Everyone at Women Of the Word - Toronto, both the Board of Directors and Non-Voting members, give of their time and talent voluntarily, no one is paid. We do this because we believe in the free gifts God has given to all of us -- the gifts of love, hope, mercy, joy...and as we have freely received from Him, we give back freely, in hopes that others may experience the freedom that lies in Jesus Christ, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
board of directors
Mary Filangi | Chair/Founder
As a single lay Secular Franciscan woman, I enjoy serving my community, especially through my involvement with Silent Children's Mission and Carmelina's Home. In the year 2000, after battling breast cancer, I spent many hours in the quiet of prayer. During one of these prayer moments, I received an inspiration to host an event for women. The aim of this event was to provide a place where we can speak about God and His desire for us as authentic daughters, healing those places in our hearts that are separated from this great love. This inspiration was put on hold for a few years until November 25, 2009, when a small group of women gathered with me after the passing of my cousin. That day we came up with a name and only six months later, we held our first event with 300 women in attendance. I love being able to provide a place where women can gather and be filled with the Spirit. My desire is for all women to come to know the true healing and freedom that comes through Christ our Lord.
Felicia Raso | Executive Director
I am extremely grateful for my Catholic faith which sustains me in all areas of my life. I am blessed to be a wife, mother and grandmother of an amazing gang of individuals, both big and little. I am thankful to work as a full-time administrative assistant and delighted to be an active volunteer for the Women of the Word - Toronto ministry. Being called to serve on the WOW-T Board of Directors has been a tremendous privilege! It has allowed me to work with incredible, faith-filled women who are passionate about sharing the message of hope, healing and restoration with other women. More still, it has provided me with an opportunity to use my own personal experience of the healing, liberating, merciful power of Christ for the good of others, in gratitude for all that I have received.
Teresa Elliott | Secretary
I am a wife, a mother, a Secular Franciscan, and a proud board member of Women of the Word Toronto. I have been involved with Women of the Word for the last five years, and in that time, I have met some incredible women of faith. Being part of Women of the Word Toronto has given me a deeper understanding about myself and how I fit in to God's plan. It is a place where you can hear stories from other women about their struggles and challenges, and how Jesus gave them a new life through Hope, Healing, and Restoration.
Gina Gallucci | Treasurer
I am a proud, single mother of two adult daughters. I have been employed as a Financial Officer for the last 25 years for the same firm, where I have been instrumental in it's growth and success. I am so blessed to be a part of Women of the Word - Toronto. During a time in my life when I was questioning life and my faith, WOW-T was there to guide, nourish and support me. WOW-T helped me piece my life together and grow to love our Catholic faith. I believe in WOW-T’s mission statement “to experience the dignity, hope, and healing received by women whose hearts were transformed (and continue to be transformed) by the love of God” and I am happy to say that I AM one of those women!
Linda Tancredi - Di Panfilo
God’s grace, hope, dignity, and love. “Love one another as I have loved you.” These are the words that ignite my soul – now that I truly understand the essence of their meaning. During the storms of my life, I must utter those same words Our Lord did in the garden of Gethsemane. “Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want.” I can only say those words with trust because of the gift of faith I have received in this journey. My desire in joining WOW-T was so that I could share in the ministry of letting other women partake in those same experiences I did – to gain knowledge of our Faith and truly understand what it means to fully grasp that our God loves us – to put ourselves completely in the hands of God as our Lord did in his most human moment. I am honoured and privileged to be a part of the WOW Team.
I enjoyed a career in pharmaceuticals for many years. Last year, I retired to enjoy my two wonderful grandchildren. I was invited to join WOW-T by Mary Filangi, the founder of this ministry. I loved that it was just for women. I had a dream that WOW-T would ask me to share my testimonial and when Mary did ask, I told her I already knew what she was going to ask of me and my answer was yes! I believe testimonials are what separates WOW-T from other ministries. When I shared my story at the very first Women of the Word – Toronto Forum, I don't know if it helped or even touched any of the women in attendance but I do know it was a great contributor to my personal healing and my coming into a deeper relationship with God and our Heavenly Mother. What I experienced is what I hope all women experience when they come to a WOW-T event.
As a Canadian immigrant, widowed at a young age, I found the strength to conquer all obstacles and tribulations through my faith. I began my social ministry work after losing my husband; as I mourned, and worked through my new responsibilities, I felt very clearly that God was calling me to serve and asking me to use all my experiences in a way that would benefit others. I received bereavement training at Immaculate Conception Church, in Woodbridge and then led the Bereavement program. With the support of my parish priest, Fr. Daniele Bertoldi, a close friend, and I were able to establish The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Program in the parish. This required us to set up a Montessori Atrium which was completed in 2005 and named “Mary Queen of Families Atrium.” In my career I worked with a diversity of people as VP of Operations in the Manufacturing Industry. I have enjoyed helping each employee discover their potential and coaching them to success while prompting them to trust in God’s love for them. This led me to give short spiritual motivational talks at prayer groups which ignited within me the desire to learn more about Holy Scripture. I believe that through the WORD we are transformed and this has been my strength in restructuring my life. Through my experience, I hope to help others discover their potential and find peace during life's inevitable struggles. For many years, through annual gatherings, WOW-T has consistently reached to women beyond the pews, with focus on healing and restoration through God’s love; in 2012 I welcomed the invitation to become a member. Women of the Word -Toronto is a voice reaching out to all women through the Word and I am proud to be part of this mission.