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On May 5th and 6th, 2023, Highwood Region hosted the 101st Annual Catholic Women's League Convention for the Calgary Diocese at the Highwood Centre and Francis de Sales Parish in High River.
Read the 2022 Annual Reports Booklet.
The following oral reports are for 2023 and are different from the booklet:
Diocesan Officers Oral Reports:
- President - Renee Spohn
- President-Elect / Organization Chair - Kathleen Winter
- Spiritual Development - Theresa Duncan
- Secretary - Anthea Berdan
- Treasurer - Diane Miedema
- Past President / Archives - Jan Myhre
- Communications - Gail Poshtar
- Christian Family Life - Dr. Rose Geonzon
- Community Life - Consuelo Munar
- Education & Health - Margaret Inkster
- Legislation - Dorothy Boras
- Resolutions - Dorothy Boras
- 100th Anniversary Bench - Diane Miedema
Regional Chair Oral Reports:
- Calgary Region - Karen Bruch
- Drumheller Region - Anna Lewans
- Highwood Region - Gloria Lundberg
- Lethbridge Region - Adele Royer
- Medicine Hat Region - Wil Remijn
Spiritual Development Chair Theresa Duncan opened with the Spiritual Program: singing "Here I Am, Lord" followed by the Lecto Divina exercise.
Our first speaker on Friday morning was Rev. Troy Nguyen who spoke on "Faithful because of Him: Developing a Spirituality of Confidence." He outlined three pillars that we can use to develop our spirituality of confidence:
- Faithfulness in small things
- He who has a "why" to live can endure any "how"
- Our actions build our habits
- We are faithful because God is faithful to us
- Looking back on our lives we can see God's hand guiding our experiences to support what He asks us to do today
- When we know God's faithfulness we can choose to surrender to it
- God is a father
- He tells us our worth and dignity
- Jesus reflects the love of the Father
- Even in our darkest moment we can trust his faithfulness - Psalm 22
- How has God been faithful to you in the past?
- Do you believe He will be faithful again?
- What are the obstacles to having confidence in God?
Dr. Sinda Vanderpool spoke on "Together Forward, with Confidence." She believes that there is strength in sharing our vulnerabilities and reminded us of the four qualities of Mary:
We are called to live our faith with confidence. The word "confidence" comes from the Latin words: con and fide, which literally means "with faith."
Deacon Michael Soentgerath spoke on "Love at Last Breath: Fully alive at last breath" - love at end of life. He shared how God has allowed him to journey with others through the last stages of their lives. We can share, as human beings, our faith and the gift of hope.
Empathy is to feel with others. "If you could feel what they feel, would you treat them differently?" We are not called by God to put ourselves in a position of judging others. We are to help people to live fully to the day of their last breath.
Grief brings change. We minister to people through our own woundedness - that is the mystery of the incarnation. Our wounds are healed through His wounds.
Deacon Michael recommended the book Death as Our Greatest Gift by Henri Nouwen.
Gloria Lundberg presented The Joy of Leadership Through Engagement in Ministry. Leadership is less about the love of power than the power of love. She related Teamwork Lessons from Geese, asking what our councils can learn. Diocesan Officers participated in a skit "When Candles Talk." "You are the light of the world... let your light shine before others" (Matthew 5:14-16)
Leadership is not a title. It is a behavior. Councils were asked to share examples of how they implement the core ministries of faith, service and social justice.
Members donated $2,020 to support the recipients chosen by the Convention Planning Committee: It Takes A Village Okotoks and Pincher Creek Women's Emergency Shelter Association. Each received $1,010.
Anna Lewans of Drumheller invited members to the Diocesan Fall Meeting and workshop to be hosted by the Drumheller Region at St Anthony's Parish on September 23rd.
Rose Kastelic extended an invitation to the 2024 Diocesan Convention to be hosted by the Calgary Region - South Councils on May 3-5, 2024.
The Eucharistic Celebration and Official Opening Ceremony were held at St Francis de Sales Parish; followed by a wine and cheese reception in the parish hall hosted by the Knights of Columbus.
101st Annual Convention
122 people, including 76 delegates, were present on Saturday. The day began with the Memorial Service for deceased members and spiritual advisors who have gone before us. We thank God for the gifts they shared with us.
In his Diocesan Spiritual Advisor comments, Rev. Pilmaikén Lezano spoke on the power of love.
ABMK President Mary Hunt brought greetings and reported on the activities of the provincial officers. She presented Diocesan Council with a cheque for $1,000 to assist a Diocesan Officer and a parish council member in good standing who has never attended a Provincial Convention to attend the 2023 Convention in Edmonton. It was moved and carried that the selection of the member at large be done by a draw among all councils. Three councils were drawn and will be given an opportunity to accept the invitation. In priority order, they are: St Rita - Rockyford, Our Lady of the Assumption - Lethbridge, and St Anthony - Drumheller.
The Diocesan Officer and Regional Chair reports were presented as above.
The Instructed Vote for the Constitution & Bylaws (2022) Amendment legalizing the conduction of business through virtual meetings was adopted.
The Memorial Service Collection of $1,657.65 was for the Diocese of Calgary - Vocations Ministry. It assists seminarians who are discerning a vocation to the Diocesan priesthood and men in the permanent diaconate program with their formation and education. They also assist women and men in their initial discernment of the call to consecrated life.
The Post-Convention Meeting was held at the conclusion of the convention to deal with business arising from the convention.
Mary McGinness of St James Okotoks won the Early Bird prize of $85, which is equivalent to her registration and 2-day convention fees.
Read the Post-Convention Minutes