the least understood Christian virtue
By Terri Scott
WINNIPEG — Hope “is
the least understood virtue of the Christian life,” said Winnipeg
Archbishop James Weisgerber as he presided at the opening mass of the
Catholic Women’s League Manitoba provincial convention May 29
- 30 at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Winnipeg.
Weisgerber made the comment
in reference to the CWL’s theme, Women of Peace and Hope. He said
that hope “is not wishing, but it offers us the expectancy of
what is to come.”
The archbishop likened hope
to a woman expecting a baby and who is preparing for the birth.
“We need to use our
energy to allow the kingdom of God to come to his people. The league
uses its energy to transform the world. The Lord will come to transform
the world as we expect Jesus to come at the end of time,” said
A highlight of the convention
was the presentation of a five-year pin and a Certificate of Merit to
Rev. Martin Bradbury, provincial spiritual adviser, for his contributions
to the league. Bradbury had transferred from the Archdiocese of Keewatin-The
Pas to the Archdiocese of St. Boniface before his appointment to a second
“To receive an award
from the CWL is special, ” said Bradbury. “The CWL is amazing
and a gift to me. You are a living example of all that you can do when
you are working together for God.”
National president Danielle
McNeil-Hessian brought greetings from the national council and reminded
the members to “keep in mind that we should be a shining example
of the CWL for others looking at us.”She thanked members for their
faith and trust in her and said she has learned a lot going from convention
McNeil-Hessian led a lively
workshop on Women of Peace and Hope with a discussion of how members
are instruments of peace and how they bring hope to each other, to strangers
and to those in palliative care.
“The Sacrament of the
Sick is to be used,” she said. “Prayer is of great value
and something we all need. Let us truly pray for change in the world
because that is where hope lies.”
Susan Bernier, provincial
president, thanked the nearly 120 members for attending. She also thanked
the provincial members for the more than $125,000 collected for charities
in the past year.
The convention passed five
resolutions: financial support for the Sisters of the Holy Names’
House of Peace in Winnipeg; funding for accessible library services
for the blind and partially sighted; a ban on cat and dog fur products
and development of labelling requirements for fur products in Canada;
support for an income tax credit for participation by children in arts
and cultural activities; and mandatory use of bicycle helmets in Manitoba
for all ages.
Winnipeg diocesan president and a member of the Catholic Response Steering
Committee for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission addressing the
Indian Residential Schools Issue, informed attendees that the archbishops
of Manitoba are strongly encouraging the participation of all in the
TRC event in Winnipeg June 16 - 19 in whatever manner they can.
“What happened in the past is part of what and who we are as Canadian Catholics, regardless of our individual ethnic heritage, and this event and the need for it affects us all,” said Patterson. “We are all part of the solution, just as we are all treaty people.