is designed to equip people to take their faith out of the pew and into professional life, and into the world to transform individuals and the culture. She illustrates each of the 24 charisms (gifts of the Holy Spirit) in the lives of people living today, who are putting their spiritual gifts to work in a way that is transformational.  

Founder and Co-Director Sherry Weddell is the author of a new book, Forming Intentional Disciples, based upon the Institute’s work in parish-based evangelization.  The book was published by Our Sunday Visitor in fall 2012 and is already in its fourth printing.

To schedule an event or learn more visit