Communique #5 – Organization

September 09, 2019

National President-Elect and Chairperson of Organization Fran Lucas, September 9, 2019

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Welcome new presidents-elect and welcome back to those already in year two of your service! Time waits for no one and there is so much to do. The last of the beautiful summer days and evenings are a solace for busy days if we allow them to be just that. Your tireless work is inspiring to others. Yes, they are watching and learning! Remember, we can only continue at that pace when we take the opportunity to breathe deeply and see and enjoy the beauty of God around us—our common home.

Organization chairpersons at all levels work on common goals:

Recruit Members and Maintain Membership
It was wonderful to read in the 2018 annual reports that councils with new members included women under the age of 40. Let us work to see even greater numbers in the near future. Review annual reports to see where work is needed most in your province.

Leadership Development
Are you aware of the National Development Fund’s latest enhancement? Funding is now available to visit parishes and present the benefits of League membership, with the goal of starting new councils.

Some councils have elections this year. On a year-round basis, encourage members to consider positions on the executive. Parish councils especially seek presidents-elect. Observe how diocesan executives do in this regard. Offer to help with a session to prepare potential candidates for such positions and encourage diocesan presidents-elect to do the same with parish councils. We need to always be preparing members for leadership roles at all levels. Wherever possible, work closely with your diocesan counterpart—we are stronger together. A resource on leadership recently recommended by some members comes from Brett Powell. Visit his website at brettpowell.org/.

League Resource Material
Always have a paper or digital copy (available at cwl.ca) of the Constitution & Bylaws and National Manual of Policy and Procedure (P&P) handy. Many answers to your’s and members’ questions are found there. Be very familiar with these manuals as you move closer to the role as president.

As president-elect, you are responsible for training. At an executive meeting, or start at your parish council for practice, cover a section of the P&P related most closely to an area of yours, for example, duties of officers or guidelines for annual written reports.
The national website has numerous resources, including archived presentations of speakers from the national convention (coming soon). Visit other provincial websites as they too have excellent material ready to be used.

Annual Reports
The annual report survey will be available by September 30th with several updated questions. The implementation committee is gathering information via working groups and has asked for additional questions in the survey to assist in this regard. One question relating to age demographics will produce a better picture of where the League is today. This will help to measure movement in this area in years to come. Establish a procedure for regularly informing diocesan chairpersons of organization on the progress of survey completion. More details will be attached to the surveys. Diocesan chairpersons of organization will now have the ability to extract report data, eliminating your need to do so. Your help to ensure greater participation of online survey responses will help all of us.

Life Membership
At the national convention in Calgary, 11 new life members were commissioned by way of a prayer service. These members automatically become resources available to us: Shirley Christo, Chantal Devine, Marie-Theresa Lamphier, Linda McClinton, Susan Melchiorre, Margaret Schwab, Ruby Sharpe, Ana Sousa, Barbara Thuen, Anna Tremblay and Anne Vincelli.

Strategic planning is a major initiative and we need to keep members well informed. You now have “The Future of the League—Year 1” package. Ensure all councils have the opportunity to see the presentation. With members informed and given the opportunity to participate in focus groups, surveys, etc., they will have a strong buy-in to the end goal—a new League, an inclusive and engaged community of Catholic women inspired by faith.

As I review my goals set last year for the two years in my position, I ask you do the same. Review successes and celebrate and adjust others as required. To the new presidents-elect, develop a list of goals for the next two years and please share them with me.

Please know a call or e-mail from you with questions are welcome at any time.

Your sister in the League,

Fran Lucas
National President-Elect and Chairperson of Organization