Communique #1 – Christian Family Life

August 30, 2021

National Chairperson of Christian Family Life Dorothy Johansen, August 30, 2021.

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My dear sisters in the League,

The one extra year before being elected to the national executive/board was a godsend. It gave me time to seriously prepare for the work and time commitment expected of a national chairperson by allowing me to reduce or modify my work commitments and other volunteer activities.

I have lived in Alberta my entire life and in Edmonton for more than 35 years. I am married to Michael and have one daughter. I am currently a member of St. Thomas More Parish Council (Edmonton) and volunteer at church as an adult server. I recently retired from engineering and now own and work in a store that caters to quilters and needleworkers.

I joined the League in 1985 when I was expecting my daughter and had moved into a new parish. The warmth and support I received are what make the League different from other organizations. Over the years, I have met incredible women who I consider my sisters, and I hope I have extended that feeling to new members. The League also gave me opportunities to grow in faith and service and learn about many issues facing people, both home and abroad.

As national chairperson of Christian family life, I will focus on providing information that you may find helpful. I would also like to hear about resources or information you have encountered in your province.

Marriage and Family
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has established a standing committee for family and life. Two of the purposes of this committee are to assist the CCCB in responding to the pastoral needs of married couples and families and helping it affirm and strengthen the domestic church in every household and proclaim the Christian teachings on marriage and the family.

Resources are available to assist you in preparing or participating in events during the National Week for Life and Family, which coincides with the United Nations’ International Day of Families on May 15th each year.

Sanctity of Life
The other purposes of the family and life committee are to assist the CCCB in responding to new questions raised by contemporary ethical debates, such as medical assistance in dying and promoting the dignity and sacredness of human life at all stages of life, from conception to natural death. The CCCB website (cccb.ca) has many resources that identify government legislation on life issues and responses from the church.

Campaign Life Coalition organizes the National March for Life, to be held on May 12, 2022. Provincial councils may also wish to support local March for Life activities.

National council affirmed its support for Euthanasia Prevention Coalition through a motion to continue the temporary national voluntary fund until August 31, 2022. Please ask your diocesan counterparts to consider informing members about this fund and direct them to the resources available to enhance their knowledge about preventing euthanasia at epcc.ca/.

Ministry to Youth, Disabled, Seniors, Widowed, Separated, Divorced
World Youth Day is an international gathering of young people with the pope in August 2023 in Lisbon, Portugal. Please forward this information to your diocesan counterparts to encourage parish councils to support the youth in their parish to attend this gathering.

National Seniors Day on October 1st is an occasion when members can join in celebrating older adults. Please share this information with your counterparts so they, in turn, may encourage parish councils to acknowledge seniors and the contributions they have made to society. Let seniors know how much they are appreciated.

An Annulments Today, Merciful and Just brochure is written in plain language and is available from the national website (cwl.ca).

Vocations
Please remind your diocesan counterparts to encourage parish councils to contact their diocesan office to determine if there are any special requests to support vocations.

I look forward to meeting each of you in person in the future. If you would like me to know or share information across the country, please reach out. If I can help you in any way, please contact me.

Dorothy Johansen
National Chairperson of Christian Family Life