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CURRENT ORGANIZATION COMMUNIQUÉS 

    

   

  

  


      

Organization Communiqué #3

Connie Crichton, Provincial Organization Chairperson

April  2020

  

Proverbs 27:23 23 know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds.

  

To me this verse from proverbs explains why we as an organization have the annual reporting process. It provides councils with an opportunity to compile their accomplishments and to let all of us know what they have done to further the league in its mission “to grow in faith, and to witness to the love of God through service and ministry.”

  

Annual Reports

Thank you to all the councils who took the time to fill in surveys. While the numbers were not as large as we had hoped the responses we did receive did convey that the Catholic Women’s League is a vital part of every parish where we have members.

  

Submitting Membership Fees Issues

Most councils will have completed their membership drives and have submitted their fees and liability insurance to National office. I am aware that there are many councils that are having difficulties with the submission process whether it is online or manual. There are several things that you should be aware of concerning submission of membership dues.

  1. If fees are submitted before January 15 the processing time is six weeks. If they are submitted after January 15 the processing time will be much longer.
  2. Unless the $0.50 per member liability fee is submitted with the membership dues, it is considered “pending” and will not be completed until the insurance fee is received. (See your parish fall mail out from Janet McLean).
  3. There are over 1000 councils sending in fees during this time. National is receiving up to 600 emails a day from councils. They are spending so much time on trying to answer emails that it is leaving little time to do the processing.

  

What can you do?

  1. Collect your fees before December 31 and get them and the insurance fees to National early.
  2. Keep your membership information up to date and accurate. Issue receipts for every membership fee collected. Make sure you have the correct addresses and submit change of addresses when they occur. This is important for members to continue receiving their magazines.
  3. Provide National with your current council executive contact information.
  4. BE PATIENT!

Contact your diocesan organization person with any issues you may be experiencing so they are aware and can report trends to provincial to follow up with National. Your executives are here for you.

  

Council and Leadership Development

One thing that stood out in the annual reporting was the lack of leadership training that is being given at all levels. This is something that our Provincial and Diocesan councils would like to address in the coming year. We would like to reach every council with some type of leadership training coupled with updates on the implementation of the Strategic Plan. Look for these opportunities come fall God willing that we may again gather.

    

As I write this it is with sadness that our conventions for 2020 have all been cancelled due to COVID-19. Let that be a motivation to connect with your council members via phone or email to see how they are doing in this very isolating time. For some that isolation was a reality for them even before this recent happening. Social media has become my life line to my prayer life through online masses being said by many priests and bishops. I say the rosary every day with a group of people through Facebook and weekly with my Provincial executive via conference call. Let’s make it our motto that “The council that prayers together, stays together.”

        

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Organization Communiqué #2

Connie Crichton, Provincial Organization Chairperson

October  2019

  

The year’s activities are now well underway with most councils having their first meeting since the summer break. Regional, diocesan and provincial workshops have also been planned and, in some cases, completed.

  

Recruit members and Maintain Membership

Now is the time most councils should be talking about membership renewal and new membership drives. Total membership in the league for 2019 fell from 80,169 to 77,676 with the greatest contribution to this decline being members who did not renew! You may want to remind the councils in your diocese that retaining their current membership is equally as important as recruiting new members. What are you doing to encourage those members who are not participating in council activities to remain members? Are you in personal contact with them? When you do contact them do you ask them what would be of interest to them to have them participate in an activity? Would it be a spiritual event, a guest speaker on a particular topic, or perhaps a social activity that would bring them out? Membership drives that center on social activities should provide an opportunity for newcomers and veteran members to get to know one another. With some people you only get one chance to make a good impression; don’t waste it!

  

Council and Leadership Development

This may be an election year for some our councils. Filling a full slate of officers has become very challenging for many councils. As we anxiously await changes promised in the five year strategic plan we must be patient in our wait. Councils will have to be creative in coming up with ideas that will help them continue to function. How can they best carry out the mission of the Catholic Women’s League that calls its members to grow in faith, and to witness to the love of God through ministry and service? Let’s be honest, how that can be achieved may look very different from council to council.

  

Rather than speculate what the changes will look like as the strategic plan unfolds in the next five years, I will offer some suggestions on how councils can deal with some very real challenges right now.

  1. Take some time to do an evaluation of what the current state of your council is right now. Use the core values of Faith, Service, and Social Justice to categorize your activities.
  2. Determine activities you want to continue, quit doing, and start doing. Try to balance the columns.
  3. Not a full executive? Maybe two would share a position. Rotate chairing meetings.
  4. Consult with all members and your spiritual advisor, and make a plan.
  5. Communicate your changes to your parish.

  

Annual Reports

By now most council will have received their annual reporting packages. Make personal contact with those councils who did not report last year and see how you can help them get that done this year. Encourage online reporting but if that is not possible have them complete a paper copy and send directly to the Diocesan Organization Chairperson. Our goal is to increase the councils that report from a low of 36% last year to at least 70% this year. You can make that happen.

  

Workshops and Strategic Plan Presentations

To keep members engaged and knowledgeable about the strategic plan initiatives, we need to get out to at least every region in each diocese with the strategic plan presentation. It can be shortened to fit time constraints. The most important part of the message is “Be patient, there is hope for the future!”

  

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,

“plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”                                        Jeremiah 29:11

    

      

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Organization Communiqué #1

Connie Crichton, Provincial Organization Chairperson

June 2019

  

When you take on a new position the first thing you do is to make yourself familiar with what is expected of you. Organization Chairpersons have a handbook to help you do this. You will find this document on the national website https://www.cwl.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/610-Handbook-for-Organization-Chairpersons-2008.pdf.  Be sure to review it and clarify your understanding with your council president to make sure you share the same vision.

  

The implementation of the five year strategic plan is well under way with three Year One Working Groups being established. I am excited to be serving as a member of the Marketing Working Group that has already been busy on conference calls and action plans. Ensure that the councils in your diocese are aware that provincial council members are available to make presentations on the Strategic Plan and Implementation. This will continue to be updated as implementation moves forward. Councils should be encouraged to include the CWL Prayer for Renewal at all meetings and gatherings. The renewal will be very important to in taking The Catholic Women’s League into the next 100 years of existence. Members can stay current on the latest by checking out the national website https://cwl.ca/implementation-of-the-strategic-plan/ .

  

While it seems like Annual reports are months away, diocesan chairpersons should be starting now to identify councils who have not been reporting as the numbers were as low as 33% of councils completing these reports. Personal contact may make a difference as to finding out why and an offer can be made to assist in getting reports submitted for 2019. Councils should not let lack of all executive positions filled be a deterrent in completing the reports. If they feel they didn’t do much, get them talking about what they did do and they may be surprised at what they did accomplish. If using a computer is a problem, tell them to put out a call to women in their parish who might be able to help. This may bring in a new member.

  

The theme “Our Common Home” is an opportune time for setting up a workshop to discuss Pope Francis’ encyclical “Laudato Si”. Our provincial council is working on creating just such a workshop. Contact your councils and encourage them to consider hosting a workshop. Set a goal to have one in each region of your diocese in the next year. It could be combined with an update on the Strategic Plan and a discussion on how to keep councils active and attract new members. Hosting such a workshop in the fall may be a good kick off for membership drives. Invite all ladies of the parish and surrounding areas to join you for the day.

  

Each council is unique in so far as the size and location of their community, number of members and potential members. They may need some assistance in defining how they can best function to get the maximum benefit for their members. Several new councils just starting out have focused on faith to establish an initial bond. Councils that are struggling to fill leadership may have to look at focusing on faith programs or bible studies as well to keep their councils together. Never underestimate the power of prayer.

  

    

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Previous Communiqués   

    

  

  

  


    

Organization Communiqué #4 - November 2018

Chantal Devine, Provincial Organization Chairperson

    

 As this year is coming to an end, and the season of Advent is about to begin, let us pause and give thanks for the inspiration we’ve received from the Holy Spirit in our work for God and Canada. At this special time, our dedication to the League continues with the anticipation of renewed vibrancy in our organization and growth in our membership. During these last few weeks of 2018, as chairpersons of organization, we should pay special attention to annual reports, memberships and leadership.

  

Annual Reports: As I write this, I’m sure many of you are preparing your annual reports. National office has provided provincial chairpersons the means to monitor responses of annual reports on line. To date, only 13 councils in the three dioceses in Saskatchewan have responded. Please encourage the parish councils in your diocese to submit their reports outlining the wonderful work they have done in the past year. It is the duty of organization chairs at all levels to ensure the reports are sent to the next level on time.

  

Membership: Hopefully, your membership drive is well underway so that your funds will be sent to National by January 1, 2019. An encouraging phone call to some of the councils who have not submitted their membership fees will usually bring about positive results. Sharing the gift of the League is every member’s responsibility, however, as organization chairpersons our mission should be to set an example for others by putting our words into action! When I was a director with Mary Kay Cosmetics, we were taught that we should ask at least ten women to join Mary Kay before we could expect one positive reply, I believe the same measure applies to sharing the League. Inviting Catholic women to join the League is not difficult when we’re  convinced that every Catholic woman would benefit by being a CWL member.

  

Leadership: In Fran Lucas’ first communique as National Organization Chair, she mentioned that in order to fill leadership positions at all levels of the League, we need to educate our members. When bringing someone into the League it’s important to journey with them teaching them the many interesting facets of our organization. Fran also suggested that “an excellent starter for girls to be initiated as future League members,” is to form a Catholic Girls League in your parish. One of my long-term goals as president elect, is to see the formation of Catholic Girls Leagues in each of our three dioceses in Saskatchewan. In order to do this, I’ll need your help. A short overview of the CGL can be seen in the excellent video, Women on a Mission, which can be found on the national website cwl.ca. I’ve been in touch with other CGL leaders in Canada who have shared the procedure they followed in forming a Catholic Girls League. Please contact me if you have someone in your diocese that is interested in promoting this valuable endeavor.

  

In past years, March has been considered the time for training in the League. Plan now to have a workshop in your area. This event could serve as a leadership training session. To offset your expenses, apply to the National Development Fund for funding, but remember the application must be submitted two months in advance. Please refer to the email about the National Development Fund from Fran Lucas which I forwarded to you in October.

  

May the Holy Spirit, during this season of joyful anticipation, inspire us to answer God’s call as we share ourselves, and the gift of the League with others.

  

  

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Organization Communiqué #3 - June 2018

Chantal Devine, Provincial Organization Chairperson

      

“Great Leaders aren’t born, they are made.”

  

I’m sure you’ve all heard that saying over the years, and probably did not give it much thought. Today, as our national executive is working diligently in revitalizing the League to enter the next millennium, we should all be motivated by their leadership, and strive to do our part in enriching our councils by taking on a leadership role. The second duty of the organization chairperson is leadership development.  I can’t think of a more important duty to write about at this time in the history of our organization.

  

In January 2018, the first participants in the Catholic Women’s Leadership Foundation program were announced.  Each year, another group of fourteen women will be trained so that they too may influence our society by taking on a leadership role in tackling today’s complicated societal issues.  Any service - oriented Catholic woman can apply to take this year long leadership course where most of the course work is completed on line.  Perhaps you, or someone in your council, could apply for this self improvement opportunity. Please google Catholic Women’s Leadership Foundation for more information.

  

Not all of us will be able to take part in a formal leadership formation program but we can all improve our leadership skills by reading articles on leadership. At our recent provincial convention, National First - Vice President, Fran Lucas, spoke to us about being a “Servant Leader”.  She told us that a good leader is a servant first.   A leader focuses on the growth and development of the group she is leading. She shares her goals by maintaining an enthusiastic, positive attitude and by developing good communication skills and thus, inspiring others to follow her. Besides sharing her goals, a strong leader empowers others. She recognizes their gifts and delegates assignments to them.  By clearly explaining the task she wants accomplished, she helps her followers to perform the task at hand, and while doing so, they will build skills and grow in confidence.  A leader always ends her request with a “thank you”! Fran concluded her presentation by asking,  ” If someone were to describe you, would they allocate the following qualities to you?  Are you, respectful, a good listener, enthusiastic, a problem solver, a collaborator, well organized, self aware, persuasive, resourceful and supportive?”  Most of us joined the CWL because we were inspired by someone else.  As seasoned members, let us not miss the opportunities to share our talents and the gift of the League with others.

  

Also, a good leader is spiritually grounded and aligns her message with the mission of the organization. She leads into the future finding new tools to enhance that mission.  She is a role model who strives to be the best and empowers her people to express their gifts. A good illustration of this approach is how Christ chose ordinary men as his disciples and inspired them to teach and follow God’s mission.   As fishermen and carpenters, these men were not born leaders, but through Christ’s leadership they became committed leaders. With the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, as faith filled and faithful members of the Catholic Women’s League, let us renew our efforts to lead others to answer God’s call.

  

This concludes my report.

  

  

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Organization Communiqué #2 - Feb. 2018

Chantal Devine, Provincial Organization Chairperson

    

“Do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:5

  

Greetings from Saskatoon! My husband and I are finally settled into our condo and beginning a new phase of our life. We are members of Holy Spirit Church which is only a five-minute walk from our place. I look forward to becoming involved with my parish and with my sisters in the League in Saskatoon.

In late January, I received a communique from National Chairperson of Organization, Anne-Marie Gorman, regarding annual reports and membership. She informed us that national office will not be finished collating the online annual parish reports for 2017 until the end of February. Therefore, diocesan and provincial chairpersons’ completion of their written reports this year will be delayed.

  

Please take note that annual reports will be due as follows:

  

Diocesan Chairpersons      to Diocesan President

                                              & Provincial Chairpersons           March 15, 2018

  

Diocesan Presidents           to Provincial President                March 31, 2018

  

Provincial Chairpersons     to Provincial President

                                              & National Chairpersons             March 31, 2018

  

Provincial Presidents          to National President

                                              & National Office                         April 15, 2018

  

National Chairpersons        to National President

                                              & National Office                         April 15, 2018

  

National President               to National Office                       April 30, 2018

  

Ann-Marie reminded us that all membership fees are due to parish councils on January 1st of each year and that national office will continue to accept all memberships done manually. Plans are underway at national that online membership processing in rotation will be happening soon.

  

We are all blessed to be a part of such a spiritually driven organization! With the help of the Holy Spirit, let us inspire others to join the League, thus fulfilling our ministry and answering God’s call.

  

  

  

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Organization Communiqué #1 - June 2017

Chantal Devine, Provincial Organization Chairperson

  

Our new CWL Theme featured prominently at our recent Provincial Convention, June 5th and 6th, where my two year term as Spiritual Development Chairperson came to an end.  I joined the executive of the Provincial CWL Council in June 2013 while I was still serving a two year term as Past President for the Regina Diocese. During my first term I served as Communications Chair, which was followed by Spiritual Development and now Organization. Each new convenorship fills me with excitement and a certain amount of trepidation!  However, I welcome change and look to the future with hope and confidence, believing that as I tackle the challenges along the way, I will be inspired by the Spirit, and I will answer God’s call.

  

The five duties of the organization chairperson, as listed in the CWL Executive Handbook, are:

  • recruit members and maintain membership
  • leadership development
  • League resource material
  • annual reports
  • life membership

  

Our National President, Margaret Ann Jacobs says that “the greatest gift we can give any woman, is a membership in the Catholic Women’s League of Canada.” I strongly support her stand and will dedicate the next two years in recruiting new members. In 2016, I entered the names of 183 of our Saskatchewan CWL Sisters into the Book of Life and asked the question… “How many new members have we invited into the League to make up for that great loss?” As organization chair I plan to focus on maintaining membership by working with you in welcoming new members into the League.

  

In the spring 2017 issue of The Canadian League magazine on pages 8 & 9, you will find a very informative article on recruiting. The bottom line is, “Talk to each woman individually.” Please take the time to read this article and begin to implement the methods outlined to help you bring new members into your parish councils.

  

The second duty of the organization chair is leadership development. Each time you take on a new responsibility whether it’s accepting an executive position or simply heading up a committee, you are demonstrating leadership qualities. We need to encourage members to step out of their comfort zone and to take on leadership roles. Organizing a leadership workshop in your diocese would be a great way to provide members with the necessary skills to become leaders in their councils and communities.

  

National Council, realizing that more Catholic women with leadership skills are needed to help maintain the Catholicity in our Catholic institutions and to make a difference elsewhere in our society, recently established the Catholic Women’s Leadership Foundation. On pages 10 & 11, in the spring 2017 issue of The Canadian League magazine, there is an overview of the Foundation. Even though the Sisters of Charity and the Catholic Women’s League each made a generous donation to the Foundation, more funds are needed. I encourage you as individual members and as parish councils to make a donation to this worthwhile project. As members of the Catholic Women’s League of Canada, let us be open to the Spirit that we may be inspired to work together and respond to God’s call.

   

  

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