Catholic Women's League of Saskatchewan

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Communiqué #4 - Christian Family Life

Helen Kayfish, Provincial Chairperson of Christian Family Life

May 2023


As you know one of the Objects of the League is to protect the sanctity of life. One of the greatest concerns for the area of the sanctity of life is euthanasia or medical assistance in dying (MAID). The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) describes MAID "as the intentional taking of human life" and, as such, is “a grave and morally unjustifiable act.” MAID was introduced in June 2016. The intentions at the time were that Canadians facing a terminal illness should have a choice in how they die while recognizing the need to protect Canadians who may be vulnerable to coercion to end their lives.


National Chairperson of Christian Family Life, Dorothy Johansen reports: 'However, pressure to further expand MAID into more vulnerable populations resulted in Bill C-7 An Act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying), receiving royal assent in March 2021. This bill is a historic advance in expanding MAID criteria and reducing safeguards. Those living with disabilities or mental illness (including emancipated minors) are all now considered candidates for euthanasia, even without a terminal illness.


Bill C-7 has introduced two tracks to death: new criteria allowing euthanasia for individuals whose natural death is not reasonably foreseeable and another that has shortened the time from consent to the actual performance of the procedure for those facing terminal illness. It is now possible in this circumstance for a person to ask for MAID and be euthanized on the same day. Public and professional concerns regarding safeguards for mental illness resulted in eligibility to be held for two years for those whose sole underlying medical condition is mental illness. Though extended until March 17, 2024, to allow time to put resources in place, this delay does not mean a change to eligibility—it is just delayed. And the slope continues downward. Bill S-248 An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying), is at its second reading in the Senate and aims to remove the need for final consent before being euthanized.'


We have been encouraged to work with our diocesan counterparts, to assist and encourage members to communicate their opposition to all levels of government regarding the ever-expanding inclusion of MAID to those most vulnerable in society and request that the current legislative pause to include mental illness as criteria for MAID, be made permanent. Asking the government to provide adequate educational opportunities and improvements to access palliative care services.


As quoted from Dorothy Johnsen: members are called to 'minimize the pain and suffering of the dying and those tempted to end their lives, not eradicate their existence.' Let us help those with terminal illnesses, disabilities and chronic health conditions find meaning and comfort in their lives through our presence, love and advocacy.'


We all have family members who are suffering from many illnesses, including mental health. I have a family member who has attempted to commit suicide several times. These are calls for help and not really for assistance in dying. They don't really want to die. They often feel there is just no way out. Making a rash and quick irreversible decision is permanent. Givin the right to make such quick decisions isn't always the 'right' decision, especially when it can be made without any family input. We need act on this, write to our government officials and assist those in need. Most of all we need to pray and pray some more.


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Communiqué #3 - Christian Family Life

Helen Kayfish, Provincial Chairperson of Christian Family Life

January 2023


I hope everyone had a great Christmas and as we enter the new year that we are prepared to continue our work for God and Canada in the Catholic Women's League.


As many councils move into the new structure of the league there may be some confusion on how we will transition to this new structure. I wish to share my thoughts on how we might do so within the heading of Christian Family Life. Under the old heading we would focus on: Marriage and family life, the Sanctity of life, ministry to various areas: (youth, disabled, seniors, widowed, separated and divorced), and to Vocations.


Under the new heading: All of these will now fall under the heading of SERVICE. As well the following also fall under the heading of service: 

Evangelization and mission assistance, Refugees, immigration and citizenship, Development and peace, developing countries, catholic education, literacy and continuing education, scholarships and bursaries, wellness and sickness/disease, pornography, liaison with pastoral councils and parish assistance. You may be thinking now, WOW that is a lot of areas! You're not expected to study each area and spend all your efforts trying to meet it all. You are asked to do your best and work within the area you feel called to. You are most welcomed to work with another member of your council and you can both choose areas you feel called to. The standing committees of community life as well as education and health cross over into the new service structure. We are asked to provide service to those in need, in our parishes, our local community, our country and the world. We as individuals and councils address the corporal works of mercy.


The following is taken from information provided by the strategic planning committee:
We are encouraged to provide/co-ordinate volunteer activities/projects of the council in service of members, the parish and the community. Develop services to help in the areas of homelessness, human trafficking, poverty, bullying, racism etc. We are to support food banks and soup kitchens, serve funeral receptions, invite guest speakers to educate members about charitable needs in the local community, the country and abroad. Study and implement the action plans of adopted resolutions that pertain to service.


Development and Peace, Caritas Canada is currently gearing up for the Share Lent Campaign. The theme is 'Create Hope'. This theme will be used to guide the actions over the next five years. How can create hope? By taking action! We hope to mobilize our membership in creative ways to bring about the change we want to see, and with it the hope of a better and more just world. Under the theme Cre-ate Hope, we are being invited to "Stand for the Land', in Solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the Global South who are defending their homelands by protecting their land and water, the environment and human life. Solidarity Sunday is March 26th and our donations will support projects that transform lives and communities.


Remember we are here to help where we can.


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Communiqué #2 - Christian Family Life

Helen Kayfish, Provincial Chairperson of Christian Family Life

October 2022


This is my second communique as the provincial chairperson of Christian Family Life.


I have recently returned from attending the 102nd National Convention in Kelowna, BC. It was great to be able to attend in a large group again. It was a blessing to see my sisters in the league and to learn so much more about the changes coming to our beloved league. You can read my convention report soon on the Saskatchewan CWL website.


The following are a few upcoming events that may be of importance to your members and their families.


World Youth Day is being held in Lisbon Portugal 2023 for 18-32 years old. Look for the information on your local diocesan web pages. Encourage the young people from your parish to consider attending. I was able to attend WYD in Toronto in 2000 as a chaperone. I received so many graces and learned so much by attending.


I ask that you continue to pray for families. I hear often of the struggles our families are going through today. So many couples are separating and leaving the children in a place they often find difficult to understand.


Pray for those suffering from addictions. As drugs like Marijuana become legal across the country, more and more young people are using drugs and are not able to function well in our society. Mental health issues are on the rise daily and our medical personnel are struggling to deal with the patients they see.


You may have recently heard of the incident at the Comprehensive High School in North Battleford. (Sept 14, 2022) A young man, 16 years old stabbed and wounded another student. He is doing well. Now two young men are suffering the consequences of this tragic event. So many families were affect-ed by this event. The following day many of the students remained home unable to process what has happened. I work in this school in the daycare associated with the school. The events that unfolded were difficult to process even for us adults. So many conflicting details, so many conflicting directions of what to do for the safety of all. So many young people and their parents unsure of where to go and how to remain safe and calm. PRAY! PRAY! for our young people. Pray that God may be welcomed into their hearts.


Mark your calendars Nov 4th is the feast day of St. Borromeo the Patron Saint for Spiritual Leaders. Consider having a mass said for your spiritual advisor, I have already booked one for ours as well as our Bishop.


As you can tell, I have asked you to pray or to continue to pray for the families and for our youth. Let's bombard God with our prayers!!


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Communiqué #1 - Christian Family Life

Helen Kayfish, Provincial Chairperson of Christian Family Life

July 2022


Sanctity of Life

One of the objects of the League is to protect the sanctity of life. Currently Canada has no law limiting abortions at any time or place or by any method. We have all recently heard the ruling of the Supreme Court of the US and how Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has condemned the ruling. His government has said "it won't turn away Americans who can't get an abortion at home". The National Report Newspaper from July 3, 2022 reports that more than 74,000 abortions were done in Canada in 2020. In the same article it tells that the Women's Health Clinic in Winnipeg, which is only 70 miles from the US border, reports that it is hard to keep up with the demands that already exist. The clinic's director, Blandine Tona says "even a small number of inquiries from Americans could tax the clinic". Even if access to abortions in Canada was approved for Americans, advocacy groups said, "there are other barriers, including the need for a passport, the cost of the procedure which could be as high as $600.00 USD would likely dissuade Americans from crossing the border for an abortion and make them more likely to travel to other states". 


National Chairperson of Christian Family Life, Dorothy Johansen, says in her communique #05 June 30, 2022, "members of the League support many pro-life organizations and participate in events such as March for Life and 40 days for Life. They also support organizations that look after women and children in need when they have chosen life and support women who have been traumatized by abortion through organizations such as Project Rachel." We are asked to encourage members to continue to focus on protecting the sanctity of life by working on and praying to change the minds and hearts of women contemplating abortion as a solution to their problems, rather than accepting members' support for them and their children. As members we should also contact our Member of Parliament and ask them to protect the sanctity of life by passing into law a ban on abortions. 


Ministry to Youth

I recently attended the grade 12 graduation and mass of my granddaughter's class and I was disappointed to say that I saw very little participation in the celebration of mass by the graduates. Very few even made the sign of the cross. Have we failed in sharing our faith with our children and grandchildren? Are we participating in the request to have our children 'done' when asking for the sacraments? Please pray for and teach your children and grandchildren the value of attending mass and the freedom of being Christians and having to right to practice our religion. 


May God Bless You in your endeavors to practice our faith,


Helen Kayfish


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