2014 Annual Report – Alberta Mackenzie

Dorothy Johansen
Alberta Mackenzie Provincial Council President
2014 Annual Report

2014 Membership: 9,560 members in 161 councils

We Have Seen the Lord! was put into action for the second year in Alberta Mackenzie and it showed in the reports of councils and their activities. Members continued to participate in every possible ministry in their parishes. They also dedicated time to the spiritual development of members by encouraging spiritual reflections at meetings, and encouraging participation in retreats, missions, workshops and courses. Members also took leadership roles in delivering spiritual presentations, workshops and retreats, and teaching catechism courses.

Membership remained steady, and yet there still was a challenge to recruit new members and to retain present members. Three categories of Fr. Walter Krewski Award for membership were presented at the annual provincial convention. The categories were the council with the most “new-to-CWL” members, the council with the greatest percentage increase of “new-to-CWL” members, and the council with the greatest percentage increase in total membership. Personal communication and invitations were the only effective way of reaching members and potential members, those who members expected would become new friends and sisters in the League. It was a challenge to do this. However, members need to remember they have God’s help in their efforts to approach and invite new members and maintain relationships with current members. The winner of the Elsie Yanik Award for extraordinary service was Life Member Lucille Partington from Sexsmith, Alberta.

When it came to service, members got involved, even though there was a shortage of women willing to take on executive positions. Catch the Fire! and a presentation/workshop on servant leadership were held throughout the province. These presentations helped members understand more about the League, and the servant leadership model encouraged more members to take on leadership roles.

Members gave witness through many hours of service to parishes, communities and the world. Some examples included supporting family activities in the parish such as family barbecues and picnics, sponsoring candidates for the Rite of Christian Initiation, coordinating marriage preparation courses and anniversaries, hosting coffee after mass, providing small gifts to children and adults receiving sacraments and leading a Catholic Girls’ League.

Members provided their hands for the work of the Lord in their communities by participating and encouraging others to support the work of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP) and by supporting the Alberta bishops’ goal to sponsor as many refugee families as possible.

Strong support continued for Catholic schools; the Diocese of St. Paul increased the number of Catholic schools within the diocese. Edmonton Diocesan Council supported the presentation of a Catch the Fire! module in career and technical studies for interested students in senior high school. The poster essay contest run annually on the theme garnered 1,532 entries from 35 schools. Prayer for success and monetary support for the 2015 Wild West Catholic Youth Conference had begun in this reporting year.

Efforts were taken to be environmentally conscious, especially in reducing the amount of unrecyclable materials used for parish functions. Members were often asked to bring their own cup or bag to meetings.

Members appreciated the League websites and the information that was accessible to them in their councils. They also used parish bulletins and available bulletin boards to post information about their activities. They worked on the Pornography Hurts campaign by mailing postcards throughout the year.

Four resolutions were developed in the province. A resolution on permanently revoking the passports of convicted pedophiles was returned from the national resolutions committee for further study. Resolution 2014.03 Flavoured Tobacco Products Ban was adopted by national council, and the provincial government was commended on passing amendments to Bill 33 Tobacco Reduction Amendment Act and Bill 206 Tobacco Reduction (Flavoured Tobacco Products) Amendment Act. Work for an independent provincial senior’s advocate was shelved briefly due to government changes in responsibility. Attempts to meet with government concerning optical and dental benefit income limits for seniors were not successful. A resolution was resubmitted to the national resolutions committee on limiting information on the sex of the fetus until after 30 weeks of gestation, and due to a letter being written to the federal government from national council, this resolution was archived.

Letters were written in support of federal Bill C-442 Federal Framework on Lyme Disease Act that would address the challenges for timely diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease. Members were informed that this bill received Royal Assent on December 16, 2014.

Donations of $379,049 were reported to the treasurer for the many organizations supported by councils. Collections continued for Nickels for the North to assist members living in the north to attend meetings and conventions. To encourage annual attendance, the provincial executive offered to pay the travel and accommodation costs for all five diocesan presidents to attend the provincial convention.

Many organizations and diocesan executives invited the provincial executive to attend meetings and functions, including the Alberta Catholic School Trustees’ Association annual general meeting, Covenant Health luncheon, CCODP workshops, diocesan conventions, anniversary celebrations and as many workshops as possible.

It remained a provincial goal to encourage members to do what they could, and to support them in what they could do, as God calls ordinary people to do extraordinary things.