Prince Edward Island Provincial President
I was very pleased with the many activities the capable members of the provincial executive organized and brought to completion since the 2019 convention in Summerside. There were many events including two fall conferences, four area meetings, two provincial executive/parish council presidents’ meetings/leadership workshops, three meetings with Bishop Richard Grecco (Charlottetown), and clergy and ongoing e-mails and letters that helped to bring to fruition my two priorities for my term: leadership development and communication.
In June, an annual spiritual retreat was held at a special home on the peaceful Trout River. Committees were reviewed and plans were made for the year. Meetings were held again in September and November, either at SDU Place or at Kinkora Place.
On September 28th, the provincial council joined with the Knights of Columbus for an annual rosary and pilgrimage for Canadian Martyrs, held yearly at St. Peter’s Church in Seven Mile Bay. Many members and knights were in attendance. After a very meaningful service, refreshments were served in the basement. Money collected during mass was donated to the PEI Right to Life Association.
Two very successful fall conferences were held: September 14th at Stella Maris Parish in North Rustico and October 19th at Immaculate Conception Parish in Palmer Road. Sixty members attended each of these conferences. Members enjoyed presentations on the spirituality of music, Aboriginal issues (North Rustico only) and strategic planning. Members donated money for local charities. As well, members generously donated boxes of necessary items to the HUG Project. All items and cash donations were given to local women’s shelters.
The 33 parish presidents, as members of the provincial executive, were invited to attend either the November executive meeting in Kinkora or the January meeting in Charlottetown. Twelve members attended each of these meetings and their contributions to the discussions were appreciated. An important part of the agenda was the leadership workshop where the League Prayer and Objects of the League were covered.
National President Anne-Marie Gorman chose Care for Our Common Home as the two-year theme. In 2019, the focus was on water. Workshops, speakers and discussions on water conservation were hosted. Members were asked to support the National Water Pledge Challenge action plan and commit to taking positive actions in their homes, parishes and communities. Together, members made a big difference.
Area meetings were held simultaneously on February 23rd in four locations across the province. Executive members worked in teams to deliver meaningful workshops on discernment as well as water conservation and Care for Our Common Home. Many members attended and enjoyed the networking, social activities and potluck lunch.
Several executive members and I met with Bishop Grecco and clergy at their three zone meetings and presented information on the League’s history, current provincial statistics and activities, the strategic planning process and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops’ document, Protecting Minors from Sexual Abuse: A Call to the Catholic faithful in Canada for Healing, Reconciliation, and Transformation, sharing what members could do to help. The presidents and members were encouraged to complete an online training module on safe faith.
Planning for the provincial convention started a year in advance when venues were booked. In the months prior to the convention, work began with planning the program, booking speakers, inviting guests, analyzing councils’ electronic reports from national office, preparing written and oral reports, preparing the spiritual exercises, organizing the mass ministries, and preparing and publishing the convention booklet. There were many details to take into account and fortunately, the provincial council had an excellent executive that stepped up to the plate each time it was called on to help. It was decided that the mass collection would be given to the Charlottetown food bank with proceeds from the gift bag sale given to Blooming House Women’s Shelter Inc.
Communication was an important part of the League. E-mails and letters were sent regularly to parish presidents and executive members to inform them about initiatives, events and critical issues. Each provincial executive member called three parish presidents to find out if they had any concerns or needed any help. Communiques were sent in February, August and September; each executive member prepared a communique on her position or standing committee. A newsletter was circulated in December that highlighted parish council activities. Members were encouraged to check the provincial website and Facebook page, and the national website, for valuable resources.
I would like to personally thank the members on the provincial executive and spiritual advisor Fr. Brian MacDougall who worked diligently on many activities and initiatives. They were enthusiastic and had a passion for the League. We all grew spiritually, deepened our leadership skills and had a wonderful time in the process.
A special thanks goes to three members retiring from the executive this year—Irene Gallant, Cathy Favaro and Elaine Black. These members made a wonderful contribution to the League in Prince Edward Island.