CWL

  •                               Catholic Women’s League                            
     
    The Catholic Women's League is the largest national organization of Catholic women in Canada with a tradition of service to others as expressed in its motto 'For God and Canada.'
     
    The Mission Statement of the Catholic Women's League is as follows:
    The Catholic Women’s League Canada is a national organization rooted in gospel values calling its members to holiness through service to the people of God.
     
    The Objectives of the League are:
    to achieve individual and collective spiritual development.
    to promote the teachings of the Catholic Church.
    to exemplify the Christian ideal in home and family.
    to protect the sanctity of human life.
    to enhance the role of women in church and society.
    to recognize the human dignity of all people everywhere.
    to uphold and defend Christian education and values in the modern world .
    to contribute to the understanding and growth of religious freedom, social justice, peace and harmony.
     
    The Catholic Women’s League of St. Pius X Parish received its charter on May 30, 1974 making it the first Council of the Catholic Women’ s League in the Archdiocese of St. John’s.

    St. Pius X Catholic Women’s League, St. John’s, NL
    1974 – 2009
    35th Anniversary


    Thirty-five Years for God and Canada


    Dedication

    This story of our 35 years as the St. Pius X Council CWL is dedicated to all our members, past and present, for your years of commitment and service to the mission and objectives of the Catholic Women’s League.

     

    It recognizes the roles played over the 35 years by the founding members, many of whom still play an active role in the Council, the hundreds of women of St. Pius X Parish who have been members and led and supported in deeds and prayers so many of our activities, our present members who are so dedicated to the League, and we especially celebrate the 16 women who became members of our Council during the past two years.

     

    This booklet tells the story of our responsiveness to the needs and life of our parish, the community, the nation, and the world. It tells the story of the concern given by our members to the many social justice issues that affect the lives of people. It is about faith, fun, and fulfillment and how we look forward to the future, with a special focus over the next two years on the theme, “Women of Peace and Hope”. It is our hope that you will enjoy reminiscing over your good work “For God and Canada”, and take great pride in a history of good deeds ably carried out over many years.  May we continue to thrive and flourish as a League. 

     
    May God Bless Us All,
    The Executive of the St. Pius X CWL

    St. Pius X CWL 1974–2009

    The Catholic Women’s League of St. Pius X Parish received its charter on May 30, 1974 making it the first Council of the Catholic Women’ s League in the Archdiocese of St. John’s.  Archbishop P.J.  Skinner was instrumental in making the initial overtures to the National League but it was Mary Goss of St. Pius X Parish who attended meetings in Ottawa and pushed the deliberations to a conclusion.  We will be forever grateful for Mary’s energy and determination that brought us into the Catholic Women’s League. The forerunner of the Catholic Women`s League at St. Pius X Parish was the Ladies Association, with a mandate to raise funds and oversee the social functions of the parish. However, as the CWL had a broader vision of women’s needs and potential, as well as a national presence, the women of St. Pius X decided to accept the opportunity to become part of this organization, under the patronage of Our Lady of Good Counsel. 

     

    The Mission Statement of the CWL is as follows:

    The Catholic Women’s League Canada is a national organization rooted in gospel values calling its members to holiness through service to the people of God.


    The Objects of the League are:
    to achieve individual and collective spiritual development.
    to promote the teachings of the Catholic Church.
    to exemplify the Christian ideal in home and family.
    to protect the sanctity of human life.
    to enhance the role of women in church and society.
    to recognize the human dignity of all people everywhere.
    to uphold and defend Christian education and values in the modern world .
    to contribute to the understanding and growth of religious freedom, social justice, peace and harmony.

    Living up to these ideals would be a tall order surely, but the women of St. Pius X felt that they were ready and willing to accept the challenge. This then is the continuing story of how the members of our Council have striven to fulfil the mandate as set down in the constitution of the CWL which will be presented under the various Standing Committees which circumscribe our activities.

     

    The first Diocesan Council was formed in Newfoundland and Labrador in 1979 with our pastor Father L. Fischer, S.J. as the first Spiritual Director. The first Provincial Council was formed in 1980 with the first President being our own Past President, Mary Goss. Subsequently, the Diocesan Council was discontinued. In 1982, Newfoundland and Labrador achieved its first representation on the National Council when Mary Goss was appointed Convenor of Resolutions Committee on the National body. 

     

    1984 was a very auspicious year for the League in Newfoundland and Labrador as we prepared for the visit of the Holy Father, a fitting highlight to the 200th Anniversary of the Catholic Church in this province. In that year also, the National Convention was held in our province for the first time and of great importance to the St. Pius X Council was our coming of age when we hosted the Provincial Conference for the first time as well. 

     

    In 1989 we celebrated our fifteenth anniversary with a Mass followed by a gala dessert party. For our 20th Anniversary in 1994 we had a Mass of Thanksgiving followed by a Banquet in the Parish Hall.  Time goes by so quickly that before we knew it in 1999 our 25th anniversary was upon us and it was celebrated with equal pomp and ceremony.  This year 2009, marks the thirty-fifth Anniversary of St. Pius X Council of the Catholic Women’s League of Canada. We will be honoured to have with us for the celebrations our first spiritual director Father Leonard Fischer S.J. He will travel a considerable distance to be with us at the venerable age of ninety- two. Some things never change. The indomitable spirit which helped found our League is still among us. Thank you and God bless you Father Fischer.

    These then are the milestones in our progress in the League, but they mark only the high points of our journey. It is the constancy and dedication to our obligations and values in the everyday life of the League that tell the measure of our success. These will be found on the following pages.    

        
    Spiritual Development Standing Committee

    The spiritual development of our members is seen as the foremost concern of the League. We have been advised by National, that “a good spiritual component in our meetings is critical”.. It is our number one objective.

     

    The spiritual program is developed by the spiritual development chairperson of the Council under the advice and guidance of the spiritual director. The pastors at St. Pius X have over the years been dedicated spiritual advisors for our League, and a list of names of these pastors can be found at the end of this story. 

     

    Each meeting begins with the League prayer and a spiritual exercise. At times there are readings from scripture and at other times there is a reflection component that has important implications for our faith and spiritual growth. One such session was on “the Mysteries of Light”, the new mysteries of the rosary introduced by the late Pope John Paul II, presented by our spiritual convenor at the time, Iris Kendall. Throughout the years our League sponsored or took part in many Days of Awareness , Days of Reflection, Bible Study Groups, Retreats and Mini Retreats . Also, we have had many guest speakers to augment our spiritual program. They have led discussions and reflections on such topics as: The Eucharist and the Mass; Growth in Prayer; Personal and Spiritual Development; Reconciliation, and many others, often motivated by the theme of the year suggested by National.

     

    Devotions to Mary, Mother of God have been an ongoing and vital part of our spiritual program. Members of our League lead the recitation of the rosary in church during the months of May and October. The League has been instrumental in organizing processions and the Crowning of Mary in the parish. In 1978 our League undertook a study of the encyclical, “Mother of the Redeemer” and as a  special project of the Marian Year, a beautiful statute of Our Lady was presented to the parish and installed on the church grounds  near the chapel, September 11,1988(cover photo). The site is surrounded by beautiful flowers at all seasons of the year, lovingly tended by a very faithful member of our League, Madonna McCarthy, one of a team of dedicated workers.

     

    The St. Pius X Council is always represented at the annual World Day of Prayer and our members often play an active role in these services. We attended the first one in1975 at the invitation of George St. United Church. They are ecumenical services which are held annually in churches of many Christian denominations throughout the city. 

     

    Every year we host an Advent Service followed by a Pot Luck Supper in the Parish Hall. Women from another Christian church are invited as our guests. They in turn have invited us to their gatherings, resulting in a spirit of friendship and ecumenism between our Council and several other denominations.

     

     Other examples of how The League takes part in the spiritual life of the parish are by leading the Way of the Cross on the Fridays of Lent and by initiating the Seder Meal which took place on the Tuesday or Wednesday of Holy Week. In the year 2001 we sponsored a mass on Vision TV which was broadcast on August 31 at 9:30 am. The parishioners were also proud participants in this very special initiative.

     

    We must not forget to mention the Prayer Arm of the League consisting of those members who due to health reasons or advancing years are no longer able to be actively involved with the work of the League. Their prayers for the League intentions however, are considered to be a most valuable resource.

     

    The deceased members of our League are remembered in the masses said for them each year and their names are forever inscribed in the Book of Life. An honour guard is available for the funeral masses and the rosary is said by League members at the visitation.  Every year in November, a special Memorial Service is held in the church for all deceased members and their families.

     

    The National Council of the CWL provides us every two years with a theme around which to build our programs and action our objectives.  The theme for the years 2009-10 is “Women of Peace and Hope”. In order to emphasize this year’s theme, the Feast of Our Lady of Good Counsel, April 26th, has been newly declared, the day of Peace and Hope.  We have been asked to pray for Peace and Hope in the two main areas of focus, Palliative Care and Welcome Friend. A communique from National tells us that we cross all barriers when we extend a hand of comfort, welcome, friendship, understanding and compassion .

     

    Our National Spiritual Director, Archbishop Martin Currie, has given the League some very specific directions on how to use these aspects of our theme in the next two years. One suggestion is that we advocate for a standardized approach to hospice palliative care which is designed to relieve pain and suffering as well as meeting the emotional and spiritual needs of terminally ill patients. Archbishop Currie points out that people of other countries see Canada as a place of Peace and Hope and that the League is in an excellent position to welcome these women and their families and to be their source of Peace and Hope. Already St. Pius X Council is planning an evening with a facilitator to begin initial reflections on the theme and over the next two years we will continue to explore ways to action our theme.

     

    Our spiritual program has been intensive and varied. Our hope is that it will continue to be an important part of our faith lives in the years to come.
     

    Prayer for Peace and Hope

    O Lord our God, You are the source of peace. Inspire the women of the League to live in peace by acting justly, loving tenderly, and walking humbly with You ,our God.
    We pray that You enlighten the eyes of our mind, so that we may see what hope Your call holds for us.
    May we be firm in the hope we profess and always be ready to give the reason for the hope we have. Amen



    Organization Standing Committee

    The organization of any group is paramount to its foundation, its continuation, and its development.

     

    The League in Newfoundland and Labrador is composed of Parish Councils which promote the objectives of the League at the parish level and a Provincial Council which is the link between each of the Parish Councils and the National Council which directs and oversees the operation of the League in Canada. The possibility of restarting a diocesan Council was looked at in 1986 and again in 1996, However, due to considerations of distance and finance it was not deemed feasible to have a Diocesan Council at that time. That is not to say that the topic will not come up for discussion again in the future.

    When the women of St. Pius were first invited to become members of the CWL in 1974, members from the National Council visited St. John’s to explain and outline the objectives of the League to the members of St. Pius X Ladies Association and to the Basilica women who were also interested.  Father Len Fischer, who later became our first Spiritual Advisor, was also very helpful and encouraging in those early days. He even donated a gavel to the League in 1975. Since then our Council has attended many workshops on leadership training and the setting up of committees hosted by the Provincial Council.

    St. Pius X Council has almost always been represented at the Provincial conventions and when possible at the National Conventions. In August, 1984 the National Convention was held in Newfoundland and Labrador for the first time. The General Chairperson was Mary Goss, who was also the first President of St. Pius X Council. Her Co-chair was Iris Kendall who was also a Past President of our Council.  The winter meeting of the Provincial Council was hosted by St. Pius X Council in 1994. These meetings are essential sources of information and inspiration for every Council.  Annual reports from each Council are presented and proposals for resolutions that are to be sent to National are put forward. One very special activity that our Council participated in at the Provincial level was a concert called, “Cabaret Wit Laughter”, which was performed in 1985. St. Pius X’s contribution was a skit entitled, “C.W.L. Meeting”. A spirit of camaraderie with all our fellow Councils resulted from this enjoyable undertaking.

    Recruiting members from the parish has been an ongoing concern that has been addressed in various ways. One of our most successful and popular activities was the annual membership tea which brought out large numbers of women from the parish who were initially interested in the social aspect of the CWL and then found that it had much more to offer them by becoming members. 

     

    Later on membership drives were held after Sunday Mass which proved an effective way of recruiting new members. These drives brought the membership list to a high of one hundred and sixty members. However, there was a smaller group of twenty five or thirty members who attended meetings on a regular basis. The larger membership has always been very generous in contributing to the many CWL projects and are always there to help out at activities sponsored by the league. 

     

    Membership drives during recent years have been very successful. Presently we have 89 members, 16 of these joining in the past two years. One strategy used to build a greater awareness of the CWL is to outline in the parish bulletin the good work of the League during the previous year.  However, the challenge still remains. How can we encourage more of our members to take leadership positions?

     

    End of the year luncheon meetings proved to be very popular in the past couple of years for our members. Afternoon meetings were tried as a means of accommodating the older ladies who do not drive at night. This met with limited success as it did not suit those members who are still working or caring for young children.

     

    At the Parish Council level outstanding service to the League is recognized by the awarding of Maple Leaf pins. Esther Costello and Madonna McCarthy were awarded theirs in 1999 for years of leadership in organizing and implementing many projects in the St. Pius X Council. Iris Kendall and Patricia Allston were recognized with Maple Leaf pins in 2000. Iris for her many years of spiritual direction and organizational work at the parish and provincial levels and Patricia for her leadership role as President of the Parish Council and the many years she spent working on the Dominion tapes fund raising project. Pins were awarded in 2001 to Teresa McCarthy, Edna Mulrooney and Marie Duggan for the work they started in 1990 in setting up the Pastoral Care program for Father Bill Browne at the Health Sciences Centre. Ten and twenty-five year service pins have been awarded at special ceremonies to members for long time membership in the League. 

     

    Life membership is an honour and a privilege which is granted to members who have served the League in an outstanding way, especially at the Provincial and National levels. St. Pius X CWL has thus far had this honour bestowed on two of its members in the persons of Mary Goss and Iris Kendall, who both served as Provincial Presidents of the League. Mary Goss additionally held the position of Resolutions Convenor at the National level. Both of these members are now deceased but they will always be remembered for the exemplary service they rendered to the St. Pius X Council of the Catholic Women’s League.  


    Christian Family Life Standing Committee

    Christian Family Life has a very important place in the work of the St. Pius X Council. It has taken on many ministries that deal with issues of marriage, pro life, youth, single mothers, families of service people actively serving in Afghanistan, abused women, and the marginalized members of the community ,such as, the disabled , the sick and elderly.

     

    One of our first good works in this area was answering the call of Sister Diane Smythe in 1975 to help set up a telephone service for pregnant women with problems that could lead them to consider having an abortion. This program would operate under the auspices of The Right to Life. A number of CWL members offered their services .The first office was in St. Pius X church which would move in 1978 to a permanent home at Elizabeth House where we could offer shelter, clothing, counselling, in house programs and referral to other community services. Baby showers and brunches were held by the CWL in aid of Elizabeth House at regular intervals. 

     

    The Days for Life were started by the League in 1995 as a pro life support system and continued for about five years. The day began with Mass followed by the rosary, hymns and prayers and concluded with benediction of the Blessed Sacrament in the afternoon.

    When Father Browne asked for a pastoral care team to help with the ministry at the Health Sciences Centre in 1991, a core group of CWL members were quick to respond. They served as Eucharistic ministers, readers, visitors to the sick and in preparing the liturgies. This ministry has continued for nearly twenty years.

     

    Another important work of our League was teaching catechism and preparation for First Holy Communion for the disabled children at Exon House. Parties were also provided on special occasions. This ministry continued from 1978 until Exon House was closed in 1987. 

      

    The League organized special liturgies on the feast of the Holy Family. We participated in the Family Life Congress of 1984 and organized activities for the Year of the Family in 1994. Within the parish, healing masses for seniors were held each year followed by socials with refreshments and entertainment. A special healing Mass and reception were held for seniors to celebrate The Year of the Older Person in 1999.


    The Care Centre for Women was opened in 1995 following the closure of the obstetric department at St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital. The purpose of this facility was to provide pregnancy testing and counselling in a pro life atmosphere. The St. Pius X League contributed $2500 to upkeep of this establishment during the first three years of its existence and smaller amounts on an annual basis until its closure several years later.

    Over the years many of the League members volunteer at St. Patrick’s Mercy Home, visiting the residents, helping with meals and taking the wheelchair patients to Mass and activities within the home. Most recently, we have supported the afternoon teas provided for the residents at The Red Rose Café. Similar parties for senior citizens at the Cambridge Estates have been hosted by the League for the past two years. Every year we organize and support a bingo and social for residents at the CNIB.  

     

    These activities are at the centre of the League’s Christian Family Life agenda and in the next two years we will be pursuing ways we can reach out to New Canadians in our Province.


    Health and Education Standing Committee

    Before we lost our Catholic education system in 1998-99, the League had a closer connection to the schools and the education of our children. Some of the programs put into the schools at that time included seasonal activities that we introduced such as making advent wreaths, lenten posters and nativity scenes for the homes. There were educational projects, e.g., the essay contest on “The Value of a Catholic Education”.  Awareness of Catholic issues was promoted, as in the badges distributed in the schools, which stated that “Unborn babies are people too”. Cash donations were given to the schools towards band trips in 1992 and to the school lunch program.

    When our Catholic system was threatened, our League took an active part in trying to preserve our heritage. A brief was presented to the Conference on Catholic Education in 1993 by a member of our Council stating the parent’s point of view. When the question went to referendum our members worked as scrutineers and drivers to get our vote out. We fought the good fight but on that occasion, sadly we lost. Donations have been given to help support St. Bonaventure’s College, a private catholic school in the Jesuit tradition, and the only catholic school in the city of St. John’s.

     

    Our interest in our young people is ongoing. A donation was given to each of the three young people chosen from our parish to attend World Youth Day in 2002. A subscription to the “Interim”, a pro life newspaper, was introduced to the library of Gonzaga High School in 2002. In the past two years we have supported a Literacy Program at MacMorran Centre and a junior high after school program.

    One of our most important educational projects is the WRAP, “white ribbons against pornography” campaign which began in October 1992. The motto is “Lets Leave the Obscene ,Unseen”. Campaigns are usually carried out before and after the weekend Masses. Parishioners are asked to sign white ribbons which are then sent to our MPs in Ottawa to impress upon them the importance that the CWL places on eradicating this evil from our society.  Over the years White Ribbons were sent to the St. John’s Mayor and City Councillors, who wore them when the Council session was broadcast on the local community channel. The ribbons were also worn by the Premier and some of the MHAs. Radio station VOWR carried an item on the campaign. Notices were sent to all the parishes in the Archdiocese. The Interfaith Women’s Group also agreed to participate when contacted. WRAP started out with a vigorous and well planned campaign and has continued up until the present. The future holds even greater challenges now that we are faced with the more pernicious threat of internet pornography.

    During its 35th Anniversary year, the Health and Education Committee has been asked by the Executive to prepare informational and awareness literature on the purpose of WRAP Campaign to distribute to parishioners prior to asking them for their support the Campaign.

    Recognizing the importance of a healthy body to the well being of whole person, invited professionals have shared their knowledge and discussed with our members such issues as, health and nutrition, care of the heart, and detecting early signs of ovarian cancer.

    Community Life Standing Committee

    Community Life covers the League’s outreach to the wider community and indeed to the world. We followed the adage that “charity begins at home” with a small parish social action project of supplying food and clothing for the needy which was organized and distributed by Sister Eugenio. In 1985 it became the ATTN, Attention to the Neighbourhood Organization, of which several of the League members are faithful workers and supporters. In conjunction with this work the League has given two large donations of quality children’s literature to the after school program for young children at the MacMorran Centre in 2007 and 2008, and again in 2009 to support an after school literacy program for junior high students. League members have also volunteered as readers at this facility. 

    In 1995 we raised a considerable sum of money for Breast Cancer research by donating a quilt for a raffle in which all diocesan councils participated. Financial support has also been given on an ongoing basis to the Hard of Hearing Foundation, SPAN-the Single Parents Association, Daybreak, Employment for Youth, the Food Bank, Diabetes Camp for Children, and many other community charities.

    The Gathering Place is a charity administered by the Mercy and Presentation sisters. Over the years the St. Pius X Council has given many monetary and food donations to this facility. In the past three years we have provided Thanksgiving dinner for between 100 to 150 guests of the Gathering Place.

    On the national and international level we contribute on a yearly basis to The Coady Institute, MaterCare International, Development and Peace, Holy Childhood, Jesuit Missions, Catholic Missions, National Pro-Life, and World Union of Catholic Women.


    Communications Standing Committee

    The work of the Communications Committee is shared by a number of members and committees of the Council. The Convenor is responsible for notices in the Parish Bulletin and advertising more community involved events in the local newspapers or on the TV community channel. Members who are ill or have suffered a bereavement are remembered by their League with cards and masses. This is the responsibility of the Corresponding Secretary. The Recording Secretary, besides recording the minutes of executive and regular meetings, records all incoming correspondence and writes letters of thanks for special donations. 

     

    Convenors of committees are responsible for initiating campaign letters associated with resolutions affecting their committee. A very important work of the League is our letter writing campaigns to the press and to our elected officials about social and moral issues which are of great concern. Some of the issues addressed are  abortion and euthanasia, assisted suicide, denominational education, rights of women. In 1975 we supported James McGrath on an Act to amend the broadcasting act against sex and violence in the media. The same year we wrote letters supporting Health and Welfare Minister Marc LeLonde on controlling alcohol abuse. Letters of support for Argentinian grandmothers of missing children were written in 1986. One of our members, Iris Kendall, made a presentation to the Frazer Commission in 1984 on the effects of pornography and prostitution on society.

     

    In more recent years, letters in support of Resolutions regarding: The End of Trafficking of Children, Children Living in Poverty, Ovarian Cancer, The Illegal Trafficking of Crystal Meth, Legal protection of Those who Object to the Solemnization of Civil Marriage for Same Sex Partners have been sent to appropriate government officials. Often these letter writing campaigns are a joint effort of the members of the executive and the committee responsible for the issue of concern.


    Parish Life Standing Committee


    The social and fundraising activities of St. Pius X Parish were the main responsibilities of our early years as a Council of the Catholic Women’s League. We inherited these activities from our origins as the Ladies Association of St. Pius X Parish . Until very recently we continued to perform many of these works for the parish.

    Members of the League are active in all of the parish ministries. They are Ministers of the Eucharist, readers, church decorators, ushers and choir members. The first sacristan at St. Pius X for many years was our faithful departed member Gertrude Fleming. No task was too great or too small for the League to take on and our members always did these tasks willingly and well.

    One of our earliest activities was helping out at the Fall Festival, an annual diocesan event held to raise funds for several institutions including St. Patrick’s Mercy Home and St. John’s College. We carried out this work from 1974 until 1984.

    In 1976, the League supplied furnishings for the new church including a pew and a collection basket. In 1978 the League helped to organize and set up the parish library in a room off of the chapel. The volunteer librarian for many years was our now deceased devoted member, Mary Ryan. When the parish hall was refurbished two fridges, two coffee urns plus the dishes and cutlery were donated by the League as well.  A TV and VCR were added to the library in 1991. Our latest contribution to the furnishings of our church was a repository for the Holy Oils which was presented in 2005.

    A special mention should be made here regarding the Dominion Store tape program. This program was one of our most dependable sources of revenue and goods and while all members collected the tapes, the onerous job of counting them and collecting the rewards for the Council fell solely upon the one of our members, Patricia Allston. Over the course of 27 years more than 8 million dollars worth of tapes yielded $21,000 in cash and gift certificates which allowed us to purchase furnishings for the church, the parish hall and give donations and provide for our many social justice outreach charities. The supermarket tape program was discontinued in 2009 and while we were sorry to see it go it was time for Pat to take a well deserved rest from her labours.

     

    Numerous parish fundraising and social activities were held under the auspices of the League for many years. Chief among these was the annual Christmas bazaar which was convened for more than thirty years by our hard working past president, Esther Costello. For many years also we sponsored a Valentines dance and a St. Patrick’s Day concert which were fundraising events, as well as social gatherings. There were spring and fall card parties, bake sales and garage sales. A couple of times we even indulged our interest in style and glamour by sponsoring a fashion show and inviting a cosmetician to give a demonstration. 

     

    The Mary Skinner groups began within the Ladies Association in the seventies and continued until 2008.They consisted of small card parties held in members’ homes on a regular basis. A small fee was collected each evening and contributed to the League. They were so named for the Archbishop’s sister, who first came up with the idea.

     

     One project that we all really enjoyed was the compilation of our favourite recipes into two cookbooks which were published for sale to our friends and fellow parishioners. The first edition of “Our Favourite Recipes” came out in 1983 and our second effort, “Delectable Desserts”, followed in 1988.  They were a great success in content and in sales.

     

    In addition to fund raising and social projects, the League has been very active in supporting the parish in many other ways. One of our first and largest undertakings of this nature was cooking and serving a dinner for fifty priests for the opening of our new church. There have been numerous receptions for special occasions for the priests when they had an anniversary or a special birthday. They were also honoured upon the occasions of their leaving the parish for another ministry. Receptions were also catered for the First Communicants and Confirmandi. At the present time our recognition to these events is to have the President present the children with a memento such as a rosary or prayer book. We continue to help at parish gatherings at Christmas and Easter and take our turn with the monthly coffee mornings. However, by relinquishing some of these fund raising and parish activities, the League is now able to devote more of its efforts to our primary purposes of spiritual development, issues relating to the sanctity of the home, social problems and the role of women in society and in the Church.

    Overall the activities of the League have been an enormous collection of modest efforts.  Our activities were not earth shattering, but undoubtedly they made a difference in the lives of many people and as Thomas Merton once said “ small things make a difference”.


    Resolutions Standing Committee

    The Resolutions initiative of the League allows the parish councils to have a voice at the national level. The Resolutions committee of the individual council has the responsibility of deciding which of the many social, humanitarian or legal issues it will bring to the general meetings. Research on these issues is then presented to the council for discussion followed by a vote. If accepted, the resolution then goes to the provincial convention where the decisions are made about which resolutions will be sent to the National convention. At the National level the final selections are made regarding which resolutions will be presented to the Federal Government.

    The St. Pius X Council, at its fall meetings, reviews and studies the resolutions passed by National at its Summer Convention and decides which one it will support by doing a letter writing campaign or in some other action during the year. Some of the resolutions which have been supported by the St. Pius X Council are as follows:

    The Youth Criminal Justice Act.
    Increased old Age Security
    Grandparents right of access to their grandchildren
    National funding for Mater care which would be matched by the federal government
    Bill BC407 regarding euthanasia and assisted suicide
    Petition to protect the unborn from criminal acts
    Legal protection for all  those who object to the solemnization of civil marriage of same sex partners 
    Sensitivity training for the judiciary 
    Global accountability for Canadian mining companies

    Protection for the unborn against criminal acts
    Childhood  poverty
    Support for North West Territories for provincial status
    Pension income should not be considered as salary
    Improved living for Seniors
    Support for the fishery

    This is by no means a comprehensive list of all the resolutions we have supported. It does however give an idea of the type and scope of the resolutions studied and supported by our Council.



    Epilogue

    Upon first reading that our theme of Peace and Hope was to be implemented for this year with a focus on Palliative Care and Welcome Friend, one could be forgiven for feeling mystified as to how this could be carried out. Gradually, the realization came that the women who chose these interpretations of the theme were wise women indeed.

    Looking over the list of our charter members, it becomes evident that we must be replaced and soon. Many of the original group have passed on to their reward, many others are in ill health, and many are past their prime in energy if not in dedication.

    The question is how to attract younger women. We have been fortunate at St. Pius X over the past two years in that we have 16 new members and several of these are younger women. One is a high school student; one attending University; two are young professional engineers  with young children. What are their needs and how can the League best fill them? The answer may be found in our theme and its derivatives “Welcome Friend“ and “Palliative Care.”  These may be the key to the needs of the next generation.

    Our society is rapidly changing as we move from a resource based society to a more technologically based one. Even the oil industry, while itself a resource, attracts a much different type of worker than the fishery. This is a highly skilled, mobile work force that moves around the globe as the industry dictates. What about the families? Do they need support, companionship, advice on where to find local services ?  Is there a role here for the St. Pius X CWL?

    With our world in its present state of war and turmoil, many people are being displaced. Some will come to our shores; some have already arrived. The Association of New Canadians offers them some assistance. What can we do to augment these services?

     

    Memorial University is on our doorstep. It attracts many foreign students. Some have chosen to worship at St. Pius X Parish. Some of them are young people; some are families. 

    To all of the above , what can we do to say - “Welcome Friend” ?   

    The next generation is often referred to as the sandwich generation, as they struggle to raise their families and deal with ageing parents. Obviously, they do not have much time to come to meetings. Could we offer them a mini retreat designed solely for their needs and attended only by this age group?  Could we meet them on their own turf, the internet? In order to accomplish this, we would have to upgrade our own skills considerably. Could we organize a “Parent Sitting Service” for the ageing parents to allow the young people a night off, or a driving service to help with doctor appointments?  Services such as these would put our Palliative Care challenge into practice and provide a positive contact for the League with our younger women. 

    These then are a few random thoughts about possible suggestions for the future expansion of our Council .Although we are attracting younger members, the majority of our members are getting older. If we are to continue to keep a vibrant Council we have to be open to change .  “Palliative Care” and “Welcome Friend”  may point the way.  

     

    Spiritual Advisors

    Father Leonard Fischer S.J. 1970-1982,
    Father William Browne S.J. 1982-1988,
    Father Donald Beaudois S.J. 1988-1992,
    Father Kevin McKenna S.J. 1992,
    Father Wayne Bolton S.J. 1993-2003 a
    Father Michael O'Donnell S.J. 2003-2009
     
    Past Presidents
    Mary Goss 
    Patricia Allston
    Iris Kendall
    Madonna McCarthy
    Teresa McCarthy
    Kay Allan
    Donna Fagan
    Marguerite Ross
    Ester Costello
    Rita Janes
     
     
    St. Pius X CWL Executive  2009
    Rita Janes
    Esther Costello
    Ruby Sharpe
    Cecilia Fitzpatrick
    Evelyn Hennessey
    Sandra Fowler
    Beth Boulos Ryan
    Susan Walley
    Edna Mulrooney
    Marie Duggan
    Madonna McCarthy
    Fr. Mike O’Donnell
    President
    Past President; Organization Chair
    President Elect; Health and Education
    Vice-President
    Treasurer
    Secretary
    Spiritual Development Chair
    Christian Life Chair
    Community Life Chair
    Corresponding Secretary
    Parish Life Chair
    Spiritual Advisor

    Founding Members - 1974
    Ann Aylward
    Patricia Allston
    Marion Bailey
    Nora Cahill
    Esther Costello
    Marie Duggan
    Teresa Gosine
    Joyce Goss
    Patricia Kennedy
    Ruth Kielley
    Joan Mills
    Agnes Thompson
    Linwood Trask

    Deceased Members
    Mary Brennan
    Dulcie Coleman
    Mary Coleman
    Rita Fitzpatrick
    Josephine Goss
    Mary Goss (1st President)
    Vera Green
    Marion Noftall
    Kathleen Vaughan



    Appreciation

    An expression of appreciation is extended to the 35th Anniversary History of the League Subcommittee – Ann Aylward, Chair, Patricia Allston and Marie Duggan, who researched our archives and did interviews so that they could share with you this history of the St. Pius X CWL over its 35 years. Thank you to League members and families of deceased members who shared mementos, scrapbooks,  and stories, proofread and edited to make the story ready for the printers.  Thank you also to all members and parishioners who over the year supported our fundraising activities allowing us to undertake the printing of this booklet.