Greetings from Provincial President Thursday, May 23 2013 

Greetings CWL members and friends:

Welcome to the final edition of the provincial newsletter by the 2010-2012 provincial executive.  I would like to thank Rosa Lam, the outgoing provincial communications chairperson, for all the work she did these last two years on our newsletter.  You will notice that we have tried something new with this issue by posting it on our provincial website.  By doing this, we hope to reach more members and also help the environment by printing less copies.  This issue contains the oral reports given by the provincial executive and the diocesan and single council presidents at the 2013 provincial convention.  Take a few minutes to read them over to get an idea of what the CWL in Quebec has been doing the last few months.

We started our new League theme “We Have Seen the Lord” in January and I look forward to hearing how our Quebec councils will incorporate this theme in their activities in the next two years.  “Catch  Fire” is also going strong in the province and, if you haven’t experienced it yet, mark your calendar for either September 14th (Two Mountains) or October 19th (Montreal) if you want to attend a session.

Regina is the site of our national convention this August and I will be attending as a “regular” member this year and will be cheering loudly as our new Quebec provincial president, Suzanne Wiseman, gives her report and represents us at the meetings.  She will be great!

Thank you to everyone for your prayers and support these past two years.  It has been an honour serving the CWL as Quebec provincial president.  Have a wonderful summer!

Janet McLean, Quebec Provincial President

22nd May 2013


Words from the Provincial Communications Chairperson Thursday, May 23 2013 

Word from the Communications Chairperson.


During these past two years, 6 issues of “Communicating with League” were published. In the process of doing this function, I acquired some editing skills and, above all, I perfected my nagging skills.

It felt good to receive thanks from some members, it meant that they read and liked it.

To print the newsletter the Provincial Council had to spend a bit of money. Unfortunately, we feel that the newsletter was not being read in some councils, and for this reason, it was not worth the expense and effort to continue publishing it. This brought us to the decision to print very few copies of the newsletter this time and create an Internet Blog for the news and reports from parishes, dioceses and the provincial executive. It will be up to the new Communications Chairperson to continue the upkeep of the Blog.  Thank you to Ingrid for initiating me into the blogging world.

I prepared a CD with all the issues of the newsletter as well as a document of how to log into the Blog. We also have a Twitter account that we hope will be followed by all of you.

I really enjoyed doing “Communicating with League”. I felt connected to all the Single Councils, Diocesan presidents and all the Provincial executives. Sorry to have nagged you so much, but the job had to be done.

Thank you for all your support and for making possible the publication of “Communicating with League” newsletter.


Rosa Lam

Communications Chairperson


Quebec Provincial President Oral Report Thursday, May 23 2013 

Quebec Provincial President’s Report

My last five months as Quebec president have been busy, uplifting and fun.  As one of the Quebec presenters for the national leadership workshop “Catch the Fire” I took part in the three training sessions held this winter in Montreal, Huntingdon and Chateauguay.  My League knowledge has been increased by leading these sessions and I would like to thank my co-presenters, Ingrid Lefort, Suzanne Wiseman, Diane Lemay, Dorothy Guha, Linda Chisholm and Beverley Baxter for their dedication and hard work.   We will continue with our presentations in the fall.

I attended my last national mid-term meeting at the beginning of March.  Many important issues are discussed, decisions are made and information is shared at these meetings.  Parish presidents and chairpersons – when you receive information from your national counterparts, please make sure you pass it on to your members.  We have a very dedicated national executive who work hard to promote our League objectives through programmes, suggestions and materials for the use and enrichment of all CWL members.  My two years as part of the national executive were very enriching for me personally as I learned much about the League from the wonderful ladies (and Bishop Currie) with whom I served.  When you are asked to be a part of the executive in your parish council, ask our Lady of Good Counsel for guidance, and say “Yes”.  There will be work involved, jobs to do and reports to write but the rewards and friendships (and even the difficulties and frustrations) are life-changing.

Together with three other members, I took part in a meeting which provincial resolutions chair, Ethel, had for the preparation of a resolution regarding the Quebec government’s proposed “Physician Assisted Suicide” bill.  I also worked with communications chair, Rosa, and spiritual development chair, Ingrid on setting up our new provincial website.

During the past year, members of the provincial executive have kept us abreast of different subjects of concern to all CWL members, including Quebec’s Bill 14, the human trafficking situation and the euthanasia and assisted suicide proposals.  Keeping informed and being able to act on issues like this is one of the great advantages of CWL membership because we can obtain facts from a catholic perspective about secular issues which affect us all.

These last few months, I have worked closely with the CWL members in the diocese of Quebec for the planning of this convention.  I have enjoyed getting to know these ladies better and I am impressed by all they do.  The Quebec diocesan council will be disbanded in June so the presidents of the two parish councils in the diocese of Quebec, St. Patrick’s and St. Joseph’s, will be joining us at the provincial table in the fall.  I guess St. Joseph and St. Patrick are favorite saints of Quebec Catholics as we already have two councils with the same names on the provincial executive (although I believe that St. Patrick’s Church in Quebec City was actually named after the first pastor, Patrick McMahon)!

Our new national theme, We Have Seen the Lord, is an opportunity for us to strengthen, share and practice our faith, both spiritually and temporally, and I can think of no better way to do this than journeying together with you as a member of The Catholic Women’s League of Canada.  May Our Lady of Good Counsel bless us all.

Janet McLean, Quebec Provincial President

Organization Oral Report Thursday, May 23 2013 





This has been a year filled with FIRE!  The preparation and presentation of several CATCH THE FIRE workshops has been the focus of this year.  I have felt the excitement of those attending and feel confident that CWL in Quebec will take a new turn.  A few workshops have already been scheduled for the fall. Our objective is that as many members as possible experience CATCH THE FIRE.

In 2012 we had a decrease of 113 members. This can be explained in part with the closing of one council of which several of its members for various reasons did not to transfer their membership to another council. We need to get back to our roots, learn more about our organization and not be afraid to embrace the future.  I like to think that enjoyment in life is a key factor to any personal growth.  Renewing our education in The Catholic Women’s League can help us better appreciate our organization and hopefully attract new members.  Everyday news constantly reminds us that we live in a very secular world.  For me, belonging to the CWL encourages me to live my Faith a little better but mostly it brings me a sense of inner peace and gratitude knowing that I can always count on support from my sisters in League .

I thank all the organization chairpersons for their annual reports.  As I read each one I can say that I HAVE SEEN THE LORD. You have accomplished so many good things for our brothers and sisters.  Incredible!

I would like to challenge all CWL member of this BelleProvince to take time to rediscover each woman in her council and to reach out to those that did not renew. This might teach us how to keep our FIRE BURNING.

In closing, I should mention that these two years have been a wonderful learning experience.  I have increased my skills on the computer and I thank all of you for your generous support.

Suzanne Wiseman

Organization Chairperson

Christian Family Life Oral Report Thursday, May 23 2013 

Christian Family Life

Our National Christian Family Life Chairperson wrote a beautiful article in our spring Canadian League magazine on “Today I saw Jesus” in keeping with our national theme “ We have seen the Lord”.   I began to think about where or when I have seen Jesus lately in my life.  When I take the metro for my yoga class I often see a fellow who has only one arm.  He is a bit unkempt and often shouts out to get people’s attention.  I did stop and give him a loonie and he gave me a big smile and a merci.   This week I took my two year old grandson to the park and he was delighted to name all the sand toys that he piled into his wagon and he insisted on pulling the wagon himself.  When we got home I could feel the delight in his eyes as he pointed out all the things he knew when I read him the story of the Gingerbread Cookie.  I realize that I see Jesus everyday but often do not take the time to realize it and thank Him.

Our new Pope Francis will be attending World Youth Days in Rio de Janeiro from July 22nd to July 28th.  The Pope will meet slum-dwellers and powerful politicians, pay homage at the Marian Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida, Brazil. The largest part of his time will be devoted to World Youth Day events.  We can all pray for the success of his mission with our young people.

On the 4th Sunday of Easter we marked the 50th World Day of Prayer for vocations.  The Second Vatican Council teaches us that through baptism all Christians are called to holiness by God who calls us to a specific vocation.  Vocation is a gift of God to all the baptized who are invited to respond.  We all have a unique role in building up God’s Church and God’s reign on earth.

In June, Mater Care International will begin operating the maternity hospital in Isiolo, Kenya which will provide the safe delivery of 1,500 pregnancies each year.  Any financial support we can send Dr. Wally to maintain this hospital would be much appreciated.

On May 9th three of us from my council wearing our CWL scarves attended the National March for Life in Ottawa.  We joined a group of Diocesan ladies from Ottawa who proudly held a Catholic Women’s League of Canada banner.  On Parliament Hill MP’s Stephen Woodsworth and Mark Warawa flanked by 19 other Tory MP’s spoke briefly but forcefully in support of pro-life.  Archbishops Terry Prendergast of Ottawa and Christian Lepine of Montreal presided and gave the homily at the Pro-Life Mass in Notre Dame Cathedral.  We were so pleased to see so many young people at the Mass and in the March standing up for the rights of the unborn.

On May 11th along with Ethel Gravelle, Quebec Provincial Chairperson of Resolutions & Legislation, I attended a symposium on how to better understand why it is important to oppose the legalization of euthanasia.  The talks were given by the Physicians’ Alliance for Total Refusal of Euthanasia.  All the presentations mostly in French helped to build awareness around the risks inherent in legalizing physician-assisted death.  Dr. Balfour Mount who pioneered palliative care at the Royal Victoria Hospital 40 years ago said the debate is misunderstood and the public needs reassurance.  He gave two examples from his practice on how he was able by asking questions and by taking the time to extract the nature of the suffering patient.  In one case the gentleman broke down and admitted he only wanted to be euthanized because he didn’t want to be a burden on his family. At the end of his presentation, Dr. Mount received a standing ovation.  He is truly a man with great compassion for the sick and vulnerable.

Please email, write or call your member of the National Assembly and be pro-active in talking to your family, friends and neighbors that legalizing euthanasia will be a colossal and dangerous mistake.

This concludes my report,

Patricia Hannan

Quebec Provincial Christian Family Life Chairpers

Spiritual Development Oral Report Thursday, May 23 2013 

These past two years have been a wonderful time for me. I have come to appreciate the importance of teamwork as part of the provincial council. We have had quite the year as church! So many important things have happened: the 50th anniversary of Vatican II, the year of Faith and a new Pope. Within the League we have also had a new workshop, though it was built on parts of past workshops, it truly innovates in its way of weaving prayer, sharing and education seamlessly throughout the experience. Spiritual development can be a somewhat easy committee to chair for a few reasons: we can rely on such a rich tradition- the Bible, our Mass and liturgical year, our own League prayers; we also have a Spiritual Advisor who carries the same spiritual concerns for the League and who can act as a guide for all.

What then is challenging for us? There are two things, in my experience. The first is to not cut out the prayer or rush it because we have too much work to get done or many other excuses. In all honesty it has happened to me on occasion, though I try to be more aware of this and avoid doing so. Second, and maybe this is my Girl Guide training shining forth, is to be ready (or be prepared as we would say).  Always be ready to offer a prayerful suggestion: unexpected difficulties, mourning, loss, joy, thanksgiving- any and all of these situations invite us to turn to God and share what we are going through, as a council, as a parish, as a team. What if Father is delayed and cannot be at the meeting, what if you had an elaborate prayer prepared and the photocopier stopped working. ..

Be ready to take on your role, in the most simple manner- a moment of silence, the League prayer, said by all, said by one for us all, said by someone else if you have a headache. We have seen the Lord, we know He is present amongst, waiting to guide us. What a wonderful role to be able to remind others, and ourselves, of God’s love. And what happens if we forget to say our prayer as a group? Then you can say it in your head, with a sense of peace. I must admit that the other chairs address many of the problems in our society as well as defending the ideals and values we share. We are all women of prayer, let us carry these joys and burdens together. I wish to thank each league member I have met this year, no matter where and what circumstances. You have helped me to love God more and to see his Face in each of you.

Ingrid LeFort

Spiritual Development

Education and Health Oral Report Thursday, May 23 2013 

Helping the poorest farmers in Mali who are struggling for food security; progressive community development work with the Métis women of British Columbia; helping the rural poor of Ethiopia to build a healthy, safe, and economically strong future for themselves –  These are only a few examples of how the Coady Institute has equipped leaders to address challenges, discover opportunities, and create sustainable development at the community level not only in developing countries, but also here in Canada. No wonder our National Chairperson of Education and Health, Peggy Roche, dedicated her latest communiqué to the Coady International Institute, which is one of the agencies that receive donations from our members through National Voluntary Remittance. She is pleased to report that in 2012 a donation of over $30,000 was received from the CWL’s National Voluntary Fund.  By choosing to support this program, we members are making a difference in many lives worldwide. She suggested for us, members to contact the Coady International Institute if we wish to apply for scholarships that they are offering.

The Catholic Parents Association of Quebec APCQ ( is an organization that began in the in the 1960’s. It aims to defend the rights of Catholic families by staying informed and putting pressure on the government by gathering and speaking up on topics such as religion in schools. They are also sometimes contacted by the media for a Catholic viewpoint. They have a newspaper “Famille Quebec” and will be hosting a “congress for the family” in the fall. Please support our members who are active in this organization to ensure that our children benefit from the Catholic education that we wish for them.

There is only one more week left to apply for the National Bursary fund if you are interested in pursuing studies in adult faith formation and/or youth ministry and need financial assistance, as the deadline is May 31st.

Finally, if you can spare 4 hours this summer, contact your local CLSC and find out where they can direct you to a course on Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Not only will you be equipped if ever the need arises, but you will also learn about how to better manage your health.

Beloved, I hope you are prospering in every respect and are in good health, just as your soul is prospering. 3 John 1:2


Respectfully submitted:

Elvie Parayno

Education & Health

Past President Oral Report Thursday, May 23 2013 

Oral Report – Provincial Convention 2013

Diane Lemay Past President

When I allowed my name to stand for the position of President-Elect, some wise person said to me, “You know Diane that’s a six year commitment on your part”.  And I remember thinking to myself, Oh, six years what I have got myself into.  But now I find myself at the end of those six years and looking back I wonder where the time has gone.  As the saying goes, “Time flies when you are having fun”.  And yes it has been fun.  Lots of laughs along the way, serious moments, challenges to be met and conquered and the making of new friends.  I am reminded of the Dr Zeus book “Oh the places you’ll go and the things you’ll see” and I would add “as a member of the Catholic Women’s League.

One of the duties of the past president is the upkeep of the council archives.  Now I will be honest with you and tell you that this item on the job description was one of my challenges.  The Holy Spirit gifted me with many talents but unfortunately archiving is not one of them.  But one of the things that I did do was going through the photo albums and putting more photos into albums.  It was a trip down memory lane.  The motto on our licence plates “Je me souviens” popped up several times as I travelled the lane and looked at the faces of women who came before me and had made that final trip in life to be with the Lord.  As I looked at their faces I said to myself, yes, I have seen the Lord.  I have brought some of the albums to convention and they are on display so you can enjoy a trip down memory lane.

One of the challenges we face in our province is getting members to take on positions at the executive level.  As past presidents we should be encouraging members to take on leadership roles.  As past presidents we very often recognize potential in a member who might not have the confidence to take on a position.  Sometimes all it takes is some encouragement, telling them that “yes, you can do it; I have confidence in your ability to get the job done”.  Follow up by acting as a mentor, ready and willing to offer advice when asked.  I wouldn’t be here today, if someone had not said to me, you can do this Diane I have confidence in your abilities.

One of the ways that we can help build confidence in our members is through leadership training.  Our new workshop “Catch the Fire” is an excellent way of helping members gain confidence through knowledge.  If you haven’t been to a workshop yet, I urge to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity.  We have a very enthusiastic team ready to provide you with a “spark” to light that fire.


Resolutions and Legislation Oral Report Thursday, May 23 2013 

Resolutions and Legislation

Oral Report

Many thanks to the Chairpersons of Resolutions and Legislation for the wonderful reports.  Thank you also to the Council Presidents who reported on behalf of their council. Councils worked hard this year on past resolutions as well as monitoring legislation

Since January two communiques were sent. People were asked to write letters To Dr.Rejean Hebert,  minister of Health and Social Services. I am happy to report that letters were sent on this topic.

It is a good idea to establish a relationship with your local member of parliament no matter what the political persuasion . Visit the riding office and make yourself known and your views on pertenant topics Send your member of the National Assembly e-mails and write letters to aquaint them with your views . They like to hear from you.

We have seen the Lord working through our Health Care Workers and Doctors who are taking a stand against Physician-Assisted Suicide. With God’s help and our prayers, we hope that the proposed legislation will be defeated.

Keep up the good work to support the most vulnerable in society. Take the bold step next January and take on Resolutions and Legislation.  You will find it very rewarding.

This concludes my report.

Ethel Gravelle

Life Members Liaison Oral Report Thursday, May 23 2013 

Quebec Provincial Life Member Liaison Annual Oral Report

Provincial Convention

May 24-26, 2013

Madam President,

Thank you, Janet, for asking me to be our Provincial Liaison.  It has been a pleasure and a humbling experience.

Being a Life Member in Quebec is taken quite seriously and we feel very proud to be one.  Most importantly is the sharing, caring and mentoring of our Quebec members.   We also bond with our sisters across Canada with everyday concerns in our personal lives.  We are there for each other! And if that is not enough, when I asked the question, besides your service to the League, what else are you doing, their response was unbelievable.  I really needed a private secretary to take notes, just kidding, but if you have read my annual written report you will understand why I joke about this.  Busy, busy ladies!

Some of our Life Members were celebrated this year.  In January, Frances was given a plaque celebrating her 70 years as a member.  Marie-Lucie received the Queen’s Jubilee Medal.   Two couples will celebrate their wedding anniversaries.  Yolande and Vic will be celebrating 60 years of marriage very shortly and Lorette and Christopher will celebrate 50 years of marriage in September.  And as many of you know by now Maureen celebrated her 70th birthday yesterday.  Oops, was that a secret, Maureen?

Shirley, one of our Life Members from Montreal moved to Ottawa.  While, we were sad to hear the news, we were very happy for her to be near her family and grandchildren.  May you be blessed with health and happiness!

The Provincial Executive approved a motion to treat the Quebec Life Members to their Life Member luncheon at this convention, again this year. This is the second year!  We appreciate this kind gesture and on behalf of all of us, I would like to thank you for thinking of us.

I want you to know that Life Members are at your call, we are here for you.  We have experience and knowledge of the League and would be glad to share it with you.  You are never to feel alone!

I wish you all the best. Have a great convention!

Ellen Peterkin

Provincial Life Member Liaison

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