From left: Margaret Ann Jacobs, national president; Faith Anderson, provincial president; Donna Candelaria, St. Peter’s Council president. (Photo by Terri Scott)
WINNIPEG — The Manitoba Catholic Women’s League Provincial Day of Celebration is a day set aside once a year for CWL members to rejuvenate themselves, to learn about the league, and to study various issues. In February this year, the largest gathering since its inception in 1999, 125 members met at St. Peter’s Church for this very reason.
Faith Anderson, provincial president, opened the gathering by quoting Alice Makodonski, the provincial president who initiated this tradition, by saying, “Just being together is a celebration by itself.”
National president Margaret Ann Jacobs delved into the national theme, “Inspired by the Spirit: Women Respond to God’s Call,” for the workshop, which was broken into three sections: 1) Unconditional love of God 2) Empowered by the Gifts of the Spirit, and 3) Inspired by the Fruits of the Spirit.
Jacobs said that in our lives the greatest gifts we have ever received remain unopened. Open the gifts of the Holy Spirit as they remain in the wrapping of the Lord. She recalled a quotation she had read some time ago which said, “It is the wrapper, rather than the receiver who gets the gift.” The gifts we have are not the same gifts others have. Every Christian receives some of the gifts, but no Christian receives all of them. Everything you see has been given to the world through God.
“I hope that the women go away appreciating the power of the Spirit in their lives and that we are called to respond.” In a nutshell, this is what Jacobs said she wants members to take away from the day.
We need to love, even though some people are not loveable. A discussion on how we show love to another elicited responses of hugs, listening, and giving encouragement. Comments that we are blessed to belong to the CWL, having a common faith, and having a safe place to fail, were just a few suggestions to explain how we are blessed by belonging to the league. Eight other topics discussed included suggestions of how to bring peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control in our relationships.
The second part of the day included a discussion with five life members which was a parody of a well-known TV show, The View. Life members are the elders who are the holders of the wisdom. Interesting questions from the floor enlightened new members of what a life member is and what they do, which led to many laughable and teachable moments.
The day concluded with a presentation on the Centre Flavie-Laurent Inc., an organization in St. Boniface to help the impoverished and the vulnerable by providing aid of clothing and household items.