An Eye on PEI: Convention News for August 7, 2017
An Eye on PEI
Report from Guest Journalist Cecile Miller
Monday, August 7
Monday began with a beautiful celebration of the Eucharist, presided by Archbishop Richard Gagnon (Winnipeg) with concelebrants National Spiritual Advisor Bishop William McGrattan (Calgary), Archbishop Albert LeGatt (St. Boniface), Archbishop Christian Lepine (Montreal), Archbishop Brendan O’Brien (Kingston) and other present spiritual advisors. In his homily, Archbishop Gagnon reminded those present of the importance not only of listening to the Spirit’s call, but of working constantly to respond to that call. He suggested that all ask themselves the question, “What is the Spirit prompting me to say?”
Members were then treated to two dynamic presentations by Ken Yasinski, an international speaker from Saskatoon. He is the founder of FacetoFace Ministries and has spent seventeen years speaking full time. His first presentation, “Becoming a Living Thank You” challenged the delegates to open their eyes, ears and hearts to moments in their lives when they should be grateful for all that God has given them. Yasinski stated gratitude is a virtue which all can choose and gave five practical steps to practice this virtue. “God is calling all to be another Christ in the world, becoming a living thank you.”
The second presentation followed a brief break. In his talk “A Catholic Identity Crisis,” Yasinski quoted the Catechism of the Catholic Church to highlight the call of each Catholic to be a missionary disciple. No one is excluded from the mission. Each is called to bring others to Jesus and to empower others to do likewise. Yasinski gave four reasons why people are held back from being missionary. Pope St. John Paul II said that the missionary task must remain foremost, and Pope Francis has said, “When the Church is not missionary, she acts as a babysitter rather than a mother.” Lasinski encouraged all present to embrace the call to be missionary and gave a practical, little formula for League members to use at their meetings to pray for someone in pain.
The day continued after lunch with a moving tribute to all League members and spiritual advisors from across Canada who died over the past year. As the name of each provincial president was called, she carried a red rose, a symbol of life in Christ, and placed it in a vase. National President Margaret Ann Jacobs placed a pure white rose in memory of deceased spiritual advisors. A prayer was offered for all.
The business sessions started with remarks from President Margaret Ann Jacobs and National Spiritual Advisor Bishop William McGrattan. Greetings were brought to the convention from the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organisations (WUCWO) by North American Vice-President and Honorary Life Member Velma Harasen; from the Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League by Marlene Bodnar; from the Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada (WICC) by Life Member Glenda Klein; from the Presbyterian Church in Canada by Janet Brewer, president of the Women’s Missionary Society of the Presbyterian Church in Canada and from the United Church by Sarah Goodfellow, President of the Maritime Conference of the United Church Women.
The provincial and national presidents’ reports showed the theme Inspired by the Spirit, Women Respond to God’s Call has been enthusiastically embraced by members in parishes from sea to sea to sea.
Canada, Our Dear Home! was celebrated in fine style Monday evening. With many clad in red and white, delegates dined buffet-style and were treated to an evening of music by Leo and the PEI Pops, an orchestra conducted by Leo Marchildon. Interspersed in the evening were two entertaining acts by comedian Patrick Ledwell.