2014 Annual Report – Quebec

Suzanne Wiseman
Quebec Provincial Council President
2014 Annual Report

Quebec Provincial Council had 949 members including 13 life members, one being an honorary life member. There were two diocesan councils and seven single parish councils. One challenge was to maintain membership with the reality of aging members. Several parish councils reported that wearing the CWL scarf at parish events and funerals was a great drawing card to enroll new members. Personal contact was made with members who hadn’t renewed their membership.

A few Catch the Fire! workshops were held; participants were always amazed to learn more about the League. Taking on leadership roles was not easy; many members were elderly and the younger members often had too many personal commitments with family and/or work. However, a few presidents reported that a personal approach encouraged members to help out.

A pilot project was designed to simplify the process of annual reports and provide insight to the provincial executive in areas where councils might benefit from guidance or workshops. A number of parish councils and one diocesan council offered to participate. An evaluation was planned for after the 2015 annual provincial convention to determine if the process should be continued.

The theme We Have Seen the Lord! awakened members to their call to evangelization through their lives and witness. Members were encouraged to try different forms of prayer such as preparing a liturgical service at a meeting when mass wasn’t an option. Members participated in ecumenical services, held prayer vigils, recited the rosary for justice and peace, and attended spiritual retreats. They worked tirelessly in their parishes, serving on the pastoral council, preparing children to receive the sacraments and visiting the sick and shut-ins. Fundraisers were organized to help with Christmas baskets, school breakfast programs and homeless shelters.

Members took part in the March for Life in Ottawa and continued to be vigilant regarding provincial Bill 52 An Act Respecting End-of-Life Care concerning physician assisted suicide. The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition’s regular bulletins reminded members that those advocating for physician assisted suicide used euphemisms that led to misunderstanding.

Members supported Catholic Missions In Canada, the Coady International Institute, Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace, and Velma’s Dream. Pornography Hurts postcards were mailed to members of parliament.

The Partners for Life teenage depression outreach program was promoted to raise awareness about depression. The program’s primary goals were to educate students, parents and school staff to identify the signs and symptoms of depression and to communicate the steps to direct a person in psychological distress to the right resources. One council reported that members who attended found it most interesting.

Several members attended a two day parish vitality conference organized by Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Dowd (Montreal). The keynote speakers, Fr. Michael White and Tom Corcoran, co-authors of Rebuilt: The Story of a Catholic Parish: Awakening the Faithful, Reaching the Lost, and Making Church Matter, described how their parish made a critical and timely shift that transformed members into disciples and created a healthier community. Participants learned how to reach out to unchurched brothers and sisters.

It has been a challenging year for members who have worked faithfully “For God and Canada.” I thank God for His support and the opportunity to serve the League with joy.