LOS ANGELES – The Catholic Association of Latino Leaders (CALL) and Tepeyac Leadership, Inc. (TLI) are proud to announce a partnership and the launching of their national program: TLI Online. TLI currently runs a Phoenix and Los Angeles cohort, and with the coronavirus changing the way organizations operate, is using this opportunity to take the program online.

“There is such a great thirst from lay Catholics called to work secular professions who are seeking support to live their faith in through their professional work,” said Delila Vasquez, executive director of CALL. “The majority of Catholics live and work among their peers and can be some of the best influencers and examples of the Catholic faith, wherever they live and work.”

“There is a such a synergistic opportunity with the partnership of the two organizations with CALL’s mission to support Catholic leaders in the secular worlds,” said Cristofer Pereyra, CEO of Tepeyac Leadership, Inc. and a CALL member himself. “To leverage the CALL network and heavy hitters among their leadership and members brings additional benefits to TLI participants and alumni.”

TLI Online is a five-month civic leadership program oriented towards the development of Catholic professionals to advance the mission of the Church and serve the common good in secular society. TLI participants are chosen from an emergent group of talented Catholic professionals in the public and private sectors. TLI educates participants in the core teachings of the Church and their practical applications in the civic and professional world.

TLI is a civic leadership development program for all lay Catholic professionals in the early to mid-stages of their careers. It will begin accepting applications on Oct. 1, through mid-November 2020. TLI Online will be run simultaneously with the in-person programs, TLI Phoenix and TLI Los Angeles. All three versions of the program will run from the second week of February to the third week of June 2021. The 18-weekly sessions for TLI Online will take place on Wednesday nights, for three hours (7 p.m. EST, 6 p.m. CST, 5 p.m. MST and 4 p.m. PST).

Bill Fathauer, who works for the Arizona Department of Transportation, was among 30 graduates from the Tepeyac Leadership Initiative at a dinner June 27 at Mount Claret Retreat Center. (Billy Hardiman/CATHOLIC SUN)

“There is more than one way to define leadership. It really is this thing that most of us can instinctively recognize the need for, but many have a hard time defining,” said Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix who helped found the TLI program in 2017. “We want to ignite in lay Catholic professionals the fire of Christ’s love and a thirst for greatness.”

“This is an exciting development,” said Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. “The Catholic Association of Latino Leaders and Tepeyac Leadership Inc. are to be commended for this initiative that promises to raise up a new generation of values-driven and principle-based lay leaders in our society and in our Church.”

TLI subscribes to the Virtuous Leadership Institute’s definition of a leader, “someone who accomplishes great things by bringing about greatness in others.”

TLI participants’ journey starts by identifying a series of issues of concern in society today, studying them from the Catholic lens. It is there where the Holy Spirit will usually plant a burning desire in their hearts to act in a specific area. Then, each of them enters a five-month discernment to recognize the concrete ways in which God is calling him or her to lead. Towards the end, each graduate presents in front of God, the local bishop and their peers, an individual leadership commitment to be undertaken immediately after graduation. It’s a beautiful process that TLI has now had the blessing of facilitating and witnessing for the last three years.

“This was truly a match made in heaven. Both organizations have similar roots, missions, and are each entrusted to the protection of Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Juan Diego. I believe that the Catholic Association of Latino Leaders and Tepeyac Leadership, Inc. are coming together in a crucial time for the health and the future of the Church and our country,” Vasquez added. “The program was created for such a time as this. If we look around the state of the world and our own communities today, we’ll find a great void. We need more faithful and committed lay Catholic professionals willing to step up and lead the way with humility and magnanimity. TLI Online is an investment in the future of America.”

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Cristofer Pereyra

Delila Vasquez