Planning Strategically

National Strategic Plan

See the Strategic Plan for 2018 - 2022

See Strategizing Successful Membership Campaigns for Renewal and Recruitment Tips.

All members are encouraged to study the Executive Orientation Program modules to learn more about the League.

Local Council Priorities

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Since every member is committed to the Mission Statement and the work of the council is the work of all members, all members should participate in deciding on and prioritizing which topics and activities the council will address in a particular year or term. Once agreed to, the work of the council is the work of all members of the council.

Often, a council’s activities remain relatively unchanged from year to year, but the issues they support through their prayers, gifts of time and efforts, financial resources, and so on, may be very different over time. Each new year, or at least each new term, should bring with it the opportunity to re-examine what the council is doing and where its energies and resources are going. Ideally, the council works on one or more issues or activities that arise from their members’ particular interests and that speak to its unique “charism”.* Over time, these can change and councils that re-examine their essential work regularly avoid becoming stagnant.

Councils prioritizing which activities to adopt in a year or term are encouraged to choose as many or as few as can be realistically met, acknowledging that every topic/activity may have merit but considering the limitations of their council. Topics and activities may change or evolve during the course of a year, as unexpected concerns arise. Councils are encouraged to consider the national focus and any provincial/diocesan initiatives or activities as potential priorities.

As the council considers its charism and the members’ interests, the chairpersons are the members who help to guide the council in its discernment of which topics and activities to pursue. They may do research, facilitate discussion or invite speakers to help members with their decisions, but as much as possible, the whole council should be engaged in choosing.

*In this sense, “charism” refers to a council’s special gift or grace from the Holy Spirit for the common good, or for the service of others, that helps the council to live out its mission within the church. For example, although a council may do many things, its special charism may be welcoming refugees and newcomers, or praying together, or hosting parish events, etc.

Source: 614 Handbook for Chairpersons 2022

Role of the Chairpersons

Once a council determines the topics and activities that its interests and particular charism lead it to for the year, the next step will be for the chairpersons to develop a coordinated approach to addressing these. Rather than working separately to address personal interests that fall under their pillar, the chairpersons find ways of collaborating to accomplish the council work more effectively. This likely begins with the chairpersons meeting to consider how to bring the gifts of each committee together to support the topics and activities chosen by the council. Every committee has its own purpose and expertise, but they are all connected.

For example, this could mean developing spiritual programs that reflect the topic/activity, seeking out and engaging in opportunities for service related to the topic and advocating to the appropriate level of the government regarding the topic.
Other examples include attending an ecumenical prayer and information event related to the topic, working with other churches in the community to address the topic and attending a municipal council meeting to request better resources related to the topic.

Working collaboratively, the chairpersons strive to develop a program for the year that will allow members to engage in all pillars (faith, service and social justice) at one or more times throughout the year. Every chairperson may not present something at every meeting, but over the course of the year, the core values of the League will be reflected to the members through the monthly offerings as some aspect of the topic/activity discerned by the council is highlighted by at least one chairperson each month.

As well, individual chairpersons always have the opportunity to bring other information related to their pillar to the council; the model of the League has always been and will continue to be flexible.

For example, a chairperson would certainly wish to bring forward information on a new synod, a community’s homeless initiative, the opportunity to participate in a provincial/national survey on palliative care, etc.

Councils can and should adjust when unexpected events occur and opportunities arise; a strength of the League is responding with immediacy, and the chairpersons should provide leadership in such situations, but always acting with the engagement of other members.

Service and action of the League largely rest at the parish council level, with the support of the other levels of the League.


Be Welcoming

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Welcoming is not a one-time event. It is a continuous process and mindset that touches members on an ongoing basis. It makes the League a great sisterhood and keeps members engaged and committed. It is essential that members feel welcomed and at home from their first day and genuinely connected every day.

The new Welcome Program released in September 2020 relates to two critical issues identified in the strategic plan:

  1. Include (leave no member behind) and affirm (make members feel welcomed, needed and wanted), and
  2. Validate all members.

This document will assist you as you welcome new members to your parish council and encourage the involvement of all members. There are suggestions, ideas and resources for you to adapt and customize in ways that will work best for your council.

Download Welcome Program
Download Membership forms (Word format so you can adapt them for your council)

Download Welcome Program Brochure

Watch Welcome Program Video

Invitation Cards - 4 colorful postcards...order from National or print your own (scale to fit printable area)