“…we have been created for some purpose, and that purpose is to be love, to be compassion, to be goodness, to be joy, to serve.” Mother Teresa
Your Diocesan Conventions
- No doubt, like me you are occupied working on planning your conventions for 2018, sending out invitations, organizing schedules and worrying(!). Before you get too deep into setting everything up please be aware that National Office has requested that all diocesan presidents need to reserve one hour during their diocesan conventions for a presentation from a member of the Steering Committee for Strategic Planning. This will be an opportunity for all our parish presidents to have input into the document which will be presented for approval at next year’s national convention in Winnipeg.
- If you are planning to invite your provincial president or her designate to attend and give a workshop at your diocesan convention, now is the time to do it. One invitation has already been received and accepted. You may send your invitation as an attachment to your email. It also helps if you can give details of the activities expected from her, as there are some variations in the proceedings depending on which diocese she is attending. For example, all dioceses expect her to bring greetings at the Opening Mass, but only some expect her to give comments at the close of the business sessions. The workshop usually addresses several concerns voiced in the annual reports, but if something else is required please let us know as soon as possible.
- Also if you have any concerns you would like me to take to the Provincial Presidents` Roundtable. Please send to me before the end of January 15.
Going Those Extra Miles
Congratulations to Kamloops president Dorothy. At our mid-term meeting she shared with us her concern about one of her small councils. Acting on our suggestions, she paid a visit to the council concerned and left greatly encouraged. She reported that the council is “a going concern” with a new president, and although small in numbers, they have plans for a baby shower in the Kamloops pregnancy centre, and a collection of toiletry gifts for Moms. They will also send a monetary gift to a seminarian, hold a pancake breakfast, and visit the local cemetery for All Souls’ Day. In addition there was a wonderful Education & Health report delivered by a 94 year-young chairperson.
More good news came from Victoria diocese where Diocesan President Maureen accompanied by provincial legislation chair, Blanca, fielded a question and answer session in one of their parish councils. The session resulted in four new officers.
National Executive Meeting October 26-27, 2017
- At the Provincial Presidents’ Roundtable, the availability of the Pornography Hurts postcards was discussed and brought to the National table. The issues surrounding this, such as cost, changing the graphic, and hard copies versus downloading from our national website, were further discussed and then continued in numerous email messages as to ways the cards could best be used and distributed throughout the provinces. National has no plans at the moment to make any changes. The original template can still be downloaded from the National website, and the cards can be sent at any time throughout the year.
- The provincial presidents were also keen to pursue the issue of a “blanket” insurance, and wondered if coverage by National for all levels of the league, rather than having each provincial and diocesan council obtain it separately, would work out cheaper for all. This investigation necessitated obtaining information from each diocese and is ongoing.
- Our national president, Margaret Ann Jacobs was delighted to be invited to compose a letter to the firefighters and first responders from all across Canada who fought valiantly to protect homes and lands threatened by forest fires in the west last summer. This request originated from St. Joseph’s council, Armstrong.
- A decision was made to focus on Mental Health in 2018. We were reminded that mental health covers a broad spectrum and could be addressed through any one of its perceived causes eg poverty, homelessness, suicide, human trafficking, prostitution, abuse and drugs. It was suggested that all standing committees be involved, to become aware of those affected in the community, to identify their needs, to educate all our members on the findings, and to work to improve support services.
- We had an opportunity in one of our evening sessions to reflect on aboriginal issues, as all participated in a Kairos Blanket Exercise, a First Nations perspective on the effects of colonization. Then on the final morning, we drove in convoy to Fort Alexander north of Winnipeg. We were privileged to be driven by Father Reilander, President of Catholic Missions In Canada who shared insights about his special ministry. After attending Mass at Saint-Alexandre church Honorary Life Member Betty Anne Brown Davidson presented the parish with bibles which were gratefully received and would shortly become fitting gifts for their confirmands. Afterwards we shared a hearty lunch and enjoyed fellowship with members of the community, including their chief, Derrick Henderson. The Catholic community of Sagkeeng is presently served by a young dynamic Nigerian priest, Fr. Augustine Ezedeniru whose project of an outdoor meditative space with a Marian grotto is being financed by the sale of t-shirts designed by him: A dove between two open hands is encircled by the words: LOVE LIFTS UP. FORGIVENESS HEALS. You can find further details by googling “ezedenirus”. As with any CWL outing, sales were brisk!
BC & Yukon Provincial Elections
The election of a new provincial executive will take place on June 23rd 2018 during the provincial convention in Whitehorse. Past President Pat Deppiesse has done considerable work updating the eligibility list and will be starting the election preliminaries in January. If you are eligible, please pray as you discern your suitability and availability. Several of you will be eligible on completion of your term in 2018, while those who are not, will have the opportunity to encourage their predecessors to run.
Provincial Website Development
The committee has reported progress in this regard and is currently investigating how it can best be accessed by iPads and other hand held devices.
May God bless you all, and may his Mother, our patroness, intercede for us as we approach the Advent season, acting as role models in our parishes with our devotions and observances.