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CURRENT SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT COMMUNIQUÉS

  

  

  

   


  

        

Spiritual Development Communiqué #4 - June 2018

Connie Crichton, Provincial Spiritual Development Chairperson

  

What is pilgrimage?

A pilgrimage is a ritual journey with a hallowed purpose. Every step along the way has meaning. The pilgrim knows that life giving challenges will emerge. A pilgrimage is not a vacation; it is a transformational journey during which significant change takes place. New insights are given. Deeper understanding is attained. New and old places in the heart are visited. Blessings are received and healing takes place. On return from the pilgrimage, life is seen with different eyes. Nothing will ever be quite the same again.

Macrina Wiederkehr,
Behold Your Life, p. 11

  

There are many places around the world that are considered ideal for experiencing a pilgrimage journey. The Holy Land, Fatima, Lourdes, Medjugorje, Rome, just to name a few. Not enough time or money for these destinations? Then look no further than our own beautiful province that offers a pilgrimage experience within driving distance and may last only a day or two. Some are on weekends, some on week days and all are rich with opportunities for  prayer, confession, Masses, rosaries, Stations of the cross and anointing’s.

  

Are you experiencing a need for some clarity on an issue in your life?

Are you or a loved one facing health challenges?

Are you looking for an opportunity to just get away from the daily grind?

  

If you feel restless, confused or just stressed out a pilgrimage may help you to refocus. Take a look HERE at the Saskatoon Diocesan website for the listing of many pilgrimages being offered around the province.

    

If leaving home isn’t an option, use your computer to create your own pilgrimage. There are many resources that provide you with a “virtual” pilgrimage. You can google “pilgrimage without leaving home” for some ideas.

  

You can also just create some quiet time for yourself and obtain one of the many spiritual books available at your local library or perhaps borrow one from a friend. Make sure you start this time with prayer. Let God know what is in your heart that is causing pain, anxiety or worry. Ask that this sacred time be a source of comfort and healing. Make it a true pilgrimage.

  

It will not matter how you choose to make your pilgrimage this summer. The important thing is to just choose to make one!

  

Have a blessed summer!

     

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Spiritual Development Communiqué #3 - March 2018

Connie Crichton, Provincial Spiritual Development Chairperson

  

We are now approaching the most solemn time of the church year. Beginning with Holy Thursday we walk with Jesus through his final hours on earth in His human form. Starting at sundown on Thursday, each of the three days contains a time of prayer and reflection on the significance of the day for us as Christians. We enter into the period of celebration of Christ’s passion, death and resurrection. Take the time to fully enter each of these days as this is holds the message of all we believe and on what our faith is built.

  • On Holy Thursday I have had my feet washed by our priest. The message Jesus gives after washing the feet of his disciples, “For I have set you an example that you also should do as I have done to you.” John 13:15. We put this into action, as members of the Catholic Women’s League, as we are “called to serve”.
  • On Good Friday I have walked in the outdoor Way of the Cross that highlights social injustices in our society. Station by station we hear from various groups of how our neighbours are persecuted and given ways we can love our neighbours in our daily living.
  • On Saturday I have attended the Easter Vigil. The Pascal Candle is lit and that light spread to all those present. In listening to the Old Testament readings I am reminded of the history of the Jewish people and the covenant that they made with God. I am reminded of our ongoing covenant that Jesus extended to all peoples who would take up his cross and follow him. We hear the Gloria for the first time in forty days. We renew our Baptismal promises reminding us of the new life we put on at our own baptism.
  • There is nothing quite like singing “Jesus Christ Has Risen Today” on Easter Sunday. It is in the resurrection that we have been given hope and the promise of eternal life.

I encourage all of you to make your best efforts to fully enter into this most holy time.

    

The first Sunday after Easter was declared Divine Mercy Sunday in 2000 by St. Pope John Paul ll. Most parishes bring out their Divine Mercy images on this day. Many churches display this image year round. A few years ago, after completing a Fr. Michael Gately program “33 Days to Merciful Love”, my prayer group attended the 3 p.m. Divine Mercy Hour of Great prayer on Divine Mercy Sunday and made our personal consecration to Divine Mercy. There is also a Divine Mercy Novena that begins on Good Friday and ends on Divine Mercy Sunday that is a very meaningful prayer experience. You can incorporate the Divine Mercy Chaplet into your prayer life as well as making a special effort to acknowledge the 3 p.m. holy hour with the short prayer: Jesus, I trust in you. These are opportunities to reflect on the greatness of God’s mercy in our lives and praying for His mercy to overcome sin in the world. If you are not familiar with Divine Mercy there are many online resources that are available. You may want to make a point to attend a Divine Mercy prayer hour or bring together members of your council to pray together at the 3 o’clock hour on Divine Mercy Sunday.

    

On April 26th is the Feast day of our patroness, Our Lady of Good Counsel. Many of our councils celebrate this day in many ways that begin with Mass or a Prayer Service and conclude with fellowship. Encourage members to take part on this celebratory day.

    

There are many upcoming opportunities to celebrate the richness of our Catholic faith and be moved by the Holy Spirit. May you be inspired to embrace each one of them with the joyfulness of the risen Lord!

  

    

   

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Spiritual Development Communiqué #2 - January 2018

Connie Crichton, Provincial Spiritual Development Chairperson

  

We are now again entering into Ordinary Time in the liturgical year. We have had our expectations of joyful hope fulfilled in the birth of Christ. We have celebrated that wondrous time when “Christ humbled himself to share in our humanity” by being born of the Virgin Mary. We hear these words at every mass. How has that realization made a difference to you? As we move away from the Christmas season do we again return to our ordinary time?

  

Rather than putting our feet up for the rest of the winter we should be asking ourselves how we can take this high from the celebrations of Christmas and turn it into a time of growing our spiritual lives. For some ideas on ways you can do this our National Spiritual Development Chairperson has put out some good suggestions in her communiqués. Check them out on the National CWL website.

  

The week of January 21-28 is the week of Christian Unity and this concludes with Pro-Life Sunday on January 28th. Take note of the happenings in your diocese and communities. Let this be a time of reflection on what “Christian Unity” and the “value of human dignity” mean to you. How is the Holy Spirit calling you, as His unique wonderful creation, to respond to the challenges that our culture has put before us that threaten human dignity in so many ways? How can you advocate for the unborn, for adequate resources for palliative care and hospices, support for the homeless, refugees and those dealing with mental illnesses?

  

It all starts with prayer. That is why a whole week is devoted to prayer for Christian unity. It is only through that unity and common mission, a mission that values human dignity and respects life from conception until its natural end that we will be able to meet the challenges of the future.

  

There are many ways to pray. To start each day with a prayer of gratitude, focusing on what is good and right in our lives. Giving thanks to our loving God, who brings such grace into our lives, will start you off in a positive mindset. As we go about our day, be mindful of how God is intersecting in all we do. Where are you seeing the face of Jesus? Don’t be afraid to call on Mary, Mother of God, and our Mother, to lend a hand by interceding on our behalf when obstacles present themselves. Daily faithfulness to saying the rosary provides many more graces. Our everyday tasks that we do for others are prayers when they are done with love.

  

Any time members gather there should always be time to include prayer. There are many excellent prayers services and ceremonies that are listed in the resources on the National website. It is important that we acknowledge our members at every opportunity. Without our members The Catholic Woman’s League would not exist. It exists firstly for the support of our members and most importantly for their spiritual development. Many councils will be installing new officers, welcoming new members, acknowledging years of service in the next few months. This is a time to bring your councils together in prayer. If members can’t come out ask them to pray with you at home. Provide them with prays that will be said at the gathering. Stay connected through prayer. We have such a beautiful theme “Inspired by the Spirit, Women Respond to God’s Call” and a number of resources that can be used or adapted to meet the occasion. Make time to acknowledge in prayer your members who are experiencing illnesses or caring for family members. Let them know they do not walk alone.

  

You can make these Ordinary Times EXTRAORDINARY times. We all receive an endless amount of God’s love and are asked to give away as much of it as we can. It all starts with prayer.

   

  

   

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Spiritual Development Communiqué #1 - June 2017

Connie Crichton, Provincial Spiritual Development Chairperson

  

After spending the last four years on the Provincial Executive as Treasurer I was much honored to be asked to continue on as Spiritual Development Chairperson. My former role was keeping track of numbers and budgets. Very necessary work that put to use knowledge I accumulated in over 40 years of education and career experiences. I now embark on a new role that entrusts me with the development of souls. For this role I will call on 62 years of my own spiritual development and the many resources provided by our National Spiritual Development Chairperson and opportunities available in our province.

  

When I think about these two roles I can’t help but think about the Bible story about Mary and Martha. Martha, busy getting meals and keeping things organized. Mary fully engaged in every word that came from the mouth of Jesus. Jesus responds to Martha’s request to ask Mary to help her with this response: "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:41-42, NIV)

   

Jesus is asking all of us to listen to His word and draw closer to Him.  We can do this through daily prayer, partaking in the Eucharistic celebration as often as we can and meeting in small groups to grow in our faith formation. My efforts will be directed towards providing my sisters in the League with some direction in developing your own Mary attributes.

  

In her January 2017 Communique #2 our National Spiritual Development Chairperson, Jacqueline Nogier along with her sub-committee, have provided some excellent resources. One of the resources cited is a 12 week Bible Study based on a book by Joanne Weaver, “Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World: Finding Intimacy with God in the Busyness of Life”. Reality is we all have a little Mary and a little Martha in us and we need both to help our organization to deliver its mission “rooted in gospel values calling its members to holiness through service to the people of God.

  

Our National President, Margaret Ann Jacobs has provided us with a wonderful theme “Inspired by the Spirit, Women respond to God’s Call. There are many beautiful Prayer Services and Workshops that have been developed and available on the National website. Diocesan Spiritual Development chairpersons, encourage your parish council’s counterparts to utilize these resources. They may want to join together with one or two councils to bring a workshop to all their members. Also, ask them to share any new pray services or workshop that they may develop and pass them on to me to have posted on our Provincial website. Get them looking at the National and Provincial websites for ideas and resources.

  

We have the summer stretched out before us. Take part in one of the many pilgrimages in our province, go on a retreat, read a good spiritual book and if you can’t find time for any of these make sure you take time to be grateful and pray.

 

  

   

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