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2017 Parish presidents memo - Margaret Ann Jacobs, national president and chairperson of international relations:

I have no doubt that each of you has been chosen by God for your role as president. “The Lord has anointed me; he has sent me…” (Isaiah 61.1). Thank you for accepting God’s call. Please take the time to reflect on this very powerful message. You may not understand or appreciate why God has called you for this role, but He has a plan.

Paul in his letter to the Ephesians begs us “… to lead a life worthy of the calling … with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in a bond of peace” (Ephesians 4.1-3).

This is not an easy task with so many challenges facing us today. We are busy people, trying our very best to do what is right, often with impossible deadlines and unbelievable demands on our time. But St. Paul has encapsulated in a few words a commanding message, which if taken to heart, could transform our lives forever and could reframe, refocus and re-form our parish councils.

I urge you daily to “Become a Living Thank You”, just as convention keynote speaker Ken Yasinski did. Transform your lives by recognizing all the things for which you are thankful and by expressing your thanksgiving in words of gratitude daily. This type of attitude will bring St. Paul’s words to life in your life and (if you can get your executive on board) that of your parish council. Yes, we are already grateful to so many people, but how often do we take the time to tell them? Your affirmation/words of gratitude will fuel such a positive renewal of energy!

I encourage second year presidents to revisit the goals established when you began your presidency. Has the council under your direction achieved all you set out to do? If this is your first term, I urge you to establish goals as a team, choosing a focus for your parish council which could embrace all standing committees.

  • Be women of vision, using the eyes of faith to plan where you are going.
  • Be women of unity, called to live and work to strengthen your (faith) community.
  • Be women on a mission, women with a purpose whose work, dedication and faith change your parish and community.

Certainly, the amazing live-feed cross country town hall session at national convention uncovered several strengths, challenges and things we need to change in the League. You will read more about this in other submissions as well as The Canadian League magazine. Please encourage your members, under your guidance, to take an active role in this process of planning strategically.

Every effort is being made by the steering committee to respond to the needs of members in a respectful, attentive and proactive manner. We want the League of the future to truly reflect the strength and wisdom of its founders and embrace an envisioned future with a core purpose, values and mission that are timely and responsive to the needs of members. You have a huge role to play in this process. You will set the example.

“But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” (Ephesians 4.7) Christ’s gift – our challenge – is to live in His grace and be grace to others to and for the League.

Grace and peace,
Margaret Ann Jacobs
National President and Chairperson of International Relations

© Calgary Diocesan CWL