Vancouver Diocesan President Oral Report to Provincial Convention 2016 – Roxanne McDonald
Vancouver is a large Diocese serving just over 4400 members with 55 active councils. Is it a challenge? You bet ya!
In the last year, I see the struggle of getting 12 members to be on the executive at all levels; of finding a president who is willing to serve; of instructing this new executive on who the League is and what we stand for: of getting members to attend monthly meetings; of getting members involved in League activities. I think that we all see the struggle.
I share telephone conversations every week with my mother, a 65 + year member of the League who has served at all levels. I tell her of our challenges, our problems, our accomplishments and she tells me that as much as things change they still remain the same. When the League started in Edmonton over 100 years ago, most members were stay at home mothers who had the time to become involved. Information flowed at a much slower pace than today and there was a larger sense of community and social responsibility.
Today, women are working outside the home and raising families. There is little time for meetings and involvement. Information now comes to us at an alarmingly rapid pace – images are posted instantly as events around the world are happening. The sense of community and responsibility for our fellow man is no longer as prevalent today in our secular world.
So where does this leave us as members of the Catholic Women’s League of Canada? The challenges that we face are real and need to be addressed. To survive we are going to have to start thinking outside the box. Maybe we need to focus on fewer issues – the volume of information is too much to process – it leaves presidents incapable of making a decision on where to begin and what issue to tackle.
Maybe we need to have fewer members to form an executive – with specific focuses we could do with less executive members. Maybe our meetings can look different – maybe we have one action plan for all members – something tangible that makes them feel that they are making a difference.
I see the struggle that the 55 councils in Vancouver are experiencing. I also see the good works that they do and I am amazed at what gets accomplished even amid this struggle but I know that things have to change for the League to be sustainable for the next 100 years.
Catholic women are a powerful and talented potential resource for the mission of the CWL. Our challenge is to tap this resource in a way that will further the good works of the League and provide the individual enrichment that I believe each member truly desires.