I can’t believe a whole year has flown by since I gave my first report as a Diocesan President at the Provincial Convention in Kelowna. It has certainly been a busy year, with the planning and organization of 4 executive and 4 general meetings, as well as our Diocesan Convention. I am so blessed to have such an amazing executive council, who continue to answer “yes” to God’s call and are committed to working tirelessly for God and Canada. This past year has provided great opportunities for growth in my personal knowledge of the Catholic Women’s League. As I met with other Diocesan Presidents and the Provincial Executive, it was interesting to see how we all face common challenges such as:

• Struggling to fill executive positions at all levels
• Getting members out to attend meetings
• Keeping members engaged enough to become more involved

As I contemplated our common problems, I had a bit of an “aha” moment – shouldn’t each of us be looking inside ourselves and asking, what can I do to make a difference in the League, rather than looking for the League to do all the heavy lifting, or rather, the few who choose to step up to take on leadership roles. Isn’t engagement a shared responsibility? Isn’t commitment a personal responsibility as well? As we enter a phase of change and transition, each of us should commit ourselves more fully to the League and to its future. Through this dedication and hard work, I know we will continue to be a strong force for good in the world for many years to come.

One of my goals for the next year is for the Vancouver Executive Councils to be change leaders – this is something I am encouraged to be in my professional life. A good change leader will influence others to embrace new ideas with eager enthusiasm. If our executive council can epitomize this with our shared vision and drive, then we can have a positive influence on some of our struggling councils. We will offer to reach out and help, to attend meetings if needed, to give workshops, to provide advice and support. I would also like us to continue to be a strong teaching arm and this will especially be necessary as we contemplate a renewed vision of what the CWL can be.

In the past year our councils have focused on mental health issues, palliative and hospice care, anti-human trafficking, building bridges with our Indigenous brothers and sisters and helping refugees. The Pornography Hurts campaign was acted on by many, who involved the whole parish in letter writing and petition campaigns. These are just a few of the many activities our councils undertake to influence positive change in the world. We will continue to encourage our members to champion these causes and to always provide help and hope to those in need.

After all ladies, the CWL has the ability to be an unstoppable force for good in the world and I, for one, am very proud to be part of this force. I encourage all of you to look deep inside yourselves to identify those special talents which will allow you to bring your unique strengths to the “one body” of the Catholic Women’s League. Through this strength you will all surely be “Gifted by His Grace.”

Thank you and God Bless!