2013 Annual Report – Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island Provincial President Barb MacFarlane

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As I prepare to write my second and final report as Prince Edward Island provincial president, I am reminded of the awesome work the 2,216 members did every day “For God and Canada.” Many opportunities for spiritual enrichment took place in all councils with prayers, the rosary, retreats and many spiritual exercises.

Members made their parish and community a better place by serving on parish ministries, hosting funeral receptions and significant birthday parties, visiting the sick and shut-ins, contributing to Christmas hampers, buying church supplies when needed, and serving on parish and community committees. Also, gifts were presented to first communicants and confirmation students.

Education of members and others in the community was an important aspect of council work. Two parish councils hosted fall conferences―Palmer Road Parish Council (Palmer Road) and St. Francis of Assisi Parish Council (Cornwall). Emphasis on the role of standing committees was the objective of these conferences. Members also attended area meetings and the annual provincial convention. One parish council held an orientation program for new members. Four Catch the Fire! sessions were held with 110 members taking part. Several parish councils united to host a presentation for students and parents on the use of prescription drugs. Another parish council had two members teach a home-based program to 16 youth called “Theology of the Body for Teens.” Members were informed of parish council activities through newsletters or the sending of minutes to those unable to attend meetings. Most parish councils donated to the Catholic Women’s League Girls Bursary.

The world community was not forgotten. Marty’s Dream, CMIC, Coady International Institute, CCODP, the Philippines typhoon disaster relief, MaterCare International Inc. and Fr. Roy Shea’s missionary work in Brazil were some donation recipients.

The needs of the pro-life cause were met through contributions to P.E.I. Right to Life Association, participation in the annual March for Life and Life Chain, and hosting showers for Birthright International. Some members attended the national pro-life conference held in Charlottetown in October.

Communication with provincial council took the form of three communiques, one newsletter, personal phone calls and the launching of a Facebook page. E-mail contact with 25 parish councils facilitated the transmission of information in both directions.

Four parish councils celebrated significant anniversaries―St. Lawrence-St. Theresa Parish Council (Morell) celebrated 70 years, while St. Cuthbert Parish Council (Mount Stewart), St. John the Baptist Parish Council (Miscouche) and St. Paul Parish Council (Summerside) celebrated 80 years. Members were proud to display their council history and share fellowship with neighbouring councils.

Two parish councils disbanded while one new amalgamated council was formed. Having members take on leadership roles has been a challenge for some parish councils. Despite this, councils fulfilled the provincial focus, Imprisonment in All Its Forms, by donating to food banks, St. Vincent de Paul Society and Anderson House, and writing letters in support of addiction services, to name a few. Postcards were sent in support of the national Pornography Hurts campaign.

Parish councils did not forget to have fun. One parish council holds an annual retreat in a different location each year. Councils celebrated anniversaries with each other, and one parish council hosted a “neighbourhood ladies luncheon.”

As my term comes to a close, I want to thank my executive members for their invaluable support over the past two years. I am reminded of the passing of one member on June 24, 2013. She loved people and she loved the League. Members of Prince Edward Island Provincial Council are all richer for having known her.