2007 Annual Report – Education and Health

2007 Annual Report of 
National Chairperson of Education and Health
Judy Lewis

Sub-committee chairpersons:
Mary Heinzlmeir – environment
Theresa Winchester – MaterCare International

Catholic education
Members were involved in school communities as trustees, school council members, teachers, aides, support staff and classroom volunteers; prayed the rosary in schools, read with students during Reading Week, directed school bands, choirs and organized Christmas concerts; funded retreats and scholarships for graduating high school students; campaigned for and supported Catholic schools financially, spiritually and nutritionally; provided school supplies for needy students; raised funds for an additional crucifix at a school; and, circulated Catholic literature at church entrances.

Rites of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) 
Councils assisted with the RCIA programs, were prayer partners and/or spoke with candidates regarding the role of the League in the community. Councils presented gifts and hosted receptions for the candidates and some gave memberships to promote the League.

Literacy and continuing education
Councils made financial contributions to many organizations including Campion College.

Members participated in literacy programs, reading nights and computer skills training. Some members volunteered with the Rotary Club literacy program, graduated from pastoral care and other formation programs, taught English to Polish priests, and attended retreats and conventions.

Scholarships and bursaries
Councils supported and promoted bursaries for parish, diocesan, and provincial councils and the national bursary program. Support was also given to the Coady International Institute and the Seminarian Fund. A bursary was awarded to a music student and support given to a youth traveling to Kenya to help build a school.

The League gratefully acknowledges the individual and council donations that were designated to enhance the national bursary fund.

Wellness and sickness
Councils advertised community programs, sponsored organizations on health issues, looked at the issue of private versus public Medicare and provided pamphlets and videos on prevention of diseases. Councils were also involved in and contributed to Breast Cancer Research Fund, MaterCare International, Mass for Shut- Ins, Canadian Diabetes Association, etc. Councils promoted the revised Canada’s Food Guide and participated in many fund raising events such as the Terry Fox Run.

Members provided music therapy, organized benefits, made and donated pillows to the Red Cross for use by breast cancer patients and in general were involved in healthy living.

Environment 
Councils encouraged members to reduce, reuse and recycle, buy locally, hold scent-free meetings, promoted purchasing reusable shopping bags and hosted information sessions on environmental issues in the community. Articles were prepared for The Canadian League on the use of plastic bags and Styrofoam disposable products. Letters were written to all levels of government concerning environmental issues including a request that public works vehicles not be left idling when parked.

Genetics 
Many councils held discussions on seeds and how they affect the food supply, pre-natal genetic screening, the Human Genome Program Report and the harvesting of cord blood, placenta, embryonic fluid and possible skin for stem cell research and cloning. Councils wrote letters regarding procedures in the field of genetics.

Activities undertaken by national chairperson and sub-committee chairpersons: •  prepared three communiqués •  met via teleconference with the national bursary committee to review 25 applications •  attended the national convention and the pre-convention and post-convention national executive meetings •  submitted the following articles for The Canadian League: • Obstructive Sleep Apnea •  The Abuse of Plastic Bags: The High Cost of Convenience •  Breast Feeding: An Important Issue for All Catholic Women •  The Use of Styrofoam Disposable Ware and The Consequences • Parish Council Action Suggestions for 2007/08 Year •  Genetically Modified Foods