Communique #6 – Past President

August 30, 2022

National Past President and Chairperson of Laws Anne-Marie Gorman, August 30, 2022.




Parish councils are beginning a new year “For God and Canada”, but it may be that there is an entirely new reality for some. For many reasons throughout Canada, changes may have been made to the structure of parishes and dioceses. Parishes have amalgamated and/or closed, so CWL parish councils have had to make decisions as to their place going forward.


It is vital that parish and diocesan councils tell their stories and retain them for future reference, which is the responsibility of the past president. If, in your province, you have councils that are facing changes in location, name, etc., please ensure that their archives are maintained in a safe and accessible manner. Please refer to the enclosed Archive Guidelines for League History (#601), and review the information contained within. The Archives brochure (#601.b) gives an excellent summary of the what, how to and where regarding parish/diocesan materials.


A few important points to follow:

• Place archival material in a locked cabinet on church property or secure facility in the diocese. If a church has closed, confer with the pastor and next level past president for assistance in finding a secure place to maintain records. All records should be kept in one place, including photograph albums, minutes books, Book of Life, council history, motion books and binders with pages for each member. Archives should NOT be kept in a member’s house, garage or other place that may be difficult to access.

• Use acid free files and boxes for storage, as well as an acid-free pen when labelling photos. If a council has to move to a new location, it is a good time to review its history and get a group together to prepare the materials and locate them as described above. The past president need not be alone in physically reviewing, sorting, culling and preparing all documents and albums for storage, so seek assistance from other members.

• The council charter and charter members, presidents and spiritual advisors and executives from inception should be recorded and archived.

• There is ample information in the brochure regarding treasurers’ ledgers, minutes and annual reports regarding timelines for archiving.

• Each past president writes a summary of her term in office. This is a good time to seek this information where there may be gaps.


The League has existed and indeed flourished in its 102-year history. It behooves us as past presidents to ensure that council stories are kept for future generations. While difficult changes may have to be endured, it is an important and lasting gift that we may share. This is indeed part of being Catholic and Living It!


Your Sister in the League,

Anne-M Gorman

National Past President and Chairperson of Laws