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The Catholic Women’s League of Canada BC & Yukon Provincial Council

Organization Oral Report to 2017 Provincial Convention Gisela Montague

 “Great League members do not just happen; they must be encouraged, trained, helped and supported” according to our Handbook for Organization Chairpersons.  

As we are celebrating 70 years of our provincial council this year I realize that our membership numbers have moved up and down during this time.  For the past few years it has been on a down trend.  In 2016  our provincial membership consisted of almost 9000 members. I recall the time when we strived to reach a membership of 10,000 in BC and Yukon, actually we came very close one year.  What can we do about our failing membership?  Today’s younger women are very busy with their families and work, priorities have changed.  Where does the CWL fit in?  What do catholic women look for?  

Later today we will hear more on the steering committee struck by national to develop a 5 year strategic plan that will involve research and consultation over an 18 month period.  I am looking forward to this strategic planning process that “will assess and affirm the organization’s core value and relevance to Catholic women in Canada.   I am proud to tell you that we have two members from our province on this committee, Barbara Dowding, national past president and Roxanne McDonald, Vancouver diocesan past president.

In the meantime we will carry on and do our best, inspired by the Holy Spirit and Leading with Courage.  At this year’s diocesan conventions we presented a workshop that focused on Membership, Leadership and Discipleship.  I was honoured to represent our president Evelyn Rigby at the diocesan convention in Kamloops and deliver this workshop.  It was a wonderful experience for me as all members made me feel so welcome.  It is at conventions where we learn, rekindle friendships and recommit our promise to the League.  We know that we have such a great organization and my hope is that we can convince all women in our parishes about the CWL.  Bishop Grattan, our National Spiritual Advisor reminds us that a renewed witness of the League must always begin at the parish council.  He states that “members are called to be more loving, faithful and joy-filled women who through humility and perseverance engage in work that promotes peace and goodness within their communities”.    I thank you for being these women today and for being at this convention.  

In conclusion I want to thank you for your participation in the online annual reporting.  It was a big challenge for many but participation of 73% is remarkable for something so new.  Feedback from this year will be used to edit next year’s online survey.   


With Margaret Ann Jacobs, our national president I challenge you to always look for ways to invite, encourage and welcome newcomers to your meetings.  They don’t have to join right away.  Invest the energy to make them feel important, valued and needed – and they will become great League members, being, encouraged, trained, helped and supported!

This concludes my report

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