Communique #1 – Spiritual Development

August 26, 2021

National Second Vice-President and Chairperson of Spiritual Development Cathy Bouchard, August 26, 2021.


Life is a Journey
On June 7, 2013, Pope Francis said, the life of faith is a journey. “Journeying is an art because if we’re always in a hurry, we get tired and don’t arrive at our journey’s goal…. If we stop, we don’t go forward and we also miss the goal. Journeying is precisely the art of looking toward the horizon, thinking where I want to go but also enduring the fatigue of the journey, which is sometimes difficult. …There are dark days, even days when we fail, even days when we fall… but always think of this: Don’t be afraid of failures. Don’t be afraid of falling. What matters in the art of journeying isn’t not falling but not staying down. Get up right away and continue going forward. This is what’s beautiful: This is working every day; this is journeying as humans. But also, it’s bad walking alone: It’s bad and boring. Walking in community, with friends, with those who love us, that helps us. It helps us to arrive precisely at that goal, that ‘there where’ we’re supposed to arrive” (National Catholic Reporter).

As I begin this new journey in my role as national chairperson of spiritual development, I take Pope Francis’ words to heart. We are each on a journey, and we walk in the community of sisters in the League.

This is my second term as chairperson of a national standing committee; my previous position was resolutions. I grew quite a bit in understanding the importance and voice of the League. I am a retired teacher living in Red Deer, Alberta, married to David and mother of four adult children and eight grandchildren. I have served in many leadership positions in my parish and diocesan councils and am a past president of Edmonton diocesan and Alberta Mackenzie provincial councils. One course I facilitated that stands out for me, delivered with an Edmonton diocesan president, was a component of Catch the Fire! for priests. I have worked with many excellent and enthusiastic spiritual advisors and hope to channel their assistance in continuing to work with them.

I have been a professed member of the Secular Franciscans for 36 years. My husband and I trained as lay ministers in the first three-year program offered by the Archdiocese of Regina. I hope to bring this training and my experiences to the spiritual development standing committee and share the gifts God has given me.

One of the main reasons women join the League is because of the opportunity to share and grow in their Catholic faith with women of all ages and experiences. They want to grow personally and as the church. This standing committee serves to assist in the spiritual growth of members through prayer experiences and the study of Catholic teachings, the role of women in the church, evangelization and mission assistance, lay ministries and ecumenism and interfaith endeavours. As members return “back to business” with their League work, I invite you to continue to pray for the success of the League and continue to assist your sisters “to grow in faith, and to witness to the love of God….”

Dates to Remember
September 19: National Faith Day (The Catholic Women’s League of Canada)
September 21: National Day of Prayer for Christians in the Holy Land (The Catholic Women’s League of Canada)
October 1: National Day of Prayer for Canadian Home Missions (The Catholic Women’s League of Canada)
November 28: First Day of Advent, First day of new Liturgical Calendar, Year C, focus on the Gospel of Luke.
December 25: Christmas Day
December 26: Feast of the Holy Family

January 1: The Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God
January 2: Epiphany of the Lord
January 9: Baptism of the Lord
March 2: Ash Wednesday
March 2-April 14: Lent
April 14-April 17: Sundown Holy Thursday to the Easter Vigil–Triduum
April 26: Feast of Our Lady of Good Counsel (The Catholic Women’s League of Canada)
May 1-7: 12 Hours of Prayer for Palliative Care 2022 (The Catholic Women’s League of Canada)
August 13-18: 102nd Annual National Convention of The Catholic Women’s League of Canada, Kelowna, British Columbia

For more important dates from the Liturgical Calendar,

Cathy Bouchard
National Chairperson of Spiritual Development