Catholic Women's League of Saskatchewan

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Spiritual Development Communiqué #2 − November 5, 2009

Spiritual Development Communiqué #3 - February 1, 2010

Spiritual Development Communiqué #4 - June 30, 2010

Spiritual Development Communiqué #5 - November 28, 2010

Spiritual Development Communiqué #6 - March 8, 2011

Spiritual Development Communiqué - June 2011

Spiritual Development Communiqué - November 2011

Spiritual Development Communiqué - June 2012

Spiritual Development Communiqué #1 - June 2013

Spiritual Development Communiqué #2 - November 2013

Spiritual Development Communiqué #4 - June 2014

Spiritual Development Communiqué #5 - December 2014



Spiritual Development Communiqué #5 - December 2014


Margaret Schwab, Provincial Spiritual Development Chairperson


Once again, we have reached the season of Advent – a wonderful time of waiting for the celebration of the birth of our Lord. At time to grow closer to God through prayer, reflection, and acts of charity. It is also a time of shopping, entertaining, hurrying and stress. How do we help our members to reach out to Christ in this season of so much secular celebration? Hopefully we can provide meaningful Advent prayer with our councils – perhaps through retreats, Eucharistic Adoration, special speakers, or projects to help those less fortunate. All of our activities should bring our members closer to a loving relationship with Christ.


Also, at this time of Advent and throughout the coming year, please remember to pray the rosary for peace in our very troubled world. During the last few months we have seen some of the horrors of terrorism touch our own country. National Spiritual Development Chairperson, Anne Marie Gorman has asked that each province take a day of the week on which all of their members will say a decade of the rosary. Saskatchewan’s day is Wednesday.


A reminder to those who report deceased members – sometimes we are busy and make a note of a member who has died, but do not immediately pass that name on to the National office. However, National will continue to send the League magazine until they receive this notice, so it is very important to show respect for both the member and her family by forwarding thedeceased member notification to National as soon after the death occurs as possible.


Please check out the National CWL website for excellent suggestions from Anne Marie Gorman and her committee on fulfilling the duties of this committee throughout the year.


Some dates of interest for 2015:

  • Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (January 18-25)
  • World Day of Prayer (March 6)
  • World Union of Catholic Women’s Organizations Day (May 13)


Let us embrace the Christmas season as a time of spiritual growth and renewal.


May the Peace of and Joy of the Season be with you this month and into the New Year.


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Spiritual Development Communiqué #4 - June 2014


Margaret Schwab, Provincial Spiritual Development Chairperson


I am sitting at my computer preparing this communiqué summer has finally appeared after what was a very long winter and now we need to leap forward to preparing for fall. Welcome to all who are new in the Spiritual Development Chair. It is my hope that you will find the next two years enjoyable and rewarding. The tasks listed for this committee are as follows:


  • Spiritual growth of members
  • Study of Catholic teachings
  • Role of women in the church
  • Evangelization and mission assistance
  • Lay ministries
  • Ecumenism and interfaith endeavours

The duties of this committee are very thoroughly outlined in the Executive Handbook pages SD­27 to SD­­30. The handbook can be downloaded from the National website at www.cwl.ca under Resources/ manuals. It is also available for purchase. I would advise that every chairperson print the pages needed for their binders. You will find them invaluable.


As you are planning your year, a few dates to remember:


  • October 19, 2014 – beatification of Pope Paul VI
  • November 1­ All Saints Day
  • November 2 – All Souls Day
  • December 8 – Feast of the Immaculate Conception – Resolution 1988.01 asks councils to set aside this day for promotion of world peace.
  • December 12 – Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Resolution 2000.01 recognizes Our Lady of Guadalupe as Mother and Evangelizer of America. This feast is a good time to celebrate the theme of ‘We Have Seen the Lord’ one more time before we begin a new theme in 2015.

There are many opportunity for prayer and worship in our CWL work. We must remember to take time to listen to our Lord – He is always there to guide us, if we are willing to follow. May God's Blessings be with you.


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Spiritual Development Communiqué #2 - November 2013


Margaret Schwab, Provincial Spiritual Development Chairperson


We have arrived at the month of November – a time to remember the souls who have departed this earth. Hopefully, all councils have been encouraged to have meaningful prayer services for their deceased members. This is when we should make use of our Book of Life; make sure it is kept up to date. This is also a good time to explain the book to members, especially those new to our group. By looking through it together, it reminds us of those who have gone before and of the importance of our strong connection as League members – always remembered in prayer.


In the Gospel reading of today (Luke 19: 1-10), Zacchaeus climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus. What ‘tree’ do we need to climb to see Jesus? Often we are so busy – with work, family, volunteer commitments, etc. that we forget to focus on the Lord who reaches out over and over to lead us to salvation. As Spiritual Development Chairpersons, we can help members to build on our theme of ‘We have seen the Lord’.


  • Sharing – sharing our experiences in small groups helps us to recognize through the experiences of others how the Lord has revealed Himself to all of us.
  • Listening – our churches and communities hold a wealth of good speakers who can encourage us to open our eyes and ‘see the Lord’ – invite one to a special meeting; perhaps include a collection for the poor or Catholic Mission as well.
  • Prayer – with the beautiful season of Advent approaching, it is a good time to spend time in prayer, reflecting on how Jesus has been present in our lives. Perhaps, a special service, retreat or spending time in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
  • Reaching out – the CWL theme belongs to all of us and to all through whom we see the face of Jesus. Perhaps this is a good time to invite women from other faiths to join us in our reflections.

For the month of December, a reminder from National Chairperson, Mary Nordick of special days of prayer:

  • December 6th, in commemoration of the Montreal massacre.
  • Prayer for peace has been a focus for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8th and the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12th

As December approaches our thoughts turn to Christmas, the joyous feast of Christ’s birth. Yet, always with this joy comes the solemn knowledge that He came to die – to save us. It is His promise of everlasting life which turns His death back into dancing. May God bless each of you as you dance to the music heard by women who have seen the Lord.


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Spiritual Development Communiqué #1 - June 30, 2013


Margaret Schwab, Provincial Spiritual Development Chairperson


I am looking forward to the next two years serving as Spiritual development chairperson. It will be a busy, challenging but rewarding term, I am sure. I look forward to meeting and working with my diocesan counterparts.


What a wonderful theme we have to work with as spiritual development chairpersons!


“We have Seen the Lord!” These words offer us so many opportunities for discussion at our meetings. What events or people in our lives have helped us to realize that we have been in the presence of our Lord?


As Spiritual Development chairpersons, it is our responsibility to help our sisters grow in Faith.


In her March communiqué, Mary Nordick tells us that “for the next two years our focus is on GOD. ‘Go tell everyone, Offering ourselves encounters with Jesus in others, and Demonstrated by works of mercy.’ The Spiritual Works of Mercy are: Counsel the doubtful; Instruct the ignorant; Admonish the sinner; Comfort the sorrowful; Forgive injuries; Bear wrongs patiently; and Pray for the living and the dead. The Corporal Works of Mercy are Feed the hungry; Give drink to the thirsty; Clothe the naked; Shelter the homeless; Visit the sick; Visit the imprisoned; and Bury the dead.”


This is a challenging quote to be sure! I know that our CWL members are doing Works of Mercy in their communities already - could we do more? When you are doing your fall planning is a good time to discuss implementing the Works of Mercy into your CWL year through prayer, discussion and/or action. Our national chairperson, Mary, would be interested to hear what activities your council takes on.


Don’t forget to make your actions part of your meeting discussions. What better way to inspire others to action than by sharing a personal experience. We have Seen the Lord! Let’s tell everyone by our deeds.


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Spiritual Development Communiqué - June 2012


It is time for us to take stock now that our provincial convention is over. Any of the women I have talked to said it was wonderful. It took many hands to make it work, and in the process we have made new friends and renewed old friendships.


Now it is time for us that are Spiritual Development chairs, to remember what we should be doing as we walk forward towards our future. We always remember that we are “women, rooted in gospel values”.


It is also our responsibility to guide and encourage the following in our League Sisters:

  • Spiritual growth of members.
  • Study of Catholic teachings.
  • Role of women in the church.
  • Evangelization and mission assistance.
  • Lay Ministries.
  • Ecumenism and Interfaith endeavours.


We have been chosen to lead our League Sisters in these endeavours and that means that we too must study and prepare ourselves as well.


I hope you all have a wonderful summer and look forward to seeing you in the fall.


Your Sister in the League
Jean Reader
Spiritual Development, Provincial


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Spiritual Development Communiqué - November 2011

 

I saw the old man, several yards ahead of me, fall to the pavement and thought “why doesn’t anyone help him … then the voice whispered in my ear “my child I have chosen you for the job”. I thought to myself “why me” … and the soft, tender voice whispered “because I love you and your heart tells you it is the right thing to do”. This is just a story but do we always “do the right thing” at Christmas time or do we just stress ourselves out and forget why we are really celebrating Christmas?

 

We prepare for Christmas, shopping, baking, cards and the list goes on but are we preparing our hearts for the Season? Mary and Joseph are making their plans to travel to Bethlehem. Are we making plans to travel mentally and spiritually to Bethlehem to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ? When I start decorating my house the first item that gets put out is my Nativity Scene with all the figures … of course I put the wise men way back in the background but everyone is there. Looking at it, I often wonder where I am in the Nativity Scene. Am I like the Wise men making my way towards Bethlehem during Advent? Do I hang around the stable aimlessly like the animals waiting for something to happen? Or am I like the shepherds out in the fields working, not paying attention to what is about to happen in the stable. That is when “the little voice” tells me to prepare for the birthday, prepare your heart for the love that Christ is going to share with us at His birth.

 

I think of Mary, carrying that precious Baby, mulling over what she has been told by the Angels. What must Joseph be thinking, taking his very pregnant wife on such a long trip, and her time so near. Consider what they were going through our worries seem pretty small.

 

I love Christmas, this year I’ve recalled wonderful memories with family and friends. The biggest excitement, going to Midnight Mass for when you got to go to Midnight Mass, that was being grown up. Bundling up in the old car, snuggling up to my grandfather for warmth, talking about who would be at church. And in church the smells, oh the smells of incense and candles. Our church was very tiny, so you sat close together because Midnight Mass brought everyone out. The old organ would start to play and everyone would join in singing carols, the choir would sing the Mass parts, and there was a love in the air that was absolutely amazing. I wished it would last for ever. After we would head home, hop into bed and try to go to sleep so Christmas morning would hurry up.

 

Christmas morning was total chaos stockings and gift opening. Then we all sat around the breakfast table talking about what had happened at Mass, the songs we had sung, watching Father bring the baby Jesus up the aisle and putting him in the manger. After breakfast Mother and I would prepare the turkey and trimmings, as we did we sang Christmas carols and talked about other Christmas Days.

 

What beautiful memories about Christmas, but I realized that they revolved around attending Mass as a family. When I had a family of my own I made sure that everyone remembered why we were celebrating Christmas, I wanted everyone to have Christ in their heart, and to remember “the reason for the season”.

 

May you have a Blessed Christmas, may the Christ Child’s love glow in your hearts and put smiles on your faces. From my house to your house … God Bless us every one.

 

Your sister in Christ, Jean Reader

 

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Catholic Women’s League of Canada
Saskatchewan Spiritual Development
June 2011

 

We are women of Peace, and Hope
Centered on Faith and Justice

 

We are Christian women centered on Faith and Justice in our communities, it is our job to reach out to our and upon occasion to be leaders. As we head into summer holidays it is a time for us to all to “recharge” our batteries, to look over what we have done in the past year then to look forward with great eagerness in what the future holds for us. Some, like myself, are stepping in a new direction as we serve the League as Spiritual Development chairs. What a great challenge ... developing new ideas geared towards the Spiritual side of the League.

 

Remember what our “duties” are as Spiritual Development chairs:

  • spiritual growth of members.
  • study of Catholic teachings.
  • roll of women in the church.
  • evangelization and mission assistance.
  • lay ministries.
  • ecumenism and interfaith endeavours.
 

The spiritual dimension sets the Catholic Women’s League apart from all other women’s organizations. We are given a challenge by Christ to help spread “the Good Word” by our actions as leaders, by our compassion and to show our love for one and all as we lead by example. This is the time of year when we can do a little reading, kick back and relax in the love of God ... before planning for the upcoming year. Why not pick reading material that will help us as we plan for upcoming meetings. Have you read something that really inspired you? .... share it with your Sisters.

 

I am looking forward to working with all the Spiritual Development chairs in the coming months as we work towards the common goal of being “women of peace, and hope, centered on faith and justice”.

 

The Lord doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.

 

Your Sister in Christ
Jean Reader

 

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Spiritual Development Communiqué #6 - March 8, 2011

 

Eileen Danylczuk, Provincial Spiritual Development Chairperson

 

Ash Wednesday is upon us! This year Lent begins on March 9. It is important that our parishes and local councils know that Lent is a time of repentance, change of heart, prayer and almsgiving. People need to be reminded that Ash Wednesday is a universal day of fasting and abstinence from meat, although the ORDO (Liturgical Calendar) states that we may substitute special acts of charity or piety on this day.

 

It is a practice in some areas to pray at this time for the new growing season. Seeds are prayed over and blessed. It is a visible sign that spring is coming. From the CCCB Book of Blessings:

 

Eternal Father, maker of heaven and earth, we bless you and give you glory.
Bless (+) this seed and make it fruitful. Look upon our work this season, and
grant that the seeds we plant will produce plentiful crops, providing food and
work for many. In your love, give us favourable weather throughout the growing
season. Make us truly grateful for all our gifts, and willing to share our goods
and talents with others, especially those without adequate food. All praise and
glory are yours, almighty Father, through your Son Jesus Christ, in the unity of the
Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Development and Peace is recognized by the Catholic Church in cooperation with other Christian churches every Lent. The needs of developing countries (the word ‘developing’ now replaces ‘Third World’) are brought to the forefront of our consciences on the 5th Sunday of Lent. All of us need to be reminded of social justice intentions: justice, peace, hunger and the development of peoples. The money raised for this worthwhile project goes directly to people in the Global South – Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. Through our generous donations expressing our compassion we can help build a world of justice.

 

Holy Week begins April 17 with Palm Sunday when every Mass evokes the memory of Jesus entering Jerusalem. The readings of Holy Week prepare us for the solemn Easter Triduum which begins at the Holy Thursday evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper (the only Mass celebrated this day), reaches its climax in the Easter Vigil and closes with Evening Prayer on Easter Sunday.

 

Finally, as CWL Convention season draws near, we celebrate the fifty glorious days of Easter. Then we will say with real conviction “Alleluia, Alleluia!” During Lent and the season of Easter, may God continue to bless us in our daily tasks and in the work we do “for God and Canada.”

 

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Spiritual Development Communiqué #5 - November 28, 2010

 

Eileen Danylczuk, Provincial Spiritual Development Chairperson

 

In August, 2010, when Saskatchewan’s own Velma Harasen was elected National CWL President, a new national spiritual development chairperson was also installed. Margaret Ann Jacobs of Elmvale, Ontario, a 40+ year member, wife, mother and retired school teacher, brings much enthusiasm and energy to this position. In September I received her first communiqué directing provincial spiritual development chairpersons on many topics. Paramount is this phrase, a direct quote from the Executive Handbook, “The spiritual dimension sets the League apart from all other women’s organizations.”

 

As chairpersons of spiritual development we are aware of the areas of importance which are:

  • Spiritual growth of members
  • Study of Catholic teachings
  • Role of women in the church
  • Evangelization and mission assistance
  • Ecumenism and interfaith endeavors
 

As provincial spiritual development chairperson I have attempted to facilitate the study of our league theme: Women of Peace and Hope. Over the course of the next few months the new theme Centred on Faith and Justice will be rolled out. I anticipate resources will become available as the new year arrives.

 

Already this fall we have celebrated the Solemnity of All Saints and the Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed. On November 28 we entered the Advent season with Cycle A of the liturgical year. Three Marian Feast Days are celebrated in December and early January: the Immaculate Conception (December 8); the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (December 12), this year preempted by the 3rd Sunday of Advent; and the Solemnity of Mary, Holy Mother of God (January 1). The Canadian Council of Catholic Bishops has decreed that the holydays of obligation to be observed in Canada are: all the Sundays of the year, Christmas Day, and the Feast of Mary, Mother of God. As chairpersons of spiritual development we can anticipate these feast days and offer suggestions to our parish liturgy or spiritual education committees and to our local parish CWL spiritual development chairpersons.

 

As spiritual development chairpersons we can encourage spiritual development by drawing attention to the many and varied opportunities in our parish and diocese. We can become familiar with local diocesan centers and make our councils aware of their resources and services. Our local religious goods stores are always good resources of new and timely materials. We can watch for new resources as reviewed by Catholic papers such as the Prairie Messenger and encourage members to actively participate in the league, the church and the community by taking leadership roles using available resources. As well, parish book clubs are experiencing a definite resurgence. Perhaps that way of sharing would appeal to you and members of your councils and as spiritual development chairpersons we could suggest suitable titles and facilitate discussion groups.

 

As Catholic Women’s League members we need to promote the role of women in the church by our participation in the church, cultural, social and economic life of our parishes and dioceses. We can promote the league by attending spiritual and liturgical ministry workshops and by serving the sick, disabled, dying, bereaved, the youth and the elderly. Palliative care is never far from the mind of a spiritual development chairperson. We need to be educated in this matter and be proactive. Be aware of the resolution 2007.03 and continue to take action. As provincial chairperson I receive a bundle of forms listing deceased members every month and these names are entered into the Book of Life which is always displayed at conventions. Many councils are still using older National Manuals of Policy and Procedures and outdated forms are often utilized. Please obtain the form from the 2009 Manual of Policy and Procedure as procedures have changed over the years. We know all too well how our numbers continue to decline as elderly members pass away. May they rest in peace.

 

In the new year our parishes and councils will celebrate the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (January 18 – 25), followed shortly there after by World Day of Prayer (March 4). Both of these events encourage Christians of all denominations to meet and participate in various liturgical and other community activities and to pray “that all may be one” (John 17:21). Resource materials are readily available for these events. Both are enormous opportunities for ecumenical and interfaith endeavors. By assisting and participating with these celebrations as CWL members, we collaborate with all Christian churches on a wide range of social issues.

 

I would also like to draw your attention to Canada’s only pastoral magazine, Celebrate! Your council, or perhaps your parish, could consider subscribing to this journal as (and I quote from the Executive Handbook) “Women are called to take an active and responsible role in church life and mission by actively participating in League, church and community.” This journal can help you to do exactly that. Perhaps the CWL could pay for a subscription for the lending library of your parish.

 

Congratulations to the Regina Archdiocese just concluding a year of celebration on the occasion of their 100th anniversary. Faith Alive/Une Foi Vivante Celebrating Our Past; Hope for Our Future is a beautifully bound, richly illustrated history of every parish in the diocese. It updates the previous publication documenting the first seventy five years of the diocese and joyfully celebrates the strong faith of our forefathers and our hope for the years to come. In every article the work of the Catholic Women’s League has been mentioned and cannot help but make one feel proud of our accomplishments and give us reason to carry on.

 

Women of Peace and Hope, I encourage you to continue in your role as leaders in your parish CWL councils and to make welcome new and younger members who will eventually replace all of us. Through the intercession of Our Lady of Good Counsel, we pray for strength, for creativity and passion for our tasks. May peace and hope permeate all of our work for God and Canada. Amen.

 

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Spiritual Development Communiqué #4 - June 30, 2010

 

Eileen Danylczuk, Provincial Spiritual Development Chairperson

 

Summer greetings to my CWL friends Welcome to one new chairperson, Fran Stang, and continuing chairs Lynn and Heather. May all of us embrace this position with both enthusiasm and prayerful reflection. Pray often this prayer from our standing committee resource which states spiritual growth is the very heart of the League and the essence of its existence.

 

Dear Lord, make me appreciative of the dignity
of my standing committee and its many responsibilities.
Never permit me to disgrace it by
giving way to coldness, unkindness or impatience.
Please bear with my faults, looking only to my intention which is
to serve you in the person of each member of the Catholic Women’s League.
Increase my faith, bless my efforts and work for God and Canada.
Amen

 

Spiritual Growth of Members

 

(The spiritual dimension sets the League apart from all other women’s organizations.)

 

The spiritual growth of our members gives us focus, direction, and impetus, for this is the very reason women join the League!

 

Under this auspice we have studied, prayed and lived our theme “Women of Peace and Hope.” In August our new theme will be announced by the new national president, our own Velma Harasen. It will come into effect January 1, 2011. As each new theme comes into effect we do not abandon the latter as it has become part of our being forever. Let us continue to be “Women of Peace and Hope” as we plan spiritual programs for our sisters in the League.

 

Study of Catholic Teachings/Lay Ministries

 

(Faith is a way of life which is characterized by a constant and on-going conversion and renewal of mind and heart. Members must constantly be in the process of spiritual growth. The strength of League ministry can be measured in proportion to the depth of members’ spirituality.)

 

A new liturgical studies program (see www.wcl-ssls.ca) begins this summer (July 19-30) in Regina. It has been “designed for all who prepare, lead, evaluate, participate in and appreciate liturgical life” (quote from the registration pamphlet). These studies aim to provide education and practical formation in all areas of liturgy. Subsequent years of study will take place in other major western cities, leading to a Certificate in Liturgical Studies. Each class costs nearly $300.00 and perhaps your local council or parish would consider sponsoring interested candidates. These classes would also qualify for a CWL Bursary if requirements were met.

 

Role of Women in the Church

 

(Women are called to take an active and responsible leadership role in the church’s life and mission by actively participating in League, church and community.)

 

Over the summer when the pace of life slows down a little, take the opportunity to read more scripture, especially as it pertains to women, and to explore good Catholic doctrine in your reading. I recently examined “Mary” from the Spiritual Thoughts Series, a collection of reflections by Pope Benedict XVI (CCB 2008 ISBN 978-0-88997-585-9). Share your reading with council members by “booktalking” or starting a reading group to share your reading experiences. Does your parish have a lending library? If not, consider setting one up. If it does, consider adding to the collection, providing others the opportunity to grow spiritually.

 

Resources and References

 

Have you considered making the National CWL Website your home page? In this way, you’d be reminded daily to check for new material related to your standing committee. Simply click on the Spiritual icon to bring up the menu of Resolutions, Communiqués, Reports, The Canadian League, Programmes and Workshops.

 

The Saskatchewan Catholic Women’s League website is up and operational. See www.cwlsk.ca to find these headings: General Information, Executive Profiles, Communiqués, Resolutions and other provincially relevant information.

 

While at your computer do a web search for “Pilgrimages and Shrines” to find a complete listing of local shrines. Consider taking in some of these opportunities for prayer, reconciliation, anointing, and Eucharist at shrines or grottos near your town or city.

 

May Our Lady of Good Counsel be our companion wherever we are this summer. God Bless.

 

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Spiritual Development Communiqué #3 - February 1, 2010

 

Eileen Danylczuk, Provincial Spiritual Development Chairperson

 

The liturgical calendar for the next few months is rich and varied. At the end of January we celebrated the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity – that all may be one, as Christ desires. February 2 marks World Day for Consecrated Life, the day we are invited to pray for women and men who live out their baptismal commitment by the profession of the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Candlemas Day, the Christian Festival of Lights, falls on this day also and commemorates the ritual purification of Mary forty days after the birth of her son Jesus. Do you remember as a child having your throat blessed on February 3 of every year? “Through the prayers of Saint Blasé, may God free you from ailments of the throat and from every other evil.” On February 11 we celebrate World Day of the Sick, which is also the memorial day of Our Lady of Lourdes. The sick and suffering are remembered and the healing ministry of health care professionals and pastoral care givers remembered. Ash Wednesday, February 17, is a day of fasting and abstinence from meat. It marks the beginning of the forty days of Lent during which prayer, penance, fasting and almsgiving are the main Lenten works. Sponsored by the Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada, World Day of Prayer is observed on the first Friday of March. Saint Patrick is celebrated with joy on March 17th and Saint Joseph, husband of Mary and patron of Canada and the church on March 19th. March 25 marks the Annunciation, the first joyful mystery, and Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday, March 28. This date also marks World Day of Youth. The highpoint of the liturgical year occurs with the Triduum. The celebration begins with the evening mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday (April 1) and closes with Evening Prayer on Easter Sunday. The Easter Season lasts seven weeks – from Easter to Pentecost Sunday (May 23). Readings during this time are from the New Testament, especially the Acts of the Apostles. World Day of Prayer for Vocations is celebrated on the Fourth Sunday of Easter (April 25), and under the title of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Mary is honoured as the patron of the Catholic Women’s League on April 26.

 

The 7.0 magnitude earthquake which devastated Haiti in January has left the country in ruin and desolation. The death toll has been enormous and many of the survivors suffer from physical, mental, and emotional distress. Three million people are in dire need of disaster relief. As well as financial donations, let us keep our brothers and sisters of Haiti upper most in our prayers. (Mail donations to Development and Peace, 1425 Rene-Levesque Blvd. West, 3rd floor, Montreal, QC H3G 1T7. All donations made by February 7 will be matched by the federal government.)

 

The “Year for Priests” continues to be celebrated in our parishes and dioceses. Have you considered ordering the beautiful 18” by 24” poster of the Icon of the Great High Priest?

 

Visit http://www.nfpc.org/publicat.html#poster for more information. Small prayer cards can also be ordered at a very reasonable price. Packages of 100 holy cards sell for $3.00 and are available at http://kofc.org/. Go to the Knight’s web page and, in the “search” box enter “year for priests”; the link to the location for purchase of the prayer cards is listed as one of the search results. The card features an icon, written by Marek Czarnecki, showing Christ in Mass vestments. The bottom of the icon has an altar prepared for Mass and at the sides are Melchizedek and St. John Vianney. A prayer for priests is featured on the back of the card. On this topic also, have you met the challenge issued by Bishop Douglas Crosby of Corner Brook-Labrador at the conclusion of the 2009 National Convention? He challenged each of us to contact one priest this year to express our gratitude, offer prayers and thank him for his vocation. The Year for Priests ends June 19, 2010 on the solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

 

Recording the names of deceased members in the Book of Life is a duty of the Spiritual Development Chairperson. Additions to the Book of Life are a constant reminder of how our numbers are declining and a challenge to each of us to continue our quest for new members. National Spiritual Development Chairperson Terri Scott urges parish councils to be certain they are following policy when reporting deceased members. She invites us to check Organization communiqué #3 written by Velma Harasen January 19, 2009, for a detailed description of the policy and process to do so. Policy requires that parish councils send only one copy of the form to the national office where the information will be recorded and then sent to provincial and diocesan Spiritual Development Chairpersons for recording in their own Book of Life. Councils are urged to be certain that they are using the current version of the form (revised in 2008) and available at www.cwl.ca under “Supplies and Forms” in a printable or online format.

 

Terri Scott also makes us aware that a Mass to honour the Catholic Women’s League Day of Peace and Hope (April 26), when all members are asked to pray and act for peace and hope, will be televised on Friday, April 23 at 8:00 AM and 12:00 PM EST on Vision TV. (In Saskatchewan the times of the broadcasts will be 7:00 AM and 11:00 AM.)

 

May Our Lady of Good Counsel continue to guide our activities and fill us with peace and hope.

 

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Spiritual Development Communiqué #2 − November 5, 2009

 

Eileen Danylczuk, Provincial Spiritual Development Chairperson

 

With the arrival of fall our CWL year is well under way and activities abound. Rested after the summer hiatus and perhaps fortunate enough to be enthused by our attendance at the national convention, we take up our CWL duties with joy and enthusiasm. The duties of the Spiritual Development Chairperson can seem daunting, but each person does what she can during her term of office. Refer often to the duties of this chair and pray the convener’s prayer when you sit down to do CWL work. Dear Lord, make me appreciative of the dignity of my standing committee and its many responsibilities. Never permit me to disgrace it by giving way to coldness, unkindness or impatience. Please bear with my faults, looking only to my intention, which is to serve you in the person of each member of the Catholic Women’s League. Increase my faith, bless my efforts and work for God and Canada. Amen.

 

Although a year has passed since the 49th International Eucharistic Congress held in Quebec City, the fruits of the Congress will remain a part of our lives forever. Those fortunate enough to attend can attest to the graces received and how this event has permanently etched a place in their hearts and memories. It’s not too soon to begin to think about the 50th Congress in Dublin, Ireland in 2012.

 

Saskatoon was privileged to host over 900 participants at the National Theology of the Body Conference last June. The conference explored the teaching of Pope John Paul II on the topic of human sexuality. With conferences such as this one, the CWL can play a part with our prayerful support for success, by providing financial assistance to participants and by supporting conference organizers with material goods or personnel.

 

Revisiting another topic I remind you of the “Year for Priests” as declared by Pope Benedict. There are ample resources to assist you with this incentive. Try www.catholicprayercards.org for materials you can order for your council or parish.

 

At the National Convention in St. John’s NL, Bishop Douglas Crosby of Corner Brook – Labrador challenged us to contact one priest to express our gratitude, offer our prayers, and to thank him for his vocation. The year will conclude in Rome on the feast day of the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in June 2010.

 

Lay Ministry Formation Programs are beginning again and other opportunities exist to attend parish and diocesan programs. These programs have the potential to increase and enrich our faith life, perhaps even change our lives forever. Continue to promote and publicize courses and programs, and organize workshops and study groups where none exist. Make use of Catholic newspapers and periodicals to keep current and thus be in a constant process of spiritual growth.

 

The fall edition of the League magazine has arrived in our mailboxes. It contains detailed information about the National Convention in St. John’s, NL. For those fortunate enough to attend any national convention, the enthusiasm generated is more than enough to sustain. As well, in the magazine we find the resolutions adopted at the national convention and our “to-do list” of action required. Consider speaking to your council reminding them of our task to respond to the resolutions and suggest workable ways to do this with sample letters, etc.

 

As November arrives we celebrate All Saints and All Souls and we recall our deceased CWL members. As names are entered into the Book of Life, we recall our sisters in the league and we are grateful for their contributions. If planning a prayer vigil or an honour guard, be certain to reference league protocol in the National Manual of Policy and Procedures, Appendix 2.

 

Soon we will begin to think about Christmas. Be certain to request Nativity Stamps and buy enough to last all year if possible. With Advent approaching, consider ordering suitable materials for use with your own council or your parish. There is a wealth of material available.

 

Please continue to support local charities as you learn of them. The need is constant and great. From National Spiritual Development Chairperson, Terri Scott, we learn of several websites: Catholic Missions in Canada has developed a new CWL page on its website:www.cmic.info. Be aware, also, of Scarboro Missions celebrating 90 years in November. They can be contacted at www.scarboromissions.ca. Esk-Omi Mission (no website) needs our help also, and contacts councils by regular mail. St. Anthony Messenger Press offers faith resources for catechetical leaders (www.americancatholic.org).

 

Ecumenism and Interfaith Endeavors fall under this standing committee. In October, Pope Benedict announced a change that makes it possible for Anglican dissidents to join the Catholic Church. Pope Benedict announced plans to establish national dioceses in which former Anglicans can join the Catholic Church while retaining many of their traditional forms of worship. Also on this topic, we need to be aware of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, celebrated each year from January 24-31. Christians of all denominations pray that “all may be one” (John 17:21). World Day of Prayer is celebrated on the first Friday of March and it invites all Christians to pray together ecumenically. Read Pope John Paul II’s statements on ecumenism and be informed. And, finally on this topic, be aware of May 13 when we celebrate WUCWO (World Union of Catholic Women’s Organization) as we pray together across the entire world.

 

May Our Lady of Good Counsel be with us in all our endeavors.

 

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