Communique #1 – Education and Health
National Chairperson of Education and Health Margaret Schwab, August 24, 2021.
I take on the position of national chairperson of education and health with much anticipation. I have always been in awe of this wonderful women’s organization that has been in existence for more than 100 years and maintained the well-respected image associated with The Catholic Women’s League of Canada. This is a very exciting time in my life.
I have been a member since 1976 and have held all positions at the parish level (some multiple times), many at the diocesan level and am currently past president for Saskatchewan Provincial Council. As the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in some resignations from the provincial council, I am also functioning as provincial chairperson of community life until 2022.
My husband Don and I have three children, Warren, Melanie and Allyson (deceased 2004). Our greatest delight is our five grandchildren who also reside in Saskatoon, so we enjoy their company often.
I hope that many of you were able to attend the partially virtual national annual meeting of members. While it was not as wonderful as being in a room with so many like-minded women and old friends, it was fantastic to see the national executive on screen and hear about the work they have been doing.
Literacy and Continuing Education
Coady International Institute provided a very interesting video to the national annual meeting of members. I ask that you encourage your diocesan counterparts to recommend parish councils show the film—found at youtu.be/G4Bm6QtA6CI—to members. Many do not realize what the institute is about—that is, educating women worldwide to become community leaders. One program that might interest Canadians is the Indigenous Women in Community Leadership program, which is open to First Nations, Métis and Inuit women.
Wellness and Sickness/Disease
After more than one year of being under pandemic conditions, Canadians are still unsure what will happen with a fourth wave. What has been learned from this horrific experience? Indeed, people have found that they crave community. Months of isolation have not been kind to many. Challenges with mental illness have come to the forefront, but help is still limited. The situation in some long-term care facilities for the elderly has shown there are flaws in the system with overcrowding and poor staff preparation to deal with such a monumental crisis.
The League will soon be using a new national theme, but caring for the environment should not be put away on a shelf. Members must always be diligent about what they do to the world around them. For example, the lack of clean water remains an issue in many communities and landfills are being used to the maximum. While recycling is improving, there is still a long way to go.
Please review the six resolutions under this standing committee which are still current. They can be found on the national website and are there for members to take action. In addition, many resolutions have been archived and may still be relevant today with updated information and wording.
I look forward to the next two years working with each of you. This standing committee covers many issues, and I hope to hear any concerns you might have that we might work on together.
National Chairperson of Education and Health