Past President/Historian AMM Report
This is an exciting time for the Catholic Women’s League as we move ahead with our strategic plans to revitalize our League. Members of the Catholic Women’s League of Canada grow in faith by sharing and witnessing and developing leadership skills to create positive change.
Succession planning for future parish presidents has been an ongoing and difficult struggle for many parish councils. Even before the pandemic, maintaining membership and promoting younger members of the League to assume roles on their executive councils was a challenge. Executive positions just aren’t being filled and it is harder on our membership.
How do we overcome this hurdle? Could you capitalize on younger members who might be willing to take on short-term leadership responsibilities? Did you know you should hold your elections every two years to promote participation without the long-term commitment that might be difficult for younger members with conflicting priorities? Diocesan council has a nomination/election package and governance presentation to assist you with the rollout. Our diocesan team is ready and willing to come visit your council to boost their confidence and uncover their talents and gifts so they can say yes when the election rolls around.
The Constitution and Bylaws and the Policy & Procedures from National, along with your own parish policies, are the stepping-stones to the organization and the running of your councils. Engage our Life Members who are more than willing to offer their assistance.
Remember to revitalize our League we must start by supporting women in their roles on the parish councils.
When new members move into roles of leadership, they bring new ideas and recommendations. We encourage their exciting plans for their term of office. Sometimes these plans may suggest changes and we all know the only constant in life is change. We may be challenged to be resourceful and to think outside the box to achieve certain outcomes. Gradually change will become our ‘new normal’ and allow us to accomplish wonderful League successes.
Over the next few months I will be reaching out to all past parish presidents who are eligible to let their names stand for a nomination to the Hamilton Diocesan council at the May 2022 elections. You all have many gifts and talents to offer to your sisters in the League.
I am forever grateful that I said yes many years back. My spiritual well-being has grown with a deeper connection with our Lord.
I have formed supportive and lasting friendships from my sisters in the League from across our Hamilton diocese. Plus I have had a tremendous amount fun and laughter along the way!
As past presidents we are responsible for the archives and history of our councils. I encourage you to actively pursue the update of your council’s histories as soon as you are allowed access to your League files. 2020 and 2021 have been unprecedented years! We need to capture the challenges and successes! Many parish councils planted anniversary trees to commemorate our 100th Anniversary. The pandemic brought forward new difficulties to stay connected when everyone’s lives were turned upside down.
Zoom became a new normal for executive meetings, recitation of the rosary, virtual chats and retreats helping us all stay connected while keeping our collective social distance. A newsletter was mailed to all members on what was accomplished in 2020/2021.
Too quickly this information and our happenings are lost and forgotten. We must cherish and document our past.
We will get through these hard times and on the other end we will come out stronger. This strength will allow us to be more focused on the League and our role in our Catholic Women’s League councils and their members.
As Catholic women living our faith, we need to maintain a strong desire to bring life to our parish councils and, in fact the parish itself. Through this practice we will unite all Catholic women in the League to grow stronger in the faith.
May God bless you as you continue your efforts, supporting your council and your president in all that they do.