HUMBOLDT, Sask. — Ninety years of faith and service was marked June 4 at an anniversary celebration for the Catholic Women’s League at St. Augustine Parish in Humboldt, Sask. The 90th anniversary tea in the parish hall included displays and a program highlighting the anniversary and the contributions of the CWL to the parish and the community.
MC Jenny Irwin welcomed special guests including Abbot Peter Novecosky, OSB, a former national CWL spiritual adviser; provincial CWL president Jean Reader; diocesan CWL president Marlene Van Dreser and president-elect Ingrid Eggerman; Fred Stadnyk, Grand Knight of the Humboldt Knights of Columbus council; Parish Pastoral Council representative Darwin Reindeau; and Sister Alexis Taphorn, OSU, spiritual director of St. Augustine CWL. Also in attendance were pastor Rev. Ephraim Mensah and associate pastor Rev. Cosmas Epifano, OSB.
“The CWL has always been a group that develops leaders and developed leadership skills,” said Novecosky. “Thank you for all the work you have done and for your presence in our various communities.”
“You are the pillars of your parish in many, many ways,” said provincial president Jean Reader, bringing congratulations and presenting a 90th anniversary certificate to the Humboldt council. “Remember you are the roots of the CWL, this is where it all starts and without women like you the Catholic Women’s League would not exist.”
Reader pointed to this year’s CWL theme: one heart, one voice, one mission. “Obviously this has been your theme for many years as you spread the Good News in your homes, your parishes and your communities,” she said. “Live, listen, learn and laugh: that’s how I see the CWL.”
Marlene VanDresar and Ingrid Eggerman of the diocesan council also presented a certificate of congratulations to the Humboldt council. “Your help is needed more than ever with the challenges that our church and society are facing,” said Eggerman. “God is asking you to be the passionate women he has created you to be, dedicated to your church and your beliefs.”
“For nine hardworking decades, you generous ladies and those before you have enhanced and solidified St. Augustine Parish, helping with weddings, funerals, church ministries and numerous unglamorous jobs. The CWL has always been there,” said Darwin Riendeau of St. Augustine parish council, describing the CWL as “unsung heroes.”
Bev Yeager read greetings from those unable to attend, including messages from national CWL president Barbara Dowling and Saskatoon Bishop Donald Bolen.
“Many women worked to keep this organization strong and thriving, making the league a vital part of the parish and community,” said Humboldt CWL president Karen Fleischhacker, sharing some of the history of the local league, from its earliest days through decades that have seen many changes.
Fleischhacker described a range of projects, milestones, and undertakings in the parish and the community initiated and supported by the CWL over the years. Highlights included assisting newcomers and refugees, collecting materials and funds for missions, providing funeral honour guards and lunches, starting a Birthright chapter, initiating children’s liturgy, and much more. “Whenever a need arose, the CWL rose to the challenge,” Fleischhacker said.
Taphorn also spoke, noting that the anniversary tea was being held on the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. “Mary is our strength and always will be our strength,” she said.
The celebration concluded with a prayer led by Mensah.