Past President Communique #2
National Past President and Chairperson of Laws Barbara Dowding. February 7, 2017.
Saint Paul teaches us there is unity in diversity thanks to the variety of gifts among members of the Mystical Body.
“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits; to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses. For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.”
(The First Letter to the Corinthians 12, 4-13).
As past presidents we each have a role, a distinct mission or part. How we carry out this task will depend on each one’s gifts, talents and personal discernment. As we embrace the new theme Inspired by the Spirit, Women Respond to God’s Call we can trust that the Holy Spirit will be our guide and show us the way.
How are you doing? Have you been asked to help, give advice or work on something? What is your gift and how are you planning to share it given the list of tasks we have as past presidents?
Members at all levels need regular reminding about the importance of the Constitution & Bylaws (C&B). These are the backbone of the League’s nearly 100 years and a clear guide on so many issues. How are we sharing this as well as our policy and procedures which expand and offer ideas/suggestions for practical implementation? Have you considered doing a workshop on the C&B? Many members have no idea. Consider a mini workshop tying it in with the Objects of the League!
Past presidents are well placed to cultivate prospective leaders, to affirm the good work going on and encouraging qualified members to let their names stand for election. For those councils holding elections this year, it is critical that the guidelines are studied and followed in both the Constitution & Bylaws and the National Manual of Policy and Procedure. A well run election, from start to finish, is a beautiful thing. Don’t wait until the last minute to prepare. If you are the chairperson of nominations/elections, it is critical to be prepared.
Does your provincial council have a policy and procedure manual? Is it reviewed regularly? Even if it is not your favourite thing, you could oversee that it is done at least once during your term. Policies change often. Capturing them for future reference is a service to those will come after you.
I’ve attached the Guidelines for League History Provincial, Diocesan and Parish Councils to distribute as you see fit.
I encourage you to share your wisdom, experience and love of the League with diocesan past presidents. They are our link to parish level and you have so much to offer in terms of their development. We need to prepare each level to be ready to serve at the next level up!
As past presidents it is important to stand back and allow the new president and her executive to do their job and make their own way. It is important, however, to remember that you are part of the executive and subsequently have a role and a responsibility that goes with it. Your voice is needed and hopefully wanted. It is not about you, but about making sure there is open communication and sharing.
Let your love of the League shine through your own particular gifts and the Holy Spirit will make the rest fall into place!
National Past President