May message from National President Margaret Ann Jacobs

May 02, 2018

I hope that as this new month begins, it offers you fresh hope for renewal. I think we all thought that spring had sprung several weeks ago, but mistaken we were. Yesterday it snowed on the way to the diocesan convention in Yorkton Saskatchewan, while today my thermostat registered 28⁰!

Prayers and deep sympathy are extended to the families and friends of those who died in the tragedy in Humboldt, Saskatchewan as well as those who lost loved ones in the horrific senseless killing on Yonge St. in Toronto. May God console and comfort you in your loss.

It has been my delight and privilege to attend diocesan conventions in Fort Saskatchewan (Edmonton Diocese), London, Ottawa and Yorkton (Saskatchewan Diocese). They were all great conventions, all very different yet most spiritual, educational and with lots of fun. The British Invasion, Abba or was it Babba, as well as entertaining game shows, delighted the attendees.

Thank you to all who have or will participate in our Planning Strategically workshop. Remember that if you would like to have personal input, before July 18th go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CWLPLAN. The steering committee is anxious to get your feedback. The voice of every League member needs to be heard if we are going to be choosing the right path to move forward. Thank you for your co-operation and support in this endeavour.

I was able to attend both Vision TV mass tapings at Loretto Abby: one taped on April 18th for presentation on Our Lady of Good Counsel Feast day, the other taped on April 26th to be aired on May 4th as part of our palliative care initiative.

It is gratifying to hear that many councils are planning an event in support of palliative care. The beauty of it is that councils are continuing this amazing endeavour -“12 Hours of Prayer for Palliative Care”– but are doing it on various days and in many different ways, reflecting the needs of their local parish communities. Brava! I look forward to hearing about all the activities planned around 12 Hours of Prayer for Palliative Care and Mental Health Week May 7-13.

The deadline for the 5th Annual Holy Land Pilgrimage (June 24- July 5) for CWL members organized by the Catholic Near East Welfare Association has been extended. If you are considering this spiritual journey, please contact Melodie Gabriel 1.866.322.4441.

The World Union of Catholic Women’s international conference deadline has been extended. The General Assembly will meet in Dakar, Senegal Africa this October 15-22 with the theme, “WUCWO Women, Carriers of “living water” to a world which thirsts for Peace.” Contact Kim Scammell at the national office. Come and change the world.

On behalf of the 100th Anniversary Committee, I encourage you to share your immigration stories with Betty Colaneri, chairperson, who is planning a story wall.

On my calendar for May are conventions in Charlottetown (Provincial), St. Catharines, Hamilton Alexandria Cornwall (all diocesan) and Okotoks, Alberta (before the end of May). I look forward to meeting many new sisters in the League and renewing many friendships. We truly are a magnificent organization.

Meetings have been arranged with government representatives in Ottawa May 7-9. We are looking forward to pursuing active dialogue with several elected officials. I plan to participate in some of the events planned for the March for Life in Ottawa on May 10, so I may see some of you there.

Many special days in May deserve our recognition: May 1 – St Joseph the Worker; May 10 -Ascension of Our Lord; May 13 – Mother’s Day; May 19 – Armed Forces Day; May 20 – Pentecost Sunday; May 21 – Victoria Day/National Patriots’ Day; May 27 – Trinity Sunday; May 31 – Corpus Christi and Visitation of Our Lady. May 13-20 has been set aside in Canada to celebrate life and the family. As I reflect on them I note in a special way Pentecost (because of the focus that has been placed on the power of the Spirit to inspire our lives as members of the Catholic Women’s League) and of course the Visitation of Mary. This feast commemorates the meeting of Mary and Elizabeth. Each woman experiences the outpouring of the Holy Spirit – where Elizabeth declares Mary and her child blessed and Mary’s response is the Magnificat. As women, we can all identify with this meeting.

Remember the Papal Intention for May – “Evangelization – The Mission of Laity That the lay faithful may fulfill their specific mission, by responding with creativity to the challenges that face the world today”. What can we do to further this mission?

I encourage you to access a copy of Pope Francis’ most recent Apostolic Exhortation, Gaudete et Exsultate (Rejoice and Be Glad). The Holy Father “wants us to be saints and not to settle for a bland and mediocre existence. … My modest goal is to repropose the call to holiness in a practical way for our own time, with all its risks, challenges and opportunities” (Gaudete et Exsultate)

Once again, I encourage you to join us in Winnipeg for the national convention August 12-15. Wonderful opportunities await you for education, spiritual nourishment and fellowship with like-minded Catholic women from across Canada. Please join us!

I will close with a quote from Gaudete et Exsultate, “I like to contemplate the holiness present in the patience of God’s people; in those who raise their children with immense love, in those men and women who work hard to support their families, in the sick, in elderly religious who never lose their smile…. Very often it is a holiness found in our next-door neighbours, those who living in our midst, reflect God’s presence…” (Gaudete et Exsultate, 7)
In this month with such focus on family, these are truly beautiful, thoughtful words.

God bless,
Margaret Ann