CWL Logo
Text Size

Policy for Guest Speakers

There have been some questions about the speakers we invite to speak at our meeting or conventions. For example, “What is the League Policy if my council considers inviting a candidate from our constituency to speak.”?


The first thing to consider is what our Constitution and Bylaws says.  It simply states:

Constitution & Bylaws, Part V: Policy

“The policy of the League shall be: 7. To remain politically non-partisan.”

This is interpreted to mean the CWL at all levels will not endorse a political party or candidate or be perceived to endorse a political party or candidate.

Councils are strongly advised to remain neutral and choose apolitical speakers. If the candidate of one party is asked to speak as that person is the best choice for a topic, so too should the candidates of the other parties be given the same opportunity.

Archbishop Pettipas says that he would definitely shy away from having political candidates speak at most Church meetings.  There can be perceived endorsement, which can be highly problematic.  I would be open, however, to hearing from an elected member who is speaking about a concern of global and non-partisan issues, such as poverty, tragedy, justice, peace, development, etc.

From the Edmonton Archdiocese: Currently, the Archdiocese has a protocol for Catholic School Board Trustee Election in parishes which states: “the parish priest and parishioners may hold an all-candidates forum on parish property to allow voters to meet and discuss issues with potential trustees.”  This principle would also apply for general election campaign where a candidate would not have the opportunity to address the parishioners on his or her own.



The Catholic Women’s League of Canada is a nonpartisan organization that encourages informed and active participation in government. After careful study and member consensus, the League influences public policy through education and advocacy.

The CWL does not support or oppose any political party or any candidate. It does encourage its members, as individuals, to participate actively in all aspects of the partisan political process.

Every League member must take the responsibility for clearly differentiating between her personal opinion and the League position.

May God bless you as you continue your work, supporting your council and your President.

For God and Canada,


Cathy Bouchard, Provincial Past President

Alberta Mackenzie Provincial Council

The Catholic Women's League of Canada

May 2018                  Communique # 3

Presidents Memo

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