2011 Annual Report — Spiritual Development
Spiritual Development Standing Committee
Margaret Ann Jacobs, Chairperson
2011 Annual Report
This report reflects the activities which fall under the jurisdiction of spiritual development as reported by provincial councils. The dedication, creativity and commitment to nourish members spiritually were clearly evident and most commendable. Truly evident was the raison d’être, “Spiritual growth is the very heart of the League and the essence of its existence.”
Spiritual Growth of Members
Councils celebrated the theme Centred on Faith & Justice using programs, songs, scripture readings, meditations, reflections, retreats and rosaries. Spiritual programs included mass (healing, commemorative), rosary (living, Jericho, candlelight, Seven Sorrows), novenas, Marian crowning ceremonies, holy hours, The Chaplet of the Divine Mercy, retreats for Advent (with wreath ceremony) and Lent (with Way of the Cross) and daily circulation of meditations via e-mail. Councils participated in All Soul’s Day services for families of the departed, and 40 hour prayer vigils for world peace and in support of the troops.
Prayer partners and personal prayer intentions were integrated into the lives of members including daily recitation of the League Prayer. Councils were encouraged to devote one-third of their meetings to spiritual growth of members, with special focus given to issues of justice and faith, spiritual poverty, the role of Mary and St. Gianna Beretta Molla.
Councils used the Ceremonies Booklet, Prayers and Workshops for Women of Peace and Hope, Living Faith Daily Catholic Devotions, Celebrate! magazine and The Word Among Us publications to enrich their spiritual programs.
Members participated in The 12 Keys to Spiritual Vitality: Powerful Lessons on Living Agelessly and Life in the Spirit seminars. They went on pilgrimages to the shrines of Ste-Anne-de-Beaupré, Our Lady of Combermere at the Madonna House Apostolate, Our Lady of Lourdes, St. Anne in Lac St. Anne, Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes in Girouxville, Our Lady of LaSalette, and to Seven Mile Bay (a rosary pilgrimage).
Study of Catholic Teachings
Members studied the Catechism of the Catholic Church, papal documents (Caritas in Veritate), Code of Canon Law, liturgy and sacred scripture and the writings of Mother Teresa, Fr. Ron Rolheiser and Joyce Rupp. Presentations were offered on the New Roman Missal, beatification and canonization. Members participated in Living as a Beloved Daughter of God and Living as a Confident Daughter of God. Educational programs included Alpha, Catholicism 201, sessions on dogmatic theology, the Western Canadian Catholic Stewardship conference, small Christian communities, lectio divina, the study of Jean Vanier’s teachings and Nathanael. Bible studies, prayer groups and studies of women in the bible and lives of the saints were conducted.
Role of Women in the Church
Members participated as spiritual advisors, lay presiders, pastoral coordinators and associates, church wardens and members of pastoral and finance councils. One life member served as the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishop’s appointed representative to the Women’s Inter-church Council of Canada. An increased interest was noted in the study of women in scripture.
Evangelization and Mission Assistance
Financial assistance, prayer and outreach were provided to Catholic Missions In Canada and Eski-Omi Missions. Members participated in Keep Christ in Christmas celebrations.
Members organized, led, assisted and/or participated as ministers of the Word, Eucharist, hospitality, music, sacristans, counters, altar servers, gift bearers, intercession writers and grief counsellors.
Members participated in services honouring deceased members and their contributions to the council, wake services and honour guards for deceased members who were remembered in a Book of Life.
Ecumenism and Interfaith Endeavours
Members participated, coordinated and/or hosted programs for World Day of Prayer, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, the new evangelization and ecumenical luncheons. They dialogued with ecumenical sisters throughout Lent and Advent. They hosted or participated in Shabbat dinners, Fellowship of the Least Coin, Christian unity dinners, ecumenical Way of the Cross, walk of witness on Good Friday and daily bible readings at city hall.
Prayers and reflections were prepared for Eucharistic celebrations, the convention and executive meetings. Three communiqués were sent. Articles for The Canadian League included “A Call – A Response” by Honorary Life Member Ardis Beaudry, “Pray for Our Deceased Members” by Honorary Life Member Lucille Cullen, “Two Bishops Traverse Harsh Lands to Bring Faith to Remote Communities” by Charles Lewis, “The Grey Nuns in the North” by Anne Hanley, “Papal Social Encyclicals: The Heart of Social Justice” and “The Call to Faith That Does Justice” both by National Spiritual Advisor Archbishop Martin Currie (St. John’s) and “Faith in Action” and “Faith and Outreach” submitted by the chairperson.
Three pamphlets were prepared and distributed to councils to enhance communication with spiritual advisors. The pamphlets were titled The Role of the Spiritual Advisor, Information for Spiritual Advisors and How to Work with Your Spiritual Advisor: A Guide for Presidents.