Parish Education and Health memo Fall 2019
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DATE: September 30, 2019
FROM: Faith Anderson, national chairperson of education and health
TO: Parish chairpersons of education and health
CC: Parish presidents, diocesan presidents, provincial presidents and life members (on request)
ENCL: Water Challenge Pledge Report
National Bursary Fund Brochure
Welcome back after the summer hiatus. With autumn beginning, there is much to be thankful for.
Members continue to honour and celebrate Mother Earth who provides for our daily needs. As promised, the “Water Challenge Pledge” report is attached. I am pleased and excited that members answered the call of Laudato Si’ (On Care for Our Common Home), with more than 2,000 members participating in the pledge. It is never too late to make a personal pledge.
If you reside in one of the lucky provinces that offer Catholic public schools, there is still an ongoing need to be educated and informed on this issue. Take time to contact the schools and become aware of any issues or immediate needs. Should you reside in a province that does not offer Catholic public school options, but have Catholic private schools, it is even more important the option of Catholic schools be preserved. These institutions need support — reach out and make the League a welcoming force in Catholic schools in your area. St. Mary’s University in Calgary has a CWL Chair for Catholic studies.
Is there a way for your council to support Catholic education?
LITERACY AND CONTINUING EDUCATION
Coady International Institute
Individual and council contributions to the Coady International Institute national voluntary fund for the period July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019 totaled $23,991.44. Due to restructuring at the institute, the Diploma in Developmental Leadership Program is not offered in 2019. A motion was adopted at the 2019 national convention to disburse the funds collected to the Global Change Leaders program for this year. Global Change Leaders program is a seven-week education program offered by Coady Institute’s International Centre for Women’s Leadership. This program “enables women from developing countries to strengthen their leadership capacities in order to contribute to innovation and change in their organizations and communities” (coady.stfx.ca). Thank you for the ongoing support to Coady Institute.
SCHOLARSHIPS AND BURSARIES
The National Bursary Fund brochure has a new look and brings clarification to several areas. Members can apply in a variety of areas, i.e. attending courses, seminars, conferences, workshops and diploma or degree programs, providing the necessary criteria is met. The national executive would love to support members expanding their knowledge and personal development. Please make members aware of this opportunity.
Thank you to members and parish councils for donating to this fund, allowing more applicants to receive funding.
WELLNESS AND SICKNESS/DISEASE
Bell Let’s Talk Campaign is Canada’s largest corporate initiative dedicated to mental health. The national awareness campaign begins with Canadians sharing personal stories about mental illness. Bell donates five cents to Canadian mental health programs for each interaction on Bell Let’s Talk Day at no cost to participants beyond what they normally pay the service provider for online or phone access. For more information visit letstalk.bell.ca.
Partners for Life program with Canadian Blood Services using the League’s unique Partner ID (CATH011269) may be promoted to members. Did you know when donating blood you may direct the donation to several different groups, i.e. the League and Knights of Columbus? Some changes in eligibility have occurred that need to be highlighted.
- There is no longer an upper age limit.
- For most types of cancer, you can donate five years after treatment is complete and you are cancer free.
- While taking some medications means you cannot donate, most are okay.
Visit the Canadian Blood Services website, blood.ca for more information. Members are encouraged to make regular blood donations. Canadian Blood Services states, “It’s something you can do today to ensure someone else is waking up healthy tomorrow.”
Waste Reduction Week—October 21-27, 2019
“Each day during Waste Reduction Week has its own theme [i.e. plastics & packaging – October 24, Food waste – October 25 etc.]. Participants have the option to support areas that are most important to them or learn about a new issue” (wrwcanada.com/en/2019-theme-days). Visit wrwcanada.com for more information.
Although this week brings the topic to our attention, invite members to follow the mantra “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” every day. What better way to Care for Our Common Home?
- Eliminate single use plastic (including plastic straws).
- Discontinue use of Styrofoam cups and plates.
Dr. Peter Baltutis, associate professor at St. Mary’s University, Calgary, provided the following facts on plastic during his presentation at the 2019 annual national convention:
- Approximately eight million metric tons of plastic are thrown into the ocean annually.
- There are five massive patches of plastic in the oceans around the world, including one the size of Texas between California and Hawaii.
- Every minute, one garbage truck of plastic is dumped into an ocean.
Dr. Baltutis’ presentation, “Living Laudato Si’: Practical Tools on How We Can Care for Our Common Home” at the convention challenged members to live simply. As councils resume activities this fall, members are encouraged to continue focusing on water in relation to Care for Our Common Home. Let us be true disciples and ensure a sustainable environment for children and the future.