Proverbs 31:8-9—“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
Warmest Greetings and Blessings to All,
As we near the end of another Diocesan term, I would like to thank you for allowing me to serve as your Diocesan Legislation Standing Committee Chairperson. The experience provides many blessings, including providing a leadership opportunity in serving the people of God, expanding friendships within the league, but most importantly, it provides spiritual formation, which is the essence in aspiring to become more Christ like and more holy.
I approached this great honour to serve with a humble heart while bearing in mind a profound quote from an admirable Catholic woman – Mother (Saint) Teresa. She said: “I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.” These wise words have been a source of inspiration throughout life, which is why one of my first goals when accepting this position in 2017, was to establish a Diocesan Legislation Standing Sub-Committee. This goal was reached when two ladies stepped forward to serve as members on that committee. I would like to extend a special thank you to Lucienne Rowan and Marisa Di Filippo for giving of their time, love and talents in helping me serve/assist our members in the legislation portfolio.
Another goal was to develop and share a legislation 101 training presentation, as well as form letters and other resources to better support our members in their legislation portfolios. The legislation 101 presentation and supporting materials were presented to parish councils, as well as via mini workshops held at the Hamilton Regional Fall Meeting, and at last year’s Diocesan Convention. I am most pleased to report that members have found these materials helpful in monitoring and sharing information on legislation, taking action and also reaching out to their elected officials with confidence and success!
There is no greater gift than love, and loving one another. Serving in the league allows us to share our love, and keep Christ in the centre of our lives. Serving also allows us to advocate and protect others and our common home. As volunteers we give of our time, our love, and of our God-given talents to advocate for change and be a voice for the vulnerable. We stand firm on our moral beliefs in protecting the sanctity of life, restoring peace, dignity, justice and compassion back into a broken world. “Legislative activity is always best based on care for the people” (Pope Francis).
Provincial Legislation Chairperson, Karen McDonald advised that 28 teams across Ontario participated in the scavenger hunt. The Hamilton Diocesan councils represented 25% of those who participated. Kudos parish councils who participated in this provincial initiative to learn more and educate our members on homelessness!
ONTARIO GOVERNMENT VISIT
You may recall a request I received from provincial this past fall, and forwarded to you to contact your MPP’s and ask them to attend a CWL sponsored event at the Ontario Legislature on November 26, 2018. This request generated a lot of positive activity. For example, several members contacted me seeking assistance in contacting their MPP’s, to which I shared a copy of a letter that I had sent to my MPP to use as a template. I received follow-ups from members informing me that their MPP’s replied, accepted the invite and thanked them for reaching out. This contact provided an opportunity for several councils to form a relationship with their MPPs.
DIOCESAN CONVENTION MAY 2019
I have had the pleasure to work with Joan Schurter, our Diocesan President and Catherine Feren, our Diocesan Spiritual Development Chairperson and First Vice-President, developing a proposal and action plan for our 2019 Diocesan Convention theme. The theme is “Welcome Home,” and incorporates elements of our national theme “Care for Our Common Home”, which is based on Pope Francis’s Laudato Si. Our focus is to promote a welcoming environment for our members to thrive in, feel valued, loved, safe, protected and at peace. Promoting and embracing our mission to take action on social justice to protect and advocate for God’s creation of our common home (the earth) and each other through compassion, kindness, respect and common dignity. Taking action as Legislation Chairpersons and as members of the CWL, will help us to grow spiritually and become more mindful to be intentional disciples of Christ.
EYE ON LEGISLATION
Please continue to monitor and encourage our members to contact their government representatives with respect to the following Bills:
- Bill 13, Time to Care Act (Long-Term Care Homes Amendment, Minimum Standard of Daily Care), 2018 – Private Members Bill received First Reading July 31, 2018
- Bill 58, Family Caregiver Day Act, 2018 – Received First Reading November 20, 2018
- Bill 59, Caregiver Recognition Act 2018 – Received Second Reading December 6, 2018 and referred to the standing committee on social justice
- Bill 63, Right to Timely Mental Health and Addiction Care for Children and Youth Act, 2018 – Received First Reading on November 27, 2018
To access these Bills, go to http://www.ola.org/en/legislative-buisness/bills/current
I look forward to seeing you at regionals and the Diocesan Convention.
May Our Blessed Mother and the Holy Spirit guide you in service to others and in advocacy in protecting God’s creation, fulfilling your work as Legislation Standing Committee Chairpersons and as Members of the Catholic Women’s League.
Blessings and Hugs,
Diocesan Legislation Standing Committee Chairperson