Catholic Women's League of Saskatchewan

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St. Joseph's CWL, Moose Jaw - 100th Anniversary Celebrations!

  Story and photos submitted by Rosalie Boots, Council President

July 2022


Praise and Thanksgiving to God that our Council was able to celebrate our 100th Anniversary in meaningful and joy-filled ways.


Prior to 1922, the women of St. Joseph’s Parish organized as the “Altar Society” to serve our parish and community. On June 18, 1920, the Catholic Women’s League of Canada was created. Two years later, to the day, on June 18, 1922, the Altar Society of St. Joseph’s Parish was disbanded, and in its place, a subdivision of the Catholic Women’s League of Canada was established. Annual membership fees were set at 50 cents per year for each of the 54 founding members. And so it is that we celebrated 100 years of St. Joseph’s Catholic Women’s League of Canada.

Tea is served to a CWL member and a Catholic Girl's League member at the Vintage Fashion Show and Tea.

  Vintage Fashion Show and Tea

  The Fashion Show and Tea on June 11th was a resounding
  success. Thank you to Janie Fries for suggesting the idea and
  spearheading the project Thank you so much to the committee who
  had been planning and working for months.


  Over 60 items were on display, including wedding dresses,
  Baptismal gowns, and First Communion dresses from the past,
  ranging from 1896 to 2006. A booklet was compiled which included
  a short description of each item and a glimpse into the event itself.
  Eight wedding dresses representing the decades from the 1930s to
  2006 were modelled by live models, accompanied by a narrative
  describing the changing trends in weddings, wedding practices in
  the Catholic church, and changes in St Joseph Parish since 1922.




A dress from the year 2006 is modeled, with vintage dresses in the background.

A delicious tea of sandwiches and dainties, as well as pots of tea, was served to all participants. Live music, by Duncan Blackwell, a local cellist, was enjoyed prior to and during the tea. The afternoon was capped off with an amazing performance of a Charleston Dance by member, Marlene Jerred.


147 tickets were sold at $20 apiece, during two seatings. Covid protocols addressed included only setting 12 tables per seating,
with six persons per table, with exceptions of larger groups within
the same family.


The committee wish to thank all CWL members who loaned items
for the exhibits and fashion show, and shared the stories that accompanied those items.



A CWL member, Loretta Mayall, stands beside a model wearing Loretta's wedding dress.
Connie Crichton, Saskatchewan Provincial President, presents a certificate to Past President, Joan Murphy, recognizing the council's 100th Anniversary.


Anniversary Mass

CWL members, Catholic Girl's League members, Clergy, and Diocesan and Provincial CWL representatives gather for a photo following the 100th Anniversary Mass.

The 100th Anniversary Mass at 5:00 pm on June 18th was meaningful and celebratory, with many members participating. Thank you to Fr. Yodel for his assistance in planning the Mass.
A huge thank you to Therese Lyons, Spiritual Development Chair, for coordinating the Mass. She put in a lot of effort including the lovely reserved pew markers. 


There were over 30 CWL and Girl’s League members participating in a special role, such as greeting, reading, offertory and choir. In particular, thank you Donna Appel as MC, Simone Deyotte as Music Director, and Cheryl Thul for making it a special celebration. Included in the offertory procession were items representing the work of our Council, such as a CWL apron, a Girl’s League Scarf, and the stain glass artwork of Our Lady of Good Counsel commissioned for our anniversary. The stained glass artwork was installed in the South entrance at the end of Mass. Together CWL members and parishioners were able to reflect on and thank God for the blessings of the last 100 years. Chantal Devine, representing the Provincial CWL Council, Janette Rieger, representing the Regina Diocesan CWL Council,
Warren Michelson representing St. Joseph’s Parish Council and Al Rossler representing Fr. Lawless Knights of Columbus brought greetings. 


Our 100th Anniversary was recognized by our National, Provincial and Diocesan Councils with certificates.  A 100th Anniversary Certificate signed by the National CWL president was presented by Janette Rieger, Diocesan President, at the Mass.   A certificate from the Provincial Council was presented by Connie Crichton, Provincial President, at the Fashion Show.  Also, St. John the Evangelist Council from Marquis presented a plaque following the Fashion Show. The thoughtfulness of these Councils is appreciated.  


CWL members install a stained glass artwork of Our Lady of Good Counsel, commissioned for the council's 100th anniversary.
Janette Rieger, Regina Diocesan President, presents a certificate to Council president, Rosalie Boots at the 100th Anniversary Mass.



Velma Harasen receives 2021 Saskatchewan Volunteer Medal

June 15, 2022




Cudos to our own Velma Harasen, Honorary Life Member, who, along with 8 other SK residents, recently received the 2021 Saskatchewan Volunteer Medal for her extensive community involvement.  The presentations took place at Government House on April 26th, 2022.  The date coincided with the feast day of Our Lady of Good Counsel which was fitting for Velma since much of her service work has been within the Catholic Women’s League of Canada. 


As reported in the Leader Post, “Velma has served as a local council president, provincial president and national president of the Catholic Women’s League as well as the North American vice-president of the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organizations.  She has volunteered with the Regina Symphony Orchestra, Santa Maria Senior’s Home, Canadian Club, the Saskatchewan Roughriders, and organizations dedicated to palliative care, women’s shelters, and refugee settlement.”      


We are very proud of Velma’s accomplishments and congratulate her on this very deserving award.