2009 Annual Report — Spiritual Development
Spiritual Development Standing Committee
Terri Scott, Chairperson
2009 Annual Report
Claire Heron – consultant at large
Gabriele Kalincak – study of Catholic teachings
Claire McKay – spiritual growth of membership
Mary Ryan – ecumenism and interfaith endeavours
This report is a compilation from 11 provincial reports and shows that committee chairpersons at all levels were to be commended for their vision and resourcefulness in the development of their members’ spiritual development, and for being guiding lights in their communities.
Spiritual Growth of Members
By incorporating the two-year theme of Women of Peace and Hope into prayers, spiritual programs, banners and convention programs, members were creative in their spiritual pursuits as they took part in the blessing of the boats.
Councils held “ Growing in the Spiritual Life” and “ One in the Spirit” workshops and participated in f east day ministries. Spiritual reflections were taken from The Jesus Women , a video on Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Nothing More Beautiful evening encounters and The Chaplet of the Divine Mercy. Members took part in the crowning of Mary, Taizé prayer and Liturgy of the Hours. One council attended a three-day Our Lady of La Salette pilgrimage.
The spiritual writings of Vassula Ryden and the works of holy men such as Venerable Bishop Justin-Vital Grandin and Brother Anthony Kowalczyk were read. A mass was sponsored on television. Members took part in Stations of the Cross, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and the living rosary, as well as prayer chains.
Guest speakers were invited to parish council meetings and spoke on the true presence of Jesus in the Eucharist and visits to the Holy Land by priests and/or members. Movies were attended, followed by discussion with the spiritual advisor. During Advent and Lent, one parish council held luncheons.
Study of Catholic Teachings
Spiritual growth was a top priority for members as they actively sought opportunities to further their knowledge of Catholic teachings. Members were active in the Alpha Course, Catholicism 201, the Journey of Faith Institute and the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. They studied the catechism and took theology classes. They also studied the e mmanuel process, the beatitudes, the Little Rock Scripture Study, various writings on Mary, the Eucharist, the life of St. Paul the Apostle, 7 Secrets of the Eucharist, the Kitchen Sink Prayer Book, The Word Among Us, and Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclicals, and circulated other Christian books for study and growth. Members used a spiritual reading lending library.
Role of Women in the Church
Members participated in all church ministries and various committees, provided gifts, helped with lunches and taught children.
Evangelization and Mission Assistance
Councils took evangelization and mission assistance to heart. Some of the organizations supported monetarily included Catholic Missions In Canada, Don Bosco Mission, St. Patrick’s Mission Circle, Esk-Omi Missions, Onion Lake and Thunderchild First Nations, a mission in Chilcotin, and the Carmelites in Armstrong.
Members took religious inspirational reading materials to community homes at times of social events and prayers. Members were encouraged to use religious Christmas postage stamps available through Canada Post for the third year in a row.
Members were active within parishes and participated in all aspects of church ministries and parish councils. One member has served as a sacristan for 25 years. Many welcomed those questioning their faith and provided “Catholics Returning Home” programs. The CWL Day of Peace & Hope Activities Kit was promoted at monthly meetings. Members knitted prayer shawls and presented them to ill members and parishioners. Members of one parish council were responsible for a social and lunch every Sunday after mass. Books of Life became more than a list of names, with an “In Memoriam” page dedicated to each deceased member, including funeral prayer cards and obituary notices.
Ecumenism and Interfaith Endeavours
World Day of Prayer and Week of Prayer for Christian Unity participation continued to be widely enjoyed and celebrated. Many councils have taken ecumenism a step further and initiated interfaith dialogues and collaboration on issues of social concern. November prayer service, non-denominational bible studies, retreats and luncheons were organized as well as the Fellowship of the Least Coin, “Neighbours in Prayer” and Good Friday “Walk of Witness” and Easter sunrise celebrations.
Some councils established fellowship when they shared the church with a Protestant community, thereby learning to appreciate each other’s gifts. One council received the Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada’s publication Riding the Waves. Several members of one council were members of an interfaith coalition against human trafficking.
Activities Undertaken by National Chairperson and Subcommittee Chairpersons
I prepared three communiqués, attended all national executive meetings and annual national convention, represented the League at the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Forum with National Catholic Movements and Associations, and brought greetings on behalf of the national executive at various functions.
Articles prepared for The Canadian League were: “Did You Know…about Catholic Christian Outreach”, “ Humanae Vitae, Theology of the Body and Women of Peace and Hope ” by Life Member Gabriele Kalincak and “Spiritual Development, Ecumenism and Interfaith Endeavours” by member Mary Ryan.