Service and justice presentation will be a highlight at this year's convention
By Laureen McMahon
The B.C. Catholic
VANCOUVER--When Catholic Women's League delegates gather May 5-7 for their annual diocesan convention, four new parish councils will be welcomed, said diocesan president Gisela Montague. "This year we are delighted that CWL members from St. Helen's in Burnaby, St. Joseph's in Port Moody, Corpus Christi in Vancouver, and St. Joseph's in Vancouver will join us."
"We are thrilled with the growth in membership," Montague told The B.C. Catholic. "The renewed interest in the work of the league is so encouraging; we are now reaching more than 4,400 members."
The conference, with the theme "Tell His Glory Among the Nations," will take place at All Saints Church in Coquitlam beginning with Mass at 6:30 p.m. offered by Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB. As is traditional, it will be followed by a reception hosted by the Knights of Columbus, said Montague.
The next day, Evelyn Vollet of the Office of Service and Justice of the Vancouver archdiocese will give a presentation on the work of her office and the exciting initiatives taking place in the archdiocese.
"I hope that this will be an introduction for CWL members to how our services reach out to our immigrant populations. I will discuss issues such as human trafficking of persons for the purposes of prostitution and how we can help ease the difficulties faced by migrant labourers in this country," Vollet said.
A panel discussion will follow with guest panelists Sister Debora Isaacs, RGS, who also is with the Office of Service and Justice; Sister Nancy Brown, CS(H), from Covenant House Vancouver; and Father Juan Luiz Carbajal-Tejeda, CS, an assistant pastor at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, who is involved with ministry to migrant workers.
Provincial president Nancy Simms will speak on leadership and league protocols in a talk entitled "You Are the League." John Noonan, who has previously spoken to the CWL on parliamentary procedures, will direct an interactive presentation with the delegates.
Dr. Shimi Kang, a Harvard-trained psychiatrist with a special focus on addictions in women and young adults, will give an overview of mental health issues and how they affect families.
The convention will end with Mass at 5 p.m., during which newly elected officers will be installed, and a banquet, said Montague. Convention registration form can be downloaded at http://www.cwl.bc.ca.
The CWL recently honoured religious sisters in the Vancouver archdiocese at a Sisters' Appreciation Dinner. Special guest Archbishop Miller joined CWL spiritual adviser Carmelite Father Jerald D'Souza, pastor of St. Edmund's Parish, to help the League celebrate the religious vocations of three jubilarians.
Sister Jean Horlick, SEJ, was celebrating 60 years, Sister Rosemary Brosseau, CND, 50 years, and Sister Dorothy Becotte, SEJ, 60 years. Sisters Marcelle Lavigne, SEJ, (70 years) and Rose Marie Poitras, SEJ, (75 years) were unable to be present.
The program, said communications chairwoman Vinola Aguilera, was coordinated by Susan Schembri with the assistance of Region 6.
One hundred and fifteen CWL members made a Lenten retreat at St. Clare of Assisi Parish in Coquitlam in March, Aguilera said.
"Pastor Father Craig Scott gave an inspiring homily and we were delighted to welcome Father John Horgan, who spoke and prayed with us and gave a talk on 'Living Lent,'" said Aguilera. Special thanks, she said, were due to Julie Rose, spiritual development chairwoman, for organizing the day, and to Amber Zolc from Catholic Christian Outreach.