March message from National President, Margaret Ann Jacobs
It is so hard to realize that another month has gone by since we last communicated! I look back on the many exciting activities and celebrations and marvel at the work of the League – anniversaries, feast days, family and community activities and most certainly spiritual celebrations – all richly bound by prayer and commitment to making a better world. I’ve been privileged to attend two development days both unique but so rewarding and filled with opportunities for enrichment, definitely days of faith, fun and fulfillment. Our steering committee for strategic planning has made amazing progress and our national executive meeting in Toronto was very busy as members responded to suggestions on how we could reduce costs. This executive deserves to be commended for accepting the challenge to try something new. Now comes the evaluation!!!
I welcome the warmer climate being experienced where I live but clearly not all the country is so fortunate. So, will March be in like a lion or in like a lamb?
Looking forward to the month ahead, I know that councils are very busy planning annual conventions and I am anxious to attend as many as possible. The programs are always so enriching and the spirituality so nourishing. I only wish that all members had the opportunity to share in these most worthwhile events.
The Word Among Us is a powerful publication that I would encourage all to access. Its Lenten issue offers three keys to growth which the church has always asked us to pay attention to in our lives: the upward (our relationship with Jesus), the inward (the state of our hearts) and the outward (having to do with the way we care for the world around us). I encourage you to access this wonderful article. I was surprised when I googled to see if I could find it on the internet, I found that this concept of upward, inward and outward has a very strong following – well worth your investigation. The publication not only includes the complete Catholic mass readings for Canada but also daily reflections and interesting, informative articles to educate and develop our spirituality – like the one to which I referred.
Like many of you, I am looking forward to World Day of Prayer (WDP) on March 2. The 2018 theme is “All God’s Creation is Very Good” hosted by Suriname. I do hope that you will have an opportunity to take part in this beautiful prayer in union with women around the world.
March 8 is International Women’s Day. I encourage you to access local events in your community which have been planned to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women … or maybe you could plan an event for the community. The theme this year is “Press for Progress”.
Don’t forget to “spring ahead” on March 11th when Daylight Saving Time begins! We could all do with a little more sunlight.
St. Patrick’s Day March 17th is often celebrated not only by people who have an Irish background but by many people around the world. Theme parties, traditional Irish dishes and drinks and of course the wearing of green is preferred. But can you imagine this? The Colosseum in Rome will once again be illuminated in green lights to honour Ireland’s patron saint, as part of Tourism Ireland’s international Global Greening initiative.
On March 20 we celebrate International Earth Day which was initiated to make earth inhabitants aware of their responsibility to care for the planet including environmental and natural resources. Considering the focus on WDP, we could easily celebrate these together. Perhaps this is the time to initiate study of Laudato Si.
The Feast of the Annunciation, March 25, commemorates the visit of the Archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary where he informed her that she would be the Mother of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. This is such a special day for League members as we draw strength from Mary and her “Yes”. Did you know that if this celebration falls on a Sunday of Lent, during Holy Week or during the Octave of Easter, the celebration of the feast is transferred to a different date? This year it moves to Monday April 9th.
By the time of the next On the Spot issue, the Easter Triduum will have passed. While we have attempted to follow closely in Jesus’ footsteps during Lent in order to more clearly understand Jesus’ journey to his cross and Resurrection, we will gather to participate in the Triduum – one great festival that lasts for three days: Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday. We celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, we remember the Lord’s Passion and Death, reflection on the Entombment of Christ, and celebrate the Resurrection. Let’s celebrate this one great festival absorbing with all of our senses this amazing truth of our faith. Christ is risen! Alleluia! May we all proclaim it through our love.
During the month of March, we join with Pope Francis to pray for “Evangelization: Formation in Spiritual Discernment. That the Church may appreciate the urgency of formation in spiritual discernment, both on the personal and communitarian levels.”
As we welcome another new month for On the Spot, I invite you to share your stories, your pictures and your special events – I know they are happening.
I will close with an Irish prayer for you – the Irish in me couldn’t resist!
An Irish Prayer
May God give you…
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer.
(Anonymous Irish blessing, as quoted in The Puppet Master (2009) by Jan Coffey)