CWL convention addresses social justice issues
By Eva Arsenault
WINNIPEG — The 64th Annual Catholic Women’s League of Canada Manitoba Provincial Convention was held on June 2-3, hosted by the Winnipeg Diocesan Council and the St. James-Assiniboia Parish Council. The St. James-Assiniboia Council was formed in 1986 and consists of four parishes: St. Paul the Apostle, Blessed John XXIII, St. Charles and St. Ann’s.
The convention began with a mass at St. Charles celebrated
by Winnipeg Archbishop James Weisgerber. Among the special guests at
the banquet were the archbishop and Betty Ann Brown Davidson, national
president-elect and chair of organization for the Catholic Women’s League of Canada.
In keeping with the theme of the convention, Women of Faith and Justice,
Weisgerber reminded delegates that “faith calls our lives and our
communities to work for justice.”
The entertainment for the evening was provided by Keewatin Otchitchak
(Northern Crane) a group of traditional women singers, accompanied by
Jacqueline Nogier, Manitoba provincial president, said the convention “provides another opportunity to educate members on a range of topics.”
effort is being made to schedule the three diocesan conventions on different
weekends to allow members to attend more than just their own convention.
“This allows the women to be exposed to happenings in all areas
of the province,” Nogier said.
The convention was an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate
the achievements of members of the league throughout the province. Janet
Brunger, Winnipeg diocesan council president, said, “to each one
of us, the little bit that we do is not much but when we multiply that
little bit by many hands, many hours and many coins, it becomes an incredible
Mary-Margaret Patterson, chair of community life, reported
on the multitude of ways members of the Catholic Women’s League are living the advice
of Jesus: “Whatever you do for the least of these, you do unto
Patterson said CWL members support numerous women’s shelters, halfway
houses and crisis centres. “Hampers of food and household goods
were gathered and delivered to many different venues, such as missions
for street people, drop-in centres and inner-city community centres.
Work parties visited several soup kitchens to serve and house clean.
Infant formula, clothing and necessities were collected and provided
to pregnancy support services and shelters for underprivileged women.
In all this activity, the needs of the Aboriginal community were included
in the decisions as to where the support was directed.”
One of the primary tasks of the CWL is to address social justice issues
and ethical questions. The CWL seeks to influence legislative and administrative
bodies at all levels to preserve the dignity of the human person. Politically,
one of its major roles is to prepare resolutions which are representative
of the beliefs of Catholic women and to lobby the government to act on
Four resolutions were presented this year by the Manitoba Provincial Council at the convention: improved living conditions for First Nations and Inuit communities; mandatory drug and/or alcohol rehabilitation in correctional facilities; Canadian Blood Services ID Number for The Catholic Women’s League of Canada; and expanded powers for inspection and enforcement of medicinal marijuana license provisions.