2016 Annual Report – Quebec
Quebec Provincial Council President
2016 Annual Report
In the final year of a transition phase for us, or the first year of a new reporting system, we were happy to see all the councils that reported and slightly disappointed that not every council reported in time. Councils continued to be active. There were some councils who were not able to fill all of the positions and we are seeing that it has become more difficult in getting people to take on leadership positions. Early in the year, three workshops were planned. Each workshop brought new members from various councils. It was a step towards creating more unity and community spirit across councils. Another key event that also helped to move this further was a provincial retreat in collaboration with Holy Cross fathers at St. Joseph’s Oratory. This collaboration will be renewed and may also become a new tradition.
The spiritual dimension of the League was a key element and all Quebec councils have meaningful spiritual programs for members. Many members were actively involved in the spiritual life of their parish and, aside from helping out at mass, they could be found in every ministry in their parish. In Quebec, the religious education of children is the responsibility of the parishes, so many members are teachers of the faith-training program. Members enriched their own faith life by organizing and/or taking part in various courses, days or evenings of reflection, and scripture study groups. Members’ devotion to Mary was also apparent in the many services organized to honour her, particularly for the Feast of Our Lady of Good Counsel.
During the year, councils supported a wide variety of worthwhile causes in their own communities. These included support for young people, families, and seniors. Scholarships and awards were presented to young people to assist them in continuing education. A variety of activities, from potluck suppers, strawberry socials, card parties and even a ball, were held by councils to foster a sense of belonging among their parish family and their community at large. The youngest parish, St. Kevin’s, celebrated its third anniversary in style.
Councils continued to promote the sanctity of life, whether by supporting pro-life groups or donating to palliative care residences. Members were also active in writing letters on several of the resolutions passed at annual national conventions in recent years. The resolution regarding First Nation sisters was a highlight throughout the year. As a follow-up to what began in Chateauguay the previous year, having had guest speakers who were of two different nations, we made this a focus at our convention and third workshop.
Numerous other non-profit community and parish groups were sup-ported by members who donated their time or used their talents to raise much needed funds. All councils tried to keep in touch with their members, whether through telephone chains, newsletters, e-mail or visits. Members were encouraged to check the national website often for current updates.
The provincial council did great work, and truly had the opportunity to work well as a team. Many of them also attended the annual national convention. Several members of the executive had to face big challenges during their mandate, either health-related or losing someone in their family. As a team we managed to help each other and simplify when needed. One shared focus was also the fundraising campaign for the CWLF. Even before the campaign began, the executive was made aware of the opportunity to attempt at partnering with new communities who had not heard of us before. It was also an opportunity to meet with the bishops. This did not begin until the following year.
We also began preparing everyone for 2020 annual national convention. Most have been made aware and invited to join the team of volunteers that will begin planning and sharing the tasks in the next few years. Fundraising ideas as well as other ideas have been shared with Life Member Diane Lemay and Life Member Suzanne Wiseman who are the key persons in the planning of the event. A quilt was produced for the 2017 conventions. Each parish prepared a log cabin square pattern and the quilt was then completed by Suzanne. It was a successful endeavour that opened up some councils to very new experiences.
As this is my last report as provincial president, I am happy to report that president-elect, Linda Chisholm, will be well prepared to take on the leadership and bring the province closer to our 100th anniversary. Among the challenges she will face is the need to continue training new members and simplifying some structures. The many gifts and blessings of members will ensure a team that continues to be strengthened with the possibility of new collaborations and maybe even a new parish council.