2017 Annual Report – Quebec
Quebec Provincial Council President
2017 Annual Report
My first year as president Quebec Provincial Council was one of learning. Working with the provincial executive, as well as meeting and sharing with provincial presidents across Canada, was positive and enjoyable. Participating in national meetings led me to an appreciation for the functioning of the League on a larger scale. It was apparent that all are dealing with the same challenges to various extents, those of maintaining memberships, recruiting new members and filling leadership roles. While some parish councils were unable to fill all positions, provincial membership reported growth, even as the national trend reflected a decline.
The provincial executive offered workshops that focused on the roles of the parish council secretary and treasurer. These workshops were well attended and appreciated by the participants. It remained a priority to deliver workshops that would train members to take on leadership positions within councils.
The provincial council was blessed with the hard work of its spiritual advisor Fr. John Torrance. At convention, he led a beautiful spiritual activity during victims of the Holocaust were remembered. Two provincial retreats were held in collaboration with Holy Cross fathers at St. Joseph’s Oratory. Members were blessed to live in a province so rich in religious history and home to so many beautiful churches and cathedrals.
The goal of my first term was to improve the communication and transmission of information from one level to the next. In an effort to create more unity between provincial and parish councils, provincial executive members were assigned to a parish to act as a liaison. In some cases this was embraced and a greater sense of connection was established. Other parish councils were more reluctant to welcome these changes, and it became evident this would be an ongoing process.
All communications, including standing committee communiques, were sent by the provincial secretary, who was a great source of support. There were mixed responses to this process. Some members missed the individual contact with standing committee chairpersons, while others received communiques for the first time. More work is planned before a complete evaluation of the process can be made. I commend provincial executive members for their effors; they really worked well as a team. i feel parish and diocesan council presidents also felt a bond of friendship.
Many members remained actively involved in parish life and were found helping out in every ministry. Members were leaders in faith education programs in parishes, helping to form young members in communities. Members grew in faith through personal prayer, by taking courses and by participating in bible study groups. Devotion to Mary was apparent in the many services organized to honour her, particularly for the Feast of Our Lady of Good Counsel. On this occasion some parish councils hosted a “CWL Sunday” complete with a flag procession at mass.
Parish councils were busy with various fundraising events that allowed them to support a number of causes in the communities and give generously to national voluntary funds. All councils promoted the protection of life from conception until natural death. This is accomplished by supporting pro-life initiatives, attending workshops and information sessions, as well as devoting their time and talents to palliative care residences. Members were also active in writing letters on several of the resolutions passed at the national level in recent years. Our councils were very active in the post card campaign against pornography. A motion was passed at Provincial this year to recognize the First Nations territory that we are meeting on when we have official gatherings. This was a natural follow up to the long term efforts our provincial council has made to build bridges and friendships with our Native sisters through events and workshops that foster a greater understanding and compassion.
Parish councils contacted members through various means including Facebook pages and visits to shut-ins. Members were encouraged to check the website often for updates and refer often to The Canadian League. Provincial and national communiques were the greatest avenue of communication to members.
Preparations were well underway for the 2020 annual national convention in Montreal, which will unite members from across Canada to celebrate 100 years of service and accomplishments of The Catholic Women’s League of Canada. Committee members worked together to plan for the best celebration Quebec Provincial Council can deliver.