League members in northern BC have been busy. Parish councils have hosted speakers to help them become better informed on current topics. One council invited the RCMP to speak to them about human trafficking. Three councils have learned more about mental health issues. Another council had a speaker from the local palliative care society.
Spiritual development is always the main focus of meetings. Some of our councils are sponsoring Alpha Outreach. Most councils are involved in parish ministries and a number of councils led the Stations of the Cross in their parishes during Lent. Many of the ladies participated in the World Day of Prayer in March.
Fort St John parish council has been very active in the Dress a Girl around the World program, making a large number of dresses, which are then sent overseas to girls in need.
Councils have also sponsored projects at home: financially supporting the diocesan youth conference, donating to assisted living facilities, and purchasing a wheelchair for a housebound parishioner. A member of one of our parish councils made fifty lap quilts, which were then distributed to the seniors’ home, the assisted living home and RCMP Victim Services.
The Prince George Diocesan Convention was held in Smithers in April. We were pleased to have a presentation on Catholic Missions in Canada from a couple who, together with their family of young children, spent a year serving in a small community in northern Canada. We were also delighted to have our bishop, Most Reverend Stephen Jensen and seven priests with us for the opening Mass.
The diocese of Prince George covers 133,000 sq. miles, our councils are scattered in a number of smaller communities with considerable distance between. This winter travel was particularly difficult, due to considerably more snow than usual. Attending events outside our own communities was not easy.
As well as travel distance we find ourselves faced with a number of other problems. The majority of our members are elderly and finding it more difficult to serve in executive positions. Two of our fifteen councils are too small to continue and are presently considering disbanding. Other councils are struggling and praying for guidance. Many of the priests coming to serve in the diocese are from overseas and unfamiliar with the work of the League. Despite these hardships most of the parish councils in the Prince George diocese continue to accomplish great work for God and Canada.