Communique #2 – Secretary-Treasurer
National Secretary-Treasurer Marie Rackley, September 3, 2021.
A new membership season will begin shortly, and although the COVID-19 pandemic is still with us, councils can begin activities and resume taking action for the League. Be careful, continue to look after yourselves by ensuring you have received both of your vaccines, wear a mask in large groups, social distance if you still feel uncomfortable in large gatherings. It is always good to have disinfectant wipes near. We can now meet with sister members who are eager to resume League work.
Now that councils have had some time off due to the pandemic, work will begin. Fundraising plans were put on hold, and soon councils will be getting ready to start fall with special events. I must say that although the pandemic limited League activities beginning in March 2020, I have seen councils continue to donate funds to many organizations in Canada and overseas throughout this time. The League did not walk away but continued to do what was necessary. Our job as treasurers is to keep the council’s money safe and help spend it wisely.
Last December, a package of proposed amendments to the Constitution & Bylaws and a motion to increase per capita fees was sent to parish council presidents. However, due to the pandemic and a partially virtual national annual meeting of members, an extension until March 2022 has been given to all parish councils to vote and return the results to national office. Some councils have taken the vote and returned the completed forms.
The proposed national per capita fee would increase from $13.00 to $25.00, effective January 2023—an increase of $12.00 per year. To look at this in a simple way, the fee can be broken down to an extra $1.00 per month. When promoting the increase in your provincial councils, you may wish to suggest that members save coins instead of purchasing one coffee, candy or bag of chips per month or take a big plunge and refrain from going out to lunch just once, which usually costs $10.00 or more. You may suggest parish councils hold a bake sale or book sale and put aside the funds to cover the increased cost for members. Or you may suggest members purchase the gift of membership renewal for a friend for her birthday or Christmas.
Most parish councils currently pay $20.00 to $25.00 per year for per capita fees for all levels. National council presently receives $13.00 with the additional funds divided between the diocesan and provincial councils. With the proposed increase, the new per capita rate could be $32.00 to $37.00. National council would receive $25.00, leaving the balance to be divided between the diocesan and provincial councils.
As treasurers, let the membership know the importance of keeping the League alive. Like many people, members do not like change, but the League would not survive or grow without change. If a council has already voted and returned the vote to national, it has the option of requesting another form by calling national office and then returning it by March 2022.
I know the cost of living has increased in the last six months and will continue to rise even more. These are trying times for both Canada and the church. How can members walk away from the League that has given them a voice in the church, a voice with the Canadian Catholic Conference of Bishops, the federal government through resolutions, the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organisations and a voice to express their concerns in developing countries?
At the national annual meeting in August, National President Fran Lucas released a new theme, Catholic and Living It!, effective January 2022 until December 2023. I think this theme says it all.
I ask you to reach out to your diocesan counterparts, and they, in turn, to parish councils to explain the increase is needed for the League to remain a vital organization with positive changes.
I pray Our Lady of Good Counsel will continue to guide and watch over you as you serve God’s people here and abroad.