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The Catholic Women’s League of Canada BC & Yukon Provincial Council National theme: One Heart, One Voice, One Mission Provincial theme: Joyfully Serving the Lord

Whitehorse Diocesan President Oral Report to Provincial Convention 2016 – Carol Vanderbyl


This is my 5th time to address you. There’s not a new face, but I’m representing what’s happening in our Diocese. Where are the women?


This year we lost Our Lady of Sorrows Council in Fort Nelson. They went inactive, as there were only two members left. They transferred their membership to Sacred Heart in Whitehorse, and ‘combining’ our councils has been a good thing. They didn’t disband, leaving the door open to smoothly start up again when things turn around in that community. Their charter goes back to 1958! Women like Sister Angela Shea and Lorraine Faherty served there. It was possible we’d lose our Diocesan Council status, but the Provincial team investigated, and yes, we can continue. We’re not unique in Canada. We’re working out the wrinkles and unlocking the possibilities. Most of us wear many hats anyhow. Jeanne Wilson leaves this executive now, leaving me as the only rep from Whitehorse. Jeanne and I are like peanut butter and jelly. Together we cover the toast! We have a healthy number of members, but only a handful of active ones, and they are mighty! With that handful still in place, we’ll be happy to host you in 2018!


We experience poor attendance at meetings and events, and no feedback. Instead of spinning our wheels, we want to spend our energy more efficiently, before we run out of gas! We are discussing our options, and after talking to members who are pastoral workers in the communities, we hear they are crying out in their isolation, as Bishop Gary told us last year. We need to be freed up to make more visits and attend mass in our beautiful wee Yukon churches. We can travel with the priests or go on our own, and we’re anxious to hit the road. We’re also planning a parish women’s retreat in the fall to get our new season going.


There’s good news too. We have a new Bishop, Hector Vila. We’re still in the ‘honeymoon stage’, but Pat Deppiesse came to his Episcopal Ordination and delivered our promise of help and support on behalf of BC and Yukon Provincial, and he has called on us for help, and is grateful for CWL arranging World Day of Prayer and 12 Hours of Prayer for Palliative Care, and participating in the Walk for Life. He recently gave us Father Kieran Kilcommons as Diocesan Spiritual Advisor, what a gift! (Ginger Jesus)

Our Diocesan convention was small but we needed more than a phone booth, actually we used our two churches and Maryhouse. Pat Deppiesse came; we loved the Leadership workshop! We had a great speaker on Dementia, and the organizer from the Refugee Committee, Yukon Cares, a CWL member, spoke about the process. We have a refugee family of 10, and well on the way to another. We circulated pre-filled letter writing packages, enjoyed the spiritual and physical food, and had some fun, a success we wished could have been shared with more members. We just had our last meeting before summer break, celebrating each other with mass and a special meal, and shared our ideas for what’s to come.

Thank you for your love and prayers. We’re excited and happy to be a part of the CWL.


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