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

Past President Communique 5 – Pat Deppiesse – September 5, 2017

Dear Father Edwin and Sisters in the League,

As I write this Communique I recall that today, September 5th is the Feast Day of St. Teresa of Calcutta and offer you the following message:

“Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.  

Be the living expression of God’s kindness, kindness in your face,

kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.”  

                             Mother Teresa

What beautiful words to start what I call our ‘new year’.  To me, things always start in September when the kids go back to school.  I want to extend warm greetings to all our Immediate Past Presidents as you work for God and Canada in this wonderful position:

Kamloops:          Sheila Doherty

Nelson:                Janet O’Flynn

Prince George:  Carmen Foucher

Vancouver:         Roxanne McDonald

Victoria:              Blanca Stead

Whitehorse:        Carol Vanderbyl

Please share your communiques not only with myself, but with your counterparts in the other dioceses – we can learn so much from each other!

I do hope you have all had a very relaxing and lovely summer, spending time with your families and friends.  My prayers go out to those who have been affected by the forest fires throughout the province.

For myself, we have moved into a beautiful condo which we have totally renovated from the ceiling to the floors.  It has been a lot of work, but my husband Paul and I have had so much fun!  I also attended the 97th annual national convention in Charlottetown in one of my favourite provinces, Prince Edward Island!  I love the east coast of Canada, and find the people so friendly and fun-loving.  The convention itself was great, joining with our sisters in the League who we haven’t seen since last year. Friendships abound!

Of course, the big conversation was all about the strategic planning sessions.  We had the opportunity to go on-line with members from all across the country taking part in a ‘town hall meeting’ providing answers and insight into the issues facing the future of the League, receiving the results of everyone’s comments immediately!  It is a very exciting time, and I was pleased to see that the national executive are including the grass roots membership in the decision making process.  As our current president Margaret Ann Jacobs says “Paramount in this (strategic planning) effort is the need for consultation and feedback from as many members as possible as we consider with fresh eyes and open minds our mission statement, objects, structure, current and future priorities and the relevance of the League in today’s society.  She goes on “We are so proud of the League, its illustrious history, current efforts and accomplishments.  The League is held in high esteem by the hierarchy, affiliated organizations and government representatives.  We need your help to ensure a secure future so that generations to come may experience the blessing of belonging.”  You will be hearing much more in the near future as the planning sessions roll out.


It is soon election time for some of the parish and diocesan councils.  As past-presidents we can all lend a hand in this process by chairing the election committee, but we also have a great opportunity to encourage, mentor and affirm those who need that little push to take on a bigger role.  Because we have survived(!) we can give testimony that is believable and helpful, offering realistic and practical ways to get through new challenges.  Be a joyful mentor, companion and advisor to anyone who asks.  Encourage others to reach inside themselves with courage, to “Be Not Afraid”.

As our national past-president Barb Dowding once said “We all know that an invitation from one League Sister to another is the single best way to coax a reluctant or shy member to try.  Letting one’s name stand for election takes courage but more than that, it takes the support of others.  We owe it to those members who have gone before and to the future success of our great organization to find and encourage women to step forward.”  It is important to follow the nomination and election procedures outlined in the National Policy and Procedure Manual P.101-109 and C&B Part XVI under “Eligibility, Nominations and Elections” P.37-42.

Policy and Procedures Manual

Would diocesan past presidents please encourage every parish council to have their own P&P.  It is important that all councils have one, as it makes decision making so much easier and gives guidance as to how things are done in each parish.  Once established, they should be reviewed once each term.  I have attached a suggested procedure available in “S’Mores on page 65-66 on the national website.