ST. BONIFACE — The 68th annual convention of the St. Boniface Diocesan Council of the Catholic Women’s League of Canada was held earlier this spring at Corpus Christi Church.
President Mavis McLaren, in her opening remarks, said that in her first year of being president she was learning, growing in faith, courage and strength and enjoying the friendship of the sisters of the league.
Archbishop Albert LeGatt in his opening remarks indicated his support to the 12 Hours of Prayer for Palliative Care and a reflection about the day and petition was sent to all pastors, encouraging their support.
“We are learning how to respond to the new reality in our country. One of the most important parts of this is palliative care,” LeGatt said. “The most important place where palliative care will be lived is in the family and, of course, in the parish and CWL councils where friendships have developed over the years. This is all palliative care because it’s saying, echoing the Lord, ‘I will be with you until the end of time.’ In this case until the end of this person’s time here on earth.”
Alesa Sutherland, who holds a master’s degree in medical anthropology, specializing in aging, was the keynote speaker. Her presentation focused on elder abuse. She indicated that abuse happens at every demographic, and isolation is a big factor — whether it is culturally, because of weather, or because of family living away. In today’s society there are all kinds of communication devices to keep in touch, and opening conversations need to take place, said Sutherland. She also indicated that if abuse is suspected one needs to step in and ask questions, even if it means being told to mind their own business.
Councils reported on their many activities, including collecting food for food banks, collecting tabs for wheelchairs, making prayer shawls, participating in “12 Hours of Prayer for Palliative Care,” and making lap quilts for people in palliative facilities.
The business session concluded with the eucharistic celebrated by LeGatt. In his homily, the archbishop stated, “Christ is alive — it shows in your reports.”