2016 Annual Report – National Chairperson of Spiritual Development
Chairperson of Spiritual Development
2016 Annual Report
Members from coast to coast celebrate every aspect of their faith in their daily lives. They celebrate the resurrection of the Lord every day but also the cross and they embrace both the sorrow of Good Friday and the joy of Easter Sunday. In reading the reports, I was amazed by the depth and breadth of faith members have. Their ability to witness and act in the name of Jesus confirmed that God is good indeed and the League continued to have meaning and real value in Canadian society.
Spiritual Growth of Members
Being a faith based organization made councils very conscious of the fact that liturgy and spiritual programs defined membership. Reports showed that personal and collective spiritual growth was taken very seriously. Councils reported on an array of devotions. Members:
• attended mass before or after a meeting (55%) and faith based presentations
• recited the rosary during meetings and before mass, the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy and the League prayer
• participated in novenas, stations of the cross, adoration of blessed sacrament, memorial masses for deceased members and living rosaries
• organized prayer partners and prayer breakfasts
Members embraced the theme One Heart, One Voice, One Mission: Hospice and Palliative Care and the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy with prayer services, retreats and workshops, guest speakers (27.8%) and “12 Hours of Prayer for Palliative Care”. They learned about the holy doors in their diocese and province, participated in the pledge cards for the spiritual bouquet for the holy father (64%) and focused and acted on one spiritual work of mercy each month.
A variety of resources were used to create the prayer services necessary for meetings and conventions. Some resources included League materials such as the Ceremonies Booklet (54%) and CWL Prays (48%), national and provincial websites, the WUCWO web-site, Living with Christ (51%), Catholic Digest, Magnificat, lectio divina and Pope Francis’ prayer intentions.
Study of Catholic Teachings
Members loved their faith and consistently strove to learn more about it. Councils promoted and participated in the following activ-ities:
• Courses such as “hearts transformed”, “Best Lent Ever” from Dynamic Catholic, bible studies by Jeff Cavins, Alpha and those from Newman Theological College
• Studies of papal encyclicals including Evangelii Gaudium and Laudato Si’, Mulieris Dignitatem, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church and Theology of the Body
• Workshops like “live in the spirit”, “evangelization leaders” and Catch the Fire!
• Retreat weekends
Role of Women in the Church
Members were very involved and active taking on many roles with-in their church and parish councils. Some activities included:
• Promoting awareness of women’s roles in church/society
• Studying women in scripture
• Taking leadership roles in parishes such as altar servers, lectors, catechism leaders, sacristans and extraordinary ministers of communion. They also served on pastoral councils, finance committees and liturgy committees
• Attending an eight-week Endow program with discussions on women’s role in the church
• Reflecting on gifts and talents and how they could be used in church and community
• Leading stations of the cross
• Forming honour guards at funerals
Evangelization and Mission Assistance
Members were called to evangelize and be the face of God to the people they met. Pope Francis demonstrated to the faithful how to be the merciful in the world and to all people. Members took this to heart in so many ways and were the face of God by making dona-tions of money, goods, and most importantly time to local and na-tional missions including CMIC, ESK-OMI Missions, Don Bosco Mission and other diocesan missions.
Ecumenism and Interfaith Endeavours
Faith is not meant to be hidden and insular. Members were meant to shout it from the rooftops every day of their lives. It was important to make connections with the larger Christian community and members continued to be involved in many ways through mul-ti-faith prayer services, meetings, social events and supporting the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Women’s Inter-church Council and World Day of Prayer. Joint scripture study group sessions and justice activities were held and members participated in ecumenical breakfasts and Advent celebrations with members of the United Church.