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The Catholic Women’s League of Canada BC & Yukon Provincial Council National theme: One Heart, One Voice, One Mission Provincial theme: Joyfully Serving the Lord

President Communique #2 – Evelyn Rigby – Nov. 20, 2016

While the last rose of summer adds a tiny spark of colour to my garden, I hope that the contents of my last communique of 2016 will light your path as you journey to the end of the old year and prepare for the new. Having returned last week from the National Executive meeting, four wonderful days of cross-province sharing and national planning, I am happy to inform you of some of the items which will affect how our League will operate in 2016.

New Themes

The national theme chosen by National President Margaret Ann Jacobs for her term begins on January 1st 2017 and stays in effect until Dec 31st 2018.  The theme is Inspired by the Spirit – Women Respond to God’s Call.

The special focus will be Palliative Care. This, along with our Provincial Theme “Leading with Courage”, should keep us well occupied for the next two years!

Handbills will be available showing the logo and theme, and each parish will receive a poster for their church vestibule.

12 Hours of Palliative Care - May 4, 2017

This event will be continued, with each province and the Military Ordinariate contributing a prayer reflection for one of the hours. National is responsible for the twelfth. Each parish council should ensure that the date is added to their 2017 calendar. 90 000 prayer cards will be shared among the provincial presidents at the Winter meeting of the National executive, and then re- distributed to diocesan presidents at the Spring Provincial Mid-term meeting, thus enabling parish councils to receive them in good time. The Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute is a good resource for letter writing ideas and petitions. Last year our councils conducted a wide variety of activities which involved the wider community: petitions, letter writing, receptions and discussion groups for medical staff, visits to the sick, and fundraising and donating items to hospice and palliative care units.  This leads me to…

The Lap Quilt Project

Honorary Life Member Betty Ann Brown Davidson recently proposed the creation and distribution of lap quilts to a local hospital, hospice or palliative care facility. Perhaps they could be taken to a shut-in parishioner or given to a local mother and child who are not feeling well.  She suggested that they could be collected at the beginning of May, brought to conventions to be blessed by the diocesan or provincial Spiritual Advisor, and then returned home for local delivery. This with an accompanying prayerful visit would be the culmination of a powerful project, with ripples from start to finish.

Those members who want to be involved, but are not quilters, could donate materials, or encourage their council to finance the buying of materials for one of their lap quilt experts. As someone who enjoys sewing, I know how expensive material and sewing notions can be, so some monetary help would be extremely useful. The council members could suggest a theme, and some non-members could be invited to participate in the project and find out what a compassionate and fun-loving organization we are. Too often we limit our projects to members only. What a wonderful way to draw new members in!

The heartwarming stories of making lap quilts can also be submitted to your local press, and used as a platform for drawing more attention to the need for hospice and palliative care improvements within your community, thus supporting and publicizing Resolution 2016.04: Amend the Canada Health Act to Identify Palliative Care as an Insured Health Service.  

CWL Sponsored Mass on Vision TV

This annual Mass will be celebrated on the closest day to Our Lady of Good Counsel feast day, April 26. An additional Mass will be requested for May 4 with the intention of “Palliative Care.” Members in the Toronto area, where most of the Masses are televised, have been encouraged to wear their scarves.


News Items for the National Website

The final issue of Be League will appear in November. In future if any council submits a news item to share with members across the country and beyond, it will be included in News Pages on the National Website. Please encourage your councils to access the national site at least once a week.

Direct Deposit

Janet McLean, National Secretary-Treasurer, requested that

(a) all cheques be made payable to “The Catholic Women’s League of Canada”, not to the National Voluntary fund.

(b) diocesan and provincial councils obtain direct deposit for their per capita fees.

Strategic Planning

Provincial presidents were directed to read two documents “Witnessing to the Future” and “Social Marketing Strategy” with a view to strengthening membership in our organization.

Centenary Committee Update-Artists Alert!

Betty Colaneri who is heading up the committee for the 2020 celebration is awaiting proposals for the logo. The criteria for submissions are on the National Website.

Saving on Travel Expenses

Winter conditions, plus the cost and time of travel often make it difficult for diocesan councils to meet on a regular basis. To circumvent these difficulties, one diocesan council in Manitoba has been using teleconferencing in January and October, with one hour sessions beginning Saturday mornings at 10:00am. Some of their ladies who do not drive can participate from the comfort of their own home, and are happy to have this connection. Their provider MTS has set up an account for twenty people. The cost is 19 cents per minute. The only drawback is lack of face to face contact but it does result in making more funds available to bolster attendance at conventions where members can learn from workshops and renew friendships. The New Brunswick Provincial Council also has used this method for their spring executive meeting.

Extra! Extra! Annual Reports

A few days ago Executive Director Kim Scammell informed all the provincial presidents that with more than a month to go, 149 parish presidents had already submitted their annual reports! National Office has logged 3½ hours of technical support for member enquiries, most of which were solved by explaining the difference between a search engine and an address bar. So keep up the good work, presidents.

On the Feast of Christ the King, and amid the flurry of events, projects and plans which our work for the League entails, my prayer for you, my hard-working and faith-filled Diocesan presidents, is that you and your families experience a prayerful Advent, and a joyous Christmas season.


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