2012 Annual Report – Education and Health

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2012 Annual Reports
Education and Health
Peggy Roche

The provincial annual reports reflected the dedication and proactive approach taken by members as they dealt with the myriad of issues that relate to education and health. I have seen the Lord in members, their works and the way they serve others so freely. The standing committee of education and health has a complex and diverse mandate with many challenges in today’s multi-faith world but also much fulfillment and satisfaction.

Catholic education
Catholic schools and catechesis: Councils supported Catholic schools financially and through volunteer service. Many members evangelized to children through children’s liturgy programs in parishes as well as in home-based programs, especially in rural areas. Members promoted Christian ethics programs in high schools. A member from one of the dioceses coordinating the 100 Voices program, an early learning program for the Catholic school system, received an award from the prime minister for her work. One council gave a rosary and handout on praying the rosary to confirmation and first communion candidates.

Rites of Christian initiation: Members encouraged adults and children to prepare for baptism and confirmation and were active as leaders, sponsors, facilitators and prayer partners. Youth were introduced to the publication YOUCAT (Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church).

Literacy and continued education    
Some members attended postsecondary schools and/or took courses online in education, administration, business, management, fine arts, music, law and leadership training.

Scholarships and bursaries
Contributions were sent to Coady International Institute and to the National Bursary Fund as well as many other education and health organizations. Members were encouraged to apply for national bursaries. Recognition, monetary awards or gift certificates were given to young people who showed dedication and commitment by serving as catechists and youth leaders and students graduating from Grade 12 to help further their education.

Wellness and sickness/disease
Members utilized the media to research topics on health issues and invited health professionals to provide information. Pamphlets and information on various health risks and diseases were distributed to members. Awareness was raised on the value of nutritional food and the dangers of products that contain Bisphenol-A or Triclosan, proper food storage and food preparation hygiene. Information was shared on cancer, postpartum depression, the importance of exercise and good nutrition, heart health issues for women and vaccines. Education sessions were sponsored by councils on the need for organ donations and a national registry to expedite successful transplants. Members volunteered with various health organizations to raise funds and to create awareness, and sat on hospital committees and boards of directors. Others were active in hospital auxilliaries, assisting in the purchase of necessary medical and exercise equipment or furnishing palliative care rooms. Some councils donated money for defibrillators for use in parish halls and churches. Councils worked together on a year-long Toonies for Teeth project to fund dental care for those in need. Donations were also made to MaterCare International. A council used an excerpt from the television program the “Rick Mercer Report” on asbestos mining and featured a speaker on the topic. Study was undertaken of federal Motion 408 “That the House condemn discrimination against females occurring through sex-selective pregnancy termination.”

Councils discussed the implications of the Kyoto Protocol, the potential impacts and ramifications of natural gas hydraulic fracturing and the proposed closure of the Experimental Lakes Area project. Members promoted the use of green products at home and in parishes and discouraged the use of Styrofoam cups. They helped with roadside clean-up and were involved with recycling, waste water management and water conservation programs. Councils raised awareness on environmental issues through a workshop on the sacredness of the earth and what individuals could do to respect their environment.

Members wrote to government against the genetic enhancement of seeds and livestock. They monitored research being done on human embryos and the status of DNA manipulation.

Activities undertaken
The League was represented at the 9th Coady International Institute Gala Dinner, in Halifax, Nova Scotia and information on the institute was disseminated to members. An article, “To Save A Life” on cardiopulmonary resuscitation training for members was published in The Canadian League. Communiqués, memos and correspondence were issued and work was begun on policy changes for the National Bursary Fund.