Communique #6 – Resolutions
National Chairperson of Resolutions Cathy Bouchard, November 18, 2019
Release of Updated Resolutions Supplement to the Executive Handbook
At the fall meeting of the national executive/board, an updated Resolutions Supplement to the Executive Handbook was approved. This follows discussions throughout the past year with members, provincial chairpersons and presidents, and evaluations from the national convention.
Two of the most important changes have to do with the format for resolutions and with using the Modern Language Association (MLA) 8 process for citing works. A Table of Contents has been added, some sections were rearranged in order and some changes were of a “housekeeping” nature.
From the 2019 revisions
Composing the Resolution (page 6)
The standard format for all resolutions is:
RESOLVED, That the ______________ council of…; and be it further
RESOLVED, That ….
The section relating to drafting whereas clauses has been removed. This revision puts more focus on composing the brief with strong statements to “inform and persuade the resolutions committee responsible for its review and assessment, the members at convention, and the officials or group to whom the resolution is directed.”
“The first paragraph[s] state the reason[s] for the suggested action. The paragraph defines the issue; it may be necessary to use some of the same wording from the resolved clause. Additional paragraphs provide, in a logical order, the strongest reason for requesting action. The paragraphs should be worded positively, based on documented and accurate facts, and be clear and concise.”
Regarding consistent formatting, “The League uses Modern Language Association (MLA) format (MLA Handbook, simplified with adaptations) when referencing sources in briefs and works cited. In-text citations (parenthetical references) are the easiest way to identify the source of statistics, direct quotations and ideas within a brief and lead to bibliographic details of the original source material in the Works Cited list.”
Notes and Adaptations of MLA for the Catholic Women’s League purposes
- The Purdue OWL version of the MLA Handbook (8th edition, 2016), called MLA Formatting and Style Guide, can be found at
- Provide standard information about each reference (author, title, publisher, year) to be able to find the resource, and use consistent formatting.
- Punctuation instructions can be found in the Purdue OWL guide.
- Book or journal titles are in italics. Article titles are in quotation marks.
- For agencies/corporate authors, the organization’s acronym may be used for the in-text citations (for simplicity). E.g. In-text citation (CHAC 27) would map to the Catholic Health Alliance of Canada entry in the Works Cited.
- Publisher can be omitted or abbreviated when it is the same as the author.
- For web locations (URLs), it is best to copy-and-paste the URL directly from the internet browser page to avoid typos. Omit the http:// or https:// prefix.
- For URLs, the League omits the “accessed date”, since the year the resolution was produced is a sufficient indicator.
- There is a “citation machine” in the Purdue OWL that can help format citations, but do review the results as the machine is far from perfect.
The next changes come in Guidelines for Resolutions Chairpersons at the national level consistent with the process used this past year. Councils are asked to share their topics with the next level for assistance and to share the work if similar topics are being considered by other councils.
An area I hope the revision clarifies is when a council can act on the resolution. “Action on resolutions of a national nature is to be carried out only after adopted at the national convention by the national executive. Action on a resolution can be carried out at the provincial level after a letter of disposition has been received from the national resolutions committee even if the resolution is not accepted by the national executive,” provided that the resolution is directed to the provincial level, “and the resolution aligns with League positions.” This means the bridging clauses are in the resolution.
The Checklist for Reviewing Proposed Resolutions has been updated and will be available on the national website as a fillable pdf form.
May God bless your work on the resolutions standing committee.
National Chairperson of Resolutions