2007 Annual Report – Christian Family Life

2007 Annual Report of 
National Chairperson of Christian Family Life
Ann Doucet

Sub-committee chairpersons
Glenda Klein – marriage and family
Margaret Beardon – sanctity of life
Mary Pilgrim – ministry to youth

Following are activities undertaken by councils and/or members in all areas of Christian family life.

Marriage and family
•  provided: engaged and marriage encounter weekends, marriage preparation courses, educational programs and prepared pamphlets on How to Make Your Marriage Better, gifts and welcoming pamphlets for couples celebrating their baby’s baptism •  arranged for speakers on related topics and held workshops •  encouraged spiritual advisors and parish priests to speak more often on the value of marriage and family •  celebrated National Family Week, special masses and liturgical celebrations for married couples, Mother’s Day, Family Day, special anniversaries and sacramental celebrations •  attended the annual meeting of Catholic Family Services •  donated to Catholic Family Services and Moms Who Care •  supported families in developing countries and refugee families through fundraisers •  educated members on natural family planning methods •  presented new brides with a Christmas ornament and complimentary one-year membership and crucifixes to grooms •  designated a family of the month to carry gifts for offertory at Sunday masses •  undertook letter writing, made telephone calls and sent petitions to different levels of government protesting the redefinition of marriage

Sanctity of life
•  supported Birthright International, Project Rachel, League for Life, Kara Program and Campaign Life Coalition •  participated in the Walk and Hike for Life, Life Chain, Rosary for Life, Good Friday vigils, Anchor of Hope Fund, Celebrate Life Week, Prayer Days for Life, candlelight vigils, mass for pro-life, and 57 hours of prayer and a vigil held to protest abortions of 57 babies in one hospital •  offered educational support on issues such as euthanasia, abortion and end of life care and distributed brochures •  attended conferences dealing with stem cell research and all pro-life matters •  wrote letters, made telephone calls and signed petitions to members of parliament and members of legislative assemblies on issues related to the sanctity of life including a petition against human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine for young girls •  sent letters to the Canadian Medical Association thanking it for upholding the rights of physicians to not refer patients for abortions •  held special memorial services for families who experienced the death of a child; placed crosses and flowers in an open field reminding people of how many abortions per day in Canada were carried out; and, held a memorial service on Mother’s Day to remember and honour all unborn children who died •  protested the move to nominate Dr. Henry Morgentaler to the Order of Canada •  learned that date rape drugs leave the body system within four hours and thus immediate medical attention is required to collect evidence leading to a criminal conviction

Ministry to youth
•  took part in a Love One Another project with gift boxes and knitted items •  supported World Youth Day •  assisted with annual bible camps •  supported Catholic Girls’ League, National Evangelization Team Ministries, Steubenville conferences, Camp Trillium, Face to Face youth retreat, Rock the Mount Pilgrimage, Circle Square Ranch, Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Faith Alive camps, and a group going to the Dominican Republic •  taught youth both Christian and family morals through video, song and games •  donated to John Paul II Bible School , Newman Theological College, Missoula Children’s Theatre and youth groups •  presented awards for Exemplification of Christian Values, Merit and Future Service and Family Living Award •  provided interfaith programs for youth

Highlights •  One council held a fundraiser project called Hope for African Children Initiative? to build a school in Malawi. •  One council presented the video Anita’s Africa to a school. •  One council provided financial support for a project in New Orleans.

Ministry to disabled
•  welcomed disabled people at all activities and encouraged them to take part in liturgical celebrations •  supported mobility mass and L’Arche Canada •  assisted a disabled person living on her own •  visited disabled people confined to their homes or the hospital •  did light housekeeping when needed •  provided transportation to mass, medical appointments, shopping, hair appointments or go out for coffee •  made donations for prosthetics and aids

Highlights •  One council supported quality of life through attendance at a Famous People Players performance. •  One council sent a person in a power chair to a computer workshop.

Ministry to seniors
•  encouraged participation of the elderly in prayer services, assisted with mass at residential seniors’ complexes, visited seniors’ homes for social hour and brought home baking, and took Holy Communion to sick and shut-ins, and crowning of Mary at long-term care home •  provided transportation to Sunday mass, a hot turkey dinner in December, a St. Patrick’s Day dinner to a Catholic drop-in centre, financial assistance to nursing homes and councils and included the elderly in supper meetings twice a year •  made prayer shawls •  organized bingo at seniors’ homes and celebrated special days with cards and refreshments •  held an elder-care workshop, and attended a workshop on Seniors  Recognizing Financial Abuse and Fraud?

Highlight •  One council received a government grant and set up a link with a seniors’ committee that organized and promoted senior learning, guest information days, access to health care professionals and taxation specialists, luncheons, elementary school involvement and bus tours.

Ministry to widowed
•  supported the widowed in the form of masses, sympathy cards and gifts, and remembered deceased at an annual memorial service •  encouraged attendance at monthly meetings and offered free memberships •  assisted families with liturgy arrangements •  connected the newly-widowed with others for support

Ministry to separated and divorced
•  supported, listened, welcomed and invited members to participate in group activities •  offered babysitting to single parents so they could join groups or go on outings •  met on a regular basis with women struggling with depression, divorce, widowed or illness

Highlight •  A ?Day Away? program was held to offer support and friendship including telephone calls and visits.

Vocations
•  offered the Prayer for Vocations, spiritual bouquets and novenas at mass and meetings •  had children participate in the liturgical celebrations •  held annual clergy appreciation and anniversary dinners •  donated to the priests’ pension fund, Bishops’ Education Fund and Seminarian Fund •  purchased items for discernment and seminary houses •  adopted seminarians and novitiates and assisted financially •  promoted Education of a Priest, Daisy and Faith First programs •  held an altar servers’ awards night •  attended Priests for Life Symposium and an ordination to the Transitional Deaconate

Highlights •  The project A Pilgrimage of Prayer to promote vocations to the priesthood and religious life was initiated as well as involvement in the Great Bible Read program. •  One council enrolled a young woman who entered the convent in the League enabling her to receive The Canadian League. •  One council assisted with Swing and Prayer golf tournament.

Recommended actions by provincial chairpersons 
•  Consider what more can be done for widowed, separated, divorced and single people.
•  Continue to develop the Catholic Girls’ League and support newly formed youth groups.
•  Support new projects to encourage vocations.
•  Become more aware of euthanasia and assisted suicide as important issues of sanctity of life.
•  Provide more programs for seniors and be more aware of abuse to seniors.

Activities undertaken by national chairperson and sub-committee chairpersons: 
•  compiled and sent three communiqués
•  prepared and submitted the following articles for The Canadian League: •  Ministry to the Vulnerable•  Respecting God’s Gift of Life •  Catholic Girls’ League Pilot Project •  Parish Council Action Suggestions for 2007/08 Year
•  attended conferences and submitted reports Theology of the Body: A National Symposium, Towards a New Sexual Revolution, From Sea to Sea For Life First International Symposium on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide
•  chaired the Code of Conduct ad hoc committee