The CWL 54th Annual Convention took place April 27-28, 2018 at St. Patrick’s Co-Cathedral.
By Marcelle Marion
Inspired by the Spirit, women responding to God’s call was the theme for the Convention and President Gerda Hazenberg reflected on this theme in the early Church faith communities of Easter people. Like these early communities, CWL are Easter women responding to God’s Call. Over 40 women heard the call from Fort Smith, Hay River and Yellowknife!
Our convention opened auspiciously with a celebration Eucharist Mass Friday night, the day after the feast of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Patroness of CWL. Premier Bob McLeod graciously welcomed the CWL members
Many thanks for the “feast” prepared by John and the Knights (no, not a rock band) but our Parish K of C with a bountiful wine and cheese table!
The three Parish CWL Presidents reports included new member growth with a Diocese total of 12 new members! Many of these new members were present at the convention.
All board positions were filled ensuring leadership in the McKenzie Diocese and CWL presence in many faith organizations and with our Bishop to strengthen our faith together and to bring service to the people of God of the Diocese. The business matters on the agenda included officer and president’s reports.
The Convention made time for learning and development. Judy Look, Alberta CWL and President Elect led a workshop called “Three Cups of Tea” reminding CWL sisters there is no CWL without being mindful of relationships. The workshop focussed on how to build our CWL and grow our membership. Another exercise by Judy we did was called the listening exercise raising our awareness of the power and poetry of our encounters with each other.
Prayer weaved into all our events and one of these involved a commemoration ceremony acknowledging our deceased sisters in the previous year.
Barb Dowding, National President Elect conducted the national engagement exercise on CWL’s proposed national strategic plan. The exercise required small table groups at the Convention to rank and prioritize several strategic initiatives.
The CWL has a Spiritual Director to support the CWL who is the go-to-person on all matters spiritual and Catholic social teaching. Sister Margaret (Maggie) Beaudette, Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the diocese of MacKenzie Fort Smith was installed in this position along with the reaffirmation of the Executive at the celebration of the holy Eucharist Mass on Saturday presided by The Most Reverend Jon Hansen and our Pastor Fr. Marek Pisarek.
Convention and Fun – Banquet Gratitude filled and in keeping with previous successful conventions the CWL wad full of talents. Food, music, song, dance and a very comedic MC President, Tina Rivera gave the CWL sisters much laughter in an evening full of fun at Days inn.
The Most Reverend Jon Hansen, CWL Banquet Guest Speaker shared his faith filled journey and experiences from an associate pastor in Ontario to his installation as a northern Bishop! His story featured spiritual “nudges” and the funny and challenging moments of his calling as the pastor, servant and shepherd!