Catholic Women's League of Saskatchewan

From Your Spiritual Advisor

 

President Reports

 

Education and Health

2016

Past years

Archives

 

Christian Family Life

 

Community Life

 

Spiritual Development

 

Resolutions

 

Organization

 

Communications

 

Legislation

 

Archives

 

2009 Annual Reports

 

2010 Annual Reports

 

2011 Annual Reports

 

2012 Annual Reports

 

2013 Annual Reports

 

2014 Annual Reports

PAST EDUCATION AND HEALTH COMMUNIQUES

 

Education and Health Communiqué #3 - February 2012

Education and Health Communiqué #4 - March 2012

Education and Health Communiqué - June 2012

Education and Health Communiqué - October 2012

Education and Health Communiqué - March 2013

Education and Health Communiqu´ - #1 June 2013

Education and Health Communiqué - #2 October 2013

Education and Health Communiqué - #3 February 2014

Education and Health Communiqué - #4 June 2014

Education and Health Communiqué - #5 October 2014

Education and Health Communiqué - #6 February 2015

Education and Health Communiqué #1 - June 2015

 

Education and Health Communiqué #1

 

Susan Melchiorre, Provincial Education and Health
June 2015

 

With summer approaching Resolution 2004.07 Water Use in Canada reminds all members of the importance of water as a basic need for human survival. In Canada there are still communities unable to consume their accessible water. Members are called to be stewards of God’s creation and must request municipal governments to limit the unnecessary use of potable water and to make a commitment to reduce household use of water.

 

Pope Francis I Encyclical on the Environment: the entire encyclical can be read on the National website.

 

Cultivating and Caring for Creation – Check out the information below to find out more on the pope’s new encyclical on the environment.

 

Twelve new videos and lesson plans for Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato si’ (“Praise Be To You”) Cultivating and Caring for Creation (12 new videos and lesson plans), a Green Spirit TV (GSTV) production, is now on line. This series is intended to assist with Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment and includes material from several religious communities among them Justice and Peace, CCCB. Go to www.romancatholictv.com, press on the GSTV banner and go from there. You can also go directly to: www.greenspirittv.com. There you will see the videos and lesson plans.

 

For a quick viewing of the videos by themselves go to https://www.youtube.com/user/greenspirittv or use the Green Spirit TV YouTube link on www.romancatholictv.com home page or www.greenspirittv.com page (both at bottom of page).

 

*Please be advised as per the National Manual of Policy and Procedure“Advertising”, page 145, the League does not necessarily endorse the content on the sites of linked organizations. 

 

There was an excellent article in the Saskatoon Star Phoenix on Saturday, June 20, 2015 on the Sisters Legacy Project. Catholic Connections has now raised enough funds to complete the project and expects the statue to be dedicated at the beginning of October this year. It will be installed on the Legislature grounds in Regina. Thank you to all our councils who donated to this project honouring the sisters who pioneered our province in both the health and education fields. Our donation will be recognized on a plaque on the statue. If you want more information just Google the Sisters Legacy project or go to Catholic Connections website.

 

A reminder that if any of you are planning take any educational courses, conferences or schooling you can apply to the National CWL Bursary Fund for financial help. Applications are available on the National website: cwl.ca.

 

MaterCare International will hold its 11th international conference in Rome from August 31st – September 4th. The theme of this year’s conference is Maternal Health and the Catholic Conscience. Please keep MaterCare in your prayers. If you would like more information, go to matercare.org/projects-kenya/conferences/.

 

May Our Lady of Good Counsel continue to bless our work “For God and Canada.”

 

This concludes my report.

 

Susan Melchiorre
Saskatchewan Provincial Chairperson, Education and Health
Email: smelchiorre@shaw.ca
Phone: 306-243-6363

 

(Return to Top)

 

Education and Health Communiqué - #6 February 2015

 

Rita Hengen, Provincial Education and Health

 

Resolution 2014.04 National Standard for Newborn Screening Including Screening For Severe Combined Immunodeficiency

 

At birth babies are somewhat protected from infection by antibodies passed on to them by their mothers. As babies develop, so does their immune system and their ability to fight off infections. However, babies born with immune deficiencies are not able to ward off infections, resulting in frequent bacterial, viral and fungal infections. This is particularly true for babies with SCID (Severe Combined Immunodeficiency) – combined, meaning several parts of the immune system are faulty. Without early intervention, babies eventually die from complications. The good news is that babies can be tested (screened) for SCID’s at birth and subsequently treated with a bone marrow transplant.

 

Canada does not have a national standard for newborn screening. The resolution action plan encourages members to write letters asking federal government health officials to implement a National Standard for Newborn Screening, including SCID and provincial government health officials to include SCID in newborn screening programs as is done in Ontario.

 

Check the Internet for information. Google SCID.

 

In her second communiqué, Nancy Simms featured several past resolutions that focus on issues every bit as relevant today as they were when they were adopted. Topics and resolutions include:

 

Wellness1996.08 Partnerships in Health Care and 2003.04 Healthy Living for Life
Research shows that by doing things individually and as a community to proactively manage lifestyles, we are healthier, more productive and less dependent on medical services.

 

National Pharmacare1998.03 National Pharmacare
The League urges all levels of government to work towards an effective, cost efficient national Pharmacare program.

 

Genetics - 2011.01 Prohibition of Practices re Human Reproductive Material
The League’s stand is to prohibit absolutely practices of alteration, manipulation and treatment of human reproductive material that results in the destruction of human embryos.

 

National Home Care2002.06 National Home Care Program
The League requests the federal government to amend the Canada Health Act to include comprehensive universal homecare program which still has not been accomplished.

 

Palliative Care1998.05 Palliative Care: An Essential Service
An action plan has been added to encourage members to continue writing letters. In light of the February 6/15 court decision to allow physician assisted suicide, it is imperative that palliative care be available to all Canadians.

 

In an article entitled God Alone is the Arbiter of Life, COLF (Catholic Organization for Life and Family) responded to the ruling with “Now is the time to petition our elected representative to: 1. Work to limit the harm done by today’s judgment of the Supreme Court by initiating or supporting restrictive legislation and 2. By initiating or supporting legislation which would prioritize the allocation of resources to the improvement of palliative care across the country.” (Internet Friday, 06 February 2015).

 

Nancy also mentioned Mental Health. I note there are two resolutions dating back to 1956.08 – Canadian Mental Health Association and 1968.07 Mental Health. Recently, society has become much more aware of mental health issues. High profile people are speaking about their mental health struggles in the hope that the stigma attached to the illness will be overcome. As well, the Saskatchewan government released its 10-Year Mental Health and Addictions Plan in December, 2014. “Targets for the 10 - Year Plan include:

  • Make services easier to find.
  • Decrease wait times for mental health and addictions treatments and services.
  • More supportive housing and behavioural teams in the community.
  • Improve the co-ordination of services across sectors.
  • Be more responsive to diverse groups, including newcomers, people with disabilities and LGBTQ population.
  • Plan and partner with First Nations and Metis people to deliver services.
  • Reduce the stigma of mental health through public education and awareness programs.
  • Encourage more collaboration with private sector and municipal governments.”
(Emma Graney. 10-year mental health strategy unveiled Leader Post, Dec. 2, 2014, p. A1.) Please ask members to write letters to our provincial government leaders to provide funding to carry out the Plan.

 

Education

 

The Saskatchewan Catholic School Board Association brochure Catholic Education in Saskatchewan states: “One third of the population of Saskatchewan is comprised of people of the Catholic faith. Eight Roman Catholic school divisions provide education to 35,000 students (which represent 21% of the total student population) in 121 Catholic schools located in 21 communities across this province.”

 

At a panel discussion at the CHAS/SCSBA conference in October, each of the 5 panel members spoke to the following questions:

  • As a student, how has your experience in a Catholic school impacted your life?
  • In your experience, how have you noticed Catholic education as unique?
  • As we continue to celebrate Catholic education, how do we ensure it will continue to thrive?
Though the responses were many and varied, a common thread emerged. Faith is not a subject. Catholic schools are a celebration of our Catholic faith. There is hope that Catholic schools will continue to thrive. The parish and the school need to be closely connected.

 

Environment

 

Please remind your members that compact florescent light bulbs (CFL’s) are hazardous to the environment. They are NOT to go into the regular garbage. Please seek out where in your community you can safely dispose of them.

 

(Return to Top)

 

Education and Health Communiqué - #5 October 2014

 

Rita Hengen, Provincial Education and Health

 

2014 National Resolutions

 

Greetings to all! The leaves are raked, the gardens are cleaned out, the summer clothes is in storage and CWL members are ready to spring into action to implement the resolutions that were passed at the 2014 national convention. Three of the five resolutions are under the education and health umbrella. As well, as noted in Peggy Roche’s oral report in the fall, 2014 League magazine (page 14), four proposed resolutions were forwarded to this committee for education and awareness. Make your members aware of these topics. Perhaps someone in your council feels passionately about one of the topics and is willing to research and report on it. Encourage dialogue.

 

In October, 2013, I wrote a letter to the federal and Saskatchewan provincial minister of health regarding the sale of flavoured tobacco products. Hon. Dustin Duncan, Saskatchewan, Minister of Health, responded by saying that health ministry officials are engaged in national dialogue on this issue and closely monitoring the approach of other jurisdictions. In the meantime, Manitoba is following the lead of Alberta and Ontario and proposing a ban. What about Saskatchewan? It is time for action. The 2014.03 Resolution Flavoured Tobacco Products Ban Action Plan on page 28 of the current League magazine outlines what your council can do.

 

Resolution 2014.02 Electronic Cigarettes cites numerous works to access when studying this relatively new smoking phenomenon. Health Canada prohibits e-cigarettes containing nicotine. Those that do not contain nicotine are legal and available. Cities that have banned e-cigarettes in public places include Red Deer (AB), the Regional Municipality of York in Ontario and recently, Vancouver. Vancouver also bans the sale of e-cigarette devices to minors. Some school boards in British Columbia, citing health concerns, ban e-cigarettes on school grounds. In Saskatchewan, e-cigarettes are unregulated. The Brief of the resolution states that ‘Since 2009, Canadians have been advised “not to purchase or use electronic smoking products, as these products may pose health risks and have not been fully evaluated for safety, quality and efficacy by Health Canada.” (Health Canada, 08 Feb, 2014.) Let us hone our writing skills by writing letters to the various government officials indicated in the Action Plan of the resolution.

 

The resolution on newborn screening will be dealt with in a future communiqué.

 

Mental Health

 

At the 2014 provincial convention, I assured a delegate dealing with depression all her life that the topic of mental health will be addressed in all my communiqués and reports. Reference was made to former Senator Michael Kirby’s presentation Mental Health and Young People in both the Highlights of Annual National Convention (p.6) and Peggy Roche’s Education and Health oral report (p.12) in the League magazine. Mr. Kirby’s pleas to “please do whatever you can to help make this country a better place for children and youth [living] with mental illness”, should compel members across the country to lobby municipal, provincial and federal officials to make mental health a priority. Visit the website rightbyyou.ca and take action. After several inquiries, I have not been given a date for the release of the Saskatchewan Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan, only that it will be released in the fall. It is now fall. Be on the watch for news of this plan that has been a year in the making.

 

Education

 

The National Bursary Fund continues to “provide financial assistance to members meeting the established criteria, and who wish to pursue studies in adult faith formation and/or youth ministry”. (League, fall 2014, p. 29) Saskatchewan members received 8 of the 16 bursaries awarded for 2014. Congratulations! Application forms can be obtained from the national office or downloaded on www.cwl.ca Postmark deadline is May 31.

 

The 2013 national education and health annual report indicates that in 2013 four graduates of the Diploma in Development Leadership Program at Coady International Institute were funded from the national voluntary fund. Please continue to support any or all of the recipients, namely Coady, Development and Peace, Catholic Missions in Canada and Velma’s Dream.

 

The federal government dropped its plan to implement Bill C-33 – the First Nations Control of First Nations Education Act and will not proceed with the legislation without support of the Assembly of First Nations. On his recent re-election, second vice-chief of the FSIN (Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations), Bobby Cameron said that the right to education as outlined in the treaty will be his first priority, followed by proper funding and controlling the direction of the education system. Archbishop Emeritus, James Weisgerber, stated in his address Saskatchewan’s Challenge: Reconciliation with Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples that we need to educate ourselves by learning our history and learning about the treaties among other things. Take advantage of every opportunity to do just that.

 

Hospice Palliative Care

 

On May 28, 2014 the House of Commons agreed to a private member’s motion for the government to establish a pan-Canadian palliative and end-of-life care strategy by working with provinces and territories on a flexible, integrated model of palliative care. This motion calls on all levels of government to ensure all citizens have access to high-quality home-based and hospice palliative end-of-life care; and to encourage Canadians to discuss and plan for end-of-life care. In light of our resolutions on palliative care dating back to 1998 and 2007, all members are encouraged to contact their MP’s and MLA’s and inquire what steps have been taken within their province to ensure quality hospice palliative end-of-life care for everyone.

 

Blessings!

Rita Hengen

 

(Return to Top)

 

Education and Health Communiqué - #4 June 2014

 

Rita Hengen, Provincial Education and Health

 

Peggy Roche’s final communiqué as national chairperson of education and health contains much food for thought. She invites us to utilize the notes in italics at the heading of each category in The Executive Handbook as she so skillfully does in communiqué #14.

 

Thank you, Peggy, for your inspiring messages.

 

“Society is in danger of being directed by what can be done technologically rather than what ought to be done.” EDH – 53

 

The Genetics heading did not have any responses from the 72 councils submitting annual reports for 2013. As chairpersons, let us commit now to changing that statistic for 2014. The Catholic Health Alliance of Canada has published the Health Ethics Guide Third Edition (2012). This comprehensive, 146 page, small format guide has been approved by the Catholic Bishops of Canada. Chapter headings include: The Social Nature Of Care, Dignity Of The Human Person, Care At The Beginning Of Life, Care At The End Of Life, Organ Donation, Research Involving Human Governance And Administration. May I suggest you get a copy of this guide from www.novalis.ca or call toll free 1-800-387-7164 (Canada) and explore a topic or two of particular interest to your council? May I further suggest you consider the Organ Donation chapter? Resolution 1995.03 Organ Tissue Donation Awareness is as relevant today as it was almost 20 years ago as is Resolution 2011.03 National Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation. The March 24, 2014 entry on the website Organ and Tissue Donation (Saskatchewan) states that one donor can save eight lives, over 80 people are waiting for a kidney transplant and more than a 100 need a cornea transplant. There was and continues to be a critical shortage of organs and tissue for transplant and members are urged to discuss this issue with their next-of-kin and family physician.

 

“Support the National Bursary Fund and the Coady International Institute. These funds assist League members or potential lay leaders from abroad to take courses which will prepare them to serve in their respective communities.” EDH - 52.

 

Councils reconvening in the fall usually set their priorities and budgets. Peggy has asked that we continue financial support for bursaries and scholarships. In 2013, Coady received $33,546.10 from the National Voluntary Fund which helped fund four scholarships for future global community leaders. Several recipients from across our country received financial assistance for approved programs. Even though the deadline for application is May 31st of each year, reminding council members now gives them ample time to ponder and apply. Application forms are online at www.cwl.ca

 

“The environment needs protection and sustainable development.” EDH – 53.

 

Prior to receiving #14 communique, I had not heard of the Gallon Environment Letter, “a twice-monthly environmental policy bulletin sent to about 16,000 email addresses in Canada...” (Google Gallon Environment Letter) The website states that “The Gallon Environment Letter explores issues of sustainable development (balancing economic, environmental and social aspects of society) with an emphasis on environment.” There is a wealth of information to sift through.

 

June 25 – 27 the Green Energy Expo Canada 2014 will take place in Toronto. Recent developments in the clean energy sector will be explored, including wind energy. I will be on the alert for pertinent information.

 

“It is vitally important that we work for universal access and excellence of quality in the health care system.” EDH – 52

 

In a March 6, 2014 news release, the federal government announced funding for a plan called Building the Future of Palliative Care Together. The Pallium Foundation of Canada is receiving 3 million dollars per year for 3 years to support palliative care training to front-line healthcare providers. In light of recently passed Private Member’s Motion 456 to bring in a national palliative care strategy, Charlie Angus, MP, stated “We expect from this that the government is going to start to show leadership, working with the provinces, working with the medical community and caregivers across the country to find out where people are falling through the cracks, what are the systems that are in place that are working and if we can replicate those systems, whether they’re in rural or urban parts of the country or in other parts where people are right now not getting proper palliative care.” (Gyapong, Deborah. National palliative care motion adopted. Prairie Messenger, June 4, 2014, p.1.) As League members we can show our support for a national approach to palliative care by writing letters to all our elected government officials and our local health region. Everyone in Canada should have access to excellent end-of-life care.

 

The only constant in life is change. We acknowledge the commitment of Peggy Roche, who, for the past two years, has been national chairperson of the education and health portfolio. Peggy, we wish you well on your CWL journey. We await the installation of a new chairperson at the national convention in August.

 

In the meantime, may you all find some time for rest and relaxation and fun times with family and friends.

 

(Return to Top)

 

Education and Health Communiqué - #3 February 2014

 

Rita Hengen, Provincial Education and Health

 

I bring you greetings through this beautiful prayer for good health on this, the World Day of the Sick (February 11th) that our national chairperson Peggy Roche asked us to share.

 

“The Spirit of Calm: Oh Lord, You are good to those who seek you, those who revere your name. You, who are the only source of health and healing, the spirit of calm and the central peace of this universe, grant to me such a consciousness of your indwelling and surrounding presence that I may permit you to give me health and strength and peace, through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

 

Health
February is Heart Month. Peggy’s recent communiqué states: Heart Disease – Did you know that “heart disease is the number one cause of death in Canada for women over age 55? Women are more likely to die from heart disease than from any other disease. The clogging of blood vessels happens slowly. The damage that it causes to the heart over time may make it harder to do everyday activities.”At one time, men were more prone to heart disease than women but today, the opposite is true. What could be the cause for this increase? Studies show that women are at a greater risk when we reach menopause. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, physical inactivity, excess body weight, family history and in some cases social and economic factors play a role. Something can be done about this disease. We can learn how to have healthy hearts and what the symptoms are if you are having a heart attack. Go to www.phac-aspc.gc.ca or www.womenshealthmatters.ca.

 

An earlier communiqué dealt with Lyme Disease and Co-Infection: Education and Research Funding. Lyme disease, the “tick-borne illness”, is present in many areas of Canada. It is anticipated that by 2020 a large part of our population could be living in at risk areas. This debilitating disease is on the rise, yet treatment and public awareness is, for the most part, inadequate. Although more common in rural areas, urban areas are also at risk since migratory birds, robins, sparrows, etc. spread the disease. How to protect yourself? Avoid tick-infested areas – moist, leafy wooded areas and overgrown grassy habitats. Google Lyme Disease for answers to the questions you may have.

 

Skin Cancer
Statistics on skin cancer in Saskatchewan are alarming at about 3,000 cases diagnosed annually. A program aimed at educating young people, notably high school graduates, of the dangers of tanning and tanning-beds, has resulted in schools in some provinces pledging tanning-bed free graduations. The intent, according to Brett Estey, is to inform students that skin cancer is not a “condition you can just scrape off, but it requires a lot of treatment.” (Emma Graney, Push on for tan-free graduation in Sask., Leader Post, Jan. 10, 2014, p. A3.) Common misconceptions about tanning include: a tan is healthy, youth are invincible, long winters lessen the danger. The truth is that Saskatchewan is the sunshine capital of Canada, sunburns happen in winter and “tanned skin is actually damaged skin.” (Estey) Student councils across the province are receiving letters from the Canadian Cancer Society encouraging them to take part in tan-free grads. May I suggest we be proactive? Write letters to the high school student council presidents in your area inquiring if tan-free grads are being promoted.

 

Environment
Peggy touched on the topic of fracking – a form of natural gas extraction that involves pumping millions of gallons of pressurized, chemically treated water into shale formation or coal beds. The fluid, injected deep into the ground, creates or widens cracks in the rocks, leaving methane gas to escape from underground. She states that more studies need to be done and more needs to be learned of the potential long term effects of fracking.

 

How are you disposing of compact fluorescent lamps (CFL’s) when they break of burn out? After considerable research, I found that bulbs can be taken to Rona, Lowe’s or London Drugs for recycling, as well as some private companies. CFL’s contain mercury and should not be disposed of in the regular garbage that ends up in the landfill.

 

Literacy and Continuing Education
The Executive Handbook states that “Pope John Paul 11 chose to address the topic of illiteracy in his 1995 Lenten message as “the hidden evil which deprives a great number of poor people of many possibilities for progress.” (EDH, p. 2). This statement is now more pertinent than ever since our country and province is experiencing an influx of immigrants and refugees. The handbook encourages members to become trained literacy tutors. Many libraries facilitate literacy tutoring training courses, matching a learner with a tutor. Give it some thought. It is a rewarding experience.

 

The Regina Public Library website definition of literacy is: “Literacy involves a continuum of inter-related skills, practices and learnings that contribute to development of an individual’s ability to understand, communicate and participate in a variety of settings in the home, at work, in education and in the community.” The website also discloses the following statistics:

  • 2 in 5 people ages 16 -69 in Saskatchewan have difficulty with reading and writing skills
  • 1 in 5 adult Canadians do not read well enough to deal with daily tasks
  • 1 in 4 adult Canadians do not have enough literacy skills to participate fully in the economic and social life of their communities and our country

 

Peggy’s most recent communiqué quotes GillianMason, President of ABC Literacy Canada. “For those Canadians who have low levels of literacy, the job market is becoming less accessible. By investing in literacy and essentials skills training, we can start to close the gap. It’s important that employers integrate lifelong learning into the workplace, to ensure that all Canadians have the skills they need to live a fully engaged life.”



 

(Return to Top)

 

Education and Health Communiqué - #2 October 2013

 

Rita Hengen, Provincial Education and Health

 

Mental Health
In her September 20th, 2013 communiqué, Peggy Roche indicated that the national executive directed several resolutions to the Education and Health committee for action, one of them being Reduce the Stigma Attached to Mental Illness. Please refer to my June 2013 and Peggy’s 07 Education and Health communiqués for ideas on how members can become educated about the reality of mental illness in an effort to reduce the stigma that exists in society today. Several articles highlighting mental illness appeared in newspapers during Mental Illness Awareness Week October 6 – 12, 2013. One such article A Powerful Voice for Change by Dr. Fern Stockdale Winder (Leader Post, Oct. 5/13, p.G7) provided the following examples of the stigma attached to having a mental health problem:

  • “We may blame ourselves rather than seeing it as a legitimate health issue.
  • We may worry that others will treat us differently at home or at work.
  • We may feel we have enough strikes against us without admitting to also having a mental health or addiction problem.”

The Hon. Dustin Duncan has revealed that a “Mental Health and Addiction Action Plan set to be released in fall 2014, will pave the way for making meaningful change in the lives of individuals affected by mental health and addiction issues.”(Leader Post, A Message from the Minister of Health, Oct.5/13, p.G7)

We look forward to the release of this document.

 

Smoking – Flavored Tobacco Products
Do you realize that 61% of Saskatchewan young smokers aged 15 – 19 are consuming flavored tobacco products? The brightly colored grape, chocolate, cherry and citrus flavors appeal to the young people as does the opportunity to purchase a single cigarillo for a toonie. The Canadian Cancer Society, the Lung Association of Saskatchewan and the Heart and Stroke Foundation are calling for federal and provincial governments to ban all flavored tobacco products. It is incumbent upon us to write letters to the federal (Hon. Rona Ambrose MP) and provincial (Hon. Dustin Duncan MLA) health ministers regarding this serious health issue that condemns countless people to live with chronic illness not to mention diseases causing death. Be specific in your letter – ask the question – what is the government doing about this?

 

Pap Test and Cervical Cancer
Our national chairperson has requested that we encourage members to become educated on the topic of cervical cancer and the Pap test. Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, have a Pap test three years in a row and, if all tests are normal, follow up every three years to prevent almost all cancer of the cervix. Cervical cancer risk is reduced by: a regular Pap test, limiting number of sexual partners, not having sex at an early age and not smoking. Women sexually active should start testing at 20, even though most cervical cancer affects women between the ages of 30 – 59. Did you know that the probability of a woman developing cervical cancer in Canada is 1 in 153?

 

Education
The focus of this article is on the First Nation Education Act that the Federal Government intends to have in place for the start of the 2014 school year. A draft of the act posted online Working Together For First Nations Students outlines that “schools will be allowed to operate through First Nations or an agreement with a province, and there will be standards for qualifications of teaching staff and curriculum and graduation requirements for students.” (Mark Kennedy, Aboriginal education reforms ‘transformational', Leader Post, October 23/13, p.A7). In addition, issues such as discipline, instructional hours, class size and transportation will be regulated.
While aboriginal leaders agree that improvement in First Nations education is fundamental, they view the government plan as unilateral – one-sided, paternalistic – managing the affairs of a group of people and assimilationist – adapting cultural minorities to the general population. They are also voicing concern that these new standards will be imposed without a corresponding increase in federal educational funding UN envoy, James Anaya, after an 8 day fact-finding trip to Canada regarding indigenous peoples, called on the government to move more slowly on the education reform plan.

 

At the provincial level, school divisions are receiving extra funding for aboriginal programs ranging from reading to career development to staff who work with and support students and parents and teachers to help students graduate. This year, for the first time, students at on-reserve schools are receiving SGI-funded driver education. Aboriginal entrepreneurship is flourishing at the Saskatoon Oskayak High School where, two years ago, former Prime Minister Paul Martin established the Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative. Corporate involvement has allowed the program to expand to 17 other schools in the province. The Grade 11/12 program provides mentorship in the business world for aboriginal students while becoming proficient in financial and marketing skills.

 

In light of the 2013 Resolution Building Relationships and Partnerships with Canadian Indigenous Peoples, it is imperative that members make an effort to become knowledgeable about the concerns of indigenous peoples today, particularly as it applies to the education of their children.



 

(Return to Top)

 

Education and Health Communiqué - #1 June 2013

 

Rita Hengen, Provincial Education and Health

 

In her April 19/13 memo, Peggy Roche, national Chairperson of Education and Health asked that this special prayer prepared for Pope Francis 1 be shared with members.

 

"Dear Heavenly Father, please continue to guide our pontiff, Pope Francis, so that he will remain healthy and eager to face the challenges that the papacy brings with it. Keep him strong in the face of adversity and let him continue to share his caring and loving with all people, everywhere. We ask this through the intercession of Our Lady of Good Counsel. Amen.”

 

In the memo, Peggy also advises of changes to the National Bursary Fund, namely that the list of approved programs has been expanded and that the award has been increased to $1000.00. A T4 slip will be issued to recipients exceeding $500.00 by February 28th. The form is online – www.cwl.ca, click on Free Downloads, then click on Member Bursaries.

 

Communiqués # 5 and #6 from Peggy, dated April 9th and 30th respectively, highlight the following topics:

  1. Wellness and Sickness/Disease
    In a Public Health Agency of Canada news release (February 21/13) Harper Government Invests in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Projects, MP Dr. Colin Carrie announced $600,000.00 for “two projects to address Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) caused by prenatal alcohol exposure.”
    • “The first project …will update diagnostic guidelines to include new FASD research and recommendations on how to diagnose young children and adults.”
    • “The second project … will study child development among elementary students to investigate the prevalence of FASD among the Canadian population.”
  2. Mental Health
    The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) outlines 3 things Canadians can do to increase awareness about mental health and decrease stigma.
    • Remove fear. Start talking with kids.
    • Invite people with mental health problems into your life.
    • Challenge stereotypes and help dispel the myths of mental illness. You can stop the prejudice.
  3. Environment
    International World Water Day, held annually on March 22nd, focuses attention on the importance of freshwater and advocates for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. Speakers at the 2013 IWWD Symposium addressed water issues relating to gender equality, drought planning, conservation, community user groups, equity in access to water and poverty eradication. In a January 17, 2013 article posted by The Huffington Post, Canada was called an “environmental laggard” and was given a C score.
  4. Genetics
    “From July 22 – 25, 2013, the conference on forest genetics will be held in Whistler, B.C. Scientific sessions at this international conference will include presentations on a wide range of topics within forest genetics…” Keep your eyes and ears open for news items.
  5. Coady International Institute
    A member’s inquiry about the League’s support of and how funds are spent re the Coady International Institute prompted communiqué #6.
    Founded by Dr. Moses Coady, the Coady International Institute is one of four agencies that receive donations from members and councils. Monies are forwarded by councils through national office for disbursement annually to the appropriate agencies. Parish councils complete the National Voluntary Fund Remittance Form indicating which funds they wish to support and then forward the form to national office together with a cheque made out to The Catholic Women’s League of Canada.
    The Institute offers a 6 month diploma program for 25 – 45 year old students from developing countries who are employed in public and private sector organizations involved in human and international development. Students are expected to tackle a study project that relates to their work at home and return to their country of origin upon completion of the program.
    In 2012 Coady International Institute received $31,341.00 from the national voluntary fund. Donations came from member donations to the national voluntary fund earmarked for the Coady International Institute, as well as members, individuals, corporations, agencies and governments worldwide.
 

A bit about myself:
I am a member of St. Martin’s (St. Martin de Porres) Council in Regina, SK. Over the years I have held many executive positions on the parish, diocesan and, the last 2 years, legislation chair at the provincial level. The League is an integral part of my life. I am also past-chairperson of St. Martin’s Pastoral Council and attend several parish related meetings.
In my past life I was a teacher-librarian in the Catholic School system in Regina. Prior to that I was a stay-at-home mom for 19 years, looking after 4 children born between 1961 and 1966. Our family now includes 9 grandchildren and I granddog!
My passion is “playing in the dirt” – gardening, both flowers and vegetables. I also enjoy knitting/crocheting, baking, cooking, reading, watching documentaries, going to art shows (my husband is an artist) and attending activities our kids and grandkids are involved in.

I am looking forward to communicating with you all as we endeavor to fulfill the mandate of this committee, namely “The League’s initial mandate was to help new citizens of Canada – a country which is honoured as one of the best countries in which to live. Health care and education are but two of the reasons Canada is held in such high regard.”

 

God bless


 

(Return to Top)

 

Education and Health Communiqué - March 2013

 

I have recently returned from a month in Palm Springs to find the cold and snow hanging on in our fair province .I hope many of you also had a break from our winter.
Thank –You for the annual reports I received. It indicates CWL Members are continuing to take an active part in their Parish Communities.

 

Wellness and Sickness
“Medical –Aid –In –Dying”is the latest term used to describe Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide. Currently the Quebec Government is hoping to finalize the document to allow /legalize the procedure in June’s parliament session. Organizations that are apposing this bill are; Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, Catholic Organization foe Life Family (COLF), and the Physicians Alliance for Total Refusal of Euthanasia. Please visit their Web Sites.

 

The CHAC Health Ethics Guide Third Edition 2012is now in circulation. The goals of the guide is to articulate the values and principles found in Catholic Tradition by outlining guidelines for ethical discernment. It also promotes a pastoral understanding of the decision making process in health and social services. A copy of this book can be obtained from Catholic Health Association of Saskatchewan (CHAS) in Saskatoon.

 

Catholic Education
World Catholic Education Day is observed on May 09 2013. As CWL Members, this may be an opportunity to honor our teachers for their dedication and guidance in assisting the students to understand the catholic values and incorporate them into their everyday lives Graduation is an occasion for CWL to acknowledge the accomplishments of the students by offering an award in particular subject or a bursary.

 

Literacy and Continuing Education
Perhaps your parish is involved with refugees or immigrants; there are many opportunities to help them adjust to a new culture. In order to meet their basic needs many have to learn the English language and develop skills in reading and writing. This opens up the door for them to apply for employment perhaps not in the area that they were previously educated. Organizations are requesting volunteers who are interested in working with the people to help them adjust to a new life style and social standards.

 

Scholarships and Bursaries
Please consider applying to the National Bursary Fund that will provide you with financial assistance to members who pursue studies in adult faith formation and/or youth ministry. When you take these courses one can better serve the parish and community. The deadline for submissions is May 31 2013.

 

Monica Beavis


 

(Return to Top)

 

Education and Health Communiqué #2 - October 2012

 

Welcome to the season of fall with all its beautiful colors and scenery. I hope the farming community had a bountiful harvest and will be able to enjoy Thanksgiving.

 

Peggy Roache is the new National Education and Health Chairperson; I will highlight some of the areas she would like us to focus on this year.

 

Catholic Education - Peggy is asking us to please continue to be aware of the quality of Catholic religious instruction in schools and parishes and encourage parents to participate in all areas of school activities. Be aware of what type of information is accessible for teenagers in the area of family life and sex education. You may have heard that in some schools in the States the morning after pill may be given without the knowledge of the parent.

 

Archbishop Daniel Bolan states, “The true strength of the Catholic School System is when we choose to stand with the Lord so as to live with Him”. We must profess our faith!

 

Catholic Health and Education are having a joint conference in Regina on November 2-4,2012 titled One Lord, One Call - a rainbow of ministries. For more information regarding registration visit them on line at www.chassk.ca or www.scsba.ca.

 

Literacy and Continued Education – Members search for opportunities to expand their knowledge and skills in the fall through courses offered in the Diocese, community colleges, and university. There are Bursaries available from National CWL. Preference will be given to Lay Formation/ministry and works or courses to assist in parish ministry. Applications and forms may be found on line.

 

ABC Life Literacy Canada encourages us to try new activities that give us a sense of renewal and challenges our brains. Visit www.abclifeliteracy.ca.

 

Pope Benedict xvi has declared THE YEAR OF FAITH beginning October 11- the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council and ends November 13 2013 The purpose is to renew our mission in the church, to appreciate the gift of faith and to deepen our relationship with God .The Pope states that in addition to studying the catechism and gaining a greater understanding of the Creed, the Year of Faith also must be accompanied with more acts of charity. For more information on this event go to the web site – www.catholicyearoffaith.com.

 

Wellness and sickness/disease - Members have to become more aware of your own health Don’t be afraid to ask for a second opinion if you have questions regarding symptoms that you may have. We are our own best advocates for health care. There is a lot of information that is accessible to us, make sure it is a reputable source.

 

The Environment - Members, we have a responsibility to preserve our environment for future generations Did you know that Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha and Saint Francis of Assisi are known as the patron Saints of animals and ecology? Please continue to be aware of environmental issues and continue to reduce, reuse and recycle in your own home and community.

 

Genetics - There is an article from the National Catholic Register entitled “HUMAN or SUPERMAN". Peggy Roche recommends that we review this article and discuss it with other members. There is explanations given regarding genetic engineering of humans and the distinction between gene therapy and genetic enhancement. You may find this article at www.ncregister.com.

 

RESOLUTIONS –Two resolutions have been referred to the committee for action. The first one is Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation training. Perhaps you could see how many have current training and then inquire who teaches the course in your community .the second resolution was for CWL to have a Canadian Blood Services Identification number. There will be further information following once the committee outlines their recommendations.

 

If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Monica Beavis


 

(Return to Top)

 

Education and Health Communiqué - June 2012

 

Monica Beavis, Provincial Education and Health Chairperson

 

Welcome to Saskatchewan summer! I just returned from a trip to Ireland and was looking forward no rain or wind and summer sunshine.

 

i will briefly outline items that may be of interest or serve as a topic of discussion for CWL Members.

 

1-CATHOLIC EDUCATION

 
  • Bullying in schools is a primary source of children committing suicide or violent crimes. Twenty-five of students in Grades 4 to 6 have been victims of bullying because of their appearance and a real or perceived sexual orientation .The provinces of Ontario and British Columbia have introduced legislation for implementing Anti Bullying measures. We as CWL must continue to lobby our MLA to take action on ties issue .We can also promote the Golden Rule with our families and that is to “Do unto to others as you would have done unto you!”
  • The Greater Catholic School Board of Saskatoon has established a program where health care professionals work collaboratively in community schools with families, and school personnel provide pediatric school based clinics and, health and wellness programs.
 

2-Scholarships and Bursaries

  • Now is the time to start planning for possible participation in programs offered through the diocese. Examples are Lay Formation and the Foundation presentations .The local parish may have information on courses to assist you in pastoral ministry. National cwl web site also has a list of courses that are available from Catholic colleges. Financial assistance is available from the CWL of Canada National Bursary. You must submit your application before May 31 2013.
 

3-Wellness and sickness / disease.

 
  • The Catholic Health Association of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Catholic School Board Association are inviting the CWL to attend the joint convention “ONE LORD, ONE CALL-a rainbow of ministries.” It will be held in Regina at the REGINA INN on November 2 to 4TH 2012 For further information please contact CHAS at 306-655-5330 or cath.health;@sasktel.net or SCBA at 306-445-7744 or k.loenhdorf;@scsb.ca.
  • The federal government has provided $3 million for the development of new community-based palliative care models through the initiative of the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association. For more information visit: www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/media/nr-cp/_2012/2012-94-
 

4-Resolutions –Education and Health

 
  • Please review the 2011resolutions to remind us to promote and follow the directives as outlined in the information.
  • 2011-04 Caffeine In Energy Drinks
  • 2011-03 National Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplant Registry
 

5-Other Information

 
  • Guidelines to Forming a Reading Group are available on line at the National web site under the Education and Health Standing Committee.
  • Food Shortage /crisis in Sahel Region in West Africa-The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and CCODP (Development and Peace) are launching a campaign to help the people especially the children that facing severe malnutrition You can find ways Canadians can help support through donations by logging on to www.devp.org.
  • Truth and Reconciliation Commission- The Allan CWL hosted a workshop led by facilitator Lynette Brossart on the history of Residential Schools. It is important for us to take the imitative to better understand and appreciate the impact of the past treatment by government and others has affected the First Nation people.
  • BILL C-31 ----concerning federal cuts to immigrant health care coverage. This is a challenge and social justice issue and should be addressed. Lobby your MP to oppose this Bill.
 

(Return to Top)

 

Education and Health Communiqué #4 - March 2012

 

Monica Beavis, Provincial Education and Health Chairperson

 

Welcome to 2012 and I hope every one is enjoying our beautiful weather but it doesn’t deter the winter holiday to the warm sunshine and beaches!

 

Education- I attended the Greater Catholic Schools Annual Meeting on February 6 2012. Enrollment continues to increase. 15.8% are students that are First Nations or Métis There is also a challenge to accommodate students with intense learning needs or those that require additional language support.

 

Their priorities are to advocate for Catholic Education, improve student learning and achievement, and reaching out to transform the world by building relationships and partnerships with the parents and the church community The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops is developing new protocols for Religious Education and a renewal of guidelines on the Christian Service component for high school Christian Ethics.

 

This year they are focusing on mathematics, literacy and early learning in pre kindergarten and kindergarten. Teachers are also working with students to assist and encourage them to complete their high school and help transition to future career planning and development of Life Skills. This is evident in the programs that they have developed to enhance participation with the First Nations and Métis education.

 

The last Catholic Connection Meeting, we had a presentation on Social Media. The purpose was to consider options that the organization could utilize to promote Catholic Education and Catholic Health. Discussion centered on what is the best form of media to use to educate the Catholic Community on the value of faith – based organizations. There are publications in the Prairie Messenger that describes how the Catholic Values are incorporated in the organization.

 

Health Wellness –Health care Support

 

Retirement is a milestone in life that can be one of the most difficult transitions for both men and women. One of the reasons is because their careers were the centre of that individual’s identity. The transformation can affect the person’s self esteem, social network, and quality of life.

 

The Saskatoon Council on Aging is an excellent resource to assist individuals to explore options to help them adjust to a different life style. They provide educational sessions on topics that cover many different areas of need. They recognize that the senior population is increasing and because they work with them on a regular basis they are in a position to focus on particular issues and lobby different levels of government. Concerns that they are currently working with government are Elder Housing for Low Income Seniors and Elder Abuse Awareness. They are also exploring the challenges faced by individuals who are residents in Long Term Care Facilities and what their basic rights are in regards to care and services.

 

The Catholic Health Association of Saskatchewan is currently developing a Catholic Health Care Leadership Formation program. Historically healthcare formation has been dependent upon the Sisters who gave it a unique identity. The catholic facilities today are managed and populated by people with diverse religious backgrounds. This program will provide an opportunity for staff members to expand their knowledge and gain a deeper understanding and clarity of the concept that one’s work as a member of the health care team may be deemed as a vocation. The hope is that the outcome will bring a greater loyalty to the organization, a commitment to Catholic Health Ministry, a greater sense of collaboration and the confidence to facilitate a work environment that the catholic values and the compassionate caring for the sick is evident.

 

I have been asked to be a member of this project charter and am looking forward to the challenge.

 

I wish to thank the CWL for the opportunity to attend the CHAS Convention in Moose Jaw with the theme “The Grace of Age” I have submitted a summary for your information.

 

The volunteers for the Diocesan Pastoral Care for the Sick were recognized for their ministry on Friday February 10 with a mass followed by a Social at the new Cathedral of the Holy Family.

 

Scholarships and Bursaries –Information regarding the process for applying for Scholarships and Bursaries from the National CWL Office was circulated in the January Communiqué.

 

This completes my report.

 

(Return to Top)

 

Education and Health Communiqué #3 - February 2012

 

Monica Beavis, Provincial Education and Health Chairperson

 

Welcome to 2012, I hope you are enjoying the mild winter. We will soon be compiling information for the annual reports. There are directives that were sent out from National that I would like to share:

 

In general:

  • Highlight your activities as the chairperson
  • Do not include scripture, prayers, or poetry
  • Do not list every activity from every report received. Summarize the common activities; e.g., all councils give bursaries to high school students. Highlight one or two that are unique in some way.
  • Do not include activities that pertain to other committees. Activities under education and health include Mater Care, bursaries, the Coady International Institute. (National Manual of Policies and Procedure)

SPECIFICALLY, report under the headings (Article XII section (5) of the Constitution and Bylaws)

 

National has also asked us to provide you with the updated Bursary Application Form .We need to encourage our members to utilize the bursary to continue their education and spiritual growth.

 

CATHOLIC EDUCATION

The Greater Catholic School Division will have a community celebration to celebrate 100years on Sunday June 24 at the new Cathedral of the Holy Family.
CATHOLIC CONNECTIONS Meeting Representatives from education and health received a presentation on SOCIAL MEDIA. The committee is exploring what would be the best form of media to use to reach the catholic community to educate them and gain support for the work and programs that define them as catholic organization.

 

LITERACY AND CONTINUING EDUCATION

The population of the province is increasing and a large percentage of them are Immigrants or Refugees. One of their many challenges is adapting to our culture and to the English language. Many have a basic understanding of the English language but not to the level that they can find employment in their previous work –e .g, doctor, nurse, or engineer. They must successfully meet the standards of the Canadian Universities for their profession.
ACTION Start with your local church community as many have formed Refugee committees that need volunteers to assist and reach out to the refugees and support them as they learn to adjust to a new culture and new climate. Housing is a major challenge for them.
Global Gathering – Saskatoon provides services to immigrants and refugees in the Saskatoon area. For further information browse –www.globalgatheringplace.com.

 

Focus on Justice and Equality

Recently a number of professional people from different walks of life volunteered to live for a week on what they received from the food bank plus $5.00. . They reaffirmed that poverty is debilitating. It affects the whole person –their self-esteem, and their energy level that indirectly determines their ability to be productive at work. When finances are limited most people cut back on medications that changes their health status and soon they are dependent on the health care system.
ACTION: Lobby government officials to address this issue and to facilitate the poor and the elderly to have access to programs that will cover the cost of their drugs.

 

The provincial government made a commitment to improving the availability and affordability of housing by increasing support for low income seniors through the Senior Income Plan and introducing a new Seniors Personal Care Home Benefit.
ACTION –As CWL Members we can become familiar with the programs that can be accessed at various levels of government and advocate for those in need in your community

 

HEALTH CARE IFORMATION

World Day of the Sick is celebrated on February 11TH 2012. Information is available through CHAS. Please check with your local Health Care Facilities and you can perhaps volunteer.

 

The diocese of Saskatoon has recently formed a Miscarriage Awareness Committee. The purpose of this group is to help faith communities to reach out to families who are grieving the loss of a baby that has died prematurely.

 

BOOK CLUB MEMBERS

For those interested in a book describing the struggles of the Black People for justice and equality read the book THE HELP by KATHYRYN STOCHETT. It includes a reading group guide. It is also a popular motion picture.

 

(Return to Top)