The Canadian League. Official Publication of The Catholic Women s League of Canada. Volume 90/No.2/Spring Printed in Canada

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1 The Canadian League Official Publication of The Catholic Women s League of Canada Volume 90/No.2/Spring 2014 Printed in Canada

2 NATIONAL EXECUTIVE TABLE OF CONTENTS OFFICERS Spiritual Advisor: Bishop William McGrattan Auxiliary Bishop of Toronto President: Betty Anne Brown Davidson President-Elect: Barbara Dowding 1 st Vice-President: Mary Nordick 2 nd Vice-President: Cecile Miller Secretary-Treasurer: Judy Lewis Past President: Velma Harasen Spiritual Development: Mary Nordick Organization: Barbara Dowding Christian Family Life: Margaret Ann Jacobs Community Life: Fran Lucas Education and Health: Peggy Roche Communications: Cecile Miller Resolutions: Shari Guinta Legislation: Anne Gorman Laws: Velma Harasen International Relations: Betty Anne Brown Davidson PRESIDENTS OF PROVINCIAL COUNCILS Alberta Mackenzie: Dorothy Johansen B.C. & Yukon: Doreen Gowans Manitoba: Monica Brechka Military Ordinariate: Donna Penney New Brunswick: Marion Fogan Newfoundland and Labrador: Rita Janes Nova Scotia: Debbie Samson Ontario: Betty Colaneri Prince Edward Island: Barbara MacFarlane Quebec: Suzanne Wiseman Saskatchewan: Marge Szabo President s Message Mary star of the new evangelization The Origins of Peace Life Membership what exactly is it? Do You Have Passion? Today s Reality of Velma s Dream National Office Note... 7 Mental Illness and Suicide Pornography Keeps Hurting... 9 A Resolution is More Than Just a Resolution On Rock Stars and Change Disaster Relief Funds th Annual National Convention Tentative Program and Agenda Sex-Selection/Gendercide Medically Assisted Procreation, the Church and You A Message from The National Chairperson of Communications And the Waters Swelled Trafficking and Prostitution one linked to the other Changing the Laws of The Oldest Profession A Wee Bit of History For God and Canada A Portrait of National Office Introducing EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Kim Scammell C-702 Scotland Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3M 1X5 Tel: (204) Toll-Free: (888) Fax: (204) Toll-Free: (888) Website: EDITORIAL BOARD National Chairperson of Communications: Cecile Miller National President: Betty Anne Brown Davidson Executive Director: Kim Scammell The Canadian League is published three times a year by The Catholic Women s League of Canada. Material may not be reprinted, in whole or in part, without permission of the publisher. Subscription rates: Annual national per capita fee of $13.00 includes subscription rate of $3.00. Non-members, $8.00 per year. Agreement number ISSN Printed in Canada National Office Staff Directory Executive Director: Kim (national executive and policy) Senior Accounting Clerk: Valroy (orders and per capita fees) Corresponding Secretary: Diane Kelln... (correspondence, crests, communiques) Membership Coordinator: Amanda (membership renewals, changes and years of service) Communications Coordinator: Erica (magazine, e-newsletter, website, social media, resolutions) Office Assistant: Ingrid (bursaries, Book of Life, parish council records and archives) All other inquiries should be sent for forwarding to the appropriate respondent.

3 President s Message Betty Anne Brown Davidson National President The Catholic Women s League of Canada is a national organization rooted in gospel values calling its members to holiness through service to the people of God. League mission statement In baptism, Jesus called each of us by name into a special relationship with Him. We are chosen to be God s self in this world, each in a unique situation, Richard Rohr wrote in Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality. The invitation to walk with the Lord is countercultural and no one knows the end of the story. We are invited to walk by faith with the promise the Lord will always be with us. Every day this call is reissued as we are called to prayer with the words of Jesus, Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest awhile (Mk 6:31). Our whole lives change because we are open to encountering the Lord in prayer, the sacraments, one another and creation. We begin to live authentically. We ask the hard questions about justice for all, and we are not afraid to speak His word to the poor, sick and abandoned. We realize our time and treasure are gifts to be shared. We have responsibilities. Remember how National Past President Velma Harasen and past National Spiritual Advisor Archbishop Martin Currie (St. John s) had dreams and dared to utter the call? These dreams were fulfilled in no time flat! Now the people of the world can benefit from the faith and selfless service of League sisters. I am going to the Holy Land with the Catholic Near East Welfare Association at the end of June to see Velma s Dream projects in their second year. Marty s Dream, for girls in Ghana to have a safe residence, is now ready to build. May God continue to shower His blessings upon the children of the world, no matter where they live. The Holy Father tells us, We must never forget that we are pilgrims journeying alongside one another. This means that we must have sincere trust in our fellow pilgrims and turn our gaze to what we are all seeking: the radiant peace of God s face (Evangelii Gaudium). National conventions offer unique opportunities that call members: to reconnect with their sisters in faith to worship together in the light of the League theme We Have Seen The Lord! to put the finishing touches on projects and resolutions Members in genteel Fredericton, New Brunswick, are calling their sisters. Besides reports, resolutions and the election of a new national executive: On Gathering Day, keynote speaker Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus Robert Morneau (Green Bay) will set hearts on fire with the mystery of being called to listen for the spirit of God, with the joy of following unexpected paths to bring His love to the world and with the practical steps to follow the call to holiness and wholeness. On Monday afternoon, former senator Michael Kirby will share his concern for Canadian youth facing mental health challenges. On Tuesday morning, as a follow up to Resolution Building Relationships and Partnerships with Canada s Indigenous Peoples, Maliseet elder and University of New Brunswick professor Imelda Perley will suggest ways to build bridges of relationship with indigenous sisters. On Tuesday afternoon, attendees will welcome two representatives from the Coady International Institute to explain how they are teaching indigenous women leadership skills in Canada. In the League there is tremendous joy in realizing members are among friends, other women who have likewise heeded the call, and women with the same goals and ideals. Is this joy surprising? I was called to be national president two years ago. What an honour and an absolute privilege it has been for me and for my family! I have spent time with members in small towns and huge cities, in every province in Canada, sharing the same sincere desire to be God s presence in the world. I cherish the memory of members open enthusiasm, prayers and collegiality. Members can do what they do with the quiet background whispers of support from our husbands, friends and children who welcome them home when the journey is over. To them, I give heartfelt thanks. Once words have left our mouth, we can never take them back. Once God calls us into His service, He waits with delight for us to respond. Together we can proclaim, We Have Seen The Lord! V SPRING 2014 / THE CANADIAN LEAGUE 1

4 Mary Star of the New Evangelization William McGrattan, Auxiliary Bishop of Toronto National Spiritual Advisor Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel) is the first apostolic exhortation written by Pope Francis. In it, he encourages the Christian faithful to begin a new chapter of evangelization, of announcing the gospel with joy and of pointing out new paths for the church to take in years to come. He offers the church a humble invitation to walk the path of Christianity with an eternal newness found in the encounter with Christ, who gives life a new horizon and decisive direction. Mary echoed this joy in receiving a unique grace and a privileged encounter through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. With her fiat she became the mother of the Word made flesh, Jesus our Saviour. From her own lips we hear this joy of a new horizon and decisive direction for her life and for those who would follow her Son. My soul magnifies the Lord; and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant (Lk. 1:46-47). In the concluding paragraphs of the exhortation Pope Francis focusses on Mary s role in proclaiming with joy the gospel. Mary is always present in the midst of the people. She joined the disciples in praying for the coming of the Holy Spirit and without her we could never truly understand the spirit of the new evangelization. Pope Francis stated, Every form of authentic evangelization is always new and that Jesus is the first and greatest evangelizer. At the foot of the cross it was Christ who led us to Mary. He entrusted her to the beloved disciple so that the Church s journey of discipleship would be marked by the maternal love and gaze of Mary. The church has come to see in this maternal image a spiritual encounter through the mysteries of the gospel; i.e., the joyful, luminous, sorrowful and glorious mysteries which we pray in the rosary. This is the Marian style of the church s prayer and work of evangelization. Mary s love, tenderness and humility of spirit allowed her to recognize the traces of God s Spirit in events great and small in her life, and with haste she sought to be of service to the poor and to advocate for justice, peace and reconciliation. Pope Francis noted that this interplay of justice and tenderness, of contemplation and concern for others, is what makes the ecclesial community look to Mary as a model of evangelization. He invites the church to implore her maternal intercession that we become a home for many peoples, a mother for all peoples, and through her to be opened to the birth of a new world. Mary was guided by the Holy Spirit, advancing in a life of faith directed toward service and fruitfulness. Her exceptional pilgrimage of faith represents a constant point of reference for the Church (Redemptoris Mater, John Paul II), and I believe for the women of the League. In the fall 2013 issue of The Canadian League I encouraged members to make a daily commitment to prayer as one of the paths to holiness. In light of this commitment I now invite them to renew our Marian tradition of prayer, as a path to holiness at their parish council meetings and as a way of promoting the new evangelization. The intercessory prayer to Mary through praying the rosary is like a leaven in the heart of the Trinity. Pope Francis says, It is a way of penetrating the Father s heart and discovering new dimensions which can shed light on concrete situations and change them. The most pressing situation we face is one of peace, and Pope Francis has called for the entire world and the church to pray for this gift which was promised by Christ. In the coming year I invite members to pray the rosary at each of their parish council meetings, and to pray for peace throughout the world and Canada, within their local dioceses and parishes. As National President Betty Anne Brown Davidson attends annual provincial and diocesan conventions, I send my greetings and encouragement for the women of the League to pray a Rosary for Peace, and through this devotion to reflect on scripture and the writings of Pope Francis. With Mary s intercession let us pray for the fulfilment of this promise of peace. V 2 THE CANADIAN LEAGUE / SPRING 2014

5 The Origins of Peace Mary Nordick National Chairperson of Spiritual Development A familiar hymn says, Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me. The Prayer of St. Francis says over and over, Make me a channel of your peace. How often have we sung these words? I would bet many times, but how many times have we sung them intentionally? I must confess, in my own case, very rarely. Now is the time to become intentional about peace. Our world is in dire need of peace in homes, communities, countries, global villages and, yes, parish councils is an ideal year to focus on peace as we remember the start of the First World War the war to end all wars and as we hear the repeated calls for peace by Pope Francis. These calls began in his New Year s address and his message for the celebration of the World Day of Peace. The message of the gospel which we profess is one of peace proclaimed by Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, whose peace must begin with each one of us. After all, it is our call as followers of Christ. However, peace is not up to us. We are only channels of God s peace. It is God s peace we proclaim, seek, make and strive to bring about. Christ tells us, Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. (Jn. 14:27), and Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you (Jn. 20:21). How, then, can we let peace begin with us? When we hear of war and strife in the world do we throw up our hands in despair, asking how can we possibly do something about such a massive, complicated situation? Or, worse yet, think that it doesn t concern us and is too far removed from our lives? It is not remote from us. It is our concern as long as even one of our brothers and sisters in Christ suffers. And, yes, we can do something. We can pray for peace, individually every day and regularly at council meetings. We can advocate with government to pursue policies that will lead to peace. These could include putting pressures on warring factions to seek a peaceful resolution and advocating for economic and social policies that seek the common good rather than power and profit for a few. The bible, both the old and new testaments, reminds us that there can be no lasting peace without justice. Righteousness and peace will kiss each other (Ps. 85:10). In an article published in the Prairie Messenger on February 19, 2014, Fr. Martin Vuni, a priest from Sudan (one of the world s most war torn regions), currently on leave from his diocese to provide ministry and raise awareness in the Diocese of Saskatoon on Sudan s plight, notes, the best chance for peace is advocacy. I am privileged to work with Fr. Vuni through the Saskatoon humanitarian agency Friends of Loa, over years of rebuilding a school and dormitories, and now in his peace awareness efforts. Fr. Vuni believes, like Pope Francis, in the power of fraternity/ sorority and communal responsibilities. Fr. Vuni claims in the same article that, Peace cannot be divided. Either all are peaceful, or nobody in our world is really peaceful. In Canada, one area where work for peace is imperative is in our relationships with indigenous brothers and sisters. In this peace work, reconciliation and forgiveness are paramount. The League is working hard to find ways to participate in reconciliation and bridge building between native and non-native communities. Here is a great opportunity for what Pope Francis refers to in his message for the celebration of the World Day of Peace, go out to meet the other in dialogue, pardon and reconciliation, in order to rebuild justice, trust, and hope around you! In our homes, communities and parish councils, fraternity and sorority are essential. Without them, Pope Francis tells us in the same message, It is impossible to build a just society and a solid and lasting peace. All peace building is rooted in the culture of encounter meeting people and getting to know each other. If we are truly to sing, Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me, what steps will we take in this year of remembrance of the start of the First World War? Will it be to be peacemakers, or to be channels of Christ s peace in our broken world? Any step, no matter how small, is a step in the right direction. But no journey to peace can begin without that first step. V SPRING 2014 / THE CANADIAN LEAGUE 3

6 life Membership what exactly is it? Barbara Dowding National Chairperson of Organiziation In The Catholic Women s League of Canada, life membership gives to the recipient, in addition to the honour, a permanent place on the national council, the same voting privileges as accredited delegates at an annual meeting or convention (Constitution & Bylaws, Part XV, Section 2(c)), a voice in its affairs and eligibility for a national appointment. Honorary life membership is a distinct honour bestowed to members who have served as national president. Their uniqueness, dedication and passion shines through in the love, hard work and talent they continue to share with the League. A prime example of this was when honorary life members shared their personal experiences in seeing the Lord at the 93 rd annual national convention. They never truly retire from their role! Privilege entails responsibility. National council requires support and active service from its life members. There is also the expectation that every life member will remain active in her own parish council. Life membership is not intended to be a reward for years of service or a retirement gift. There are appropriate ways of honouring members for their dedication to the League. Life members in a diocese do not attend executive meetings since they do not possess the voting power of the elected officers or parish presidents. They do not have the authority to assume the responsibilities of executive members as clearly defined in Part VIII, Section 2(b), or as commissioned in the Installation of Officers ceremony following election. However, they have accredited delegate voting privileges at diocesan and provincial conventions in the diocese/province in which they hold membership. Only diocesan and provincial executives are entitled to submit applications for life membership in accordance with the established criteria. The application must be signed by both the diocesan and provincial presidents indicating support for the nomination. The responsibility for making the application is with the submitting provincial/diocesan executive as it knows the individual s record of service. The national executive verifies that the criteria have been met and approves the application for life membership. Provincial and diocesan executives should consider whether or not they wish to add requirements in their own policy and procedures manuals, provided these additions do not contravene the national criteria. National office advises the provincial and diocesan executives and the recipient s parish council of the award. National council will officially recognize new life members at the annual national convention and in the annual report. Life members are: expected to maintain their membership by paying annual per capita fees through their parish council responsible for registering for diocesan, provincial and national conventions and are expected to pay their own expenses, other than registration fees at national conventions Life membership is not intended to be a reward for years of service or a retirement gift. In some ways life membership is like being invited to join a special club, but you can only accept it if you love what that club stands for. You will do anything in your power to make sure that it remains strong and true to its mandate. Being a life member is like belonging to a club it is accepting an invitation to promote, love and grow the League. It is a gift to be opened and shared for the good of all. To me that is everything. For me, receiving my life membership is something I will always remember and cherish. It was such a truly humbling experience to join the ranks of the women I admired. Never did I dream of being counted among them. They were so respected we called them matriarchs, and I looked up to them. They were beautiful role models and took mentorship seriously. There is no doubt that without the care, prodding and support I received from these women, and others like them, I would not be writing this article today. V 4 THE CANADIAN LEAGUE / SPRING 2014

7 Do You Have Passion? Margaret Ann Jacobs National Chairperson of Christian Family Life I m a sap for chick flicks. While I rarely remember the names of the actors or the titles of the films, there are certain words that do resonate in my mind. Such are the words from a movie entitled Serendipity, where a eulogist comments to his friend, You know the Greeks didn t write obituaries. They only asked one question after a man died: Did he have passion? The four words did he have passion often come to mind when I think of the projects I undertake, and I think they should frame everything we do in life. So I ask you, Do you have passion? As chairpersons of Christian family life, are you impassioned about promoting marriage and the family? Do you arrange or enthusiastically encourage engaged and marriage encounters, seek out resources for single parent families facing the difficult challenges of raising a family in the 21 st century or offer stress workshops for those in need? Have you attended or hosted a Theology of the Body workshop? Do you zealously promote the sanctity of life from fertilization to natural death? To which pro-life groups do you belong? Have you arranged programs on ethical issues for your parish (artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, genetic screening, donor gametes, euthanasia )? Are you consistent and relentless, yet objective and respectful, when you contact media, politicians and legislators about your views on marriage, family and the sanctity of life? Have you ardently welcomed the invitation, challenge or opportunity to plan, organize and carefully execute plans for an active youth ministry, complete with rallies, programs and liturgies that are educational, uniquely Catholic, ecumenical and evangelical? Do you warmly reach out to senior, widowed, separated and divorced members in a fervent effort to be respectful, inclusive, supportive and life-giving? Are the special gifts and talents of disabled individuals in your councils recognized and valued? If you believe the statement on page 46 of the Executive Handbook, Vocations are a gift of God and they are born in communities of faith, there should be animated, visible programs in your homes, schools and parishes to encourage, discuss and promote religious life. You are women rooted in Gospel values. You are women who are called by God. You are women who accept the challenge to reach out in service to others. So share the good news of the gospel! Imagine you were on that road to Emmaus. Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us? (Lk. 24:32) Isn t it like a fire burning in us today? Do you have passion? It is contagious, you know. Pass it on to your committee, your parish and community! Catch the fire! V National council regretfully advises The passing of life members Ann Dube, Sudbury, Ontario Jean McCann, Barrie, Ontario Lottie Gorski, Harrow, Ontario Magazine Deadlines Fall issue July 15, 2014 Winter issue November 15, 2014 Spring issue February 15, 2015 SPRING 2014 / THE CANADIAN LEAGUE 5

8 Today s reality of Velma s Dream Fran Lucas National Chairperson of Community Life to help with their studies and reintegrate them into school. The program accompanies them until they graduate so they can continue to be part of their community and grow to become the next generation of Christians in Jerusalem. The Infant Welfare Centre organizes a series of curricular and extra-curricular lessons to help develop the educational capacity of the children, uses creative methods to reconnect these children with the academic material they are required to memorize at school, and introduces arts and other tools to make studying an interesting task. Members have been so generous with their contributions to Velma s Dream! I am pleased to update you on the progress of this initiative and the good work being done. Working with Melodie Gabriel, development assistant for the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA), we have the following report and photographs to share. 1. Infant Welfare Centre, Jerusalem Remedial Education Program Project Description & Background The current political situation in Jerusalem has affected Palestinian Christians in the Old City, who continue to suffer from poverty and unemployment. This causes social issues among youths in the Old City, including high drop-out rates in schools, and prevalent crime and drug abuse. Women in the Old City of Jerusalem remain a marginalized group as there are very few support programs providing social services for mothers and wives. The Remedial Education Program tries to tackle these issues by working with youths (and their mothers) Outcomes This year s program benefited a total of 182 students and 50 mothers. The program has greatly improved students grades in school and created better parent-child relationships. The program offered lessons in English and Arabic, and math and science for students who score below average in school and are considered at-risk of dropping out. This study time has allowed the students to improve their skills and to gain additional time with a teacher, enabling them to catch up to other students in their classes. Books were also provided under the grant to encourage these students to read and allow for classroom discussion. The Infant Welfare Centre promoted science and math exhibitions at schools and purchased materials for the exhibition. The exhibition was held at St. Dimitri Orthodox School and was the first science exhibition in its history. Students participating in the Remedial Education Program were able to attend two field trips, to Wadi Al-Mukalak and Hisham s Palace in Jericho, to enrich their knowledge about the history of the country and encourage them to research more about the Holy Land. 6 THE CANADIAN LEAGUE / SPRING 2014

9 The program also provided psychological and educational sessions for mothers of at-risk teenagers a social worker worked with these mothers to develop and promote healthier parent-child relationships. Topics included dealing with child depression, how to be a positive parent, reviewing discipline techniques and the basics of a healthy diet. 2. Beit Sahour Cooperative Society for Health Welfare- Shepherd s Field Hospital Health control for pregnant women and newborn babies Project Description & Background The Beit Sahour Cooperative Society for Health Welfare is a non-profit organization that aims to provide affordable health care for the residents of Beit Sahour, as well as other areas of the Bethlehem Governorate. The society operates out of the Shepherd s Field Hospital, which has a small surgical unit, an 18-bed maternity ward, outpatient clinic, small 24-hour emergency clinic, laboratory and pharmacy. The Shepherd s Field Hospital provides accessible health care to Christians who are poor, to help them stay in the Holy Land and live with dignity. Through a cooperative, health care costs are 50% less than the private sector and many other health care providers in the area, making it truly affordable for poor families in need of health care. Most of the members of the society who seek medical treatment and care are pregnant women, mothers and small children. Pregnant women and babies are vulnerable groups in Palestinian society, as statistics show the number of iron deficient babies and pregnant women are significantly higher in the West Bank. Preventative measures can be easily introduced to lower this statistic. The Shepherd s Field Hospital also works in cooperation with Caritas Baby Hospital, Bethlehem Bible College and the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem as their referral centre for poor families and individuals who require medical treatment and care but cannot afford it. Outcomes A total of 456 women and children were provided with health care coverage in The Shepherd s Field Hospital was able to purchase and distribute multivitamins, vitamin D, vitamin B12, folic acid and iron supplements for pregnant women and newborn babies; cover expenses for various medical check-ups for pregnant women, newborns and babies; and laboratory tests for gestational diabetes and iron deficiency. V NATIONAL OFFICE NOTE Communication is the foundation of all interactions and relationships and, therefore, the primary focus of the national office membership team. National office has taken constructive strides to increase communication between national office and councils. The creation of an online forum has provided organization chairpersons with a tool to communicate with sister members serving in their role across the country. The hope is to eventually see organization chairpersons helping one another, and sharing frustrations, solutions, opinions and ideas. All parish councils are contacted by a phone call or when membership is remitted. Membership chairpersons appreciate this initiative as it provides peace of mind that their cheque has not been lost in the mail. Canada-wide, 45% of councils are processing membership online. This is wonderful news as it results in the diocesan and provincial councils receiving much-needed funds sooner. Councils that have used the online system for some time have begun to enroll in the pre-authorized debit plan which results in fewer errors and less frustration for organization chairpersons. Membership staff is hearing good news stories. One council has tripled its membership in just two years! Another council was thrilled that their executive consists of women in their thirties and early forties, with a 23-year old on the executive! These are good news stories that could be shared in Be League and The Canadian League. Please share your own good news stories such as these. All councils would love to hear them. V SPRING 2014 / THE CANADIAN LEAGUE 7

10 Mental illness and suicide Peggy Roche National Chairperson of Education and Health When people we know are hospitalized for sickness, injury or surgery, we usually go to visit them and bring them well wishes. When a close friend of mine was hospitalized a while ago because she was suffering from a mental illness and attempted to commit suicide, hardly anyone went to visit her or ask her family how she was doing. She was still the same person as before, so what had changed? What is mental Illness? In A Report on Mental Illnesses in Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada describes mental illness as, characterized by alterations in thinking, mood or behavior associated with significant distress and impaired functioning over an extended period of time. The symptoms of mental illness vary from mild to severe, depending on the type of mental illness, the individual, the family and the socioeconomic environment. Mental illnesses are chronic diseases, although the symptoms may not always be active. The symptoms of mental illness are treatable. The words mental illness and suicide carry a stigma that makes some people feel uncomfortable. Not knowing enough about the topics, we sometimes tend to misread the signals. Due to stigma, the typical reaction encountered by someone with a mental illness (and his or her family) is fear and rejection. Many people lose their self-esteem and are sometimes unwilling to seek help for fear of what others may think. We can help fight the stigma of mental illness by increasing awareness about mental health: Remove the fear. Invite people with mental health problems into our life. Challenge stereotypes and help dispel the myths of mental illness. Stop the prejudice. I didn t know my friend had been struggling and suffering in silence with depression for many years until she attempted suicide. But, looking back now, I recall sometimes she was out of character. I just thought everyone had a bad day once in a while. Then there were times I would not see or hear from her for days. I thought she was busy. A few weeks before her suicide attempt, she gave away her valued and cherished collectables to me. She told me she was downsizing, and I thought she was being generous. When she said to me over a cup of coffee a few days later that she had decided to go on a long trip to somewhere peaceful, I suggested places she could travel. She just smiled. I know now that these are some of the signs that should have alerted me there was something not right with my friend, but I didn t see it coming. Suicide is not a mental illness. It can, however, be a tragic outcome for someone who is experiencing mental health challenges or life events that have left them feeling hopeless and desperate. If you are concerned that someone is contemplating suicide, look for the warning signs and talk with the person directly. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, of the 4,000 Canadians who die every year as a result of suicide, most were confronting a mental health problem or illness. Suicide and mental health issues also share many common risk factors. This is why it is important to implement a mental health strategy in Canada. How can members become more aware? Become better informed on mental health issues and suicide through education. Know the symptoms and intercede if you suspect someone is contemplating suicide. There are many great organizations and groups in Canada with information and guidance. Host a workshop; invite the community to attend, and ask someone from one of these organizations to do a presentation on mental illness and suicide. My friend is receiving treatment for depression and is recovering from her suicide attempt. Her mental health issue has breathed new life into her friends and family. We promised her and ourselves that we are in this with her for the long haul, and we are going to see her through no matter what it takes! All members can do the same for their friends. Like the Hollies song, He ain t heavy, He s my brother. There but for the Grace of God go I! (John Bradford). V A bill introduced in 2011 by Member of Parliament Megan Leslie (Halifax), was reinstated from the first session of 41 st parliament (September 29, 2011) to first reading in the second session of 41 st parliament on October 16, 2013 (short title: National Strategy for Suicide Prevention). 8 THE CANADIAN LEAGUE / SPRING 2014

11 Pornography keeps hurting Cecile Miller National Chairperson of Communications Did you know that, according to the Internet Filter Review, 90% of eight to sixteen-year-olds have viewed pornography online, usually within the context of doing research for homework? The average age of the first exposure is estimated to be as low as eleven. This information appeared in the brochure What the Church Teaches: Pornography, published by Our Sunday Visitor. Did you know some statistics show between 50-60% of marriage breakups cite pornography as part of the underlying cause? In her book Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked our Sexuality, Gail Dines, a professor of sociology and women s studies who has researched the pornography industry for over twenty years, sounds alarms as she discusses the pornography industry, its size, methods and influence on every aspect of our lives. Her statistics show that, The size of the porn industry is staggering (ibid). The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth is preparing a statement focused on pornography. Bishop Richard J. Malone (Buffalo) stated at the USCCB annual general meeting in November that, Pornography is a great temptation that ravages men, women, and children. He also said, It can leave devastating effects on the home, particularly the trust and intimacy between husband and wife, the happiness of the family, the innocence of childhood. Bishop Malone further stated, It is well documented that the more pornography spreads, the more violent and debased it becomes and the more it exploits the men and the women who are part of the industry. Gail Dines statistics back up Bishop Malone s remarks. The introduction of her book takes the reader to a pornography trade show. She tells of the extremes to which the pornography industry has gone to satiate the cravings of those who view pornography. She goes on to paint a very grim picture of the effects of pornography on the people who watch it, and the women and children who are part of its creation. The brochure from Our Sunday Visitor includes the following, A new meta-analysis (a statistical integration of all existing scientific data) from Canada has shown irrefutably that involvement with pornography leads to behavioural, psychological, and social problems. Some of this includes disturbed views of intimacy, such as sexual domination or submissiveness; objectification of people; fetishes; aggression; and even violence. In some extreme cases, people have become so addicted especially to Internet porn that they can no longer be around computers even for work. On the jacket of Dines book the following is written, Porn companies don t simply sell products. Rather they influence legislators, partner with mainstream media, and develop new technologies like streaming video for cell phones. Proving this assembly line of content is actually limiting our sexual freedom, Dines argues that porn s omnipresence has become a public health concern we can no longer ignore. A quote from Dines book highlights the need for members to raise awareness of the impact of the culture of pornography on our society today. This cultural shift toward sexualizing girls from an early age is bound to have real social consequences. Not only does it affect the way girls see themselves, it also chips away at the norms that define children as off-limits to male sexual use. The more we undermine such cultural norms, the more we drag girls into the category of woman, and in a porn-saturated world, to be woman is often to be a sexual object deserving of male contempt, use, and abuse. The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men [people] to do nothing. (Edmund Burke) So, what can members do? Pray. Pray for the conversion of the pornographers. Pray for the women who are degraded, abused and used as objects. Pray for the children who are abused and used in pornography and for those who are viewing pornography. Pray for the families that are suffering because of the use of pornography. Pray for all of us who have become victims in a pornographic culture in the media, the fashion world and literature. Pray for government leaders who are already tackling the problem of pornography and for others to join in this fight. Pray for justice, for those who have become victims, and especially those who have no voice. Pray for the conversion of society and for a return to respect for the God-given dignity of every human being. Pray. Write. Write letters and send s to the prime minister, minister of justice and attorney general of Canada, and your member of parliament. Ask them to do all in their power to stop the proliferation of pornography. Send postcards. Be sure to send them during the month assigned to your province. Talk. Talk to family and friends. Talk to fellow parishioners. Share the facts with them. Encourage them to speak up. Wear white ribbons in October and answer the questions of those who wonder why white ribbons are worn. This is a battle to be fought and won. Pornography hurts all of us. V SPRING 2014 / THE CANADIAN LEAGUE 9

12 A resolution is more than just a resolution Shari Guinta National Chairperson of Resolutions Over the course of the last two years I have been blessed to speak about resolutions. The League has had a rich history of forming resolutions that have gone on to become future legislation and social policy. Members are proud of that. Over these past two years, however, I have learned resolutions are much more. They are a teaching instrument, and I think members forget this when they author a resolution. Over this past year, several resolutions were submitted to the national resolutions committee for review. They were thoroughly analyzed and vetted for authenticity of fact. Some were sent back to provincial councils for various reasons; some were sent on to a national standing committee for action; some were sent to all other provincial councils for information, and some were presented at national convention for consideration. Two of those resolutions were adopted, and the League delegation of National President Betty Anne Brown Davidson, National Chairperson of Legislation Anne Gorman and me presented them to the federal government in November. Resolutions that go elsewhere are also very important. Information on serious issues from one province can be brought to the attention of all other provincial councils, which can give a topic a high profile. When a resolution is sent to a national standing committee chairperson for action, she informs her counterparts at the provincial level about the issue. She may write a communiqué and/or an article in The Canadian League to bring the issue to the attention of all members. Resolutions have many facets. They are a multi-tool that can do different things to get the job done. Councils should not be disappointed if a resolution does not get debated at the national convention. That resolution can be a bigger and more effective tool by going a different route, as suggested above. I do hope to see many resolutions at the annual national convention in August. However, more importantly, I look forward to seeing those tools effectively put to work in many ways to raise awareness and educate members across Canada. V Happy Birthday! Congratulations to the following centenarians! Evangeline Robicheau 103 years old on February 12, 2014 St. Ambrose Parish Council Yarmouth, Nova Scotia Elizabeth Keifer 101 years old on November 18, 2013 Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish Council Winona, Ontario Esther Benkhe 100 years old on January 15, 2014 Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Council Pembroke, Ontario Frances Bohnert 100 years old on January 16, 2014 Holy Family Parish Council Hanover, Ontario Cacilie Brand 100 years old on December 28, 2013 St. Joseph Parish Council Stratford, Ontario Clara Fahlman 100 years old on February 4, 2014 Holy Child Parish Council Regina, Saskatchewan Simone Haygarth 100 years old on February 13, 2014 Holy Cross Parish Council Toronto, Ontario Mary Keating 100 years old on December 12, 2013 St. Mary Immaculate Parish Council Elora, Ontario Rose Lindsay 100 years old on January 21, 2014 St. Edward the Confessor Parish Council Winnipeg, Manitoba Helene Pellerin 100 years old on December 12, 2013 St. Edward Parish Council Duncan, British Columbia Kay Rogerson 100 years old on February 13, 2014 St. Mary Parish Council, Ladysmith, British Columbia 10 THE CANADIAN LEAGUE / SPRING 2014

13 On Rock Stars and Change Anne Gorman National Chairperson of Legislation It seems a short time ago The Beatles appeared on stage at The Ed Sullivan Show for the first time. Now we celebrate the 50 th anniversary of this significant event. I remember eagerly awaiting the 9:00 p.m. program. I remember my father s reaction, not understanding the screaming fans mostly teenage girls. My mother remained more reticent. By today s standards of decorum, The Beatles would be considered clean cut boys, but, at the time, the hairstyle would be longer than usual. I remember their dark suits, white shirts and thin ties, but the hairstyle painted them as scandalous as they sang I Want to Hold Your Hand. All the attention given to this milestone made me think about the changes that are part of life, and the evolving of this organization we lovingly call the League. It s all good. As we approach the 94 th annual national convention we reflect on a proud tradition and on how the League may continue to be relevant in the present and future. His Holiness Pope Francis may be the greatest recent example of how change will affect the church for the better. The Francis effect introduced the world to a different kind of pope. He included a Muslim woman when he washed the feet of young offenders last Easter. He refuses to live in a papal apartment or wear regal clothing. He picks up the telephone and calls people out of the blue. He is reforming the Vatican bureaucracy. He is moving toward revamping the synods of bishops with the view to give them more autonomy in decision making. This would be a revolutionary change. The church s fundamental values, however, will not be compromised. Pope Francis, by example, is calling each of us to get out into the streets and practice our faith. While the League has moved forward since first serving the needs of immigrants, members must keep in mind changes to the League s structure must keep pace whilst ensuring fundamental principles and values remain. Could it be we may require fewer standing committees or the combination of same, for example, to accomplish our role in the church and society? The first bibles were printed in the 15 th century. Not everyone in the curia welcomed this historic event. Many thought communicating the word of God was the church s business and should remain firmly in its hands. His Holiness has a Twitter account, signifying social media has revolutionized how we gather and disseminate news and views. Pope Francis, referred to by former National Catholic Reporter correspondent John L. Allen as the rock star Pope, has embraced a technology made possible by the grace of God. This is just another way of saying we need not only accept changes but embrace the ones that will take us joyfully into the future. We must remain confident that the Holy Spirit is guiding us as the world moves forward at breakneck speed. After all, why would the Ten Commandments conveniently fit the 140-character requirement for tweets? Be not afraid. V Disaster Relief Funds Judy Lewis National Secretary-Treasurer I have just returned from the winter national executive meeting in Toronto and the following points were made by the provincial presidents following their roundtable meeting. These points express their concern for their sisters in the League. As more and more disasters occur across Canada, members of the League will be affected. Many parish councils are unable to give receipts for disaster relief financial donations or have established policies to distribute the funds in a fair and equitable manner to areas where assistance is needed most. This task could cause undue stress, concern and anxiety to the councils involved and increases their exposure to legal liability. It was recommended that when there is need for financial donations, and a parish council would like to contribute, the donation should be sent directly to the diocesan office in the affected area or to a relief organization identified as needing support. Please read and consider the points made by the provincial presidents. I wish you many blessings V SPRING 2014 / THE CANADIAN LEAGUE 11

14 94 TH Annual National Convention The Catholic Women s League of Canada August 10-13, 2014, Fredericton Convention Centre, Fredericton, New Brunswick Tentative Program and Agenda Saturday, August 9 5:00-6:00 p.m. Fredericton City Tour (ticket required) Bus pick up at 4:30 p.m. Bus return at 6:00 p.m. 6:30-10:00 p.m. Dinner & Down East Entertainment, Monsignor Boyd Family Centre (ticket required) accessible transport on request Sunday, August 10 9:00-12:30 p.m. King s Landing Guided Tour & Lunch at Simeon Jones Dining Room (ticket required) Bus pick up at 8:30 a.m. Bus return at 1:00 p.m. 2:00-3:30 p.m. Resolutions dialogue 5:00-7:00 p.m. Official opening and Eucharistic celebration, St. Dunstan s Catholic Church accessible transport on request 7:00-9:00 p.m. Opening Reception, Monsignor Boyd Family Centre accessible transport on request Monday, August 11 9:00-10:00 a.m. Eucharistic celebration 10:15-11:30 a.m. Keynote address, Bishop Robert Morneau, To Live with the Spirit 12:00-1:15 p.m. Presidents luncheon (ticket required) 1:30-1:45 p.m. Reconvening prayer 2:00-3:15 p.m. Keynote address, Senator Michael Kirby, Mental Health and Young People 3:15-3:30 p.m. Father Philip Kennedy, Catholic Missions In Canada 3:30 3;45 pm Closing prayer 7:00-10:00 p.m. Dinner and Vinyl2Bits Show Band (ticket required) Tuesday, August 12 8:30-9:30 a.m. Eucharistic celebration 9:30-10:30 a.m. Business sessions Call to order Opening remarks Introductions Notice calling meeting Roll call Credentials report Adoption of standing rules Approval of agenda Approval of previous minutes Convention committees Correspondence Report of pre-convention meeting 10:30-10:45 a.m. Health break 10:45-11:30 a.m. Imelda Perley, Building Relationships with Aboriginal Women 11:30-11:45 a.m. Commissioning of New Life Members, closing prayer 12:00-1:15 p.m. Life members luncheon (ticket required) 12:00-1:15 p.m. Spiritual advisors luncheon (ticket required) 1:30-1:45 p.m. Reconvening prayer 1:45-2:30 p.m. Coady International Institute, Indigenous Women in Community Leadership Program 2:30-2:45 p.m. Health break 2:45-4:00 p.m. Business sessions Reports of provincial presidents Report of national president Report of spiritual advisor 4:00-4:15 p.m. Closing prayer 7:00 p.m. Provincial dinners Wednesday, August 13 8:15-8:45 a.m. Press conference 9:00-9:30 a.m. Morning liturgy 9:30-10:15 a.m. Business sessions Credentials Report of secretary-treasurer Report of executive director 10:15-10:30 a.m. Health break 12 THE CANADIAN LEAGUE / SPRING 2014

15 10:30-12:00 p.m. Business sessions Review of resolutions process Report of spiritual development chairperson Report of organization chairperson Report of Christian family life chairperson Report of community life chairperson 1:30-1:45 p.m. Reconvening prayer 1:45-3:00 p.m. Business sessions Presentation by 2015 convention committee Report of education and health chairperson Report of communications chairperson Report of resolutions chairperson Report of legislation chairperson Report of laws chairperson Report of international relations chairperson Other business Registration report 3:00-3:15 p.m. Health break 3:15-4:00 p.m. Business sessions Rite of elections Adjournment 5:00-6:30 p.m. Closing Eucharistic celebration & installation of officers, St. Dunstan s Catholic Church accessible transport on request 7:00-10:00 p.m. Gala banquet at the Convention Centre (ticket required) Thursday, August 14 9:00 3:00 p.m. St. Andrew & Kingsbrae Garden Tour & Lunch with shopping Bus pick up at 8:30 a.m. Bus return at 3:00 p.m. V Sex-Selection/Gendercide National Chairperson of Resolutions Shari Guinta, Alberta Mackenzie Provincial Chairperson of Education and Health Judy Look, and Life Member Anne Madden In the article Twenty-First Century Pink or Blue: How Sex Selection Technology Facilitates Gendercide and What We Can Do About It, author Monica Sharma examines how assisted reproductive technology (ART) has not only become a well-established technique to help infertile women achieve pregnancy but is being used to determine the sex of children. Many patriarchal cultures have a gender preference for males and to date have used technological advances in reproductive medicine to predetermine the sex of the child being born. Women have sought sex-selective abortions, where the pregnancy was being terminated solely on the basis of the sex of the unborn fetus. The combination of ART advances and gender preference has led to the disappearance of at least 100 million girls from the world s population leading to a mass gendercide, the article s abstract says. A patriarchal society, a dowry prevalent society and government policies can lead to crimes against women as they promote gender discrimination and lead to the belief that women are less valuable than men. Human rights violations such as these impact communities at all levels. A disproportionate male to female ratio may cause crimes such as kidnapping young women, forced marriages, sex crimes, wife purchasing, psychological problems and prostitution. The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada believes that medical technologies and/or testing for the sole purpose of gender identification in pregnancy should not be used to accommodate societal preferences. The College of Physicians and Surgeons of both Ontario and British Columbia have taken the same position. The 2004 Canadian Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits any action that would ensure or increase the probability that an embryo will be of particular sex, or that would identify the sex of an in vitro embryo except to prevent, diagnose or treat a sex-linked disorder or disease. This issue came to light from members in Alberta at the 93 rd annual national convention in Regina. A letter was directed to be sent to all members of parliament on the issue of sex-selective abortions, expressing concern for the rights of women both living and yet to be born. The League delegation of National President Betty Anne Brown Davidson, National Chairperson of Legislation Anne Gorman, and National Chairperson of Resolutions Shari Guinta spoke to it with members of parliament during their November meeting with federal government offices. The importance of this topic also surfaced at the federal Conservative Party of Canada convention in Calgary in November, where it adopted a policy rejecting the targeted killing of unborn girls through abortion. The vote to condemn gendercide was nearly unanimous at 92%. Catholic women cherish all life from conception until natural death. Light a fire with members to help them understand this critical issue. Invite speakers and write letters to all levels of government supporting the condemnation of gendercide. Show the world We Have Seen the Lord! V SPRING 2014 / THE CANADIAN LEAGUE 13

16 Medically Assisted Procreation, the Church and You Margaret Ann Jacobs National Chairperson of Christian Family Life About one in six couples encounter difficulties in becoming pregnant. Infertility may result from natural causes, exposure to toxins such as birth control pills, pelvic inflammatory disease and abortion, some methods of contraception (especially intrauterine devices), age or even lifestyle choices such as smoking. A wide range of options are available today for couples who are unable to become pregnant. Many are unaware that various methods of natural family planning have been shown to be as effective, if not more effective, than artificial reproductive technologies. What does the Catholic church teach about medically assisted procreation? In this article I will outline some of the medical options, the ethical issues surrounding them and the position of the Catholic church. In artificial insemination (AI), a man s sperm is collected in a clinic and placed into the woman by the doctor. To produce semen for this process, the man usually performs acts that are not in accordance with the moral teachings of the church. Fertility drugs may be taken alone or in conjunction with in vitro fertilization (IVF). These tend to result in pregnancies with multiple embryos. Risks may include birth defects, developmental disabilities and health problems. Serious pregnancy complications may arise with multiple embryos. Greater risk of pelvic infection, ectopic pregnancies, and subsequent post-partum depression are experienced with IVF. Success rates are 40% with one IVF cycle for a woman in her mid-twenties, less than 25% in her late thirties and 1% by her mid-forties. In IVF, multiple eggs are extracted and mixed with sperm in the laboratory creating several embryos, one or more of which are inserted in the woman. When three or more embryos begin to develop in the womb, doctors will often recommend selective reduction which involves killing one or more of the developing embryos. Some of these embryos are being offered for embryonic adoption but this also produces other ethical problems, such as surrogate motherhood. In intracytoplasmic sperm injection, a single sperm is injected directly into the egg. Although quite revolutionary, the process eliminates natural selection and can pass on genetic infertility to the male children. Currently, more than 80% of embryos are sacrificed through IVF. The Catholic church calls for an end to the in vitro production and freezing of human embryos. Genetic screening, or preimplantation genetic diagnosis, can screen an embryo s DNA for predisposition to over 100 genetic conditions including Alzheimer s disease, cancer, arthritis, Down syndrome and even obesity. Embryos may be destroyed if they are not considered acceptable. Selective genetic makeup does not reflect our creator s intention to create us in the image of God. Parents may choose to use gametes (eggs or sperm), intentionally creating a child who will be separated from one or both biological parents. Using donor gametes is contrary to our creator s plan for procreation. Surrogate mothers may carry a baby who was created with the couple s gametes, donated gametes or from the result of AI of the birth mother. The Assisted Human Reproduction Act, enacted in 2004, sets out the following: Couples, same-sex couples and single people can use reproductive technologies. Sperm and egg donors can stay anonymous. Donorconceived children can ask for health-related information about the donor, and they can find out whether they are related to another donor-conceived person. Parents don t have to tell their children that they are donorconceived. It is illegal to sell sperm and eggs and rent wombs but donors and surrogates can be reimbursed for their expenses. 14 THE CANADIAN LEAGUE / SPRING 2014

17 Human embryos can t be created for research, but they can be frozen, destroyed or donated for research if they are left over from IVF. Sex-selection of embryos is not allowed and the DNA of embryos can t be altered. Humans can t be cloned. Embryos can be created with the gamete of a deceased person who previously consented. What does the Catholic church teach about medically assisted procreation? Ethical fertility treatments need to respect three fundamentals: 1. the right to life and the physical integrity of the human being from conception to natural death 2. the unity of marriage (spouses become parents only together and through each other) 3. the dignity of human procreation, which requires that every human child be conceived as the fruit of a conjugal act. Catholics must rely on these guidelines and their wellformed consciences in considering: intrauterine insemination (IUI) only when the husband s sperm is obtained through normal intercourse tubal ovum transfer, where the eggs are removed from the wife s ovaries, placed in her fallopian tube together with the sperm (IUI), so that conception happens inside the body The League s Executive Handbook states, The family is the basic cell of society. When we tamper with the natural institution of the family by re-engineering procreation, we can expect more family instability, suffering and confusion for children and adults. God invites the married couple to cooperate with him as co-creators. When their co-creative role does not unfold as anticipated, they should be encouraged to consider the possibility of adoption or to seek out opportunities to serve the communities in which they live and work. As couples today who want children but are unable to become pregnant struggle with the reality of their situation, we need to reach out to them in compassion and loving support. Pray with them and for them that they may become aware of the teachings of the Catholic church concerning these ethical issues and that they may accept the will of God the Father who has special plans for them. V The above article is based on information from a pamphlet produced by the Catholic Organization for Life and Family ( entitled High-Tech Babies Exploring New Challenges To Human Dignity. A Message from The National Chairperson of Communications With regards to the fall magazine, Executive Director Kim Scammell reported to the national administrative committee in February that a meeting with the supply chain managers had been held to discuss the lack of service received by the League. Representatives from the printer, the mailer (who affixes labels, gathers pallets and delivers magazines to Canada Post) and Canada Post were in attendance. The national vice-president of customer relations for Canada Post attended the meeting via conference call. At the meeting, it was explained: Staff and volunteers knew the publishing deadlines and did their utmost to get the material in, typeset and reviewed on time. The designer completed his task of layout and design and had it sent to the printer on time. The printer, despite having received it on time, delayed printing for one week. For this, he has agreed to heavily discount the next postcard series. The mailer, who received it one week late and then could not get enough Canada Post authorized bins to transport the finished product to the postal depot, causing another two to three week delay, has agreed to r all undeliverable magazines and follow up on each member s incorrect address as supplied by national office to Canada Post. Canada Post has assigned a customer service representative to the League s account to work with the mailer on all issues, ensuring the bins are available when needed, and to use the League as a test case to determine why Canada Post s addressing system is so inaccurate. Kim reported the winter issue of the magazine was mailed one week earlier than scheduled. National office received over 900 names and addresses that were automatically flagged as undeliverable. Of these, a full 38% of the addresses were determined to be undeliverable because of changes made by Canada Post s address accuracy system. Canada Post and the mailer will be working to determine why this is occurring. Hopefully what they find will improve the distribution system for all publications mailed in Canada. V SPRING 2014 / THE CANADIAN LEAGUE 15

18 And the Waters Swelled St. Francis de Sales Parish Council High River, Alberta The icy-cold, silt and debris-laden flood waters swirled down the streets, over the sidewalks and into the yards of High River. It surged into homes, businesses, the hospital and the churches on the now infamous day of June 20, There was nothing to do but flee eastward in chest deep waters, or be rescued by front-end loaders, combines, helicopters or boats. Many members of St Francis de Sales Parish Council were personally affected by the flood, experiencing overland flooding and/or sewer backup in their homes. Many lost the contents of their basements and had to gut them completely due to mold. They lost their vehicles in the flood, and the premises of members family businesses were rendered inoperable. They struggled setting up alternative business sites in adjacent communities in order to continue meeting the needs of their customers, all while having to deal with the cleanup of their homes, businesses and yards. The two separate schools of Christ the Redeemer School Division Holy Spirit Academy and Notre Dame Collegiate suffered extensive damage. Students are still displaced and attending classes in temporary locations. Younger League members were courageously dealing with children who had lost their schools one week before the end of the school year, the apprehension that comes with altered plans for the summer, major changes in their homes and the uncertainty of whether their children would return to classes in September. High River was declared a disaster zone, and admission to the town was banned for over 10 days, with two neighbourhoods having restricted admission for non-occupancy for an additional two months. Our church community was scattered as parishioners relocated with family or friends to adjacent communities. Initially all communication was down for four days, but spotty cell phone service and Internet coverage eventually became available. Fortunately, the chairperson of communications lived in the country and was not affected by flood waters. She was able to remain in her community to maintain an connection with members regarding disaster response efforts in the town. She then linked to the High River Town Crier newsletter for dissemination of recovery information, information on the status of the church and temporary location of masses. St Francis de Sales Parish had overland flood damage. The flood waters reached a level of 23 inches on the main level and a residual sticky muck of six to eight inches covered everything at floor level. The parish council cupboard, with filing cabinets full of archives, membership and meeting information, was a sodden, unrecoverable mess. The contents were energetically disposed of by church volunteers from Olds, Alberta. Luckily, most of the last three years of meeting minutes and treasurer reports were on the home computers of executive members. Members Ann Weston, Marilyn Hari, Vivianne Fraser, and Maj Wojcik, a spouse of a member, move into temporary church offices following the flood. Chairperson of Organization Linda Silanppa and her daughter, Laura Byers, moving back into the church kitchen. Recently purchased lace tablecloths for funeral luncheons had been neatly stored on a high shelf in the cupboard and were saved. The kitchen at the church had to be gutted, and the major appliances and cupboards were tossed into a pile on the street. Fortunately, the dishes and the cutlery were salvageable. At the beginning of August, parish priest Fr. Ed Hospet decided one of two church houses, which had been vacated by its renters, should be re-commissioned as a church office, chapel and meeting room. Council members cleaned, patched and painted this tired 1,400 sq. ft. house and, with a little carpentry help from the Knights of Columbus, transformed it into a very fresh and suitable site for the St. Francis de Sales congregation to call a temporary home. With this success these remarkable sisters also undertook the restoration of the second house, readying it once again for rental. 16 THE CANADIAN LEAGUE / SPRING 2014

19 In spite of the disruption of their personal lives, the council has remarkably continued to function, now with a greatly expanded role in supporting the parish community. Members have had pie-making bees as a fundraiser; organized and ran a kids soccer camp; organized a furniture procurement and distribution project; been actively involved in pro-life activities; purchased bibles for school catechism; organized outdoor masses and picnics (with help from the Knights of Columbus); staffed the Outreach 4 High River committee; designed the new church kitchen and purchased replacement appliances; provided consultation for the restoration of the church; provided leadership and membership on many of the church ministries; sewed replacement altar fronts and vestments lost in the flood; organized and staffed the move back into the church on December 23 rd ; decorated the church for Christmas; and hosted a Christmas dinner on December 25 th in the restored church hall. They have yet to plan and orchestrate the move back into the church kitchen, but planned the combined Feast Day Celebrations for St Francis de Sales and a Thanksgiving Rededication Mass on January 25 th, with Bishop Fred Henry (Calgary) officiating. St Francis de Sales Parish Council has remained strong due to the commitment and generosity of its members, even during this year of great personal, emotional and financial hardship. Members shared a commonality in the disastrous flood experience and this created a sense of cohesiveness and unity. They worked through the partial recovery of their homes, and were working through the rebuilding of their community while coping with the paucity of resources. In fact, they may even be more passionately committed to council work as they rebuild because they believe High River is a great place for their families to live. They will do everything in their power to make this a reality for many years to come. V Trafficking and Prostitution One linked to the other Fran Lucas National Chairperson of Community Life February 22nd was a cold but bright and sunny day on the drive from Edmonton to Red Deer for a session on a topic anything but bright! A trafficking awareness day was being hosted by Magdalene House Society, a charitable organization that provides a safe environment for the full recovery of persons exploited through human trafficking. As the start time drew near, David Bouchard, president of the society and organizer of the event, anxiously checked his watch. With only minutes left before the scheduled presentation in walked presenter Joy Smith, member of parliament (Kildonan St. Paul), with the grace of the true professional she is. Smith, one of Canada s leading anti- trafficking advocates, spoke about her many years of working to raise awareness on the ugliness of trafficking, which often leads to prostitution. In Smith s report The Tipping Point: Tackling the Demand for Prostituted/Trafficked Women and Youth, she says, The United Nations (UN) Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (Palermo Protocol), ratified by Canada in 2005, recognizes that the majority of victims of trafficking, women and children, are trafficked into prostitution. The UN s 2012 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons provides the most recent estimate that 64% of human trafficking is for the purposes of sexual exploitation. Members must continue to write to all levels of government to ask for their support for legislation that reflects the Nordic model, which targets pimps and johns rather than prostitutes, and protects women. The documentary Nefarious: Merchant of Souls was shown and for the entire viewing time of nearly 90 minutes the room was noticeably silent. Nefarious takes viewers through the unbelievable and horrendous issue of sex trafficking. Children as young as 12 are bought and sold without a second thought. You are encouraged to watch a preview of this documentary at com/. Invest in the purchase of the DVD and encourage your parish council to invite National Chairperson of Community Life Fran Lucas and MP Joy Smith at a Trafficking Awareness Day in Red Deer, Alberta. women and men to see it. It is not enough for only women to see the tragedies of these offences. Let us continue to build awareness through education and advocacy towards the elimination of human trafficking. The sunny start to the day ended on a bright note knowing there was the desire and will by those in attendance to do their part to ensure the legalization of prostitution does not happen. It was a great pleasure to meet Joy Smith, and she thanked the League for its persistent work on the issue of trafficking. V SPRING 2014 / THE CANADIAN LEAGUE 17

20 Changing the Laws of The Oldest Profession Terri Scott Legislation Subcommittee Chairperson The Supreme Court of Canada surprised the nation on December 20, 2013, by striking down major prostitution laws. It said, according to The Globe and Mail, bans on street soliciting, brothels and people living off the avails of prostitution create severe dangers for vulnerable women and therefore violate Canadians basic values. Previously, sex-trade workers were at the mercy of dangerous and risky conditions and illegal undertakings, and were not protected by the law. The ruling was suspended for one year to give the minister of justice and attorney general of Canada time to decide whether to adopt new prohibitions that will be agreeable to the court. The federal government could still propose laws that would make prostitution and related offences criminal activities. Experts such as Elaine Craig, a law professor at Dalhousie University, suggested in the same article these laws were more about keeping the sex trade out of good, upstanding neighbourhoods and not about protecting sex-trade workers. She said this law was a relic of pre-confederation, and it was time for an updated, more secure law, protecting sex-trade workers who did not necessarily choose this profession but fell into it because of hardship. Countries that have struck down prostitution laws have discovered women were not protected after all. The Netherlands legalized prostitution in 2000, hoping for a union for the women and regulated, inspected and taxed brothels. According to writer Margaret Wente in a June 2013 article in The Globe and Mail, the red-light district in Amsterdam has become the centre for money laundering and drugs. In 2002, Germany legalized prostitution and hoped that it would become a normal profession. Instead, thousands of underprivileged and destitute girls were lured from Bulgaria and Romania to work in brothels where prices were cheap, and the girls became sex slaves, with no freedom in sight. In 1999, Sweden changed tactics and punished users of the sex trade. It offered victims a way to rehabilitate and stated prostitution should be marginalized, not normalized. Statistics are positive in that prostitution, associated crime and organized trafficking have declined. Statistics also show men no longer patronize brothels, and sex-trade workers now work regular jobs. In Canada, one group that does not support the legalization of prostitution is the Native Women s Association of Canada. It and other front-line sexual assault centres know legalization does not mean empowerment for women but more degradation, assault, and possibly death and disease. Manitoba is the first province to promote and suggest the Nordic model, which targets pimps and johns rather than prostitutes. According to the Winnipeg Free Press, the Manitoba justice minister is working to promote the Nordic model and is urging the federal government to adopt the program Sweden and Norway use to protect prostitutes, while keeping the activities of pimps and johns illegal. Winnipeg Member of Parliament Joy Smith (Kildonan- St. Paul) has been petitioning the federal government for the Nordic model for some time, and she hopes other provinces will see this as a good solution to an old problem. The federal minister of justice and attorney general of Canada has said outright legalization is not an option, and he has expressed a willingness to consider the Nordic model. In light of these proposed changes to Canadian law, perhaps it is time to study the Nordic model in more depth, to both understand and petition government to produce legislation that will protect girls and women from being used by unscrupulous pimps and johns. Write letters to encourage the federal minister of justice and attorney general of Canada to adopt new prohibitions that will be agreeable to the court. V Congratulations! Congratulations to Parish Councils Celebrating Anniversaries 80 Years Holy Rosary Parish Council Minto, New Brunswick St. Andrew Parish Council Antigonish, Nova Scotia St. Joseph Parish Council Antigonish, Nova Scotia St. Joseph Parish Council Grande Prairie, Alberta 75 Years St. Patrick Cathedral Parish Council Thunder Bay, Ontario 50 Years Canadian Martyrs Invermere, British Columbia St. Cecilia Parish Council Calgary, Alberta St. Kevin Parish Council Val Therese, Ontario St. Vital Parish Council Battleford, Saskastchewan 18 THE CANADIAN LEAGUE / SPRING 2014

21 A Wee Bit of History For God and Canada Military Ordinariate President Donna Penney and Military Ordinariate Past President Barb Thuen Members of Military Ordinariate Provincial Council are fundamentally like members of any other provincial or diocesan council, however, they may be living anywhere in the world where Canadian military personnel are stationed. With a membership hovering just above the 300 mark, it is a small but strong group of women with ties among the closest in the League. The Military Ordinariate story began long before 1965, with active councils on several bases in Ontario, Quebec, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. When the Holy See established a separate diocese for the Canadian military, a request was made to national council to allow councils on military bases to form their own diocesan council. At the annual national convention in Charlottetown in 1964, the national executive approved the application to organize a diocesan council that would have the status of a provincial council for organizational purposes. Membership was open to all Catholic women stationed on Canada s military bases at home and abroad. This council was known as the Military Vicariate (Mil Vic). Kathleen McCrossin was an amazing woman whose goal was to bring all military councils together. She was the first president of the Mil Vic and deeply dedicated to the success of this new council. The first Mil Vic annual provincial convention was held in June The early Mil Vic presidents faced huge challenges in communication and connecting with all members. The second president, Pat de Grave, appealed to the chaplain general s office for assistance in getting members to conventions. As a result, the chaplain general announced space would be made available on military flights for two delegates per council (plus the officers and conveners) to attend the 1970 convention in Ottawa. This valuable resource remained available to members until service air flights were cancelled in 2000 due to changes and cutbacks in the Canadian military. In 1979, mid-term meetings for the provincial administrative committee became a reality and enabled the team to get together for planning, learning and getting to know each other. With these meetings held on military bases, costs were kept to a bare minimum. However, due to more military cutbacks, Mil Vic embraced the future and held two meetings (fall and spring) by teleconference call. Another challenge was the lack of knowledge of League procedures. Teach-ins and workshops were organized in 1970 and continue to play an important role in today s military councils. Many members have been trained as presenters for Catch the Fire! workshops and are enthusiastically sharing their knowledge across the country. In July 1987, the Mil Vic became the Military Ordinariate (MO), in accordance with the new norms established by Pope John Paul II s apostolic constitution Spirituali Militum Curae. Shortly afterward, Bishop André Vallée P.M.E. was appointed by the Holy Father as the first Military Ordinary of Canada and ordained bishop on January 28, Over the years, several special funds were initiated, including a development fund, financial assistance for the Southdown Institute ( Lakewood ), a donation to the Prince Edward Island national convention fund, the Micky Scott Fund and, in recent years, the MO convention fund. Through the years, the eligibility criteria for holding office in MO have changed along with changes in the reality of military life. Originally, as soon as a member s husband retired from the military or died, she had to step down from office. As a result of a revision to the MO statutes, the MO eligibility guidelines were revised in 2012 to include groups of people closely affiliated with the military. In recent years, the chaplain general s office has continued to be financially supportive, so the administrative committee could meet in person once per two year term. In 2010, due in part to smaller numbers of military chaplains, a female military pastoral associate, Padre Hope Winfield, was named MO s provincial spiritual advisor. With such wide distances between councils, MO s communications skills have needed to become sharper than ever. Being a small group of members who have the unique military lifestyle in common has allowed members to truly embrace the sisterhood aspect of their League lives. Members feel very blessed to be a part of the MO family. V SPRING 2014 / THE CANADIAN LEAGUE 19

22 A Portrait of National Office Kim Scammell Executive Director At the fall national executive meeting, I was asked to introduce national office staff to you. We get to know so many of you only by telephone because of the vast size of the country, so the national executive wanted you to be able to put a face to the voice you hear when you call. Communications Coordinator Erica Johnson (far left) assists the national chairperson of communications by managing the League s magazine, e-newsletter, website, Facebook and Twitter accounts. She assists the national resolutions committee with its preparations of resolutions for convention. Erica assists the national secretary-treasurer as the recording secretary for the League, attending all national meetings and conventions, and transcribing the minutes. She also coordinates any advertising campaign that may be requested. Shipper/Receiver Larry Peters (back row, second from left) receives all purchased inventory, makes booklets and ships orders of national office supplies during the office s peak ordering seasons, which are typically October-November and February-May. Senior Accounting Clerk Valroy Anderson (back row, second from right) assists the national secretary-treasurer by performing the accounting functions for the office. He reconciles and deposits membership remittances, sends out the provincial and diocesan allotments, processes supply orders from parish councils, and makes sure that bills and expenses are paid on time. Valroy also prepares the monthly financial statements for the national finance committee. Valroy works primarily with council treasurers at all levels. Membership Coordinator Amanda McCormick (far right) assists the national chairperson of organization by processing parish council per capita fees received through the online membership system. She reports monthly to the national chairperson of organization. Amanda works primarily with parish council chairpersons of organization. As membership is seasonal (October to March for the online system), Amanda provides some support to the national secretarytreasurer (convention credentials) and the national chairperson of communications (convention journalist). Corresponding Secretary Diane Kelln (middle row, left) works almost exclusively for the national president, aiding in coordinating the president s schedule, making meeting arrangements and preparing internal correspondence. Additional duties include preparing communiques for national officers and reviewing crest permissions and life member applications for the national chairperson of organization. Office Assistant Ingrid Taylor (middle row, centre) is responsible for directing inquiries to the right person. She assists the national bursary committee and the national archives committee when these committees meet, and researches and answers all inquiries about bursaries or League history. Ingrid is responsible for knowing the status of each parish council in Canada, whether active, inactive, reactivated or disbanded. In this regard, she will often work with the diocesan chairpersons of organization and/or the diocesan presidents. Ingrid also administers the parish council liability insurance program. Data Entry Clerk Diane Havens (middle row, right) assists the national chairperson of organization by processing parish council per capita fees received by mail. Diane s position is seasonal, with her peak season being February to June. For those of you whom I have not met, I am in the front row. I coordinate the functions/workload at national office to ensure the office team has the expertise and resources it needs in order to meet the expectations of the national administrative committee, the committee to which I report. Changes in policy or procedure are discussed and approved by the national executive and passed along to me to implement. I assist the national secretary-treasurer in budgeting and forecasting, the national chairperson of communications as a member of the editorial board, the national chairperson of organization with development funds and personnel policies, the national past president with organizational policy, and the national president with correspondence and with achieving her own goals for her two-year term of office. It was some job getting this humble group together, as we work more naturally behind the scenes, but with some cajoling, I was able to get them to pose in front of a camera for you. Staff members at national office are dedicated to serving the membership (all 89,000 of you!) as you serve For God and Canada. V 20 THE CANADIAN LEAGUE / SPRING 2014

23 Introducing Suzanne Wiseman Quebec Provincial President Suzanne was born in Montreal, Quebec. She is the eldest of six children, including four brothers and one sister. She attended her first years of school in Camp Borden, Ontario, then returned to Montreal where she pursued French studies and obtained her Bachelor of Arts from Université de Montréal. She enjoyed many active years in the Girl Guides of Canada. After graduating from St. Mary s School of Nursing (class of 72), Suzanne worked at the Montreal Children s Hospital. She married and had five children three boys and two girls. During those busy years, Suzanne returned to school to obtain her Bachelor of Nursing degree. Today, she works in public health care and has been a certified lactation consultant since Suzanne is the proud grandmother of three little princes Emmet, Samuel and Anthony. She loves organizing family gatherings, and all occasions are good for a party! She is well known for her love of Africa and has been fortunate enough to travel to Kenya, South Africa and Ghana. When Suzanne retires, she plans to return to Africa to work. Meanwhile, her passion for miniatures has kept her busy making small things. Then pregnant with her second child, Suzanne joined the League 38 years ago. She slowly climbed the ranks, along with juggling family and work responsibilities. She was fortunate to have great mentors, and she learned to delegate and to ask for help. She enjoys participating in community activities and has never felt alone. The League has provided her with lifelong friendships, and the ongoing support of her sisters in the League has given her the courage to face personal life challenges and to overcome difficult situations. Most of all, Suzanne s commitment to the League has deepened her faith. She is learning to trust God, her sister members and, most of all, herself. She is grateful to belong. V Marge Szabo Saskatchewan Provincial President Marge joined the League in Ituna, Saskatchewan. After moving to Regina in 1979 she joined Holy Family Parish Council, where she has been a member for 32 years. During this time she has been parish council president twice and served in almost every capacity on the executive. She was a regional chairperson in Regina in 1990, and during that time hosted the annual diocesan convention. In 2003 she was elected to the diocesan executive as 1 st vice-president and chairperson of spiritual development, then president-elect and chairperson of organization. From 2007 to 2009, she was president of Regina Diocesan Council. In June 2009, Marge was elected Saskatchewan provincial 1 st vice-president and chairperson of education and health. In 2011, she was elected provincial presidentelect and chairperson of organization. Marge was the League representative for the planning of the Archdiocese of Regina s 100 th anniversary celebrations, held on June 6, In June 2009, she became the convention committee chairperson for the 93 rd annual national convention in Regina in Marge is a retired teacher (since 2002) and has taught in Weyburn, Ituna and Regina. Marge and her husband, Mike, have three grown children and five grandchildren. They are active members of Holy Family Parish. Other than the League she likes to sew, paint in watercolours and bake many cookies for her grandchildren. She supports all their school and sports activities. The League has been a blessing for her as she journeys through the different levels of this great organization. V Welcome New Councils! St. Kevin Parish Council, Montreal, Quebec Visit the League Web Site We re now on facebook Find us on SPRING 2014 / THE CANADIAN LEAGUE 21

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