I hope all past diocesan presidents have had a restful summer and are now refreshed and ready to resume duties. Please remember that as well as sending your communiqués to parish past presidents, you should also be sharing them with your diocesan counterparts and me.

National Convention 2019

First a few words about this year’s national convention in Calgary. What a great turnout with attendance topping 850! It was wonderful that over 50 BC & Yukon members could see and hear our president Gisela, delivering her Oral Report for BC & Yukon with aplomb. From hers and all those of the other provincial presidents we received a great overview of the CWL work happening across Canada.  We were also proud that Doreen Gowans (Communications and 2nd Vice) and Pat Deppiesse (Christian Family Life) continue to serve us well as National Chairpersons. Thanks too to Nancy Simms who rescued our plans for a BC & Y dinner, allowing President- elect Sharon Geiger to display her organizational skills and innovative ideas.

Preparing for the BC &Y Election 2020

Since this is the second year of my term, I have begun necessary background reading in preparation for our BC & Y provincial election which I consider to be the most important task of my final year as past president. My main sources are:

  • Constitution and Bylaws,
  • National Policy and Procedure Manual
  • BC & Yukon Elections binder
  • BC & Yukon Policy and Procedure Manual

Parish Elections

A number of your parish executives will be approaching the end of their two-year term, so their councils will be heading for elections soon. Please remind these parish presidents that in November in consultation with their spiritual advisor they should set up a nominations and election committee. These presidents also need to be aware of the Constitution & Bylaws (C&B) Part XIV Section 2 (c) which states:

“The parish council annual meeting shall be held in January or February for the…election of officers when applicable.” The final two italicized words refer to the conclusion of their two-year term. Instructions for parish elections including eligibility for office, term of office, and nominations and elections can be found on pages 101-102 of the National Policy and Procedures Manual. If a parish council has been holding elections in a different month, they may wish to submit a recommendation to amend this item in the C&B.

 Amendments to the Constitution & Bylaws (C&B)

 There is an official form, #550 on the national website, which can be downloaded when you want to submit an amendment to the C&B. Full particulars about the next steps to take are in the National Policy and Procedure Manual page 151, lines 36-37 and page152, lines 1-7. At first glance this may appear to be a complicated and lengthy process but as is stated in the first of the General Rules p,151:

“An amendment should be proposed for the betterment of the organization. Changing the structure and bylaws should not be done without putting something superior in its place; members should recognize it is a serious responsibility to initiate change through amendments.”

As soon as an amendment has been approved at parish, diocesan and provincial conventions by a two-thirds majority it moves on to the National Committee, headed by the national past president (LAWS), and must reach her by August 31st. Such amendments are not limited to parish councils; members of diocesan, provincial and national executives may also submit amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws.

Revisions to the National Policy & Procedure Manual (P&P)

Please note that if anyone is proposing a change to the National P & P Manual, she needs to use a different form (551) which can also be found on the National website under FORMS. This submission should reach National Office no later than December 1st. The procedure for a revision is different in that it does not require approval at every level; however, it must not conflict with existing C&B content. If it does, then an amendment must first be made to the C&B. The 551 revision form, can be sent directly to National Office. The National Chairperson of Laws, Margaret Ann Jacobs, reviews all the proposed revisions and submits her recommendations to the national executive for approval at its winter meeting. Therefore, the deadline for this submission must be December 1st.

Before Closing

I came across a few words from Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, which I think can also apply to our love for the league, our other family, and the work we are called upon to do:

“[Love] shows its fruitfulness and allows us to experience the happiness of giving, the nobility and grandeur of spending ourselves unstintingly, without asking to be repaid, purely for the pleasure of giving and serving.”

May these words and the example of our patroness, Our Lady of Good Counsel inspire us as we continue our work for God and Canada.

Evelyn Rigby