SASKATOON — Catholic Women’s League members from across Saskatchewan gathered June 6 - 7 at the Cathedral of the Holy Family in Saskatoon for their 68th annual convention.
Guest speakers Mary Deutscher and Dr. Laurence Clein addressed the legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia during the two-day provincial convention, which also included prayer, a number of reports from CWL executive members, and approval of a resolution about labelling of over-the-counter medications.
Introduced by St. Gerard CWL council of Yorkton, the provincial resolution will now be forwarded to the national CWL convention for approval. It urges the federal government to implement and enforce printing standards for over-the-counter medication labels.
The convention began with the presentation of colours, prayer, and greetings from parish and organization representatives and elected officials. Saskatoon Mayor Don Atchison thanked members of the CWL for their volunteer spirit and community contributions. “Because of your work our communities are more vibrant, caring, compassionate and understanding,” he said.
In her report, provincial CWL president Jean Reader listed the many elements of league life, from spiritual enrichment to community service, as well as social events, fund-raising, justice work, and advocacy. “There is so much that we can do and so much that we already have accomplished,” she said.
Saskatoon diocesan CWL president Marlene Van Dresar, Prince Albert diocesan president Shirley Lamoureux and Regina archdiocesan president Lynn Rogers also reported on statistics, activities, and milestone anniversaries in their dioceses.
Reports by provincial committee chairs were presented throughout the two days, addressing a wide range of initiatives, undertakings and issues, including advocacy around life issues, assisted suicide and euthanasia, refugee outreach, and protection of the environment, as well as spiritual enrichment undertakings and such CWL initiatives as a national day of prayer for palliative care and Catch the Fire formation workshops.
The convention also included a presentation by Melanie Fauchoux, winner of the provincial CWL social justice award for 2015, who described her experience travelling to India to assist with projects initiated by Free the Children.
CWL life member Tillie Aessie announced 2016 social justice award winners, with this year’s award shared between three young women: Jessica Frehlich of Moose Jaw, who will be serving in the Dominican Republic though the Intercordia program at St. Thomas More College, and Desiree Nelson and Philomena Ojukwo of Saskatoon, who will be travelling to the World Social Forum in Montreal as Development and Peace youth delegates.
Bishop Albert Thévenot of Prince Albert presided at the convention’s opening mass June 6. During the closing mass on June 7 with Bishop Donald Bolen of Saskatoon, provincial CWL spiritual adviser Rev. Gerard Cooper was commissioned, and the provincial CWL executive members were reaffirmed in their mission and blessed by the bishop.