April message from National President, Margaret Ann Jacobs
It’s always a challenge to formulate next month’s “On the Spot”. Sometimes my mind is drawn to those special events that have marked the month past. Immediately I recall the Ordinandi dinner sponsored by Serra International in Toronto on March 7th. What a phenomenal event – 2400 guests gathered to celebrate the 11 ordinandi who shared their personal testimonies. It was a proud moment when the Toronto Diocesan Catholic Women’s League presented a gift to each candidate, this year a spiritual bouquet containing over one million prayer intentions.
Being Irish isn’t a necessity to celebrate March 17th but when you belong to St. Patrick’s Parish, the food, frolic and songs always call to mind a rich family tradition. How could they not with Loftus/Kelly/McGill blood in my veins? Go mbeamai Dia duit!
The Dynamic Women of Faith Conference held at St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish for 350 eager women assembled on March 25th offered a full day of unique speakers sandwiched between the two highlights for me – the Eucharistic celebration for the Feast of the Annunciation of Our Lord presided over by Cardinal Collins and the powerful closing talk by Josephine Lombardi.
The Catholic Organization for Life and Family are hosting their 2017 Seminar “Sex, Gender and Ideology” (March 30-31 in Gatineau) inspired by Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation “Amoris Laetitia” and recent developments in Canadian law and society. I am looking forward to this impressive roster of Canadian, American and European speakers who will be addressing different facets of this issue.
As April looms ahead, I smile as I recall some of the practical jokes of the past. Students love to prank their teacher! Michael and I weren’t smiling that April Fool’s day when we found our basement flooded! If you need a smile just google – it might give you an idea or two. We all need to laugh a little more!
April 9th marks the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge with commemorative events being held at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France and the National War Museum in Ottawa. (There are many local events commemorating this momentous occasion as well.) We proudly recall the placement of our Catholic Women’s League plaque at the Vimy Memorial and encourage you to participate locally as you are able.
Lent is half over – time to review our progress and renew our Lenten commitment. I encourage you to participate in a Seder Meal. “Passover is the oldest and most important religious festival in Judaism, commemorating God’s deliverance of the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt and his creating of the Israelite people.” (The Voice, Christian Resource Institute, www.crivoice.org/seder.html) Many Christian adaptations of the Passover festival are inviting our participation.
Another much loved tradition that I would encourage you to attend is the Chrism Mass, gathering the clergy and lay faithful from the entire diocese, where the bishop blesses the holy oils for sacramental use in the parish, and where the priests and deacons renew their promises to serve God and His people. This is always a most moving event.
This year I am anxiously anticipating the celebration of the Easter Triduum. After my recent trip to the Holy Land with CNEWA, every step of this journey from the Last Supper to Calvary and the resurrection will bear greater meaning and significance.
As we conclude these forty days, be prepared to celebrate the fifty days of Easter still to come.
In looking forward to month’s end, I notice other days of note…
- April 22 Earth Day. In keeping with the papal encyclical on care of the environment, perhaps we need to heed the suggestions offered to recognize this day: get engaged; care for trees, plants and animals; eat earth friendly food; reduce waste; save energy and water. What can you do to be good stewards of our planet?
- April 26th Our Lady of Good Counsel Feast Day. Are you doing something special to honour this feast day? The Vision Mass being taped on April 19th at Loretto Abbey at 4 p.m. in Toronto will be televised on April 26th. Join with your sisters in the League to celebrate our sisterhood under the patronage of Our Lady. On April 26th at 5 p.m. at Loretto Abbey this Mass is being offered by the national council for the intentions of Palliative Care. This Mass will be televised on May 4th our CWL day for 12 Hours of Prayer for Palliative Care.
- April 26th Administrative Professionals Day (Executive Administrator’s Day, Secretary’s Day). Take the time to recognize the wonderful work done by our administrative staff at the national office. Send a card/email/joke … but find a way to celebrate the amazing job they do for The Catholic Women’s League of Canada.