Tips and Tools

Parish Community Life memo Fall 2019

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DATE: September 30, 2019
FROM: Marie C. Rackley, national chairperson of community life
TO: Parish chairpersons of community life

For years I have enjoyed and welcomed the month of September as it brings me back to reality and helps me focus on current issues and future endeavours. I begin to focus on activities of several organizations I belong to, but especially my parish council meetings, which bring me in contact with my League sisters as I catch up on their news. What a wonderful way to share the love of God and the love of Our Lady of Good Counsel as we start another year of service to God’s people and Canada.

Many things have occurred which we must continue to monitor. I know you have heard this information before, but we cannot let it rest until we are satisfied with the results of our labour.

Development and Peace—Caritas Canada (CCODP)
The final report written by the Catholic Conference of Catholic Bishops was sent to the national council of CCODP and to each bishop to review. The report is on the plenary agenda in late September 2019. Most recently Deloitte Canada was commissioned to prepare a review to facilitate greater alignment of the CCODP’s works with expectations of the bishops of Canada. It is organizational in nature and considered an internal matter between the two.

Canada Summer Jobs
Resolution 2018.01 Attestation Requirement on Canada Summer Jobs Program was adopted at the 98th annual national convention. Although the attestation changed for the 2019 application, many Christian organizations were denied federal funding again. Legal action is being taken by the Canadian Council of Christian Charities, as two of its members were refused funding. Both in 2018 and 2019, the Toronto Area Right to Life was also denied funding.

The federal election is on October 21, 2019; however, we cannot sit back and wait. It is time to write letters to members of parliament and the prime minister about the discrimination shown to some Christian charities. We must let the League’s voice be heard. Applications will be released in late December or early January for the 2020 program. The Catholic Register published several articles in June and July regarding this issue.

Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA)
CNEWA has been a voluntary fund for the past five years. The League has a partnership with CNEWA to help Christians in the Holy Land live with dignity and respect for their beliefs. At the 99th annual national convention in August, a cheque was presented to CNEWA representative Melodie Gabriel for $16,346.13.
Please remember Christian brothers and sisters this year when making yearly donations.

Human Trafficking
Much is being said and written about human trafficking in Canada. It takes place in our communities. Girls as young as 11 are targeted and sold on the streets. In the fall issue of The Canadian League magazine, please look for the article “Human Trafficking in Canada” written by life member and sub-committee chairperson Dorothy Johansen.

“I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me” (Matthew 25:35-36).

May Our Lady of Good Counsel and her son Jesus look after each of us and guide us on this journey of faith.

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H.U.G. Packages

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On behalf of the Centenary Committee, I would like to extend our sincere thanks to the members from across Canada that contributed their immigration stories for this year’s Centenary project.

What an amazing feeling to see all the stories and pictures on display at the national convention in Winnipeg!

As we reflected on the stories of the immigrants that came to Canada with only the clothes on their back or one suitcase in hand, it spearheaded the project for the 2019.

The project will be H.U.G. (Helping, Understanding, Giving) Packages put together by members for distribution at local women’s shelters in your areas. The women and children who seek refuge in shelters will sometimes arrive with little more than the clothes on their backs. Providing a family with items of toiletries and clothing during their stay can make a big difference. The items can help her family get back on their feet after leaving shelter. It can make a huge impact on those who are seeking shelter from their storm.

The following are some examples of items that can be put together. You can also check out your local shelter’s website or contact them to find out what items they are most in need of at any given time.

The packages can be:

  • in small cosmetic bags, purses, travel bags or small back packs.
  • Small travel size personal needs items such as toothpaste, toothbrush, Kleenex, brush, shampoo, razors (disposable) etc.
  • Pajamas, slippers, underwear, socks,
  • Diapers, Baby wipes
  • Gift Cards that allow a woman to choose the items that she and her family need the most
  • Books, teddy bear, games, puzzles.

The goal is 2,019 packages to commemorate the year.

Should you have any questions, please contact me by email.
Betty Colaneri
Chairperson Centenary Committee


Parish Community Life memo Fall 2018

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It is hard to believe that the summer season has come and gone, and school has begun. Goodbye to the lazy days of summer blessed with beautiful weather and lots of sun. As the fall season changes the forests to many vibrant colours, please take a moment to remember the Province of British Columbia struggling to recover from the devastating fires.

As your new community life chairperson it gives me great pleasure to extend a warm welcome and introduce you to the sub-committee chairpersons who have agreed to work with me during the next two years:

  • Life Member Dorothy Johansen (Alberta) – Dignity and Rights of Person
  • New Brunswick Provincial Council 1st Vice-President Madonna Clark – Refugees, Immigration and Citizenship
  • Prince Edward Island Provincial Council Past President Irene Gallant – Social and Economic Justice

You will hear more from these ladies in communiqués over the course of the next two years.

Canada Summer Jobs 2019
At the 98th annual national convention Resolution 2018.01 Attestation Requirement on Canada Summer Jobs Program was adopted. Applicants of the program were compelled to endorse an attestation of values promoted by the federal government that contravene the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom. By way of the attestation requirement, Canadian youth were denied work experience and opportunities through businesses and organizations that ethically could not sign the attestation.

The resolution will be printed in The Canadian League magazine. The 2019 Canada Summer Jobs applications will soon be compiled and released in early January/February 2019. Now is the time for members to write the prime minister and local members of parliament to state that the attestation be removed from any future applications. Remind the federal government that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom guarantees the right to “freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression”. Let’s be pro-active and take action!

Social and Economic Justice – Developing Countries
In August, I received an e-mail from Marisa Thorburn, executive directive of Save A Family Plan (SAFP) located in London, Ontario. She explained that SAFP created a natural disaster fund to assist families impacted by the recent flooding and landslides in Kerala, India. Research of the organization provided the following information:

  • In 1964, Pope Paul VI made an appeal to help the people of India at the closing mass of the International Eucharistic Congress held in Bombay, India. Monsignor Augustine John Kandathil listened to this appeal and took the challenge.
  • In 1965, SAFP was founded at St. Thomas University, Fredericton, New Brunswick. In 1973 it moved to St. Peter’s Seminary in London, Ontario, providing the organization a more central location and space to grow.
  • SAFP’s mandate is to reduce poverty and create a sustainable economy by helping families become strong and self-sufficient. It empowers families and communities. SAFP teaches basic literacy and education to adults to help them find employment to support their family.
  • In 1978, a partnership began with Canada’s federal government via the Canadian International Development Agency to support the SAFP community development program. SAFP was registered with the federal government in 1986 and was incorporated as a registered charity and non-profit organization.
  • In 1990, SAFP helped start a 2,000 homes by the year 2000 community development program with Haiti.
  • On December 26, 2004 a devastating tsunami struck South East Asia and Southern India. SAFP began emergency aid to help those affected.
  • SAFP celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015.

Parish councils have supported SAFP over the years. Donations should be sent directly to SAFP. Visit for more information or e-mail Marisa Thorburn at .

Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace
At present the League is holding funds collected for Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP). Questions pertaining to some of the programs in developing countries, funded by the organization, remain unanswered. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops is working with CCODP to come to a solution.

If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me. May Our Lady of Good Counsel continue to bless each of you as you continue to do the good work in your communities “For God and Canada”.

Marie C. Rackley
National Chairperson of Community Life

October 5, 2018


100th Anniversary Lap Quilt Challenge

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Dear Sisters in the League,

With the cooler weather approaching, members often feel like hunkering down with fibers in hand (“To keep warm?”, one might ask). Such fabric could be knitting or crochet wool or fabric like cotton, synthetics or wool. At this time of year, some just feel like making something for someone.

The Centenary Committee to the rescue; we have the perfect project for you! In the lead up to 2020, we want to create a yearly event or project to increase anticipation for 2020. This year, besides the 100th anniversary logo competition, we are offering members the opportunity to participate in the lap quilt/blanket challenge.

  • On the idea of a prayer shawl, a lap quilt can be made either by an individual member or a small committee or the whole parish council, while praying for its beneficiary.
  • The lap quilt size would vary, being enough to fit over your body and legs to keep you cozy if you were sitting in a chair.
  • Lap quilts can be made for a child, a woman or a man.

    Read more ...

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