National First Vice-President and Chairperson of Spiritual Development
Spiritual Growth of Members
Spiritual activities reported include praying the rosary, reciting the League Prayer, stations of the cross, reflection on scripture services, prayers for deceased members, vocations and honour guards. Selecting prayer partners was also reported.
The League’s Ceremonies Booklet and CWL Prays booklet were used most often to prepare prayer services and programs. Other resources included League prayer services, The Canadian League, Marian Helper and The Word Among Us magazines, and the Living with Christ missal. Online resources were also mentioned including the League website, Daily Gospel Reflections from Bishop Barron, and the Click to Pray and 3-Minute Retreat apps.
Some members attended services, programs and retreats offered elsewhere. A good majority celebrated the Feast of Our Lady of Good Counsel and viewed the feast day mass on Vision TV.
Councils reported reflecting on the theme. Pilgrimages to Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal, other basilicas and churches, and the Marguerite Bourgeoys Museum were reported.
Study of Catholic Teachings
Catechism of the Catholic Church and the pope’s encyclicals, Evangelii Gaudium and Laudato Si’ were mentioned as reviewed and/or studied. Some councils were very active in this regard, offering programs such as “Women of Grace” and “Study of Women in Scripture.” Retreats, lay formation and new evangelization programs, religious book exchanges and guest speakers were organized.
Role of Women in the Church
Most councils reported the many number of women with active roles in the parish and have taken courses to strengthen participation. There was involvement in parish, pastoral, finance and regional pastoral councils and parish liturgy committees. A diocesan representative was asked by the bishop of one diocese to sit on a five-year diocesan planning team.
Evangelization and Mission Assistance
Many councils supported Catholic Missions In Canada with cash donations, clothing, food and school supplies. Other missions mentioned were Esk-Omi Missions, Kee-Pas Missions, St. Francis Xavier Mission, On Eagle’s Wings, Valley Native Ministry and St. Gertrude Parish in Pelican Narrows. The Keep Christ in Christmas program was also mentioned in conjunction with Knights of Columbus.
This area was highly supported by members with involvement in ministries such as Eucharistic minister, lectors, ushers, hospitality, music, sacristan, sacramental preparation, children’s liturgy, grief ministry, teaching rosary to children and catechism.
Ecumenism and Interfaith Endeavours
Joint services were offered with women of other faiths, and invitations to meetings, services and social events were extended. Councils participated in Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada, World Day of Prayer and Fellowship of the Least Coin.
It was disheartening to see a number of councils reported vacancies in the spiritual development standing committee. More training needs to be done to ensure members and councils know there are resources, and leaders need to ask what resources councils need.