KEYNOTE SPEAKER — Halifax-based actor and comedian Judy Savoy addressed the theme of Women of Peace and Hope at the provincial convention of the Catholic Women’s League in Saskatoon May 31. (Photo by Kiply Lukan Yaworski)
CWL addresses issues of ongoing concern
Kiply Lukan Yaworski
— Catholic Women’s League of Canada members from across
Saskatchewan gathered May 31-June 1 in Saskatoon for the 62nd annual
provincial convention of the CWL.
resolutions, speakers and a re-affirmation of the executive officers
for another term were part of the Saskatchewan Provincial Council convention
held at Holy Spirit Parish.
CWL theme, Women of Peace and Hope, was explored in prayer and talks
throughout the two-day convention. Keynote speaker Judy Savoy of Halifax
addressed the theme May 31, and national CWL president Danielle McNeil-Hessian
explored it further in her address to the convention June 1, stressing
that “Jesus Christ is our peace and hope.”
approved two resolutions related to community life brought forward from
diocesan conventions held earlier this spring.
resolution, which will now be forwarded to the national council for
consideration at the national convention in August, urges the federal
government to ban the mining and production of chrysotile asbestos and
to end government funding to promote the export of the known carcinogen
to developing countries.
of Weyburn spoke to the resolution, describing how Canada continues
to promote the sale of chrysotile asbestos in developing countries although
exposure to the product is known to cause a range of diseases such as
lung cancer, mesothelioma and fibrosis of the lungs.
exports 95 per cent of its asbestos, primarily to India, Indonesia,
Bangladesh and other Asian countries, where it is mixed with cement
to make asbestos cement products, mainly cement sheets used for roofs,”
said Procknow. “Families live in cramped quarters under the asbestos
roof which sheds deadly carcinogen fibres down on them for decades.”
resolution, calling for broad consultation on nuclear fuel waste storage,
will now be taken to the provincial government.
to the resolution noted that in the 2009 Perrins Report on the future
of uranium in Saskatchewan, 86 per cent of 900 responses were strongly
opposed to nuclear fuel waste being stored or disposed of in Saskatchewan.
urges the provincial government “to structure a nuclear fuel waste
management committee representing all of the stakeholders” and
that this committee “consider the feasibility of long-term storage
of nuclear waste and the possible ramifications of such storage to the
public at large.”
is a very serious matter,” said Marion Penna of St. Mary’s
Parish, Saskatoon council. Penna noted that there have been ongoing
efforts on the part of government and industry to wear down public resistance
to the transportation and storage of nuclear waste.
of reports were delivered to the provincial membership during the business
session of the convention, including updates from diocesan CWL presidents
Susan Melchiorre of the Saskatoon diocese, Mary Bybliw of the Regina
archdiocese and Erika Maier of the Prince Albert diocese.
chair of the Christian Family Life committee, noted the many challenging
issues that CWL members have been involved with over the past year.
She noted the defeat of Bill C-384 to legalize euthanasia and assisted
suicide and thanked CWL members for lobbying members of Parliament on
on the recent March for Life rally held at the provincial legislative
building in Regina, and encouraged CWL members to continue to work against
abortion by focusing their energies on helping women make an informed
decision about their options by addressing the issue of poverty and
supporting organizations that provide services to women in crisis.
the difficulties being faced by many families and seniors on fixed incomes
in the recent economic downturn. “The gap between the rich and
the poor is widening. The number of people using the food bank has increased
by 18 per cent,” she said, noting recent increases in the cost
of food and accommodation. “As CWL members, we must be aware of
what is happening in our communities. Look for innovative ways to help
those in need.”
chair Marcella Pedersen encouraged CWL members to continue to work on
issues of concern. “Whether we are concerned about health care,
human trafficking, the environment or the right of farmers to save seed,
legislation is a source of hope for us in one way or another,”
she said, challenging members to continue to lobby government. “If
you are not writing the prime minister every week, why aren’t
convention concluded with the celebration of the eucharist with Saskatoon
Bishop Donald Bolen and the reaffirmation of officers serving on the
In his homily, Bolen encouraged the league to pursue a broad vision of the Gospel, seeking to make a connection between their efforts and God’s work to renew the earth. He also asked them to be agents of unity in the church and in their community.