2007 Annual Report – Community Life

2007 Annual Report of 
National Chairperson of Community Life
Dr. Rayleen De Luca

Sub-committee chairpersons
Pat Battensby – dignity and rights of persons
Diane Curley – refugees, immigration and citizenship
Mary Ryan – Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace

Annual reports were truly awesome! They strikingly demonstrated the theme Love One Another. Commitment and dedication were clearly evident in members’ good works “For God and Canada.”

Dignity and rights of persons
In support of dignity and rights of persons, members and/or councils:
•  supported and assisted many charitable causes including children’s drop-in centres, hospital gift shops, blood donor clinics, Meals on Wheels, Alpha House, Osborne House, bereavement clinics, women’s support groups, clothing drives and depots, Catholic family bureaus, shut-in delivery services, personal care homes, charity thrift shops, marathons, long-term care facilities, hospices, correction facilities, addiction centres, educational needs, lunch programs in the schools, bursaries and mental health centres •  provided support for programs addressing families in crisis, second stage housing, transitional housing, and domestic violence, donated necessary items to women’s shelters to help women through the first days, and supported centres for individuals who had experienced physical and/or sexual abuse •  served on boards of charitable organizations •  focused on trafficking of women and children through workshops, plays, videos, educational presentations, action planning and letter writing to members of parliament •  protested through post card and letter writing campaign to members of parliament the legalization of prostitution at the 2010 Olympics in British Columbia •  supported Child Find, Grace Haven, Villa Rosa Endowment Fund, public safety, crime prevention, residential school payments as well as women’s rights and family support programs •  educated members about the debilitating effects of bullying •  volunteered at personal care homes and conducted prayer services, personal visits, and birthday parties and provided entertainment •  participated in groups on the prevention of cruelty to seniors and conducted programs focusing on the rights of seniors •  sent The Catholic Digest subscriptions to the Correctional Centre for Women in Clarenville •  resolutions that continued to be studied and acted upon included 2007.01 Government Funding for Police Records Checks, 2006.03 Increase Old Age Security, 2005.03 Protection of Farmers’ Right to Save Seeds,  2004.05 End Trafficking of Children and 2004.06 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention.

Social and economic justice
In support of social and economic justice, members and/or councils:
•  attended conferences and meetings •  supported food banks, soup kitchens, community breakfasts, KAIROS and fair trade coffee and cocoa •  volunteered and supported the blind and visually impaired •  invited a police officer to speak at a meeting on safety in the home and how seniors should protect themselves •  visited new families in the community and held Hospitality Sunday •  assisted in establishing an office for the Council of Disabled and hiring personnel as an advocate •  distributed World Aids Day information •  supported the Green Ribbon of Hope Campaign •  participated in letter writing and lobbying the federal government to improve living conditions for the poor, ensure access to clean water, and protect enlargement of landfill sites •  studied and acted upon Resolution 2004.02 Children Living in Poverty

Refugees, immigration and citizenship
In support of refugees, immigration and citizenship, members and/or councils:
•  wore red on Fridays in support of the military •  assisted members with immigration, refugee or citizenship issues such as reunification of families, credentials and accreditation •  welcomed new immigrants with receptions and citizenship ceremonies •  supported the Refugee Bag Program •  wrote letters to government regarding fair treatment of refugees •  supported families morally and financially and from being deported •  supported refugee families with monetary donations as well as household items •  participated in Remembrance Day ceremonies, parades and laying of wreaths •  billeted foreign students •  organized and participated in Citizenship Day •  arranged for masses for immigrant workers •  studied and acted upon Resolution 2005.05 Appeal Provision for Refused Refugee Claimants

Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP)
CCODP continued to be strongly supported in all provincial councils. In support of CCODP, members and/or councils:
•  served on boards and committees and attended monthly meetings and workshops •  collected postage stamps •  supported the 1% Program •  supported Share Lent and Solidarity Sunday •  sent Water: Life Before Profit! postcards to the prime minister •  participated in education programs on water privatization issues •  sent postcards on mining issues to members of parliament •  supported International Water Day •  acted and studied upon Resolution 2005.06 Developing Countries and Water and Resolution 2007.02 Global Accountability for Canadian Registered Mining Companies

Developing countries
Working toward eliminating poverty one child at a time, parish councils, as well as individual members, adopted children. A number of councils encouraged the whole parish to adopt children from developing countries. Many children have benefited from the action of members which included:
•  supporting Canadian Food for Children, Save the Children Fund, Christian Child Care, Habitat for Humanity, Child Care International, Save A Family Plan, Bundles of Joy, CARE, Plan Canada (formerly Foster Parents’ Plan) and many more •  supporting Operation Eyesight •  providing assistance to victims of the storms in Haiti, Bangladesh and Mexico •  inviting speakers to speak on water shortage in West Africa and the deaths caused by water borne illness and disease •  knitting comfort dolls for International Community for the Relief of Starvation and Suffering •  conducting information sessions on the economic difficulties, social injustices and violation of human rights in developing countries •  supporting Doctors Without Borders and many missions

Support for Amnesty International was discouraged in light of its support of abortion and a woman’s right to choose.

Activities undertaken by national chairperson

The following articles were submittedfor The Canadian League: Daughter, Sisters, Mothers, Grandmothers Helping Daughters, Sisters, Mothers and Grandmothers; Aboriginal Issues in Light of Dignity of Rights and Persons; What About the Children?; and Support the Troops.

Six communiqués, as well as parish mailings, were sent, and regular contact was maintained with the provincial chairpersons. Representation was made at meetings with the federal ministers and members of parliament, the National Forum on Seed, the Human Rights and Social Justice Conference, and the Conference on Human Trafficking. The national chairperson was honoured to have been a guest speaker at a number of events, including serving as keynote speaker at an International Women’s Day event, and conducted workshops on community life.