2012 Annual Report – Organization

Print This Post Print This Post

2012 Annual Report
Barbara Dowding
National President-elect and Chairperson of Organization

National life member liaison: Glenda Klein

Reports were received from all provincial chairpersons of organization. Chairpersons of organization at all levels were committed to contributing to a healthy happy League. While they cited and experienced certain challenges, they remained optimistic and joyful in finding creative ways to invite and invest in members. One example of this was to encourage snowbirds to keep a position as they could be in touch through e-mail, Internet and Skype for the few months they were away.

Recruiting

Personal contact was noted in every annual report as the single most effective method for recruitment. Councils attracted new members in diverse and creative ways using time-tested activities like socials, breakfasts, teas and other forms of gathering to foster opportunities for personal contact. Having guest speakers and inviting all women of the parish was another way to gather and begin the conversation about membership. Successful membership drives resulted from having a supportive and knowledgeable pastor speak from the pulpit about the importance of the League to hosting a booth at the stewardship fair. Being visible and offering joyful hospitality presented opportunities for meeting women. One council prepared a PowerPoint presentation with photos of activities and a script for the membership drive; another offered first year membership to confirmation candidates. Other councils offered the first year free. Bring a friend was a popular theme as was Come and See. One parish council credited an increase in membership to enthusiastic members who were active in reaching out to new people and telling their story. Incentives differed as did the rewards with one provincial council presenting a special award to the parish council with the highest number of new members. One pastor wrote an article on the benefits of being a member for the front cover of the parish bulletin.

Retaining

Reports indicated the need to give members a reason to belong. Prayer partners, fellowship activities, birthday cards, home visits and providing transportation were reported as ways to enhance membership experience. New member kits ranked highly in all reports as a good way to help members understand the League and feel welcome. Providing agendas in advance of meetings, using a telephone tree to remind members of upcoming events, being willing to listen to concerns when contact was made and reaching out to members who had not renewed brought councils together. Members celebrated the installation of new executives. They focussed on projects that necessitated members working together and growing in sisterhood. Councils reported using e-mail and Internet to keep members informed. Many councils recognized elderly members by paying their membership fees.

Recognizing

Councils held special ceremonies for awarding years-of-service pins, certificates of merit and the Bellelle Guerin Award to deserving members. Some 732 awards were reported from just three provincial councils which suggested good things were happening. Statistics noted many 10 year members and a large number of members who have served over 60 years. One council reported seven mother-daughter member teams.

Leadership development

Opportunities were supported through the distribution of $17,273 to councils at all levels. Catch the Fire! was the single most reported activity under this heading. Councils reported excitement over preparations for presentations in all provinces. Several reported successful events such as Training the Trainer workshops which were held to prepare for the roll out of Catch the Fire! over the next two years. Provincial councils reported that early evaluations indicated enthusiasm for the program. Getting members to conventions at all levels was reported as another leadership tool, and many councils offered financial incentives and promoted the availability of funding for workshops and conventions. One diocesan council held successful mini-conventions within its region for enrichment and spiritual growth. Another introduced a new format for its fall meeting called, A Day of Learning which was received positively and could be used for future leadership training. In some areas members were encouraged to give talks on leadership, facilitate workshops and take lead roles for Catch the Fire! retreats, meetings and other events to nurture their own leadership skills.

 

Mentoring was established in many councils to engage new members and affirm those with experience. A Take That Seat workshop proved helpful to councils facing difficulties in attracting members to stand for election. One provincial council reported hosting a successful interactive workshop on standing committees at its annual convention.

Provincial and diocesan chairpersons of organization expressed gratitude for the opportunity to be facilitators for Catch the Fire! and were excited to carry the program forward. Their enthusiasm was contagious resulting in a renewed vigour in their efforts to ensure all Catholic women had an opportunity to experience the faith, fun and fulfillment the League has to offer. There was no doubt that fires were burning as women remembered why they became members in the first place. Their zeal transformed parish councils as they found ways to invigorate members, reach out to former members and invite and welcome new ones.

Annual reports

Provincial councils reported varying degrees of success in receiving annual reports. One council sent guidelines, deadlines and followed up with telephone calls. Reports confirmed those councils that kept a written report from meetings found writing the annual report refreshing and rewarding. Many reported holding a special meeting of the executive and using the minute book to compile the reports. One council held a workshop to assist councils with reporting and promoted the use of an annual calendar of events. The value of reports was recognized. Members took pride in what they accomplished. One chairperson promoted annual reporting as an exciting and integral part of the parish history, while another reminded members that annual reports contain a wealth of ideas and inspiration to be shared.

League resource material

Members indicated high satisfaction with resources available online and the ease of access to them. The digital version of the National Manual of Policy and Procedure was appreciated by members and used more often because of its currency. An integral part of Catch the Fire! workshops was the reference to and use of League resources displayed at the sessions. Leading the League continued to be the resource most often cited, followed closely by the handbooks for standing committee chairpersons and the Constitution & Bylaws.

Life membership

National Life Member Liason Glenda Klein reported that there were 15 honorary life members. Eight life members died and 13 new life members were approved bringing the total to 338 life members. Life members served as mentors for new executive members, assisted provincial councils with archives, served as parliamentarians and sat on subcommittees. In one provincial council the life member liaison reported at executive meetings. Life members were a vital part of Catch the Fire! Many regularly attended meetings and conventions, supported and educated members and participated in special celebrations. Life members were active on boards, volunteered in the community and were recognized for their work. Many were decorated with medals and other honours such as papal honours and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal attesting to the overall calibre of such women. Life members in one diocese instituted an annual arts and culture award.

These women were appreciated, valued and affirmed for their generosity and expertise. They were examples, mentors and role models who served and continued to serve the League whenever and wherever they were asked. Glenda established a new regular feature, the Monday Message. She included pertinent information for prayer requests and updates on changes in life member status making it another effective communication tool especially for those who were shut in as she offered words of encouragement and wisdom.

Membership Statistics for year ended December 31, 2012

Provincial CouncilJan.  1, 2012NewReinstatedDidn't RenewPaid MembershipsDeceasedDec. 31, 2012
Alberta Mackenzie

9,901

598

201

796

9,904

110

9,794

B.C. & Yukon

9,396

575

276

870

9,377

125

9,252

Manitoba

2,740

187

29

164

2,792

49

2,743

Military Ordinariate

300

42

6

34

314

1

313

New Brunswick

2,625

75

25

164

2,561

60

2,501

Newfoundland and Labrador

775

41

10

36

790

17

773

Nova Scotia

4,802

137

62

270

4,731

84

4,647

Ontario

51,345

2,479

1,312

4,018

51,118

631

50,487

Prince Edward Island

2,293

62

81

131

2,305

31

2,274

Quebec

1,127

67

5

154

1,045

15

1,030

Saskatchewan

7,549

229

65

373

7,470

133

7,337

TOTAL

92,853

4,492

2,072

7,010

92,407

1,256

91,151

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Council Statistics for the year ended December 31, 2012

Provincial Council

Jan. 1, 2012

New

Reactivated

Inactive

Amalgamated

Disbanded

Dec. 31, 2012

Alberta Mackenzie

163

1

1

163

B.C.& Yukon

134

1

2

133

Manitoba

48

1

49

Military Ordinariate

14

14

New Brunswick

53

1

52

Newfoundland and Labrador

25

25

Nova Scotia

83

83

Ontario

545

3

542

Prince Edward Island

42

2

1

39

Quebec

23

2

21

Saskatchewan

151

1

150

TOTAL

1,281

2

1

9

0

4

1,271