June message from National President Margaret Ann Jacobs

Every month I want to begin my article … “How blessed am I!” But it is so true.

It has been a joy and delight to share time with you at your conventions in Charlottetown, St. Catharines, Guelph (Hamilton Diocesan) and Cornwall. It is amazing how uniquely different each event is. There have been amazing speakers on a variety of topics. Initiatives on palliative care are still being actively pursued across the country but there is also a major focus being placed on mental health issues and homelessness. Programs are rich and full with significant options for future action by our members. Prayer services are creative and inspirational. Delightful entertainment always accompanies the serious work of the League and I’ve enjoyed personal testimonies, skits, musical performances in song and dance. You do know how to have fun too! Now … only five more provincial conventions for me!

Thank you to all who have participated in our Planning Strategically workshop. Remember that if you would like to have personal input go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CWLPLAN before July 18th. The steering committee is anxious to get your feedback. The voice of every League member needs to be heard if we are going to be choosing the right path to move forward. Thank you to all for your co-operation and support in this endeavour.

Once again, I encourage you to share your immigration stories with Betty Colaneri, 100th Anniversary Committee Chairperson, who is planning a story wall at the national convention in Winnipeg, Manitoba. For more information visit https://www.cwl.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Centenary-Project-Parish-Promo.pdf

Last year I shared with you my impressions of the “Tastes of Heaven Gala” a major fund-raising dinner for Catholic Missions In Canada (CMIC). This year I’ve been privileged to attend special events hosted in Guelph and Toronto where CMIC have invited donors to a Eucharistic celebration and luncheon with guest speaker Cardinal Collins, the Apostolic Chancellor for CMIC. I encourage you to continue your support for CMIC. Perhaps you could host a fund-raising event in your own parishes for this most worthwhile organization. Cardinal Collins spoke about how CMIC provides for the needs of faith in our 1st world country – where it is hard to distinguish our missions from a 3rd world country.

Across the country councils are hosting events like the retreat day I was blessed to be able to attend at Martyrs’ Shrine, Midland. Jesuit Director Rev. Michael Knox led us on spiritual exercises focusing on “Heroic Christian Leadership in the 21st Century”. It was a richly rewarding time for prayer and reflection, closing with a very moving celebration of the Eucharist in the trees overlooking this shrine to our Canadian Martyrs. I hope all of you have the opportunity to host/participate in such faith-renewing events.

Members of the national resolutions committee gathered in Ottawa May 7 to 10, 2018 for meetings with Terry Duguid, Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Status of Women, Marco Mendicino, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada as well as members of the opposition. We also met with Michel MacDonald, Canadian Organization for Life and Family, executive members of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and Most Rev. Luigi Bonazzi, Apostolic Nuncio for Canada. On one hand it was a challenge to present our concerns regarding our resolutions and the right to voice our opinions in opposition to current political positions (e.g. 2018 Canada Summer Jobs Program, rights of conscience…) On the other hand, it was very encouraging to experience the support of our Catholic partners. As always Archbishop Bonazzi was gracious and affirming of the League’s endeavours. Regarding our efforts toward planning strategically, he wisely recommended “creative fidelity” – always remain faithful to the teachings of the Church and respectful of our foundational roots but willing to adapt to fresh ideas in the future. National Chairperson of Resolutions Joan Bona will provide a more comprehensive report.
While in Ottawa, we had the opportunity to attend the premier showing of Fatal Flaws (available through Euthanasia Prevention Coalition) and listen to a panel presentation afterward. A candlelight prayer vigil for the National March for Life was encouraging as so many young people offered testimonies and shared uplifting musical renditions. The Mass for Life at Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica is always a highlight for me with Archbishop Terrence Prendergast as celebrant and homilist. The National March for Life gathering on Parliament Hill and the speakers are always reaffirming of our desire to protect the sanctity of all life from conception to natural death. Challenges were encountered this year by the creation of bubble zones and the subsequent re-routing of the march.

So, for June:

I am looking forward to experiencing the League provincially alive in Alberta (Okotoks), Manitoba (Winnipeg), Nova Scotia (New Glasgow), British Columbia (Whitehorse) and then back in Ontario (Toronto). And since all of these provinces have already experienced the Planning Strategically workshop, there will be more time for other programming and incentives for future projects.

June is National Indigenous History Month with June 21st being the actual day of remembrance. I encourage you to attend or possibly host a special event that would promote a positive relationship with our Indigenous sisters and brothers. And … share it on On the Spot!

I remind you that the papal intention for June is “Universal – Social Networks: That social networks may work towards that inclusiveness which respects others for their differences.”

June is also the month for special devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus with June 8th set aside as a special day of remembrance.

“… Only the Heart of Christ who knows the depths of his Father’s love could reveal to us the abyss of his mercy in so simple and beautiful a way” – Catechism of the Catholic Church P:1439

Don’t forget June 17th, the day we celebrate all fathers. Maybe an extra prayer should be offered in thanksgiving for all the support our men give us in our outreach ministry. We all know that without their support and encouragement we wouldn’t be able to do our work in the League.

Perhaps you can offer this prayer by Rebecca Barlow Jordan for your husband, father, grandfather…

Dear Lord,
Bless every father and every grandfather with the best of your spiritual blessings today. Let him know he is not alone in the tasks you have given him to provide for and support those under his care. Show him how much you delight in his work and affirm the value of whatever You have given him to do—both as a father or grandfather and as a child of Yours. Confirm his worth daily so he has no reason to doubt whether he is loved in the eyes of his Heavenly Father.

God bless all
Margaret Ann