2016 Annual Report – Military Ordinariate

August 17, 2017

Coreena Cole
Military Ordinariate Provincial Council President
2016 Annual Report

It gives me great pleasure to submit this annual report on behalf of Military Ordinariate Provincial Council. After receiving eight of the 14 council presidents’ reports via the new online reporting system and reading the executive committee reports, it was easy to see that although the provincial council was small in numbers, there were a very busy bunch of members.

Medical assistance in dying and palliative care issues were at the forefront of most agendas. I believe this was due to the national theme as 89% of councils reported that it was beneficial in assisting with their activities. Eighty seven percent of councils reported supporting their chapel community was one of their three main priorities. Other priorities listed were youth mental health, spiritual development, being rooted in gospel values, supporting organizations through charitable donations, being informed on current issues, home care, membership, the well being of their council and fellowship.

The treasurer’s annual report clearly placed this into perspective when it showed that 38% of money donated was reported under the education and health standing committee, followed by 23% donated under the community life standing committee, i.e., food banks and emergency shelters.

Councils received their information via The Canadian League (100%), provincial League websites/newsletters (89%), national communiqués (67%), national website (55%), provincial communiqués and council chairpersons. All information brought forward via a council chairperson report was discussed and acted on.

All councils reported using text messaging as one means of communicating and some councils reported using other up to date and quick methods such as private Facebook groups and e-mails. Other methods of communicating were via telephone and in person after Sunday mass.

All councils reported meeting monthly, except in the summer months. Ninety percent of councils did not hold executive meetings due to their small membership. It was evident that spiritual advisors were very supportive of the council, meeting at minimum monthly, while participating in the monthly meeting. Perhaps one of the reasons that spiritual advisors were so supportive was due to the assistance they received from council members who played a large role in their chapel, serving in all capacities of the mass and on various committees such as choir, decorating, children’s liturgy and pastoral council.

The majority of presidents reported that when they assumed the role of president, they received the greatest assistance from past presidents, life members and past provincial presidents. The movement of council members due to military postings or deployments occasionally caused councils to be left with a past president position vacant. Credit was also given to presidents-elect, treasurers, secretaries and supportive chairpersons.

It was evident from the online report that many resources were available regarding policies, chairperson’s responsibilities, leadership and training. All councils reported using some or all of those resources. Most were too small to have any additional committees; however, they were created on an as required basis to see a task to completion.

Presidents reported council representation at the following events in order of rank: special masses (90%), provincial convention (67%), fundraising dinners and events (55%), workshops and conferences (45%), diocesan convention (33%), other (33% at Remembrance Day services, funerals for members or their spouses, or guests at diocesan events and parish council meetings) and national convention (22%).

Five presidents reported the following about their council:

• “Small but prayerful council that participated in great fashion in our chapel community.”
• “Small council spread over a vast area that worked as a team in the community.”
• “Very small council, however a vibrant cohesive group.”
• “Busy year with a major successful clothes drive for a disability association that resulted in six new members.”
• “Challenging term with women working full time, raising families and finding energy and time to devote to the League.”

I am very proud to report that last year, the provincial council experienced an increase in membership. Three councils celebrated anniversaries: Holy Family, CFB Kingston, Ontario, 45 years; St. Brendan’s, CFB Halifax, Nova Scotia, 50 years; and Holy Name, CFB Cold Lake, Alberta, 55 years.

One challenge faced every year is gathering members for convention. Being spread from coast to coast, travel expenses can be costly. Last year the convention was held in Borden, Ontario, which was centrally located and utilized the military establishment. Through thrifty spending, the host council was able to recognize a profit that was deposited into a convention fund to assist members in attending a provincial or national convention.

Following elections at the provincial convention, positions were vacant and appointments were required. It was great to see members who were willing to step up and commit to the League.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as president and it gives me great pleasure to represent the provincial council. I would like to thank all provincial presidents and the national executive for their support and assistance.

Finally I will say that although Military Ordinariate Provincial Council is small, it continues to grow; a mighty force to be reckoned with.