Dear Sisters in the League:
It is hard to fathom where the time has gone and that we are already nearing the end of the summer solstice; the leaves on the trees are turning into beautiful fall colours of red and gold as the cool nights emerge. I hope that you are well rested after the summer and were able to cope with the worries and evacuation from the wildfires if you or your families and friends were affected, prayers and kudos for the firefighters, God was with them.

As I take on the responsibilities of the chairperson of communications, I have been looking through the job description from the executive handbook and the box of “goodies” from my predecessor, Laura Esposito, who has very big shoes as you well know that I hope to fill! I realize that it is quite an undertaking but a challenge that I warmly embrace with God’s help (and Laura’s help too!)

I have been praying over this topic but feel compelled to mention it in this my first communique. On August 15 the world was rocked through the media by revelation of sexual abuse that occurred in the Catholic Church in United States of America and cited in Bishop Vigano 11-page testimony of these allegations. How did we feel on that day? Shocked, betrayed, worried, filled with sadness, angry, relieved, responsible, guilty … depending whether we have been affected in our lifetime whether it be personally or through our family or friends’ experiences. Emotions affect our health and wellbeing, and we need to make time and take time to heal. Where do we turn when we need help? For me personally when my husband passed away with cancer, it was recommended that I see a grief counsellor. I had no intention of talking to a stranger but turned to my CWL Sisters and they helped me to cope with my loss through prayer and love. Is this what we should be doing with this crisis too? We need to heal, we need to pray for our beloved priests, for Pope Francis, for the victims of the sexual abuse and for the accused. Remember we belong to One, Holy and Apostolic Church together with 1.2 billion Roman Catholics in the World. As you know, Pope Francis has not commented on Bishop Vigano’s testimony, but he has announced, that there will be a synod in February 2019. In the meantime, let us get together with our sisters in the League to talk about how we have been affected by the news. Why not break into groups at our general meetings and help each other work through our emotions and share any concerns that may have been locked in our mind for a long time; this will help us through this pain and suffering. Pray the rosary, offer prayers at Mass, say the Divine Mercy Chaplet, talk in private to God. Anything and everything – just do it!

As you know this was an election year for the national executive. We congratulate our very own Pat Deppiesse from North Vancouver as the new Chairperson of Christian Family Life, and Doreen Gowans from Kamloops as second Vice-President and Chairperson of Communications.

Welcome to Elaine Smuland, the new Chairperson of Communications on the Nelson diocesan council;
and I am looking forward to working with our seasoned Diocesan Communications Chairs, Kathy Dahl (Kamloops); Susan Steiner (Prince George); Mirella Manarin (Vancouver); Sandi Digras (Victoria) and Carol Vanderbyl (Whitehorse) and I ask for their indulgence to teach me some new tricks of the trade.

Some more good news to share – The new national website is up and running www.cwl.ca and our provincial website is up to date too I recommend that you access the provincial website through Internet Explorer ® or Microsoft Edge ® as I have experienced some issues in the application form formats when I use Chrome ® as my browser.

The Fall Communicator will be published in November and I would love to have an article and photographs of what your Councils have been up to over the summer. It would be great to have news from all the councils in the province. The theme of the Fall Communicator is “Prepare the Way of the Lord” as we are getting close to the Advent season Please email your submissions to me at comm@bcyukoncwl.com by October 21.

In closing, I would like to let you know that I am thrilled with my elected position as 2nd Vice-President and Chairperson of Communications. Thank you so much for your vote of confidence! I have been a member of the League for 47 years and have held most positions on the council and resolutions chair, president-elect and president on diocesan.

I love my sisters in the League, and getting to know people, I believe in Servant Leadership and diligently work to empower members to take a chance in leadership roles on their respective councils; also mentoring those who show any reluctance in stepping forward.
I would like to ask for your prayers for the members of the BC & Yukon Council table of officers and our Spiritual Advisor, Fr. David John … please and THANKS from us all!

More news in my second communique to come very soon.

May Our Lady of Good Counsel pray for us,

Sylvia Jurys