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Saskatchewan Provincial President's New Year’s Message January 2020

Chantal Devine, Provincial President

January 2020

    

Dear Sisters in the League

      

“Every day decrease your self-centeredness and increase your love of your neighbor. Every day, lessen your reliance on yourself and increase your trust in God.” Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan The Road of Hope

  

Blessings to all of you as we begin a brand- new year and a brand- new decade! We are so blessed to have the gift of life and to reside in this wonderful, democratic country! The introductory quotation speaks to us about our theme of Inclusion. When we forget about “self” and focus on the people around us, we witness the love Christ has for us by including others in our lives. And again, when we let go of what we want, and pray, “God what do you want of me?”, we include God first and foremost in our lives. My prayer for each one of us in 2020 is that we become the person God wants us to be by keeping our focus on Him and on our neighbor.

  

This month, the Government of Canada is asking Canadians to fill out a survey on their proposed expansion of the criteria for euthanasia so that more people would have access to the procedure. Cathy Bouchard, National Resolutions Chair sent out an urgent email asking our members to respond to this serious matter. Attached to Cathy’s email was an explanatory email from Coalition for HealthCARE and Conscience which states:

  

“A Quebec Court declared in September that the clause in the federal euthanasia legislation that death must be “reasonably foreseeable “in order for a patient to qualify was unconstitutional. This clause was added to the law when it was passed in 2016 to protect people with disabilities, including those with mental health concerns.”

  

“All along, the 2015 legalization of euthanasia (also known as Medical Assistance in Dying) was sold as a solution for the elderly who were near death anyway and who were in intolerable physical pain. Those who were opposed to legalizing euthanasia argued that it was a slippery slope and that vulnerable people, children, those with disabilities, those with mental health concerns, and those with dementia would be put at risk. Now, less than five years later, what was predicted has now happened. And our government, is leading the charge to open euthanasia to more and more people.”

    

Exercise your democratic right and let your voice be heard! In doing so, you will be promoting the fourth Object of the League, to protect the sanctity of human life. The survey needs to be completed by January 27th, 2020, hence, the reason for the urgency. I sincerely hope you’ll all take five to ten minutes to voice your opposition to the proposed expansion of euthanasia by adding your comments as you fill out the survey. You will find the survey HERE.

  

May God continue to bless you in 2020, as you serve Him by reaching out to others, especially those in need.

      

           

God bless you and your family,

  

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Saskatchewan Provincial President's Advent Message - December 2019

Chantal Devine, Provincial President

Dec. 2020

  

“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke1:38)

  

As we approach the close of 2019, and enter into the Advent season, let us reflect on the many blessings we’ve received in the past year. Advent is a time of waiting and of preparation for the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, but also a time to give thanks. Having received the precious gift of membership in the Catholic Women’s League of Canada, we have so much to be thankful for! Let’s start each day in quiet prayer beginning with the League Prayer and reflecting on the life of Mary. When she accepted to be the “handmaid of the Lord”, her life was forever changed. Just as she stepped out in faith so must we.

  

At this time of year, many of you are completing your annual reports either on- line or on paper. At the parish level, please ensure you send in your reports by the specified deadlines. If you’re submitting them on paper the deadline is December 15th and on- line January 15th. It is so important that all members of standing committees complete an annual report as this is the primary way of communicating the activities taking place at the parish level with the upper levels of the League.

  
As the League, through various committees continues to work on the five- year strategic plan, we should keep abreast with the progress made. This plan is designed to revitalize the League so it may flourish into the next millennium. Each diocese should make a concerted effort to present the strategic plan to its members with a special focus on the three important pillars of faith, service and social justice.

  

Now that we’ve nearly completed year one of the national theme Care for Our Common Home, with a focus on saving water, national has announced our second year’s focus. In partnership with the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA), the CWL will support the building of a drinking water well for a home for women with intellectual disabilities in Ketala, India. The home is called Pieta Bhavan (House of Mercy) and is located in a region that experiences great flooding and water contamination during the monsoon season. In Canada, we will care for our common home by allotting the 2020 voluntary fund collection for the Catholic Missions in Canada towards rebuilding three churches located in Ahousat and Telegraph Creek, B.C. and Attawapiskat, ON.

  

In keeping with our provincial focus on Inclusion, the Indigenous Awareness Evening held at St. Mary’s Parish in Saskatoon on November 26th was very well received. League members, and members of the general public were captivated by the sincere and knowledgeable presentation made by guest presenter, Misty Brabant. I encourage each diocese to host a similar gathering in your community. December 12th is the National Day of Prayer in Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples, let’s remember to pray for our Indigenous brothers and sisters not only on Dec 12th, but all year through.

  

December 29th is the feast of the Holy Family. The primary purpose of this feast is to present the Holy Family as a model for Christian families.

  

Through the intercession of “Our Lady of Good Counsel”, may you and your family be blessed during this advent season, at Christmas and throughout the coming year!

           

God bless you and your family,

   

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Saskatchewan Provincial President Message - October 2019 

Chantal Devine, Provincial President

October 2019

  

  

Dear Parish Catholic Women’s League Presidents and Sisters in the League

  

Our Provincial CWL Theme

    Inclusion

  

Welcome back to the beginning of another faith and fun filled year in the Catholic Women’s League of Canada! After attending my first national meeting as provincial president, and witnessing the professionalism and the dedication of our national executive, I am even more impressed by this national organization. An organization rooted in gospel values that has stood the test of time! Our membership in the League is a very special gift that we often take for granted. With 77,000 members, we are a part of the largest women’s organization in Canada. Unfortunately, our membership has been dwindling over the years. I believe we can change that trend by practising the art of inclusion. Along with our national theme, Care for Our Common Home, I’d like to add our provincial theme of Inclusion. At the 2019 National Convention in Calgary, a member suggested we set a goal of growing the League to 100,000 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the League by next year’s convention in Montreal. How will we accomplish this?

   

We need to follow Christ’s example when He was on earth. He didn’t travel to the towns and villages alone, He chose His twelve apostles and included them in His earthly mission. They in turn continued to spread the word by reaching out to the people in their homes and communities. They befriended the people, shared the teachings of Jesus and welcomed them.  We can do the same by being of service to others and including them in our lives as CWL members.

   

It is especially important that we reach out to our Indigenous and International sisters by sharing in their cultural activities. As servants of Christ, there are many ways of practising the art of inclusion. On October 1st, I invited Connie Crichton, Provincial Organization Chairperson, to join me in visiting Our Lady of Guadelupe, Saskatoon’s First Nations and Metis Roman Catholic Parish, to meet with Debbie Ledoux, Parish Life Director. Debbie emulated the love and dedication she has in helping others, and, shared some of the pain she experienced from thoughtless words and actions from individuals along the way. I’m sure we all want to create a positive relationship with our Indigenous sisters. As a start, we should strive to become more knowledgeable about their traditions and spirituality. We can begin to do this by attending an Indigenous Awareness Evening which, in Saskatoon will be held on November 26th at 6:30 pm at St. Mary’s Church in the upper hall. I encourage all diocese in Saskatchewan to organize a similar evening, by inviting a member of the Indigenous community to speak on their cultural traditions. If you haven’t already done so, take part in the “Blanket Exercise,” it is an effective activity that helps you to understand some of the trials experienced by our Indigenous people. I’m excited to begin this journey of greater understanding, and hopeful, all of you will join me in this mission of reconciliation.  

   

We are so fortunate to have our international families worshiping with us and actively participating in our parishes. It is up to us to welcome them, and to make them feel comfortable in our midst. Include them in your parish and CWL activities by personally inviting them to join you. Find out about their culture by setting up a Cultural Awareness Evening followed by a pot- luck of some of theirs and our traditional foods.

  

Many of the younger women in our parishes are concerned about social justice issues and are not aware that our organization has access to all levels of government. Let’s include them in our conversations by encouraging them to become CWL members so that they may have a means of getting their concerns to government via a resolution.

   

Inclusion is not a new word, and I know many of you are already practising the art of inclusion.  I’d like to hear from you. Please share your activities of inclusion on our website by sending them along with photos, if possible, to our communications chair, Marge Appell. She will forward your submissions to our web mistress who will post your acts of kindness on our web site for all to see!

   

May the Holy Spirit “give light to our minds and strength to our wills that we may know and fulfill His great law of charity” as we reach out to others and share the great gift of the League through inclusion.

       

God bless you and your family.

  

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Saskatchewan Provincial President Communique #1 - June 2019 

Chantal Devine, Provincial President

June 2019

      

As I embark on my two year journey as president of the Saskatchewan Provincial Catholic Women’s League, I do so with excitement, but also, with some degree of trepidation. I find comfort in the most often repeated phrase written in the Bible, “Do not be afraid.” Christ spoke these words to remind us that we are never alone, He is always with us. I also find strength knowing I have a strong executive who will be working with me to realize our CWL goals. Thank you, to all who were willing to continue serving on the executive, and to those who just joined our provincial ranks for the first time. Thank you, also, to past president, Margaret Schwab, who for the past two years, through her exemplary leadership, enriched the lives of all CWL members in our province. Her wisdom and guidance will be welcomed in my time as president. As this was an election year for both the Prince Albert, and the Regina Diocesan CWL Councils, and for many parishes throughout our great province, I want to commend all those who stepped up to the plate and accepted a leadership position on their executive. Together we will continue the work started by our CWL sisters nearly 100 years ago!

  

Let’s make the next two years a time for growth in both our spiritual lives, and in the membership of our parish councils. We need to attract younger women into our parish councils, and I believe, one way of accomplishing this is by introducing our young girls to the League through the formation of a Catholic Girls League (CGL). This October, the very first CGL in Saskatchewan will be started at Holy Spirit Parish in Saskatoon. I need your help in establishing a Catholic Girls League in each of our diocese. We will realize our goals through prayer. Include the League Prayer in your daily prayers, and through the intercession of our Lady of Good Counsel, the Holy Spirit will inspire us to fulfill our mission. The NEW Mission Statement for our organization states:

  

The Catholic Women’s League of Canada calls its members to grow in faith, and to witness to the  love of God through ministry and service.

  

The annual reports you’ve submitted over the years reveal your commitment to the League’s Mission Statement. In continuation of your service, the Centenary Committee Project 2019, entitled H.U.G. (Helping, Understanding, Giving) is asking all councils to collect and package women’s toiletries, sleep attire and under garments. These packages are to be donated to a local women’s shelter in your community. Their goal is to collect 2,019 packages to commemorate the project year. As mentioned on the CWL website, the total will be announced at the National Convention during the prayer service “to commemorate the packages and to offer prayers for those using the shelters.” The deadline for submitting your package numbers to National is July 31, 2019.

  

The 99th National CWL Convention will be held in Calgary, Alberta on August 18- 21, 2019. The  registration deadline is July 18th, so you still have time to register.  It’s within driving distance for all of us in Saskatchewan, so plan now to attend, and experience the vibrancy of our wonderful organization!

  

In the next two years, I look forward to meeting many of you as you celebrate the milestones you’ve reached in your parish councils. Together, guided by the Holy Spirit, we will continue our journey and bear “witness to the love of God through ministry and service.”

  

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Saskatchewan Provincial President Message - March 2019 

Margaret Schwab, Provincial President

  

Dear Parish Catholic Women’s League Presidents and Sisters in the League

  

It is my privilege to officially invite you to the 71st Saskatchewan Provincial Annual Convention, to be held at St. Augustine Parish, Humboldt on Sunday & Monday, June 2nd & June 3rd, 2019. I encourage all Councils to send delegates to this Convention since it is important that for us to gather annually to exchange information and renew friendships.

  

Please find enclosed: Tentative Convention agenda

  • List of accommodations
  • Registration Form (return before May 21, 2019)
  • Social Justice Award Criteria information and application form
  • Minutes from the 70th Annual Provincial CWL Convention
  • Financial report in compliance with our Constitution and Bylaws (Part XIV, Section 10).

  

I would ask that you invite your Spiritual Advisor to attend as well. All priests are invited to concelebrate at the opening and closing masses. Registrations and payments must be returned before May 21, 2019. Please note that there will be no lunch served on Sunday during registration. However, there will be light refreshments.

  

Our convention theme is “Care for Our Common Home”. We are very pleased to have Archbishop Emeritus James Weisgerber speak to us on Sunday on the theme of the relevance of CWL today,

  

On Monday, we will be having a workshop on the CWL national theme, above, given by our National CWL President, Anne-Marie Gorman.

  

Hotel space is limited, so please make your arrangements early.

  

I sincerely hope you will join us and look forward to meeting all of you.

  

    

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Saskatchewan Provincial President Message - Feb 2019 

Margaret Schwab, Provincial President

      

    

Dear Sisters in the League,  

  

Over the past few months, the Catholic Women’s League in cooperation with the Knights of Columbus and other concerned Christians have been working on a campaign to bring about provincial legislation to protect the conscience rights of all healthcare workers when dealing with euthanasian/medically assisted death. Medical professionals may feel the need to object to participating in physician assisted suicide for any number of reasons: faith, ethics, morals or the Hippocratic Oath. As it stands right now, doctors, nurses and pharmacists do not have adequate protection for their conscience rights under the federal legislation on assisted suicide.  

  

This means that the provincial governments have the opportunity to create legislation that will protect the Charter of rights of conscientious objectors.  

  

Last year, in Manitoba, a similar campaign resulted in their provincial government bringing this protection for healthcare workers into law. This was the result of the Knights, the CWL and other concerned faiths collecting 14,000 signatures. 

  

We are hoping to collect at least 14,000 signatures for this campaign.  

  

On the weekends of February 17th, there will be a pulpit announcement explaining the campaign and asking support for all those in the pews.  

  

On the weekend of February 24th, there will be available at all parishes, pre-printed letters for each individuals to sign.  

  

The Knights of Columbus have taken the lead on this undertaking, but they will need our help.  

I am asking each CWL council to reach out to the K of C in their area and see where help is needed.  There may be help needed in reading the script for the pulpit announcement and will definitely be a need for help on the 24th to assist in getting letters signed and collected. If there is no Knights presence in a parish, perhaps the CWL will be needed do the pulpit presentation and oversee the signing and collection of the letters.  

  

For those councils made up of members who attend different parishes, please ask each member to assist in her home parish in any way needed.  

  

This is an extremely important campaign and the timing is very limited. Snowbirds and others who are not available on the 24th will be able to sign a letter online.  Please talk to your family and friends about this campaign and encourage them to be involved.  Also, please pray for success so that our healthcare workers will never be coerced into performing Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID).  

  

I thank you in advance for your assistance.  

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Saskatchewan Provincial President Message - Dec 2018 

Margaret Schwab, Provincial President

  

  

My dear Sisters in the League;

  

It is hard to believe that we are entering our last full week of Advent. Shopping, baking, entertaining and yes, more shopping have taken our weeks of preparation and turned them into mere minutes! 

  

It is important that we take some of those minutes out of each day to reflect the greatest gift that we will celebrate on December 25th – the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We have all rejoiced at the birth of a baby, whether it is our own or one born to family and friends.  There is no one as innocent, as trusting and as loving as a new born baby, untouched by our human failings. A baby gives love unconditionally and expects to receive love in the same way. There are no ulterior motives in a child’s heart.

  

Perhaps that is why God chose to send his Son in the form of a child – he could have come in so many other ways. But through this baby, he reminds us that all he wants from us is true love for all.

  

Let us, as members of the League, take that sign of perfect love with us into the New Year. 

  

I wish for you all, a very Blessed Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Loving New Year!

   

  

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Saskatchewan Provincial President Message - Nov 2018 

Margaret Schwab, Provincial President

  

  

Dear Sisters in the League,

  

Well, today is a stormy, November day – looks like winter is here to stay. However, I know that councils are busy preparing and carrying out their plans for the upcoming year. For many, it is election time, so it is the time to approach new people to find leadership within your council. This is not always easy as many of us do not realize the gifts we have received from our gracious God and are not always willing to step forward to try them out. I encourage everyone to consider taking part in the leadership of your council. It is the best way to learn about this wonderful, national organization that we are all part of.  The old saying, ‘many hands make light work’ is so true when the chair positions are shared by two or more people. I hope that this year will be the year for you to say “Yes, I will”.

   

As we plan for new executives, we must also remember that there are new members in our councils who are struggling to make sense of all that goes on with the Policy and Procedure, the Constitution and Bylaws and some just plain ‘traditions’ within the League. I have been a member for over 40 years and have been reminded that sometimes I speak of things that others have no idea about. We must remember that education of all members comes not only from our manuals, but from those of us who have experience. We have many long time members who would be wonderful mentors for newer ladies. Please look within your membership and see who you might ask to mentor within your group. As well as knowledge shared, many lifelong friendships have developed through mentorship.

  

At the 2018 National Convention in Winnipeg, the National executive unveiled the results of the planning strategically committee which has spent the last two years listening to the membership for guidance on how to move forward for the next 100 years. Members of the provincial executive would be happy to attend a Regional meeting or even smaller gathering to present the plan for implementing the strategic planning. Please feel free to invite us at any time.

  

I hope that many from Saskatchewan are planning on attending the National Convention in Calgary in August of 2019. Room bookings should be made as soon as possible, as the hotel fills up quickly. I would say that at this year’s convention, Calgary did an excellent job of inviting us to their city for the next one. I think a good time is in store.

    

I would like to congratulate Susan Melchiorre who has accepted a position on the National resolutions committee. Susan will take on that task for the next two years, helping with resolutions submitted and with the actual debate and voting that takes place at national conventions. Wouldn’t it be great if we could keep her busy with resolutions from Saskatchewan?  Something to think about – the deadline is drawing near. Now is also a good time to start planning how we will celebrate our new theme – ‘Care for Our Common Home’. I am sure there will be good information in both the national memos and the Canadian League after the new year.

  

We will soon be in the season of Advent – a time for renewed spiritual growth as we await the arrival of our Lord. May God fill you with Peace and Joy for the Season and with a renewed fire for the League in the coming year.

    

   

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Saskatchewan Provincial President Message - June 2018 

Margaret Schwab, Provincial President

  

   

Dear Parish Catholic Women’s League Presidents and Sisters in the League,

  

It is my privilege to officially invite you to the 70th Saskatchewan Provincial Annual Convention, to be held at Holy Trinity parish in Regina, SK on Sunday & Monday, June 3rd & June 4th, 2018. I encourage all Councils to send delegates to this Convention since it is important that all Councils gather socially to celebrate what we have accomplished in our 70 years together.

  

On the website you will find:

  • Tentative Convention agenda
  • List of accommodations
  • Registration Form (return before May 6, 2018)
  • Social Justice Award Criteria information and application form

  

I would ask that you invite your Spiritual Advisor to attend as well. There will be a meeting of all Spiritual Advisors in attendance on Sunday afternoon. All registrations and payments must be returned before May 21, 2018. Please note that due to Mass at Holy Trinity at noon, there will be no lunch served on Sunday during registration. However, there will be light refreshments.

  

We are very pleased to have National first Vice-president, Fran Lucas joining us on Sunday to give a workshop on the planning strategically initiative that the National CWL is currently undertaking. In addition, we will have a brief presentation by Alex Schadenberg from the Euthanasia Coalition.

  

On Monday, we will be hearing from Father David Reilander, president of the Catholic Missions in Canada. This is Father Reilander’s first opportunity to speak to the CWL of Saskatchewan and we are looking forward to hearing from him.

  

We have received a limited grant from national to assist with members with part of the cost of travelling to this convention. Your diocesan president will have special mileage forms to fill out. We urge you to car pool as much as possible. I sincerely hope you will join us and look forward to meeting all of you.

  

   

  

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Saskatchewan Provincial President Message - Nov 2017 

Margaret Schwab, Provincial President

  

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Saskatchewan Provincial President Communique #1 - June 2017 

Margaret Schwab, Provincial President

June 2019

  

Here we are – summer time and we are already looking forward to what needs to be done this fall.  As presidents, we are challenged to keep ahead of the times – always on the alert to try to keep our membership up to date with this every changing world.

  

We need also, to keep reminding our members what has gone on in the past – not with the ‘we have always done it this way’ attitude, but by being open to new ideas that serve the mission and the objects of the League. New members need to learn about the League, why things are done the way they are and what we, as a large group of women, have accomplished. To that end, I would like to see every council use some type of a mentoring program. Some have the luxury of having life and/or honorary life members in their midst, but most do not. However, there are many long-time members who have the knowledge and experience needed to help our new members gain knowledge about the League. Perhaps, those willing to mentor could have their contact information made available, or perhaps buddy system could be established between a mentor and a new member.

  

Most of our younger members are very used to computers, so guiding them to the cwl.ca website and showing them all the valuable manuals and information there, is also a good start to mentoring. Good mentors may not have all the answers, but they know where to find them.

  

Please work with your parishes to try to organize groups to participate in the town hall meeting from the National Convention via computer on August 8th, 2017. Below is a list of what needs to be done to prepare for participating:

  

  1. Organize a group of four to six people. If possible, include a nonmember and/or a spiritual advisor in your group.
  2. Choose a venue where you will have access to the Internet and a monitor large enough to allow your group to watch.
  3. Ensure the computer has at least Google Chrome 4, Internet Explorer 9, Mozilla 3.5 or Safari 4 to watch the session live.
  4. Designate a reporting secretary for the group.
  5. Have your secretary register your group by e-mail to executivedirector@cwl.ca by July 31st.
  6. Your secretary will receive an e-mail with a link to an audience response system that she connects to via computer or cell phone. The system will allow you to ask and answer questions while the town hall is in the session.
  7. Questions will be asked before convention to ensure participants can use the system. Your secretary should contact executivedirector@cwl.ca by July 31st if she cannot connect.
  8. On Tuesday, August 8, gather the group together to join us. At 11:00 a.m. ADT follow the link on cwl.ca to watch and participate in the town hall.

  

Please note the importance of getting things set up and tested no later than July 31st.

At the provincial convention earlier this month, I had stated it would be 9 am here in Saskatchewan, but that was incorrect. The time that it would start would be 8 am, so an early morning for those attending.

  

I hope that you all are able to stop and enjoy Canada Day – the 150th celebration of our wonderful nation.

  

I look forward to the next two years – there will be challenges, but also great opportunities to work more closely with all of the diocesan presidents.

  

May the Holy Spirit continue to guide us as we move forward in our service to God and Canada.

  

Margaret Schwab

  

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