2013 Annual Report – International Relations

National President and Chairperson of International Relations Betty Anne Brown Davidson

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The League Prayer invites members to “teach us to share with others at home and abroad….” This year, members travelled and modeled their actions after Mary in the Visitation account as she hastened over the hill country to help her cousin Elizabeth.

The highlight of my year was to attend, on behalf of members, the installation and inaugural festivities for Pope Francis in Rome. The invitation came from the governor general and his wife for me to be a part of Canada’s official delegation. The group included ten politicians and some of their executive assistants, three priests, two religious sisters, a First Nations chief, and eight of us “others,” as well as press and security people.

A small contingent of members journeyed to the Holy Land to visit the sites of Velma’s Dream at the Infant Welfare Center in Old Jerusalem and at the Shepherds’ Field Hospital in Beit Sahour near Bethlehem. Both projects, overseen by CNEWA and funded by councils, have now become a three-year temporary national voluntary fund in order to raise awareness and educate members as to the living conditions for Christians in the Holy Land.

As a result of this visit, a letter was written expressing concern about of the plight of Palestinian Christians in the Cremisan Valley if a proposed separation wall were to be built through their vineyards and school catchment area. The letter was addressed to the the Israeli ambassador to Canada and the federal minister of foreign affairs.

Archbishop Currie also had a dream for justice in a far off land, called Marty’s Dream. Joining with his archdiocese, members embraced this call to fund the construction of a girls’ residence in Kete Krachi, Ghana, so they could further their education in safety.

Barbara Dowding and I attended the annual convention of the National Council of Catholic Women held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in September. Following that, we were joined by Velma Harasen and Mary Nordick for the gathering of the North American chapter of WUCWO. This gave us the opportunity to strengthen our relationship with WUCWO President General Maria Ruggieri and Maribeth Stewart. At our invitation, Maribeth attended and spoke to members at the 93rd annual national convention in August. At WUCWO’s request, the League responded to a questionnaire on migrants. As mentioned in my president’s report, I wrote two articles that were published in Women’s Voice, the WUCWO magazine.

On the League website, members were invited to join the Holy Father in prayer for peace in Syria on September 7, 2013.

“An evangelizing community…bridges distances…it embraces human life, touching the suffering flesh of Christ in others” Evangelii Gaudium.