Communique #16 – Communications
National Second Vice-President and Chairperson of Communications Doreen Gowans, December 8, 2020
Dear League sisters and Bishop Jensen,
Pope Francis in his last encyclical, Fratelli tutti, quoted St. Francis of Assissi where he speaks of a “love that transcends the barriers of geography and distance, and declares blessed all those who love their brother or sister ‘as much when he is far away from him as when he is with him.’” This is what the awesome League sisterhood means to me, and I pray you feel the same. As people age, change can seem more challenging. From change, though, comes ideas that never would have been thought of if not for the many gifts the Holy Spirit has given people, such as their wisdom and knowledge to be creative for the rest to enjoy!
The Canadian League: The fall issue has landed in members’ mailboxes. It is a larger issue and includes many personal stories, words of wisdom from the past and food for thought going forward. This was done to provide a venue to celebrate the League’s sisterhood as COVID-19 prevented members from coming together at convention in Montreal. Was it worth the wait? The winter 2021 issue will be distributed at the end of January, with the spring 2021 issue to follow. Members will see a change for the fall issue as the League moves the magazine into the 21st century by publishing it online. It may be an excellent way of attracting younger members as they are comfortable doing many things online and are less likely to view a hard copy. Also, members will receive the magazine three weeks sooner, giving them the results of the national election, the latest resolutions, updates to the Constitution & Bylaws, standing committee reports, and updates that much sooner. The digital fall issue will be evaluated by the spring. Encourage your diocesan counterparts to ask parish councils to print a copy and make it available at their meetings to share among members who may not have the technology or expertise to print a copy. Let’s work together as a team to make this work for everyone. As you do your part to Care for Our Common Home, share with your diocesan counterparts that members who wish to discontinue receiving a hard copy of the magazine and prefer to view it online can inform their membership chairperson who can make the change on their behalf.
Implementation Committee—What’s new? May I suggest encouraging your diocesan counterparts to visit the national website, cwl.ca, to review the monthly updates? A wealth of information is available, such as the Welcome Video, which can be shared with members. It is so affirming that you may want to share it more than once. Why? Well, all members like to be welcomed and affirmed—not once, but many times. Try it and see!
What’s Next—Year III? Can you believe the League has passed years one and two of implementing the strategic plan and is now verging upon year three?
Goal 1: This goal has two strategies requiring working group members. Under Strategy 1: Improve, streamline and expedite internal and external communications, the working group will examine current internal and external communications. Strategy 2: Develop training programs to meet needs of members using technology and employ technology to develop training tutorials to meet the needs of the League’s current demographic. More details to follow.
Goal 2: As these working groups enter Year 3, they are tasked with the vital role of developing and delivering advocacy workshops at all levels. One group hopes to have one member per parish council who has participated in an advocacy workshop—no small task. The second group will generate a comprehensive list of other organizations to train members in leading advocacy efforts. Both groups will deal with Catholic social teaching rooted in sacred scriptures.
Goal 3: This goal has four working groups this year. One group will dispel the misconceptions some people have of the League. Its task is to eliminate preconceived misconceptions to make the League stronger as an organization and sisterhood. Another group will find ways to encourage diversity within the League. To enable all members to grow in the League, the third working group will immerse itself in developing toolkits on faith, service and social justice to be used within parish councils. The final working group’s focus will be on spiritual formation. To date, it has researched prayers and spiritual programs with a goal to be able to guide members to create their own prayers and spiritual programs.
Goal 4: This group will focus on capitalizing on members’ willingness to take on short-term leadership. Does this interest you? In February 2021, the implementation committee will advertise for members willing to share their time and talent on one of nine strategies. No travel will be necessary as meetings are via teleconference. Watch the national website for more information and reserve the date to share your leadership skills with members. Please share this information with your diocesan counterparts.
In the meantime, your prayers for strength believing they are on the right path and your help in asking your diocesan counterparts to encourage members to say “yes” to Year 3 work are requested! Are members God’s hands and feet on earth? If so, how will they say yes? Have you invited others to participate?
Pornography Hurts Campaign: As COVID-19 has seen many members having more time at home and not being able to meet, please ask your diocesan counterparts to encourage members to visit the national website and print the Pornography Hurts postcard and then send to their members of parliament. Item 178 is the original postcard and item 179 is the Mandatory Age Verification postcard. Many young people have too much spare time on their hands and use the Internet to occupy this time.
May the birth of Jesus bring you peace and joy this Christmas season, and may God grant you a healthy 2021!
Love and prayers,
National Communications Chairperson