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

Yukon Diocesan President Oral Report to 2017 Provincial Convention

In previous addresses,  I’ve told you about our struggles and triumphs. Today I’ll tell you a true story. By this time next year, the Whitehorse Diocesan Council will become a ‘blended’ Sacred Heart /Yukon Council. With only one parish council to our name, and difficulties filling positions, it’s the best way to proceed. With the dedicated help from Provincial, especially Pat Deppiesse, and guidance from National office, we can move forward, maintain representation within this body, have the same privileges as the other Diocesan Councils, and keep our flag flying at this marvellous gathering!  Across Canada, other diocesan councils are moving in this direction. It’s the sign of the times. We want to belong, we want to contribute, but are unable to participate in the structure of today. With the wisdom and charity of the League there is a place for us all.

We’ve had a wonderful year. Sadly though, we had to say goodbye to Parish and Diocesan Spiritual Advisors, one only 6 months after we installed him. All we have left is a mysterious stain on Fr. Kieran’s stole. It’s not lipstick, even though CWL is a ‘huggy bunch’, more like a tear stain.  We are still blessed with a priest who visits us at all our meetings and functions and makes himself available for special masses, and a member from  Madonna House who provides us with rich, spiritual programs every month. We have been following Bishop Barron’s “Priest, Prophet and King” with dialogue afterwards, the favoured part of our meetings.  We participated in the World Day of Prayer, prepared the 12 Hours of Prayer for Palliative Care and assisted the Right to Life Group in bringing up a speaker, Mark Pickup, featured in the’ Euthanasia Deception’ film, for the Walk for Life. We celebrated the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe with a showing of the new film and social after mass for the parish, and Our Lady of Good Counsel feast day with mass and dinner out. We provide monthly hospitality after Sunday mass, help with the Soup Kitchen, volunteer at the care homes with weekly mass, prepare an annual reception for Scouts Canada on Lord Baden Powell’s birthday. They continue to call us the Ladies Auxiliary.  A CWL representative attends the parish AGM and submits a report for the booklet. We have written letters, circulated petitions, donate to the National voluntary funds and local charities, support a Chalice child, and had a very successful toque, mitt and sock drive this winter. Fund raising was kept to a minimum as we’ll be in overdrive preparing for the Provincial convention next year.

 We recently said goodbye to Jeanne Wilson who followed her family to Ontario. This left our parish council without a president.  I filled in for starters but was also taking notes. I’m pretty sure that’s a no no, so I invited other members to take turns chairing the meeting till we settle with our new status and move some people around. It’s working well at the moment. With the wonderful communiques from our provincial and national officers we have plenty of tools to work with. Have you seen Agnes Geiger’s workshop on Palliative Care or tried a portion of Maureen Ingram’s CWL Boot Camp at your meetings? We weren’t in love with the new online reporting system but can see its’ future benefits.

 Looking back over the year, I am reminded that our League is truly rooted in Gospel Values. With only a handful of ‘active members’, this year represents many hours of generous service. Jesus tells us there are many rooms in His Fathers’ house, and the members of the Whitehorse Diocese, His hands and feet here on earth building His kingdom, have worked in many of those rooms; the worship room, the sick room, the kitchen and living room, the prayer room…In a recent reading from Acts, an angel told Phillip to get up and go. We did too! At our last meeting, we had a poignant reflection on The Widow’s Mite. Our leader saw our connection to that beautiful story. In our poverty and need, we, so small, give all we have.

My dear sisters, God bless you and those you love.

This concludes my report.

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