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Parish Presidents memo Fall 2018

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The Catholic Women’s League of Canada calls its members to grow in faith and to witness to the love of God through ministry and service (The Catholic Women’s League of Canada Plans Strategically: 2018-2022). This is the newly revised mission statement of the League.

Greetings to new and returning parish council presidents. Thank you for your service. Welcome to the new year of League activities. It is a privilege to serve the more than 80,000 members of The Catholic Women’s League of Canada. Membership is made up from parishes, like yours and mine, using a myriad of resources to assist in the mandate to lead under the intercession and guidance of Our Lady of Good Counsel and the Holy Spirit. Whether a council is small with perhaps 30 members or less, or large with more than 100, the goals are similar.

Please take a good look at the responsibilities outlined in the Constitution & Bylaws, pages 19-20 (available online under Resources, 600 Series: Manuals item #604 to print, or ordered through national office). The directions provided from “(a) to (k)” will provide confidence that you are doing your best to lead parish council members.

The League is in its second year of the theme, Inspired by the Spirit: Women Respond to God’s Call, and is focusing its attention nationally on mental health. Councils may have chosen to focus on other related areas such as homelessness, poverty, addictions, abuse, Indigenous issues and the penal system, to name a few. Each parish council is unique in its needs and actions, yet share in the goal of serving members and the community by providing opportunities for spiritual growth, service and social justice.

The strategic plan 2018-2022, unanimously adopted by the national executive at the pre-convention executive meeting, was rolled out at the 98th annual national convention in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  Thank you to the participants at diocesan and provincial conventions, as the document reflects members’ input from every region of the country. Provincial presidents will oversee its delivery, so be on the lookout for a workshop or presentation in your area.

As soon as you receive and read the parish memos, please circulate them to the appropriate standing committee chairperson. In the event there is no chairperson, decide who best in the council would be able to receive the memo and share it at a meeting, or share it yourself.

Review the three resolutions that were adopted at the 98th annual national convention. The national resolutions chairperson’s memo provides further information. Make a plan of how best to address each resolution through the suggestions listed in the action plan.

Some things you might also wish to do with members:

  • Commit to memory the aforementioned mission statement and the core purpose of the organization which is outlined in the strategic plan: Uniting Catholic women to grow in faith and to promote social justice through service to the church, Canada and the world.
  • Commit to memory the core values of the organization: Faith, Service, and Social Justice.
  • Plan to attend a regional, diocesan, or provincial development day where the strategic plan is presented.
  • Keep yourself and your team updated as information comes to you. Seek out information on the national website and social media, and share the joy that is the League with members.
  • You are not alone! There is always someone in the parish, diocesan or provincial council who can be of assistance. Seek help from others. No one wishes for the parish president to do all the “heavy lifting”.
  • Remember to incorporate faith, fun and fulfillment (spiritual development, social activity, and education/direction/reporting) into each meeting. The suggested division is 1/3, 1/3, 1/3.
  • Ask for Our Lady of Good Counsel’s intercession when difficult decisions are imminent. She will never abandon you, and you will truly be inspired by the Spirit.
  • Plan to do something new this year to challenge yourself and council members to grow in faith and bring about the kingdom of God on earth.

As I, from a small rural parish in New Brunswick, glow with pride at the work that is accomplished by this small band of committed women, I know that this is multiplied thousands of times across the country. I look forward to reading of all the work you do.

Be patient, “listen slowly”, as Archbishop Murray Chatlain (Keewatin-The-Pas) directed in his keynote address at convention. In joyful service, “respond to God’s call” in your best way possible.

Your sister in League,
Anne-Marie Gorman
National President

October 5, 2018

© Calgary Diocesan CWL