2019 Annual Report – Alberta Mackenzie

June 22, 2020

Judy Look
Alberta Mackenzie Provincial President

The presidents of the diocesan councils were: Jan Myhre, Calgary; Mary Molloy, Edmonton; Christine Becher, Grouard-McLennan; Shirley Gutierrez, Mackenzie; and Lola Alsmo, St. Paul.

The League was alive and well with 9,101 members in 155 councils with 109 parish councils reporting. Care for Our Common Home was the number one priority for all diocesan councils whether the focus was

  • environmental—recycle, reuse, reduce and working on Resolution 2018.02 Setting a Standard for Products Marketed as “Flushable”
  • spiritual—growth in prayer, spiritual development, celebrations of deceased sisters, World Day of Prayer and special celebrations of Our Lady of Good Counsel
  • sanctity of life—participating in the March for Life, working on Resolution 2019.01 Canada to Honour its Commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and supporting Rachel’s Vineyard
  • community needs—challenging governments to exclude medical assistance in dying from palliative care hospices, continuing the Pornography Hurts campaign, writing letters protesting the Canada Summer Jobs Program attestation, praying “12 Hours of Prayer for Palliative Care” and working on Resolution 2019.02 Canadian Support for the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

All five diocesan councils reported embracing the strategic plan in various ways. Efforts in this area included presentations on The Future of the League—Year 1 at fall, regional and council meetings; encouraging members to join working groups; encouraging councils to adopt the pillars of faith, service and social justice as a format for their work and educating members on the plan.

Continued professional development was encouraged. Resources such as websites, communiqués, The Canadian League and Catholic publications were used to help increase growth in knowledge on various subjects. Parish councils used the National Manual of Policy and Procedure and the Constitution & Bylaws to educate about the workings of the League. Attendance at conventions, regional meetings, workshops and retreats contributed to members’ growth.

To run more efficient meetings, some parish councils turned to Robert’s Rules of Order and the National Manual of Policy and Procedure as well as the Executive Handbook. Mentoring for presidents came mostly from past presidents.

Communicating with members through online newsletters, bulletins, prayer lists and e-mails kept members informed. Some parish councils shared the results of the online survey with members.

The involvement of spiritual advisors varied between diocesan councils, with some playing very active roles and others much less. For most parish councils, the support of the spiritual advisor was paramount.

Memorial services for deceased members, funeral honour guards, funeral lunches, scholarships, fundraising, visiting shut-ins, mass ministry, telephone committees, retreats, pro-life events, conventions, workshops, regional meetings, working on resolutions, guest speakers, milestone celebrations and prayer services continued to be activities of parish councils.

Challenges included:

  • membership—recruiting younger members, retention of members, how to work with shut-ins, keeping members interested
  • leadership development—lack of members taking executive positions
  • funding—funds available for presidents to attend conventions and other meetings
  • communications with national office—the online annual report survey and information around memberships

Other areas mentioned include developing policy and procedure manuals, technology and time commitment.

Diocesan presidents reported they were proud of parish council presidents. They appreciated their hard work, determination and resolve in keeping their parish council a vital part of the League. They admired their creativity and flexibility as they faced challenges presented to them. They also appreciated the work of their members as they developed strategies and programs to share with their parish council counterparts.

The work of the five diocesan presidents and the parish councils was outstanding. The love of the League permeated the reports as they embraced change without losing focus on faith, service and social justice—pillars that have been the foundation of the League from its beginning.