Catholic Women's League of Saskatchewan

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The Catholic Women’s League of Canada
Saskatchewan Provincial Council
Annual Reports


For a downloadable PDF version, click here.





Prince Albert – Marianne Kramchynsky

Regina - Chantal Devine

Saskatoon - Ruth Hiebert





Organization – Marge Szabo

Spiritual Development– Jean Reader

Resolutions – Margaret Schwab

Legislation – Rita Hengen

Christian Family Life – Helen Kayfish

Community Life – Erna Day

Communications – Marcella Pedersen

Health & Education – Monica Beavis

Archives – Gerri Holmes


Saskatchewan Provincial President’s Annual Report - 2012
Tillie Aessie, Provincial President


Our theme for the last two years has been Centred on Faith and Justice. This theme and logo were very popular with our province. Councils sponsored events throughout the year that brought awareness to their members especially in the area of poverty, homelessness, lack of adequate housing for seniors, low-income housing and The Truth and Reconciliation justice programs for the First Nations people.


The winter executive meeting was held at St. Peter’s Abbey in Muenster in early March and this time the weather cooperated. Abbott Peter Novecosky presented a session on Spiritual Poverty. Palm sized crosses were distributed to each executive member as something to embrace as they go through the storms of life. In keeping with our theme, another interesting presentation on a“Faith Package” regarding Community Poverty was given by the Saskatoon Diocesan President.


Our June Provincial Convention held at the Church of Our Lady in Moose Jaw was very well attended. One of our guest speakers was Lucie Leduc from St. Albert Retreat Centre who spoke about justice and faith and how we can help Aboriginals heal from the effects of residential school abuse, through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Other guests were Peter and Elaine Zakreski with a power point presentation on their “Hope for Malawi”. Pat and Kerny Korchinski presented “Families at the Dump”. Both presentations showed the members how they could reach out to help the poorest of the poor in other lands if we take to heart what it says in our league prayer,” teach us to share with others at home and abroad”. Provincial council also held a quilt raffle which generated over $1200.00 for CNEWA.


The winner of our annual Provincial Social Justice award for 2012 was Anna Weber of Regina. Eleven other members from the province also received awards from the National Bursary Fund.


At the National convention in Edmonton a large contingent of about 60 members stormed the assembly inviting all to “Have fun in the Sun in Saskatchewan” for this years 2013 convention.


Several provincial executive and other members attended the Pro Life Convention and the CHAS conventions in the fall. The (Catholic Health Association of SK.) and SK Catholic School Board combined their organizations under the umbrella of Catholic Connections for a very informative and wonderful convention. This organization has the member support of the CWL and K. of C.


Our fall executive meeting was held in Lumsden at St. Michael’s Retreat Centre amid a brutal November blizzard. Our first “Catch the Fire” workshop was launched, in spite of inclement weather. With only about half of the Diocesan executive present, we still managed a great workshop. There have been three other presentations since then with more being scheduled.


The HIGHLIGHT of the years “Centred on Faith and Justice Theme, focusing on poverty and homelessness, came in the form of an invitation to attend the Legislative assembly in Regina on Dec. 5th. We were invited to observe question period, and tour the Legislative building all dressed up for the Christmas season. We then met with the Premier in his office along with MLA Gordon Wyant, and presented the Premier with a “bird house” commending him for his government’s programs to help the poor and disadvantaged. What a wonderful experience!


This concludes my report.


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2012 Prince Albert Diocesan President’s Annual Report


It has been a busy time since my report in early 2012. l am pleased to advise that our Prince Albert Diocesan Convention in North Battleford last April was very well attended. We had the privilege of having our then National President, Velma Harasen, attend as our guest speaker, to talk about the Catholic Near East Welfare Association and "Velma's Dream". It was such an honour to have the Presidents at all levels of the League with us. I attended the Provincial Convention in Moose law in June, as well as the National Convention in Edmonton in August. As was reported in the League magazine, the national convention was well-attended, and the speakers, business sessions, and elections made the time go quickly.


In the fall, we were able to have a "Catch the Fire" presentation at the Workshop in Rosthern, and the Hafford Fall Workshop was an opportunity for our Diocesan Secretary, Shirley Lamoureaux, to do a presentation on Ovarian Cancer. It was very informative and timely.


Once again, the year-end reports submitted by the councils in our diocese make it clear that at the parish level, the League is productive, prayerful and supportive of the less fortunate in our communities and beyond. Our members support refugee families in Canada and abroad, they help to raise funds for their parishes, run thrift shops, write letters to Members of Parliament, sponsor individuals and families all over the world, donate funds to charities of all kinds, and take time to comfort, support and pray for one anohter.


A common theme in the reports this year is difficulty in filling executive positions on the parish councils. We have one council with only two people on the executive, even though they have over thirty members and raise over $5,000.00 annually. Several councils have presidents who have served two or three terms in the past, and many of their standing chaìrpersons have been on the executive for many years in various capacities. If the proposed constitutional changes are passed, it will become more difficult to fill positions at both the parish and diocesan levels of the League as more and more women become ineligible to continue to serve.


The instructed vote materials for the proposed constitutional amendments were somewhat disappointing as the amendments put forward appear to be a tinkering with the organization, rather than a proper overhaul. The housekeeping amendments for the purpose of becoming a non-profit corporation are no doubt necessary, but the amendments relating to the presidents, presidents-elect and standing chairpersons will do little to help fill vacant positions.


It would also be nice to see an amendment to the instructed voting process forthcoming, as the current system seems to be unnecessarily complicated. With the technology we have at our disposal, it would be very simple to vote at the parish level and transmit the results to National for tabulation. This is the type of amendment that could be initiated by National rather than having to come from an individual parish.


Financially, our diocesan council remains quite healthy, as we have had fewer meetings in recent years. The bulk of the councils in our diocese are in the north­west quadrant of the diocese, making distance an issue in planning meetings. As well, many ofour executive members are still employed, and that further complicates the logistics of meetings.


Our diocesan convention is planned for April 13, 2013 in Paradise Hill. This is an election year, and several of our executive, including myself, have indicated that we will not let our names stand for re-election. We are hopeful that the Spirit will inspire other talented women to come forward to serve "God and Canada".


This concludes my report.

March 18, 2013


Marianne Kramchynsky
Prince Albert Diocesan President


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Regina Diocesan President’s Annual Report for 2012


Our theme “Centred on Faith and Justice” was evident in the presentations made at the many regional meetings held in our diocese during this past year. We have 10 regions in the Regina Diocese and each region has a regional chairperson. These regional chairpersons are responsible for keeping the lines of communication open between the parish councils and the Regina Diocesan CWL Council. Regional chairpersons have been encouraged to apply for funding from National Council to hold “Catch the Fire” workshops in their regions to encourage members to take on executive positions and to welcome new members into the League. Also, in order to help regional councils with hosting mini-conventions in their area, the Regina Diocesan Council approved a motion to provide funding to a maximum of $350.00 for one guest speaker per year per region.


Sharing the gift of the League must be taken more seriously as our numbers declined by 108 in 2012, and our council numbers decreased by one, leaving us with 79 councils. There were 18 councils with an increase of 51 members, 20 councils remained the same, and 41 councils with a decrease of 150 members. However, the numbers we lost this year were not as great as they were last year, so let us put forth a greater effort to keep our councils vibrant and growing!


Celebrating anniversaries is a beautiful way to recognize past achievements and to come together as a council to reinforce our commitment to the League. In 2012, St. Joseph’s CWL Council in Moose Jaw celebrated 90 years on June 18, and St. Joseph’s Council in Vanguard, celebrated 80 years! Seventy five years were celebrated by Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Coronach and St. Anthony’s Council in Regina. Also, in Regina, St. Mary’s celebrated 70 years while St. Cecilia’s celebrated 65 years. Our Lady of Assumption in Gravelbourg witnessed its 60th year. Four councils, Our Lady of Confidence, Cadillac, St. Stephen, Consul, Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Val Marie, and Sacred Heart in Benson all had 55 year anniversaries.


Celebrating 50 years were, Our Lady of Victories, Esterhazy, St. Anne and St. Martin, Regina and Our Lady of Fatima, Redvers. St. Elizabeth in Stockholm and Immaculate Heart of Mary in Carlyle celebrated 45 years as councils. The last 3 councils with notable anniversaries are St. Joseph’s, Oxbow, 40 years, St. John the Baptist, Dysart, 30 years, and Sacred Heart in Raymore, 25years. Congratulations and thank you to all CWL members both past and present, for the many hours of dedicated service to God and Canada!


I’m happy to report that the hard work involved in putting together a directory for the Regina Diocese which includes the names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses of all spiritual advisors and executive members on each parish council in the diocese was completed in 2012. This directory needs to be updated each year and changes in the local councils need to be sent in to the correspondence secretary early in the New Year so that the directory can be ready for distribution at the annual Regina Diocesan Convention in April. This has proved to be an invaluable tool in facilitating communication among our 3561 members.


In 2012, Regina Diocese had the privilege of hosting the Provincial CWL Convention at Church of our Lady in Moose Jaw. It was a rewarding event, thanks to the dedicated CWL members in the 3 councils in the Moose Jaw region. Similarly, Weyburn Regional graciously hosted a very successful Regina Diocesan CWL Convention on April 29th and 30th. Our guest speaker, Darci Lang delivered a motivational and faith filled message as did Jim Anderson, our presenter at the business session.


This past year we increased the amount of the Campion College Scholarship from $700.00 to $1000.00. This scholarship is donated by the Regina Diocesan CWL Council to a student whose mother is a CWL member. The application form for this scholarship is now online at the Campion College website and must be submitted by May 15th.


Regina Diocesan also increased the remuneration for travel expenses for its executive from 50 cents one way to 40 cents return. Also, for safety sake, given our severe weather conditions and long distances, a motion was passed to cover expenses for a travelling companion for the diocesan president or any executive member, appointed by the president, attending a CWL conference, meeting, workshop or council anniversary celebration.


The yearend reports sent in by each parish CWL council paint a beautiful picture of your faith and your commitment to the League. As my two year term as president draws to a close, I would like to thank all of you for your tremendous contributions to the League, and for your prayers and support. May our Lady of Good Counsel continue to inspire us in our work for God and Canada. God bless you and your family!


This concludes my report,

Chantal Devine


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Saskatoon Diocesan President’s Annual Report for 2012


The Diocesan executive holds two meetings annually. One at the end of August and weather permitting in February. Two core executive meetings are also held plus emails when necessary. Last fall Blake Sittler, from the Catholic Cesntr4e, spoke on the Year of Faith. He spoke of Faith Fatigue. The Popes letter “Profound Crisis of Faith” is easy to follow and makes for great discussion in councils. As it is the 50th anniversary of 2nd Vatican Council a council is studying the changes this has made.


After trying to hold the fall meeting outside Saskatoon we have gone back to the Saskatoon councils hosting the meetings. There is a better turnout and we do appreciate councils hosting the meetings.


Overall our members have declined slightly this year but a few councils had a gain in members. We have councils struggling to remain viable. We must continue to reach out to our present members and search for new ladies to join.


In 2012 several councils celebrated significant anniversaries. Each celebrated in their own way and their past.

St. Mary, Wadena and Christ the King, Foam Lake both celebrated 35 years.
St. Francis, Prelate celebrated 55 years and Canadian Martyres,Middle Lake celebrated 65.
St. Patrick Young and St. Anne Watrous both celebrated 75.
Sacred Heart Eston celebrated 80.
Imaculate Conception Major, Our Lady of Grace Dodsland , St. Bruno Bruno and St. Michaels Cudworth all celebrated 85 years.
Congratulations to all councils and their members. What accomplishments.


Regions are being encouraged to hold “Catch the Fire” workshops. I firmly believe this will reconfirm our members and encourage new members.


Councils use the parish website to update CWL members on upcoming events as well as using emails, bulletins and newsletters. Councils provided honour guards for the Chrism mass and at the ordination for two priests.


Members share their gifts and dedication commitment in many ways. Councils are very active in their parishes – serving funeral lunches, ministries, helping at the CWL Clothing Depot, serve lunch for Habitat for Humanity workers provide meals at soup kitchens, serve coffee at flu shot clinics and visit their members in long term care homes.


This past year has passed quickly and I wish to thank everyone for their prayers and all that they do in the name of the Catholic Womens League.


This concludes my report.


Ruth Hiebert
Saskatoon Diocesan President


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Spiritual Advisor's Report – 2012


Dear Sisters in the League,


Another great League year has come to an end and the Saskatchewan members of the Catholic Women’s League have accomplished much. It takes an event such as an annual convention or an annual report booklet to give a picture of the breadth and scope of what the League is about and able to do. Each activity on its own may not seem like much, but when they are all put together as in a report, we can see that the League members have been working hard. The annual reports also give the members a chance to share their ideas and to encourage one another. No matter what they do, every activity, every undertaking, is important for the growth of the League and the fostering of its Mission Statement.


I am grateful to have been able to attend the Saskatoon Diocesan Convention in Davidson, the Regina Diocesan Convention in Weyburn, the Saskatchewan Provincial Convention in Moose Jaw and the National Convention in Edmonton. Conventions are truly a great time for the members to experience the reality of what the League is able to do on all these levels. I encourage all members to attend a convention whenever possible. I also strongly encourage all Spiritual Advisors to be as active as possible with the local council and to attend a convention when time and opportunity permit. The Spirtual Advisor, working with the Spiritual Chairperson, can help to build up the sense of what it means to be part of a national organization. The strength of the local council is the basis for the vitality of the other levels of the League, all the way up to the National level. Every member of the National Executive began as a member of a local parish council.


In this vein I would like to comment on two topics: Catch the Fire and elected officers. Both of these comments flow out of the National Convention in Edmonton.


Catch the Fire is a new initiative from National that will present workshops throughout all the provinces by local members for local members. The workshops are given to rekindle the love and enthusiasm the members have for the League, to remind them of why they became a member, and to invite new members to join the League and become involved in the greatest women’s organization in Canada. It is an organization that has the privilege of meeting with the Canadian government each year to express their concerns, through resolutions, about life issues for all Canadians. The League has always been shown the greatest respect by the government ministers who have listened to and acted upon resolutions presented by the League. The 92,000 members still have a strong voice with government, but not as strong as it was about a decade ago when the numbers were over 100,000. I think there are still many people who see the League as a group of parish ladies involved in parish activities such as funeral lunches, garage sales and other fundraisers for good causes. Unfortunately the local councils do not often blow their own horn and let people know what the Catholic Women’s League members across Canada have accomplished and are able to accomplish when they come together as a body of women “rooted on Gospel values calling their members to holiness through service”. I hope as many members as possible will take advantage of Catch the Fire to spend a day in the warmth of the League sisterhood and revel in the joy of being part of such a great organization.


From the experience of Catch the Fire, I hope that many members will take another look at stepping up and accepting a position on an executive, whether that be on the parish level, regional, diocesan, provincial or national. It seems one of the most difficult aspects of the League is to get people to take on executive roles. Yet without an executive, there will be no League. No organization can exist solely on members at large. I feel one of the issues here is the lack of support for those women who are willing to take an executive position. It’s seems like everyone else breathes a sigh of relief. “Thank goodness it’s not me!” The executive members cannot be blamed if they feel a sense of abandonment or fear that they have taken on a life commitment. This has got to change for the good of the League and the growth of its members. In Edmonton, the election process got a little long because of second and third ballots for some positions. However, I was a disappointed to see so many people leave the convention hall during the elections. These women who have let their names stand for election need the prayers and support of the membership. Election to the National Council is a long - term commitment. Velma Harasen began her time on National 13 years ago when she became Provincial President. She still has to serve two years as Past National President to give her a total of 15 years. Mary Nordick has been involved with National since 2003 and with her election to the postion of First Vice she has made a commitment for another two years. Barb Dowding, President Elect, has commited herself to 6 more years on National Council. The members should remain in the convention hall to prayer for those who are voting and those being elected and to be there to applaud them when the new executive is introduced.


An executive position gives the members a chance to learn leadership skills and use their gifts and talents, which are gifts to the League. But they really need the support of their council’s members. They should not feel threatened, put down or fear criticism by members, especially former executive members.


I have thoroughly enjoyed my past four years on the Provincial Executive and look forward to one more year and the many wonderful ideas the will come up and the challenges that the League will face and meet successfully. The new theme, We Have Seen The Lord, gives League members the opportunity to let others know how the Lord has called them, how they have responded to that call, and how the League has been a place where they have heard stories from other women who have seen the Lord.


This concludes my report.
Rev. Francis Hengen
Provincial Spiritual Advisor


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Saskatchewan Organization Annual Report – 2012
Marge Szabo


There are three dioceses in the province of Saskatchewan.

  • Prince Albert - 979 memberships, 21 councils
  • Regina – 3558 memberships, 79 councils
  • Saskatoon - 2933 memberships, 49 councils

Total – 7470 memberships in Saskatchewan, 3.53% or 264 members decreased from 7734 members in 2011.


Recruit members and Maintain Membership


Recruitment should remain a high priority for all councils. Communication is key in contacting members and for new recruitments. Personal contacts either by using the calling tree or email, letters, using parish bulletins and making announcements during mass are all effective ways. One council in Regina published a very eye catching insert page for the church bulletin, using pictures of activities and pertinent information about the council. This publication was shared with other councils who were interested in doing something similar. This insert was even published in the E- League newsletter on the CWL website. A few councils who showed an increase often contributed the success to an enthusiastic member who made a concerted effort to reach out to former members and new members. Other ways in attracting members is the use of bulletin boards, displays, and rewards, such as, a free membership draw, one council even paid the first year membership. Membership drives varied from tea and coffee parties, brunch and dessert nights. Social events seem to bring more members together. A few councils prepare welcome kits with CWL info for new members.


There continues to be a large number of members non-renewing their membership. Councils have to take ownership and evaluate their organization to see if there is an underlying cause. Be willing to listen to their concerns when contacting them with a visit or phone call. One council sent out cards of concern and encouragement. Councils facing decline in membership often sighted that aging population is the main reason. Seniors move away to care facilities and often drop their membership unless a family member pays. Some councils pay members’ dues if they are placed in senior homes just so they can remain a member in the League that they have contributed for many years.


Leadership Development


The Regina Diocese have successful mini conventions within their regions, meeting once or twice a year. This allows councils to come together for enrichment and spiritual growth. This year, the Provincial Executive hosted a workshop, “Catch the Fire” for all 3 diocesan executives. Each diocese would book the dates when they could hold the workshop with their councils. Travelling long distances and weather are often factors that determine the attendance. National is providing funding for these workshops and have been tracking them on their website. In general, it is reported that more members had attended a Diocesan, Provincial or National Convention. To have knowledge of the League and to have spiritual enrichment might be one way to maintain our members when they attend conventions. Many councils supplement their members who attend conventions by paying registration fees or other assistance. Saskatchewan is hosting the National Convention in 2013, in Regina, so good publicity and letters have been sent to councils to invite them to come.


Annual Reports


In Saskatoon, 31 of the 44 councils have sent in their annual reports.
In Regina, 52 reports were received representing 72% of the councils and an increase of 16% over last year.
No reports were received from the Prince Albert Diocese.
When reading the annual reports booklet, it gives you an idea of what the members are doing for their communities, church, and all God’s people. It is truly amazing what can be accomplished by working together. Now if every council sent in their reports, the result would be even more impressive. Let’s all try to be counted.


Life Membership


Saskatchewan has five Honourary Life Members, Jean Mahoney, Heather Kolla, Claire Heron, Vivian Bosch and Velma Harasen.
We have 11 Life members, all who have been Provincial Presidents, Marg Bouclin, Marianne Dierker, Gerri Holmes, Phyllis Kennedy, June Krogan, Margaret Lommer, Mary Nordick, Joan Petracek, Marlyne Reindl, Lottie Wihak, Mildred Young and Yvonne Colleaux receiving the Belle Guerin Award.


Our Life Member Liaison is Yvonne Colleaux, who keeps in touch with these ladies. They receive invitations to our Diocesan and Provincial Conventions. They also receive a copy of the Annual Report Booklet. We thank them for being our mentors and resource ladies. They are also called upon to act as our convention Parliamentarians. May God continue to bless them.


This concludes my report.
Marge Szabo


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Saskatchewan Spiritual Development 2012 Annual Report


Every year we stand up and say “we must attract new members to the Catholic Women’s League” and this year in particular it seems so important because so many of our Faithful workers have gone to join our Lord in Heaven. The numbers are as follows:
Prince Albert - 31 deceased members
Regina - 107 deceased members
Saskatoon - 78 deceased members
This brings the grand total to 216 members that we have lost in 2012. How are we making these numbers back? It is also the reason why reporting a death in our CWL councils is so important plus that our Book of Life be up-to-date and accurate. Some councils have a special Prayer Service for deceased members to remember those who have gone before us. There is nothing more beautiful than a group of League members forming an Honour Guard to bid “farewell to their sister”, it shows one and all that we are saying goodbye to a good friend who will not be forgotten.


Spiritual growth is the very heart of the League and the essence of its existence, the spiritual dimension sets the League apart from all other women’s organizations and I think that all CWL members realize this at every level of the League. Look at the work in our parish councils! Councils have Mass at the start of meetings or if that is not possible a prayer service. Although not all councils have a Spiritual Development Chair an effort is being made to make sure that our sisters Spiritual needs are being met.


When I see the list of undertakings that our League is doing here in our province, we should all be very proud. Whether participating as a Mass Minister … attending special feast day celebrations … Bible study groups and workshops … participating in local church activities … visiting the sick, shut-ins or those in hospital … these are actions that make us stronger spiritually and emotionally.


We are sometimes the face of our parishes in the community, such as when we lay a wreath on Remembrance Day … attend the World Day of Prayer … help at the local soup kitchens … ministering to those in hospital or care homes.


Special guest speakers is another way to become more knowledgeable about our Church, Religion and Community as your reports tell us, a very useful plan to help us understand the world around us. Keeping up in today’s world is extremely important and what a better way to be able to discuss everyday problems that we face, than with our Sisters in the League. Looking at the world through the eyes of a Catholic Women that is what we pray for.


Thank you for all your support during the past year, your prayers are so important.


This concludes my report.
Jean Reader
Provincial Spiritual Development Chair


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Margaret Schwab


This report is compiled from the annual reports received from two of our three diocesan chairpersons of resolutions.


Throughout the province of Saskatchewan, only about 25% of the CWL councils have a resolutions chairperson. In spite of this, councils actively study resolutions and write letters to politicians as needed.


It was reported that the two resolutions passed at the National Convention, August 2012 were read and discussed by members in approximately half of the councils. These resolutions were:


2012.1 – Criminalization of the Purchasing of Sexual Services and

2012.2 – Employment Insurance Benefits for Adoptive Mothers


Members wrote letters on a wide variety of topics:

  • Right to Life issues ­– Abortion, assisted suicide and euthanasia
  • Amendments to the Criminal Code
  • Child pornography
  • Motion 312
  • Aboriginal issues
  • Amendments to the Canadian Human Rights Act
  • Amnesty International
  • Local issues such as the deportation of foreign students and the Lingerie Football League.

CWL Members though out Saskatchewan are interested in studying: poverty in Canada, assisted suicide, abortion laws, Dignity and rights of persons, trafficking and exploitation.


There are a small number of councils who have indicated an interest in attending a resolutions workshop. Perhaps this needs to be a priority for the Provincial resolutions chairperson to encourage at least one annually in the Dioceses. We need to keep encouraging and empowering our members through education so that they may be comfortable in bringing change to the world through action.


This concludes my report.


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2012 Saskatchewan Annual Legislation Report
Rita Hengen


There are 155 councils in Saskatchewan. One diocesan report was received. Of the 43 returned annual reports, only 10 councils have a legislation standing committee chairperson and 9 councils have combined legislation/resolution chairpersons.


General comments include:

  • Read and discussed League magazine legislation articles.
  • Participated in White Ribbon Campaign.
  • Shared diocesan, provincial and national communiqués with members.
  • Encouraged letter writing to MP’s, Premier Brad Wall and Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
  • Signed petitions regarding various bills.

Letters were written re:

  • Opposing girl’s lingerie football
  • Opposing assisted suicide /euthanasia
  • Birthright
  • Sex selection abortion
  • Palliative care priority
  • Petitions defunding abortions in SK
  • Abortions should not be covered by SK Health Insurance Plan

Bills/Motions studied include:

  • Motion 312 – to study the Criminal Code’s definition of when human life begins.
  • Motion 408 - to condemn discrimination against females occurring through sex-selective pregnancy termination.
  • Bill C – 212 An Act to amend the Criminal Code (luring)
  • Bill C – 213 An Act to amend the Criminal Code (violent crime)
  • Bill C – 233 An Act to Eliminate Poverty in Canada
  • Bill C – 241 An Act to amend the Canadian Bill of Rights
  • Bill C – 268 Human Trafficking Bill
  • Bill C – 273 An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (cyberbullying)
  • Bill C – 304 An Act to Ensure Secure, Adequate, Accessible and Affordable Housing for Canadians.
  • Bill C – 331 Ukrainian Canadian Restitution Act
  • Bill C – 384 An Act to amend the Criminal Code (right to die with dignity)

Preparation of brief and position papers were not undertaken.


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Saskatchewan Christian Family Life Annual Report – 2012

Helen Kayfish


Time Sensitive Member Alert!


The first two paragraphs are forwarded from National Chair Margaret Ann Jacobs


An unusual circumstance has developed in parliament. The democratic process is being threatened. Motion 408 sponsored by Langley, BC. Conservative MP Mark Warawa, condemns sex-selective pregnancy termination. The Procedure and House Affairs sub-committee of the House of Commons has deemed the motion “un-votable.” Mr. Warawa has appealed to the House of Commons to permit the motion to be brought to the house for debate. The vote to do so will be by secret ballot following the spring recess.


Before April 12, 2013 it is imperative that we as member of the Catholic League of Canada contact our MP’s to urge them to support the right to have Motion 408 brought to the floor of the House for debate. Please write, phone or email your MP as soon as possible.


I have been viewing this website (I also mentioned it at the our provincial meeting in March) where you can add your name to the petitions found there, as well as read news releases and see what MP Mark Warawa has to say.


Forwarded from Margaret Ann Jacobs:
The catholic organization for life and family has several un-line documents that can be shared with league members and used in discussions concerning ethical issues. These documents include: The Unborn Child, Stem Cells, High-Tech Babies…Exploring New Challenges to Human Dignity, Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide - Urgent Questions, Living, Suffering and Dying…what for? And Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide- why not?
The Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute’s recent publication Bioethics Matters includes articles on: “Conversion and Catholic Bioethics” and “Bioethics Matters” : End of Life Protocols: Helping to die well, or helping to die?” As well there are programs and workshops on the League’s National website that could be adapted for a council meeting.


After hearing from the Diocesan chairpersons for this committee I see that most parishes have a chairperson for this committee. I am also pleased to see that many councils read what their counterparts have submitted. I also see that most councils are very active in their communities working with the youth and the seniors especially those in care homes. I have also seen that many councils still remain active in parish activities. Congratatulations all for a job well done.


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Provincial Community Life Annual Report - 2012

Erna Day, Provincial Community Life Chairperson


Poverty remains at a shockingly high level across Canada, and is a focus of Community life.



In 1992 the United Nations declared October 17, International Day for the Eradication of Poverty in the World. Twenty years later, poverty is word wide. In Canada, according to Citizens for Public Justice’s Poverty Trends Scorecard, there has been a decline in poverty rates among children and seniors over the past 15 years thanks in part to federal investments in income security programs for these groups. At the same time we see that Aboriginal groups, the newly arrived, the one parent families and youth who do not finish their education are more at risk than other sections of the population.


A recent senatorial commission on poverty has concluded that the consequences of poverty on health, homelessness and education are costing our country more than any efforts we could make to eradicate it.


Developing Countries


There are many areas that every parish supports – Chalice, Pro Life, Catholic Family Services, Development and Peace, Telemiracle and Remembrance Day. The Pennies for Change campaign was offered to the Battleford’s Family Services to be passed on to the Interval House. Audrey and Clarence Briand have made presentations about their trip to Nigeria in many parishes throughout the Prince Albert Diocese. With their costumes, photos and narrative, they really bring the importance of our contributions to Peace and Development alive for their viewers.

  • Many councils support “Save a Family Plam”
  • Donate to Father Dubourt – White Missionary in Afica
  • Donate to “Wheelchair Foundation” – Franciscan Missions
  • Donate to Chalice, Coady International Institute , RNDM Missions
  • Funds raised for support of families,/projects in India, Malawi, Ghana, Philippines, Africa etc
  • Money collected at World Day of Prayer for host country
  • Volunteered time and raised awareness for “Ten Thousand Villages”
  • Collected books, CD’s, song books etc for Christian Salvage Mission



With any of our more urban parishes being blessed by new Filipino parishioners, these parishes have started offering masses followed by social hours to help integration into the Canadian community. Language classes, support and advice are gladly given.

  • Work with Social Justice and “Karen” family of 12
  • Welcomed refugee families and immigrants into our communities. Collected household articles and clothing for them
  • Various parish activities to welcome newcomers
  • Helped newcomers with various forms, eg. School, medical etc
  • Eye glasses collected and sent to the third world
  • Stamps collected for Franciscan Missionary Union
  • Member or participant of Welcome Wagon

Development and Peace


In September, Canada’s bishops had put a halt on Development and Peace’s fall education campaign. The Catholic Organization for Development and Peace fall education is back on, but without postcards urging Prime Minister Stephen Harper to launch national consultation on foreign aid policy. National Catholic Women’s League is still promoting the Development and Peace program so please re-activate your 1% program.

  • Many councils support “Save a Family Plam”
  • Donate to Father Dubourt – White Missionary in Afica
  • Donate to “Wheelchair Foundation” – Franciscan Missions
  • Donate to Chalice, Coady International Institute , RNDM Missions
  • Funds raised for support of families,/projects in India, Malawi, Ghana, Philippines, Africa etc
  • Money collected at World Day of Prayer for host country
  • Volunteered time and raised awareness for “Ten Thousand Villages”
  • Collected books, CD’s, song books etc for Christian Salvage Mission

Dignity for All


Dignity for All Campaign in conjunction with the newly formed All-Party Anti-Poverty Caucus is encouraging parliamentarians to show their support for eliminating poverty. Recent parliamentary reports have provided concrete suggestions as to how that goal can be achieved. “Both the House and Senate have declared a commitment to ending poverty; the next step is concrete action.” Says Art Engleton , APC co-chair. Let us continue to write letters of support and encouragement to our Prime Minister, our M.P.s and APC members: – Conservative MP Michael Chong – NDP – MP Jean Crowder – former Liberal cabinet minister, Senator Art Eggleton – Senator Don Merideth (Conservative) caucus treasurer

  • Visiting and bringing Communion to shut-ins
  • Honor guard at funerals. Preparing and serving lunch at funerals
  • Petitions and/or letter writing on issues of abortion, euthanasia, safe water…
  • Discussed and voiced concerns re: palliative care, elder abuse…
  • Attended pro-life rally. Donations and involvement with pro-life
  • Volunteered time, energy and monetary donation to – Santa Maria, Marian Center, Wascana
  • Centre, Hopes Home, Sophia House, Visitation House, Maquila Solidarity
  • Letter writing to MP’s concerning trafficking of women and children
  • Assisted with native ministries
  • Remembrance Day service. Laying the wreath
  • Quilts donated to Salvation Army, Women’s shelter, Palliative Care unit and Senior Homes
  • Comfort cushions, shawls donated to hospitals
  • Donations to Food Bank, Relay for Life, Cancer Society, Telemiracle and Christmas Hampers
  • Burial wraps for new born infants who die and Beads of courage bead bags for chronically or terminally ill children in hospitals
  • Knitted scarves, toques and mitts for Souls Harbor and a school
  • Birthright support through “Baby Bottle Drive”
  • Members visit nursing homes, care homes , shut in and help with birthday parties, bingos, make and serve lunch

Many thanks to the three Diocesan Chairpersons who have sent me their reports. This concludes my report.


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Saskatchewan Communications 2012 Annual Report


I received two reports from three dioceses all in a different format. Regina reported feedback from 49 (out of 80) councils. This is 61% and an improvement of 2.5% over last year. Saskatoon and Prince Albert do not say. As we are in a transition stage in communication between “on-line” and traditionial forms of communication councils were encouraged to have two members work as a team with one member handling the more traditional forms of communication (telephone, church bulletins, announcements, bulletin boards, posters) while the other member handles email, text messaging, talk mail, Twitter, Face book, Skype etc. . A majority of councils use the CWL website for general information, resolutions, communiqués and updates.


The Canadian League:


Almost all councils encourage their members to read the League Magazine. Some use it to bring awareness/discussion of an issue/article at meetings, especially with regard to follow up on resolutions and action plans, as reference material or summarize an article for their church bulletin. This is an excellent way to give visibility to the works of the CWL on the local and national level. The elderly who no longer can attend meetings keep informed and connected to their national organization through the League Magazine. The fall issue was popular because it published the resolutions that came forth from the national convention in Edmonton. Resolutions provided the basis for letter writing campaigns that some councils engaged in. Many councils reported using the spring edition of The League as a springboard for fundraising activities in support of “Velma’s Dream” to aid children and youth in Jerusalem. Some councils are using the CWL Website and “Be League” for information; a few have submitted articles for e- newsletter. One council reported disappointment that their article did not appear in the magazine.



  1. For evangelization: Concern for the less fortunate was demonstrated by setting up food bank buckets, helping with ecumenical food bank drives, collecting and delivering used winter clothing for the Open Door Society, volunteering at soup kitchens such as the Marion Centre and Visitation House, or helping out needy families in the community, visiting sick, lay ministry to Nursing Homes, Meals on Wheels, presenting gifts to catechists, sending cards, and honor guards for members just to name a few. Almost all of the councils participated in World Day of Prayer.
  2. To promote the League: The many activities the members do for their community mentioned above is their way of promoting the League. About twelve rural councils, reported using their local newspaper to write about CWL happenings or to promote upcoming CWL events. Some activities by wearing CWL insignia making CWL visible. Many councils celebrate Our Lady’s Feast Day by mass with members serving in all liturgy ministries. Some councils hand out brochures at end of mass and invite ladies to join their group. One published a cookbook. One council invited the local Ukrainian church ladies to a mass/tea while another uses the tea to kick-off a membership drive.
  3. Evaluations and promotion of good content: At meetings, councils presented and discussed topics from TV, radio, video, newspapers and the Prairie Messenger. Approximately 7 councils discussed TV and newspaper content, a couple of councils discussed radio and video content. One council held a letter writing night to voice their concern to MP’s on the living conditions of many First Nation’s people. They also sent a letter concerning Motion 408 - sex selective abortion.
  4. Newsletters and bulletins: Nearly all councils use church bulletins, some have a “CWL Corner”. Some councils published newsletters; printed once, twice, or three times a year, one council once a month. One council reported 50-60 bulletin inserts over the year!

Media relations:


Some councils are using local newspapers to promote league activities, upcoming events and CWL Happenings for promoting the League, member recruitment, and recognizing councils for their excellent service and accomplishments. Five councils reported writing letters expressing concern of media content.


Pornography: David Anderson was invited as a guest speaker to one council’s meeting to speak about abortion. During W.R.A.P. campaign week one council held a WRAP Sunday to publicize an awareness of pornography and its effects on society. They handed out white ribbons for all parishioners to wear, while another council distributed white ribbon bookmarks. Other councils inserted a bulletin announcement to create awareness of the issue.


As for myself, I wrote many letters to the Prime Minister, 2 to Premier Wall, 4 communiqués, one article to Prairie Messenger (Sept) and submitted an article in July about our Provincial Convention as well as submitting articles to the Sask. CWL website.


Reviewing the annual reports, many positive role models are presented by their actions and involvement, but there is room for improvement, especially the many councils doing volunteer work without ‘tooting their own horn’ and/or recognition of the many good works! However, it is also obvious that CWL members are women of faith and justice making a difference in their communities at home and abroad and throughout Saskatchewan.


This concludes my report.


Marcella Pedersen
2012 Provincial Communications Chairperson


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Education and Health Annual Report for 2012


The theme for 2012 was “Women of Peace and Hope, Centered on Centered on Faith and Justice “The work that CWL members are doing indicates their tremendous involvement in both the parish community and the church. My report is based on information received from the Archdiocese of Regina and Diocese of Saskatoon.


Catholic Education
CWL promotes the collaboration with the church and schools by:

  • Volunteer as co-coordinator of Catechesis and teaching catechism to the school children especially in the rural areas where there are no catholic Schools Lead Children’s Liturgy in some parishes
  • Distribute Bibles to students from Grades 4 to 8.
  • Celebrate the sacraments of Baptism, First Communion and Confirmation by presenting the children with gifts on their special day
  • Participate in the school lunch programs in the schools
  • Encourage the practice of chastity among teenagers by donating funds to Teen-Aide
  • Volunteer in the after school home work program They also extend an invitation to students to help the CWL in special projects such as visiting the shut-ins or those in nursing homes or meal programs.
  • CWLmembers are also involved with RCIA as mentors or prayer partners as well as parish marriage preparation


Literacy and Continuing Education

  • Promote the Christian Ethics Programs in the High schools
  • Provide opportunity for members to attend Regional Workshops, Retreats, and also Lay Formation program organized by the diocese
  • Organize guest speakers to come to the meetings to speak on topics that come under the standing committee –Education and Health
  • Support youth of the parish through financial commitment to various organizations that assist youth and buying supplies for projects and providing monies for pizza niter etc. What teenager doesn’t like to eat and be part of a group?

Scholarships and Bursaries

  • Provided bursaries to Grade Twelve Student.
  • Provincial CWL also granted a scholarship to an individual who was involved in a project helping those in need in developing countries
  • Contributed to Velma’s Dream to assist with the education of children in the Holy Land.

Wellness and Sickness

  • Visit the sick in health care institutions that are from their parish. Distributed communion to shut-ins in their homes, hospitals and nursing homes
  • Created an awareness of living healthy life styles which includes exercise and good nutrition
  • Volunteer on Pastoral care teams and distribute Meals on Wheels Collect clothing for the needy especially the children


  • Encourage awareness of the principles of maintaining a green environment by participating in the recycling program
  • Use of biodegradable products and not Styrofoam


  • Monitoring the research that is being done on Human Embryos and the status of DNA manipulation

While reading the reports, almost half of the councils do not have a convener; there just aren’t enough people to take on this responsibility. The scope of education and health is large and people don’t feel comfortable accepting this position It is evident that the members gain satisfaction working with the students and providing for the needs of the sick.


Future Projects: Perhaps suggesting that a council choose a special project that is near and dear to their hearts and is serving others in need in the community, and then there would be less stress. This is especially true for smaller councils Women gather to share, for spiritual growth, and to relax and socialize. The emphasis is on supporting each other, creating an awareness of the needs of women in society today and a personal need to nourish our own spirituality and faith.


Monica Beavis


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Past President - Gerri Holmes


I received reports from the Regina and Saskatoon dioceses. No reference made as to how many reports were received.


Past presidents and in some cases archivists remain active in the councils, making themselves available in numerous ways.


In most councils the nominations and elections committee usually included the past president either as chair or committee member but the archivist is not always held by the past president, but as long as the archives are kept up to date it doesn’t matter who does it.


This is an election year for 2 of the 3 diocesan councils as well as provincial council. This seems to be a challenge for some as the commitment isn’t as easy to make. Everyone is so involved -- consider the option, pray about it and leave it to God.


As past presidents, most have worked with their council presidents and standing committee chairpersons promoting the League and making them as comfortable as they can in their positions. They have mentored and supported, volunteer to organize events, make phone calls, assisting doing day time activities for those who work full time, co-chair meetings.


Policy & Procedure Books are still being worked on for some councils. For those that already had one, the updating varied from council to council. In some it was the duty of the past president yet in others the current president or secretary undertook that role. A very useful tool for the executives in years to come.


Again, reports indicated that positions were being served several times over, some councils have chosen to remain active and have a committee serving as contacts but no active standing committee chairs.


As this is my final annual report for my term, my wish is that everyone consider a commitment to any level of the League. My life has been so abundantly blessed in my journey with new friends, new knowledge and new love of service.


May your work for the League continue to provide us with abundant accounts to be included in our history.


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