DATE: September 30, 2019
FROM: Anne-Marie Gorman, national president and chairperson of international relations
TO: Parish council presidents
Greetings and welcome to a new year in the League!
The 99th annual national convention has only just ended in Calgary and already excitement is building as we joyfully anticipate the centenary of The Catholic Women’s League of Canada.
It is my prayer that as many of you in your parish councils as possible may be part of the celebration in Montreal in person, August 9-12, 2020. If unable to be there physically, you can live-stream educational and inspirational presentations directly from the convention floor.
There are many reasons why the League has lived nearly 100 years. The faith and diligence of women in parish councils across Canada have inspired you who have seen and continue to see needs in the local parish community, villages, towns, cities and provinces. The Holy Spirit and Our Lady have guided your efforts and kept you forging onward regardless of the challenges.
While wars, depression, recessions, political folly and more have raged, none of these earthly things have kept members from serving and advocating while holding on to the most precious of gifts, faith.
Borrowing words from Pope Francis regarding immigration worldwide, I believe they speak to issues on which the membership may focus, “First, to receive [each other which is our] Christian duty... Second, to accompany. Third, to promote. Fourth, to integrate.” This sounds like the message each council offers its members. Every member is received into the council, accompanied to grow spiritually and learn about the organization, promoted as a child of God and therefore prized by every member in the council. Each will feel an integral part of the parish council unit, so she may serve the Lord abundantly.
The strategic plan adopted in August 2018 is in the implementation phase. Two iterations in PowerPoint form were produced to educate members. Please take the opportunity to attend a session using the newly edited presentation. Each of us needs to hear the story of where we are going and how we are going to get there to take into consideration the new realities of current times. I humbly suggest you and your council members attempt the following in the months ahead:
Review pages 19-20 of the Constitution & Bylaws, so as to understand your role as president and be present to your dear sisters.
- Read The Catholic Women’s League of Canada Plans Strategically (the publication with the paper boats on the cover).
- Become knowledgeable about the terms “core purpose”, “core values”, “mission statement” and “envisioned future.”
- Study pieces of the publication bit by bit. Perhaps do mini-quizzes. Have fun with it!
- Attend a session on the strategic plan with a presenter who is knowledgeable about the plan.
- Do one activity that demonstrates care for creation and include a description of it in your annual report.
Each parish council has myriad tasks they have set for themselves for 2019-2020. Please be good to yourselves as you journey with your sisters. Put everything you do in the hands of Mary, our Mother. You will be pleasantly gifted beyond imagination.
May Our Lady of Good Counsel watch over you, give you strength of mind and body to share the good things God has given us.
“…speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show courtesy to everyone. For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray… But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy” (Titus 3:1-5).
You are in my prayers as you work “For God and Canada”.