2017 Annual Report – National Chairperson of Spiritual Development
Chairperson of Spiritual Development
2017 Annual Report
Members were active in many ways and the area of spiritual development was no different. Members learned about their faith and demonstrated growth through action, within and out of the church community. They were rooted in gospel values and lived their lives in service to the church and the people of God, showing their love for the League, parish councils and communities through prayer and action.
Spiritual Growth of Members
Members’ spiritual growth was a priority for all levels of the League. Reports show members continued to create and discover many ways to learn about the Catholic faith as individuals and in groups. Thirty-seven percent of members reported having enrolled in programs for personal spiritual growth. Sixty-eight percent reported one-third of time spent at meetings was spent on spiritual programs. Spiritual development chairpersons reported a large variety of activities were held throughout the year including:
• mass on the Feast Day of Our Lady of Good Counsel
• reciting of the rosary
• stations of the cross
• studying the saints
• praying novenas
• honour guards at funerals
Members embraced the new theme Inspired by the Spirit, Women Respond to God’s Call in a variety of ways. They held prayer services and retreats, and invited guest speakers to meetings. Fifty-three percent reported the theme was reflected at meetings. Thirty-seven percent reported they did not study the theme at all, with some of those being unaware resources surrounding the theme existed. A priority for parish council chairpersons was to create or provide prayer services for the League at meetings and gatherings. Members reported 32% used the League website for prayer services and 32% created their own.
Members used a variety of sources for prayer services with the majority using:
• Ceremonies Booklet
• CWL Prays
• The Word Among Us
• materials provided on the theme
Members valued the input of the spiritual advisor at all levels. Forty-three percent reported the spiritual advisor attended monthly meetings sometimes and 21% reported the spiritual advisor most always/always attends meetings.
Study of Catholic Teachings
Parish council chairpersons reported members were involved with many lay formation programs including Nathanael in Manitoba.
The article on the instruction of burial of deceased in the winter edition of The Canadian League did not have an impact at the parish level, with only seven percent having discussed it at a meeting with their pastor. Few parish councils reported discussing or studying papal encyclicals, with 82% reporting they did not study encyclicals at all.
Role of Women in the Church/Lay Ministries
Parish council chairpersons reported they promoted awareness of women’s important role in church and society. Members were involved in parish councils and in the church community. They filled many, many roles in the parish and continued to increase learning about women’s role within the church. Some activities included taking leadership roles in parishes such as: lectors, catechism bearers, sacristans or extraordinary ministers of holy communion; serving on pastoral councils, finance committees or liturgy committees; leading Liturgy of the Word services; or serving as chaplains and participating as a member of the military chaplaincy team. “Often our ministries are hidden works of love in service of the Church and the broader community.” (Whitehorse)
Evangelization and Mission Assistance
As Christians in an increasingly secular society, members were called to be the face of Jesus in the world. They supported many organizations with gifts of time, money and donations, including Catholic Missions In Canada, ESK-OMI Mission and St. Francis Xavier Mission. Members worked with local Knights of Columbus in the annual Keep Christ in Christmas campaign. One parish council reported a member facilitated a rosary club at school for young people.
Ecumenism and Interfaith Endeavours
Members made connections with the larger Christian community in many ways. Members hosted and were involved in events such as World Day of Prayer, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Fellowship of the Least Coin, Women’s Inter-Church Council and joint prayer services with other churches.