2007 Annual Report — Spiritual Development
2007 Annual Report of
National Chairperson of Spiritual Development
Elaine Black — Youth Summit, 49th International Eucharistic Congress
Shirley Bernier — evangelization and mission assistance
Karen Lawless — ecumenism and interfaith endeavours
For this report, items were selected from the 11 provincial reports that did not include anything which could be found in the Executive Handbook under the duties of the chairperson of spiritual development. The reports repeatedly showed that members have not only been faithful in work under this standing committee, but were creative in providing opportunities for spiritual development.
Spiritual growth of members
Councils devoted much time and energy to the spiritual growth of members. Activities included: secret sister prayers, prayer partners within the League and with school children; participating in a diocesan traveling Madonna; encouraging discussions about faith with faith testimonies and attendance at daily mass, Adoration, Holy Hours, bible study groups and other prayer groups; days of spirituality and celebration, a night of prayer and special prayer service for military personnel; celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday and the promotion of Divine Mercy chaplet; a special spring program “Live, Love, Grow”; use of prayer lines and chains for members and other parishioners; special prayers during March in honour of St. Joseph; pilgrimage to Medugorje, Lourdes and Lisieux, St. Anne de Beaupré and Martyrs’ Shrine; formation of small Christian communities; a study session on the Liturgy of the Hours ; celebration of a monthly Peregrine healing mass with surrounding parishes; and, the blessing of the boats in May.
Many members were involved in the journey of the Ark of the New Covenant for the 49th International Eucharistic Congress. They were involved in the arrival, processions, rosary, mass, receptions and Holy Hours. They sponsored the traveling of the Ark, welcomed it, hosted prayer services and took part in other ceremonies.
Councils used the reflection and prayer sheets provided by the Congress committee, donated to the temporary national voluntary fund and studied and meditated on the Eucharist in preparation for the Congress which they planned to attend.
Study of Catholic teachings
Councils reported that opportunities were provided for members to be constantly in the process of spiritual growth. Members drew attention to Traditional Catholic Funerals; watched videos, hosted a foundations class “Working for Peace in Our Daily Lives”; received and shared Christian books, religious magazines, papers and other Catholic publications; encouraged the use of Nativity-themed postage stamps at Christmas time; attended the Faith Enrichment Conference, workshops on forgiveness and healing and the history of the church, talks on Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical letter Spe Salvi (In Hope We Are Saved), and a faith enrichment series and bible school; listened to guest speakers; made use of a lending library with spiritual readings; took courses from universities/colleges; planned and facilitated small faith-sharing groups; studied Healing Power of the Eucharist, Jesus of Nazareth and the Our Father; and, took part in the Beatitudes study program.
Role of women in the church
Members participated in church ministries, served on committees for women in the church and attended a conference on the role of women in the church. One member received the Bishop Dollard Medal of Merit for her lifelong influence on the spiritual life of her church and community.
Evangelization and mission assistance
Members supported missions with prayer, donations and activities. Catholic Missions In Canada was supported through donations and the sale of 100th anniversary calendars. Members participated in “A Million Rosaries for Life” mission.
Members were involved in all ministries. Activities included: preparation of intercessions for Sunday mass; serving as sacristan; hosting celebrations and receptions associated with the sacraments; providing gifts for the newly-baptized, confirmants, first communicants and newly-weds; making bibs and baptismal gowns; organizing honour guards and prayer services for deceased members; and, teaching Faith First programs.
Ecumenism and interfaith endeavours
Members continued to be very active in the areas of ecumenism and interfaith endeavours. Among the many activities were: attending an annual retreat at a United Church, workshops and having speakers at meetings, and monthly services to pray for the military in Afghanistan (rotating among Catholic, Anglican, United and Baptist churches); participating in Lenten noon day services, prayer groups, Christ in Christmas celebrations, Advent candlelight choir services, scripture readings, caroling, interfaith Christmas carol concert, Good Friday ecumenical services, and Crown of Women at a Pentecostal church; sharing spiritual and social events, occasions and times of fellowship; serving at funeral luncheons for all denominations; and, being members of and holding executive positions in the Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada. Donations were made to Fellowship of the Least Coin and one member and an Anglican pastor organized “Bike for Bibles Ride,” with proceeds used to purchase bibles for Canadian troops.
Better communication was needed in the case of ill senior members who were transferred to nursing or palliative care homes out of their own councils. Family members who assumed their care sometimes were unaware of their involvement with the League and therefore did not know to contact the council when they died so they could be recognized in the Book of Life .
The following articles were written for The Canadian League:
• Our New Theme: Love One Another
• The 49th International Eucharistic Congress and the Ark of the New Covenant
• ?Do You Know What a Mission Is??
• Women at the Service of the Gospel
• Presence ? The Act of ?Being There? God Works in Mysterious Ways
• Child’s Art Captures Spirit of the Missions
• Parish Council Action Suggestions for 2007/08 Year