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

Community Life Communique 3 – Sharon Ciebin – August 28, 2017

“Love is important, Love gives life, Love Sustains Life and when we are at our best, Love defines Life”  Dr. Allen Hunt Nine Words.  

Welcome back dear Sisters in Christ.  I love this time of year when we return feeling recharged and renewed from conventions and/or the summer break.  During my time away, through the loss of family and friends, I experienced the power of Palliative Care and was reminded how valuable my membership and actions, in the League have been.  Through its call to action, the Community Life standing committee gives us the opportunity to recognize the gift of our faith, bring hope to those living in despair and show love to our neighbor as we take active roles in service to others.  As Provincial Chair, my communiques will cover information on all areas of responsibility, including information received from our National Chairperson Betty Colaneri.  While I realize each diocese will not be acting on every area, as Diocesan Chairs, I ask that you share this information for the benefit of your members, as you see fit.  I have attached our committee responsibilities from the Executive Handbook found under the Resource tab at www.cwl.ca for your reference.  I wish to thank all of you for answering God’s call to Leadership in the League, and I look forward to working with you and welcome the following committee members.   


Kamloops - Minnie Mathieu

Prince George – Barbara Marwood

Vancouver – Beth Brewer –


Nelson –Victoria Oppertshauser

Victoria – Tina Hanlon

Whitehorse – Carol Vanderbyl

In her recent communique, Betty Colaneri shared information on Canada’s 150th Birthday Celebrations.  Betty provided 150 ideas where members can volunteer.  Some of the suggestions are great to do as individuals while some would be best done as a council.  You will find the list attached.           

Dignity and Rights of Persons

In the Archdiocese of Vancouver the Anti Human Trafficking Committee has been educating parishes and the public on Canada’s new law Bill C – 36 Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act.  This law states that it is against the law to purchase sex (the Johns) and to benefit from the proceeds of same (the Pimps).  We feel the law is not being enforced in all areas of the Province and have invited Valiant Richey to speak at the Vancouver Public Library on Oct. 16th. Valiant is the Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for King County – Seattle Washington and has prosecuted many individuals.  He will provide insight into how we can effectively provide support for our law, which will be reviewed in a few years.  We will film his presentation and share on You Tube.  I will update you further in my next communique.  Our Victoria Diocese has contacted the committee requesting we attend a meeting, and provide a speaker and information on how pornography and trafficking are connected.    

Social and Economic Justice

Betty Colaneri reported that The League was contacted by Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ), a faith-based national organization working on federal policy in the areas of poverty in Canada, which included climate, justice and refugee rights, regarding the Dignity for All campaign for a poverty-free Canada.   I look forward to further updates on this campaign in the future.   

In my 2nd communique, I provided a full report on the Prison Ministry in the Archdiocese of Vancouver.   Pope Francis recently said that if the incarcerated have no hope of a better life after serving their sentence, then we should not be placing them in prisons.  There is a great need for volunteers in the Prison Ministry all over the Province and Yukon.  Please let me know if this interests you and your diocese and I can resend you my communique with contact information.

The City of Vancouver is expecting action from the National Murdered and Missing Women’s Inquiry to commence very soon.  My next communique will contain how councils can take an active role in this.  


At our Provincial Convention in June I highlighted the need for parishes to sponsor Christian refugees living in Pakistan as they are being persecuted at this time, under a blasphemy law.   I am pleased to read in the BC Catholic dated Aug. 28th page 9 that a handful of parishes have applied to sponsor from there.  If further information is required please contact me - my information is below.  The Resettling of Refugees remains a priority of this Provincial council.  

Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP)  

I am sure we are all aware of the famine relief efforts which took place all over the Province and country in June for people in Africa and Yemen.  Our members showed their generous hearts by donating over $1,000 at our Provincial Convention which was sent to CCODP.  The BC Catholic has a report that $21.3 was raised by citizens and that our federal government has matched.  See the full article on page 3 of Aug. 28th BC Catholic. I will be highlighting CCODP in my next communique as well.  

As I previously stated the Community Life standing committee is one calling its members to take Action.  Working with your diocesan team, I pray that by your direction, inspiration and enthusiasm members will reach out providing support in their communities.  For our three new chairpersons, if you did not receive my first 2 communiques, please contact me and I will be happy to forward to you.   I look forward to working with you and getting to know you over the next year and welcome your input and questions.  .  

Life grows by being given away, and it weakens in isolation and comfort.  Indeed, those who enjoy life most are those who leave security on the shore and become excited by the mission of communicating life to others - Pope Francis from The Joy of the Gospel

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