by Christa Grillmair, President
Our Lady of the Rosary hosted the semi-annual meeting of the Victoria CWL Diocesan team on Monday, October 1, 2018. While the 31 members offered a Scriptural Rosary in the main hall, the 26 members of the executive, parish presidents, life members and provincial president met for a round-table discussion.
The primary focus of the discussion was to hear about each other’s plans for the next six months, voice challenges and discuss solutions. All were reminded that we are a team and each of the members on the Diocesan level has counterparts at the parish level to make up that team. For example, the Diocesan Spiritual Development Chair has up to 15 Parish Spiritual Development Chairs on her ‘team’ to work together with. Declining membership continues to be a challenge and some solutions offered were: personal contact and one-on-one invitations to younger women; development of a senior care program to involve people in specific ministries; write CWL announcements in different languages in culturally diverse parishes; encourage work on special projects rather than ask for a commitment to a two-year term; the importance of mentorship to help members feel confident to take on leadership positions.
At the general meeting, National’s Strategic Plan booklet was distributed and the League’s new core mission statement, purpose, and values of faith, service and social justice were introduced. The goals, objectives, strategies and timelines for implementation were reviewed with an emphasis on year one of the five-year plan. You can find details in the Fall 2018 issue of The Canadian League magazine which is sent to all CWL members and is also available online on the national website cwl.ca.
Gisela Montague, Provincial CWL President, presented a workshop called “Chocks Away” where she discussed the process of writing resolutions and their progress through different levels of government. Members engaged in a practical exercise of brain storming topics for future resolutions and all were urged to continue to write letters and follow up with local politicians on existing resolutions.
Father Alfredo Monacelli, Diocesan Spiritual Advisor, celebrated Mass at noon. This was followed by a delicious luncheon provided by the ladies at Our Lady of Rosary.
Items discussed the business section of the meeting included: review of the July planning session, recap of the 2018 provincial and national conventions and a preview of the 2019 provincial and national conventions. With regards to the 2019 provincial convention, rather than a per-capita contribution or fund-raiser, the membership approved a motion to set aside $3000 from diocesan operating funds as the diocesan contribution to the provincial convention.
The Day of Reflection with the theme Liturgy of Anger and Tears on October 16 at Trinity Catholic in Nanaimo addresses the issue of sexual abuse in our Church.
The new diocesan theme is “Solid Rock. Living Waters.” We need to remind ourselves that no matter what happens, we are on solid rock, the rock of our faith. As Psalm 62:1 states: “In God alone there is rest for my soul, from him comes my safety; with him alone for my rock, my safety, my fortress, I can never fail.” Matthew 7:38 states, “Therefore everyone who listens to these words of mine, and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on rock. Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and hurled themselves against that house, and it did not fall: it was founded on rock.” But we need the washing of the living water. John 7: 37-38 states: “If any man is thirsty, let him come to me! Let the man come and drink who believes in me!” As scripture says: From his breast shall flow fountains of living water.” And, as an Island Diocese, we are living on the Rock surrounded by living water. Over the next few weeks, “Solid Rock. Living Waters” will be promoted on our diocesan website cwldov.org.
Plans for the next six months include: production of participants’ bags for the 2019 diocesan convention and the showing of the film “Fatal Flaws” in various locations. Members were encouraged to send all planned parish activities to Sandi Digras so that they can be posted on the website and the Netflix series “First Contact” was promoted.
The meeting concluded with a spiritual reflection by Father Alfredo entitled “Who is Jesus to us?” This topic is especially relevant in view of the recent tragedy of the sexual abuse scandal. He reminded us that we need a deeper personal relationship with Jesus Christ and that the Catholic Church must acknowledge the pain and suffering but cannot be defined by scandals. Fr. Alfredo also invited us to a talk by a First Nations Elder at St. Joseph the Worker Church, Victoria, on November 21st, 7:00 p.m., where people will be invited to give their personal testimony.
The next Interim meeting will be held at the Church of the Ascension on March 4, 2019.