Fall 2015 Parish Council Mailing Memo

National Chairperson of Community Life Doreen Gowans

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"I have asked the Church in this Jubilee Year to rediscover the richness encompassed by the spiritual and corporal works of mercy." Pope Francis, Letter of His Holiness Pope Francis According to Which an Indulgence is Granted to the Faithful on the Occasion of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy

One Heart, One Voice, One Mission – We are called to action!
Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP)—The 1% Program Since 1969, the League has been encouraging members to put aside one percent of the cost of all luxury and personal items purchased and funds raised by councils to go towards supporting CCODP partners working to improve the status of women in the Global South. These funds are having a real impact on the lives of thousands of women striving for a better future. Together, members are Strong Women Building Stronger Communities! The funds raised through the 1% Program in 2013–2017 are helping women in Afghanistan, Nigeria and Haiti. Is your council actively supporting the 1% Program?

One Heart calls us to love, care for and serve our sisters in the Global South who need funding to start businesses as well as attend vocational and literacy training so they can help provide food and clothing to their families.

One Voice calls us to inform members of the needs of women and young girls, especially in Afghanistan, Nigeria and Haiti. We are called to speak out for our sisters who face violence, conflict and barriers prohibiting them from receiving an education.

One Mission calls us to serve women and children by donating one percent of our luxury purchases, such as spa treatments, pedicures, manicures, hair treatments, dresses, shoes, purses, etc. It doesn’t stop at our individual contributions! We also ask that parish councils submit one percent of all funds earned to national office. Donations for the period of July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2015, totalled $64,691.48, down more than $4,000 from last year and the lowest amount we have raised in the last five years. I challenge all of us to help increase donations by 15%, or 11 cents per member based on 85,706 members, for a total of $9,703.72. Or, let us reach $10,000. Can we make this goal a reality?

Take action by:

  •  Encouraging members and councils to contribute to this worthwhile venture. CCODP needs all the support and help we can provide.
  •  Ordering the new brochure from national office to share with members.
  •  Viewing the community life PowerPoint presentation explaining the 1% Program that can be found on the national website under "Resources / Programs and Workshops / Community Life." Help educate members by showing this presentation or view it yourself so you are informed.

Velma’s Dream
Velma’s Dream began with Honorary Life Member Velma Harasen visiting the Holy Land in 2010. She was compelled to take action after witnessing various injustices. Thus, a League initiative with the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) began. Two projects were identified―The Shepherd’s Field Hospital and The Infant Welfare Centre.

Shepherd’s Field Hospital is a cooperative run by Christians in Beit Sahour, Bethlehem, close to where Jesus was born. The hospital is a maternity hospital with a small emergency clinic that tends to patients and maternity issues. The hospital provides health care to the poorest mothers and babies by supplying the costs of blood sugar laboratory tests for pregnant women, clinic care for newborn babies, and 650 mothers and babies with vitamins and supplements.

The Infant Welfare Centre provides at-risk teenagers in Jerusalem with the support they need to stay in school. Money raised works at getting youth—both Christian and non-Christian—who have dropped out of school back into the classroom. It does so by teaming up teachers with psychologists and psychiatrists who help youth find new ways to approach their studies and accompany the students through their reintegration to school until their graduation date. Carl Hétu, national director of CNEWA, said expanding the resources and the reach of the program will have a very real impact on the society at large. "This project deals ... with schools, teachers and parents to take care of school dropouts, who are on the streets and have no means," said Hétu. "[It’s] to bring them back in school, to help them finish school and ... become full citizens of the Old City. [It] will allow them to have better jobs ... and be more involved in their community later on."

Take action by:

  •  Praying
  •  Keeping the funds flowing as we continue to help those most in need. Donate to Velma’s Dream projects by sending your cheque to CNEWA Canada at 1247 Kilborn Place, Ottawa, ON K1H 6K9, or you can call 1-866-322-4441 or donate online at www.cnewa.ca.

Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy
Pope Francis has asked us to concentrate on taking action with both spiritual and corporal works of mercy during this year that will begin on December 8, 2015 and end on December 20, 2016. I would be interested in knowing how your council will be celebrating or taking part in various activities over the next year. Please e-mail your ideas to me at [email protected].

God Bless you as we work together "For God and Canada." In the work we do, may Our Lady of Good Counsel guide us to always answer the call of Jesus. Together, we are a great and wonderful team of women doing what we can for God, Canada and beyond!

Doreen Gowans
National Chairperson of Community Life