Diocesan Winter Meeting Summary
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It is a clear indication that we are living in Southern Alberta when the weather in February is better than September! Over 120 CWL members gathered at Holy Name Church in Calgary on this beautiful day in place of the cancelled Fall Meeting.
We started with Mass in which Fr Jonathon reminded us of the importance of our relationship with Jesus as our teacher, Lord and master; and encouraged us to "be not afraid." We sang in acknowledgement and affirmation that "We Make a Difference" in the world.
Diocesan President Jan Myhre opened the meeting with an introduction of our Diocesan Officers. Honorary Life members, Life Members and past Diocesan Presidents.
Fr. Nathan Siray presented on Our Lady of the Rockies Marian Shrine. A shrine is a church or holy place that is designated by its bishop as a site where the faithful may make a pilgrimage for the reason of faith and devotion. It is a consecrated place where the liturgical and devotional life of the Church promotes a special closeness to God in and through the lived example of His Saints.
A pilgrimage is the act of moving towards God expressed in the gesture of visiting a holy site. Just as the Church is a pilgrim towards to New Jerusalem of heaven, individual members of the faithful who make a pilgrimage become conscious of one's ascent towards the Creator by the help of His Grace.
A shrine dedicated to Our Lady aims to foster greater devotion to the Holy Mother of God through pious practices. The Blessed Mother is the greatest of all disciples. Her full assent to the Father's Will is s witness to her humility and her total abandonment to God. We are called to follow in her footsteps as we grow in our faith and trust in him. Being pilgrims ourselves, we hope to be fully united with God by the decision we make each day to take the next step forward toward Him.
Fr. Cristino Bouvette spoke about the St. Francis Xavier Chaplaincy.
The chaplaincy (SFXC) exists to serve as an off-campus hub of centralized outreach to the university student and young adult in the Diocese of Calgary. They are also present on-campus at the University of Calgary, St. Mary's University and the University of Lethbridge. At the U of C, they collaborate with Catholic Christian Outreach.
The chaplaincy is both a physical place and a spiritual entity for the formation and preparation of young Catholics at this pivotal stage in their life so they emerge from the chaplaincy as committed and equipped missionary disciples. It supports high school graduates, university students, post-secondary graduates, young adults, young families, and established professionals.
Guiding participants through each phase of formation:
- Fellowship - The chaplaincy will work with on-campus, student-led clubs to build community and relationships. Students will continue to build these relationships off-campus with SFXC. Students will grow in their Catholic identity as they learn to navigate school and work.
- Formation - Enhanced leadership in the SFXC community will provide mentorship during this phase to students and new grads who will be pursuing careers, marriage, and new responsibilities. Future priests and religious leaders, young couples pursuing marriage, and those desiring social and humanitarian work will develop from this phase.
- Faith - Young couples who have met and married from within SFXC and are beginning a family will be mentors to younger participants. This phase will guide participants in deepening their spiritual life and prepare them to bring this experience into their professional lives and future parish communities.
Watch a video about their work. The 2020 Bishop's Dinner is sponsoring the chaplaincy. Download information package. Members and councils are encouraged to support this fund-raising project to benefit the chaplaincy.
Jan reported the closing of Christ the King CWL at the end of 2019 Council. Councils were reminded that the Diocesan Council exists to serve parish councils. Candy Neumann reported on the success of collaborating with Diocesan Council on the membership at St. Pat's in Medicine Hat.
Fr. Mario Basque brought greetings from Holy Name Parish.
Past-President Janet MacPhee presented on the role and responsibilities of the Past President at the Diocesan and Parish levels, and work to date on the Calgary Diocesan 100th Anniversary celebrations. Download her report.
Treasurer's Report - Diocesan Treasurer Jan Morel
Jan reported that the 2020 budget was ratified. She informed members about liability insurance and Nickels for the North. Contributions to Nickels for the North should be sent to the Provincial CWL Treasurer.
Walter Krewski Membership Awards - President Elect Renee Spohn
Renee announced the councils that were awarded certificates for increased memberships in 2018. Congratulations to:
- Airdrie - St. Paul's
- Bow Island - St. Michael's
- Calgary - Ascension
- Calgary - St. Albert the Great
- Calgary - St. Bonaventure
- Calgary - St. Gerard
- Calgary - St. Joseph
- Calgary - St. Mary's Cathedral
- Calgary - St. Patrick's
- Calgary - St. Peter's
- Calgary - St. Pius X
- Chestermere - St. Gabriel
- Coaldale - St. Ambrose
- Fort Macleod - Holy Cross
- High River - St. Francis de Sales
- Lethbridge - St. Martha's
- Medicine Hat - St. Patrick's
- Strathmore - Sacred Heart
- Taber - St. Augustine's
- Vulcan - St. Andrew
ABMK President Judy Look reminded us that Christ is within us, Christ is above us, and Christ is around us. She spoke on the structure of CWL and that the most important entity is the individual member at the parish level. Each level of the League is called to serve the level below them. We all have gifts needed by our council. The administrative parts of leadership can be learned; we just need to Be Not Afraid.
Planning Strategically - President Elect Renee Spohn
Renee presented on the national Strategic Plan. Where have we been? Where are we now? Where are we going? Leadership comes in many different forms. Members are asked to visit the National website at https://cwl.ca/implementation-of-the-strategic-plan for updates on the implementation of the Strategic Plan.
Lively discussion followed, as we divided into small groups to discuss questions related to the Core Values:
- What element of your faith is a strength, making you the person you are?
- What kind of project or event would you like to take part in to help grow your faith?
- In keeping with our theme, “Care for our Common Home – Stewards of Creation,” what type of service could your council provide to your parish community?
- What other groups in your parish community can you identify that are living our theme?
- What would you consider the top three Social Justice issues that the Calgary Diocesan Council should focus on?
- Is there a Social Justice project that you’ve heard of that we should know about?