Spiritual Development

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SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT STANDING COMMITTEE

Spiritual growth is the very heart of the League and the essence of its existence.
The patroness of the League is the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of Our Lady of Good Counsel.

2017 Spiritual development memo from Jacqueline Nogier, national chairperson of spiritual development

See the article on How to Support Hospice or Palliative Care Initiatives for ideas on how to assist caregivers and members in Hospice or palliative care.

DUTIES
The duties of the Spiritual Development Standing Committee are:

The chairpersons of standing committees shall:
(a) acquire knowledge of and fulfill the duties of the committee assigned
(b) appoint a sub-committee to share the work
(c) consult with chairpersons of other standing committees to maximize team effort and avoid duplication
(d) prepare and promptly submit monthly and annual reports as required
(e) be responsible for long-term planning

The chairperson should:

  • refer to communiqués and/or annual reports from all levels
  • study and act on League resolutions adopted at each level pertaining to this standing committee
  • file with the recording secretary a copy of monthly and annual reports

Book of Life

All Parish Councils should have a Book of Life to record the names of deceased members.

Note: They do NOT have to be a current member to have their name entered into the Book of Life.
If they have ever been a member, they are included.

REMEMBER TO SUBMIT THEIR NAMES TO NATIONAL OFFICE.

 

RESOURCES and REFERENCES

Contact national office for information on obtaining the following documents:

  • Christifideles Laici – Post Synodal Apostolic Exhortation of His Holiness John Paul II on the Vocation and Mission of the Lay Faithful in the Church and in the World (1989)
  • Mulieris Dignitatem – Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Letter on the Dignity and Vocation of Women (1988)
  • Evangelization in the Modern World – Pope Paul VI, 1975 and study guide (CCCB)
  • To Speak as a Christian Community – a pastoral message on inclusive language
  • National Bulletin on Liturgy

Current addresses for additional resources may be obtained from the chairperson at the next level.

Protocol for Honorary Life / Life Members

Protocol for Deceased Members

Source: Executive Handbook

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ECUMENISM and INTERFAITH ENDEAVOURS
Ongoing interfaith dialogues have revealed vast areas of common action and resulted in the collaboration of churches on a range of social issues.

The chairperson shall:

  • initiate joint prayer services, inviting women of other faiths to council meetings or social events
  • promote awareness of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
  • promote awareness of the World Day of Prayer, observed annually on the first Friday in March
  • dialogue with leaders of Christian communities; in ecumenical dialogue, stress what we have in common rather than what divides
  • celebrate World Union of Catholic Women’s Organization’s WUCWO Day, on May 13th each year, with a recommended prayer service

The chairperson should:

  • obtain information and texts for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity from Novalis and the Canadian Council of Churches
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LAY MINISTRIES
The strength of League ministry can be measured in proportion to the depth of members’ spirituality.

The chairperson shall promote:

  • spiritual ministries – retreats, prayer and study groups
  • liturgical ministries – music, parish liturgy committees, lectors, ushers, and Eucharistic ministers
  • church ministries – lay leadership, pastoral facilitator and council members
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EVANGELIZATION and MISSION ASSISTANCE
Members are called to lead all people to encounter Christ. The League’s mission will remain incomplete until we can say we have shared not only our material goods with others but, more importantly, our gift of faith.

The chairperson shall:

  • encourage members to assist missions at home and abroad
  • promote the collection for Catholic Missions In Canada

The chairperson should:

  • contact local diocesan mission offices, Catholic Missions In Canada and counterparts on the next level for mission names and addresses at home and abroad

 

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ROLE of WOMEN in the CHURCH
Women are called to take an active and responsible leadership role in the church’s life and mission by actively participating in League, church and community.

The chairperson shall:

  • encourage members to watch for and read new books which explore women in the scriptures
  • promote an awareness of women’s place in church and society as found in the scriptures
  • encourage members to actively participate in the League, the church and the community by taking leadership roles
  • encourage women to continue to contribute to the progress of humanity by participation in ecclesial, cultural, social and economic life in their parish communities
  • become a member of the parish liturgy team
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STUDY of CATHOLIC TEACHINGS
Faith is a way of life which is characterized by a constant and ongoing conversion and renewal of mind and heart. Members must constantly be in the process of spiritual growth.
The chairperson shall:

  • promote and publicize courses and programs which will contribute to faith enrichment
  • organize workshops
  • form groups to study the Catechism of the Catholic Church, papal documents, Code of Canon Law
  • study and act on League resolutions pertaining to this standing committee

The chairperson should:

  • contact local Catholic information or diocesan centres to determine what materials are available
  • make use of films, videos and guest speakers
  • subscribe to Catholic newspapers/periodicals and other publications
  • promote or establish a parish lending library for adults and children
  • encourage members to join a lay formation program in the diocese
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SPIRITUAL GROWTH of MEMBERS
The spiritual dimension sets the League apart from all other women’s organizations.
The chairperson shall:

  • facilitate the study of the League theme
  • plan meaningful liturgies and spiritual programs in consultation with the spiritual advisor
  • prepare spiritual programs for all meetings
  • involve sick or shut-in members in prayer for League intentions
  • organize retreats for all women of the parish
  • plan special devotions for Advent and Lent
  • make use of the League’s Ceremonies Booklet
  • plan a celebration on the Feast Day of Mary, April 26, Feast of Our Lady of Good Counsel; May, the month of Mary; October, the month of the Rosary; and other significant occasions
  • arrange prayer vigils/honour guards for deceased members according to League protocol (National Manual of Policy and Procedure, Appendix 2)
  • ensure League prayer leaflets, Hymn to Our Lady of Good Counsel, picture of Our Lady of Good Counsel and other items needed for meetings are on hand

The chairperson should:

  • precede meetings with mass, involve members
  • organize and/or encourage members to attend a bible study group
  • encourage members to allow time each day for personal prayer, meditation or reading
  • make use of the diocesan pastoral centre
  • become a member of the parish liturgy team
  • encourage members to join a lay formation program in the diocese
  • participate in and help organize annual retreats
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PROTOCOL for DECEASED MEMBERS

It is fitting that council members take time to remember deceased members in a special way. Parish councils should discuss, review and set a basic policy for remembering deceased members. It is essential that the spiritual advisor be consulted as customs and requirements vary from parish to parish.

Suggestions for CWL Funerals

  1. A League member should contact the family to offer assistance. The member should also explain how the CWL can be involved with respect to an honour guard, procession, and vigil prayers. The member should request permission from the family of the deceased in this regard.
  2. A situation may arise in which the deceased person has not paid her membership fees for a number of years. She may have been in a personal care home or her health was such that she was unable to be an active member of the League. Whatever the reason, councils are requested to respect that this person supported the League in the past and an honour guard would be appropriate.
  3. Members should visit the funeral home/home/church as a group. When signing the guest book, indicate CWL. The president or her delegate (i.e. spiritual development chairperson) should lead the vigil prayers which may be found in the Handbook for Spiritual Advisors, and the Ceremonies booklet.
  4. Members should be contacted to form a guard of honour for the funeral. They could wear CWL scarves, stoles, arm bands or crest buttons and their League pin. Honour guard suggestions:
    1. Members line up on either side of the stairs or entrance to the church. Once the greeting prayers have been said by the priest, the guard of honour follows the casket to the front of the church and usually sits directly behind the pallbearers. The funeral director will direct the members in the guard as to when to enter, where to sit and when to leave.
    2. Some honour guards sit together, behind the pall bearers without a procession.
    3. Members sit at the end of the pews lining the aisle of the church, beginning from back to front, depending on the number of members present. Each member stands holding a lighted candle as the funeral procession enters and leaves the church. (in accordance with local fire regulations)
    4. Line up each side of the sidewalk from the church to the hearse, holding lighted candles (depending on weather), again following the direction of the funeral director.
  5. One member should be appointed to be responsible for order during the guard of honour to:
    1. instruct members where to sit or stand
    2. distribute, light and collect candles
    3. communicate with the presider and the funeral director
    4. ensure that respect and order is maintained by silence and quiet prayer.

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PROTOCOL For HONORARY LIFE/LIFE MEMBERS Diocesan   Prov’l   National
Annual Conventions      
  Mail convention information (including tentative agenda) X X X
  Notify in advance regarding planned participation in convention liturgies (e.g., gift bearers) X X X
  Reserve seating in church for convention opening liturgy – front seats on left side X X X
  Issue voting cards X X X
  Reserve tables at business sessions/luncheons/banquets X X X
  Include in Roll Call of Convention X X X
  Issue written invitations to specific convention receptions or include in registration package X X X
During the year          
  Send complimentary newsletters (if applicable) X   X    
  Send convention minutes on request X X X


Life Member Liaisons

  • Diocesan liaison communicates with local life and honorary life members (if applicable)
  • Provincial/diocesan presidents are encouraged to write to new life members.

Source: Executive Handbook