Communique #7 — Resolutions

April 26, 2023

National Chairperson of Resolutions Rolande Chernichan, April 26, 2023.


News flash! Members’ voices have been heard! The often requested and long-awaited Resolutions Workshop (#833) is now available and on the national website under the 800 Series: Workshops.

Several years of experience in resolutions and legislation have gone into developing this resource to complement the recently launched Resolutions Handbook (#618) and Resolutions Guide (#620). The workshop aims to guide the development, adoption and review of a resolution with easy-tofollow explanations, examples and directions. It consists of a PowerPoint (#833a) divided into sections for individual workshop presentations, with speaker notes (#833b) to guide each presentation.

The workshop could be part of a half-day event with hands-on experience working with sample resolutions or as individual, stand-alone modules. The PowerPoint is a resource that any council or member wishing to explore and learn about resolutions will find helpful. Please ask your diocesan counterparts to encourage members to add their voices to League advocacy by using these resources to guide them. During April and May, provincial chairpersons will receive resolutions adopted through the diocesan annual meeting of members/convention process. Recent inquiries reveal uncertainty about how much and when a provincial resolutions subcommittee can edit a resolution. The Resolutions Handbook directs that, “As the resolution progresses through each level towards its intended destination, the wording in the resolved and bridging clauses of the resolution must be revised by the receiving resolutions subcommittee at the next level to make them applicable to their level. This would be done as part of the review and vetting of the resolution and in preparation for presentation for adoption at their annual meeting of members/convention.” Editing occurs before presentation to the annual meeting of members/convention. Pages 8-10 of the handbook provide examples of the step-by-step editing required for the resolved (action) clause(s) and the bridging clause(s) of a resolution by each receiving level of the League. The committee also edits the brief as necessary.

“The origin of a resolution will change as it is adopted through the various levels of the League on its way to its intended destination for action” and, “Despite the change in the name of the originating council, when a resolution is presented for adoption, the destination and the intent never change” (Resolutions Workshop—Presentation Guidelines and Speaker Notes). When presented for adoption at a provincial annual meeting of members/convention, a resolution would contain all wording to identify it as originating as a provincial resolution (even though the parish and diocesan levels have previously adopted it).

The handbook provides guidelines for reviewing and vetting resolutions. “A new checklist must be submitted by the resolutions subcommittee as the resolution progresses through each level. It serves to verify that a fresh review of the resolution has been done by the subcommittee and that the checklist requirements have been met” (Resolutions Handbook).

“At the conclusion of reviewing and vetting a resolution, the resolutions subcommittee members discuss their findings. Through consensus, they determine their recommendation regarding the resolution” (ibid). A disposition letter regarding a resolution should follow the national level options for disposition.

Source the Resolutions Handbook as well as the speaker notes of the Resolutions Workshop for guidance and tips regarding the process for adoption of a resolution by each level of the League. It is important to be concise and clear when speaking in favour of a resolution when its adoption is opened for debate. A rule of thumb is to prepare a three-minute statement to present the key points of why the resolution should be adopted. The mover/person who speaks first to the resolution’s merit should be provided an opportunity to give concluding statements before the question for adoption is put to a vote.

Is your provincial council having elections for a new executive this year? In the year that there are elections for a new executive, a letter attesting to the adoption of a resolution is signed by the president and secretary of the executive serving when the resolution was adopted. Obtaining a signature through digital means is valid. It is important that the signatures can be supported by email communication used to obtain them.

You are urged to issue a communiqué sharing key points of this message and to ask diocesan chairpersons to encourage parish councils to continue to explore developing new resolutions using newly released resolutions resources. They and many other resources produced by strategic plan working groups are foundational to the voice of the League being heard by government and organizations. Resolutions speak for social justice that is rooted in Catholic social teaching (CST). The national website’s Strategic Planning Resources and Updates section provides several resources to enrich one’s understanding of CST and how advocacy is a means to live out one’s faith. The League’s mission, “For God and Canada,” and the invitation to be Catholic and Living It! can experience renewal and growth through its members and prayerful intercession of Our Lady of Good Counsel.

Rolande Chernichan

National Chairperson of Resolutions