Resumption of Activities

I hope you found some time to relax this summer. It has been a difficult one for a number of our BC & Yukon councils with residents suffering enforced evacuation, loss of homes, and smoky atmospheres caused by the forest fires raging throughout the province. Kamloops and Prince George dioceses were particularly hard hit. Let us keep everyone in our prayers and generously support “Wildfire Relief”. If you wish to make a donation online, please visit

Projects for the Final Year of My Term

Please encourage your parish councils to take up/continue one palliative care project and one related to refugee resettlement. Suggestions for the latter were well laid out in my third communiqué. If you are a new president and do not have this in the binder you inherited, I will resend on request. Provincial and National Resolutions will, as before, require more letter writing and/or visits to MLAs, MPs, and other pertinent authorities.

Fall Mid-term October 12-15

This is an early reminder that all diocesan presidents and provincial officers and chairpersons are expected to attend the meeting in Seton House of Prayer in Kelowna where you will give an oral report of your activities from the Provincial Post Convention Meeting until the end of September. This should also include your plans for the rest of the year, and any concerns you have. Our time for the usual activities will be somewhat curtailed since we have to allow for a two-hour presentation to be given by a representative from the National Strategic Planning Committee. This means that your report should be no longer than three minutes. Bulleted items are recommended. The Provincial Secretary and I need to receive your report no later than October 1st. Kathy will be sending out the Oral Report form to you as soon as she returns from holidays, with the same reminders about what to bring. It is the same format as last year’s if you want to make an early start.

Elections June 2018

Since 2018 is an election year for the Provincial Council I hope enough retiring and retired diocesan presidents will consider running for a position at this level. I also encourage all of us to affirm our preferred candidates in the months prior to the forms being sent out. A little encouragement can go a long way… Past President Pat Deppiesse will shortly be contacting all those eligible.

Conventions Recap 2017
(a) Diocesan Conventions
What a blessing these events were, not only to the registrants who were re-energised, moved by beautiful spiritual programs, and affirmed by new and old friends in their work for God and Canada, but also to your provincial presenters! As you know the dates of several conventions clashed so I was only able to attend two diocesan conventions, one in Prince George and the other in Victoria, but it was a good opportunity for the other dioceses to get to know my replacements better and for each of them to hone their presentation skills when offering our provincial workshop HMCS CWL REFIT. My thanks go to President-Elect Gisela in Kamloops, 1st Vice Sharon Geiger in Nelson, and 2nd Vice Agnes Geiger in Vancouver who learned more about dioceses other than their own, and all were delighted with the experience, as was I. Whitehorse members were unable to host a diocesan convention this year but are conserving their resources as they gear up for hosting next year’s provincial convention.

(b) Provincial Convention
While registration did not reach the expected number, all present were enriched by an exploration of our provincial theme “Leading With Courage” given by our national president Margaret Ann Jacobs, Bishop Novakowski and Cristina Alarcon. Our two provincial projects palliative care and refugee resettlement were also given a boost with strong presentations by members who had “been there and done that”. Thank you to Agnes Geiger and Sharon Ciebin who organized each respectively. Kelowna co-hosts Sylvia Jurys and Catherine Stroman along with their committee must be complimented for making this such a wonderful occasion, with faith, fun and fulfilment in good measure.

When speaking to registrants I was happy to learn that some parish councils had it in their policy and procedure and/or budget to cover the cost of the president’s registration, travel and accommodation to the provincial conventions and that some regularly set aside funds to partially subsidize members wanting to attend. Kudos to those councils who make it possible for more than their president to attend. Here I must mention Sacred Heart Council in Williams Lake who made it possible for nine members to come to Kelowna.

(c) National Convention
This was my final year representing BC &Yukon as provincial president proudly carrying the flag at the Opening Mass and reporting on your fine work to almost 1000 members from across Canada. Reports, presentations, resolutions and motions can be found on the national website and will be well covered in the Fall Magazine, so I will limit my comments to congratulations to those from BC & Yukon who participated in the following: the Lap Quilt Project of 2017 to donate quilts to those in local hospices and palliative care facilities, a project which was well supported by all BC &Yukon dioceses and culminated with the chosen quilt from St Mary’s Council Chilliwack being carried in a moving prayerful procession on the final day of the business sessions; the National Logo Contest 2017 won by Tillie Milton of St. Theresa’s Council, Burnaby whose winning logo can be viewed on the National website along with details about ordering and using; The BC contingent numbering 49, a goodly number considering the distance travelled, celebrated at the provincial dinner ably organized by President-Elect, Gisela. Sharon Geiger defended Resolutions 2017.02 (from Vancouver) and 2107.O4 (from Kamloops) which had reached the convention floor and were passed; two Motions arising from another BC &Yukon resolution dealing with the passage of Bill C-16 were also successful. Provincial Chairpersons Blanca Stead and Sharon Geiger will offer more information about necessary action plans in their next communiqués.

(d) Military Ordinariate Provincial Convention
One of the perks of the presidency is to receive an invitation to a special event. Last May, when the Mil. Ord. provincial president, Coreena Cole invited me to bring greetings on behalf of our provincial council, I was delighted to accept. No planes needed, no limitations on luggage, and no extraordinary cost, just a ferry cruise across the Strait of Georgia and a short drive to Comox! The greetings I took to the Opening Mass fulfilled a long-awaited opportunity to thank the ladies for inviting my President-Elect into the League many years before. An added bonus was being able to participate in the workshop on discernment presented by our dynamic duo of National Chairpersons, Nancy Simms and Doreen Gowans.

2018 Calendar
Please note these dates for your calendar:

Provincial Convention June 20 – 24, 2018 Whitehorse*
National Convention August 11-14, 2018 Winnipeg, Manitoba

*We have applied for a National grant of $5000 to subsidize members` expenses when attending this convention, and if successful, this will be an item on our midterm agenda. If you have any ideas how it will best be distributed please submit them to Gisela and me. In addition could you supply us both with information about the cost of flights from your area to Whitehorse. The annual provincial subsidy which was under-utilized last year will also be available.

New Diocesan Presidents

This communiqué would be incomplete without welcoming our new diocesan presidents:

Kamloops-Dorothy Hruby Prince George-Gemma Gillis Vancouver-Angelina Stiglich.

My prayer is that the Lord God will bless you in abundance as you faithfully steer your councils to be vibrant witnesses to gospel values, and lovingly inspire all your members to greater holiness on their path to eternity.

May Our Lady of Good Counsel continue to intercede for us in all our endeavours.