Community Life





MAY 17, 2011

 Madam Chair,

In December 2010 the Diocesan council sponsored a workshop called “Voice of the Voiceless.” We invited Catholic Family Services, Sisters of Life and the St. Vincent de Paul Society to talk to us about their respective organizations.

Based on that workshop this year’s Community Life – Christian Family Life project challenge with Catholic Family Services “Women Helping Women” was born. The goal of this project was to raise a total of $5,000 across the Toronto Archdiocese for Catholic Family Services. Councils were asked to come up with fundraising ideas and to involve the parish community in support of the project.

This year 20 councils submitted reports. Most of the councils kick-started their project by inviting Catholic Family Services to speak at one of their meetings. This gave members a better understanding of the difficulties women in abusive relationships face and how we could help make a difference.

Fundraising events were original and varied from a dinner dance, fashion show, collection of used clothing and a bake sale. Two councils are having their events in June. One event is a dance-a-thon and the other is an outdoor luncheon after the Corpus Christi procession.

Thanks to all your hard work we have surpassed our goal of $5,000! The total raised to date is over $7,000. Give yourselves a round of applause.

Please take some time today or tomorrow to stop by the Community Life - Christian Family Life project display tables in the foyer to view all the ways you’ve helped be a voice for the voiceless and made a difference in their lives. They will be on display until after the banquet tomorrow night.


  • Continue to find ways to be a “Voice for the Voiceless.”
  • We should encourage women from all walks of life to run for public office.
  • Don’t forget to support our native people. They are becoming our country’s forgotten people.

 A copy of my written report can be found on page    of the Annual Report book.

 This concludes my report,

Andrea Smart
Community Life Standing Committee Chair


MAY 17, 2011

Madam Chair,

These past 2 years have certainly been a learning experience for me and I am particularly proud of all of  the parish councils that have shared my resolutions journey with me.  I was certainly encouraged to read the comments from the annual reports.  Although fewer councils’ submitted a resolutions report for last year, the overall percentage of councils reporting that they actually had a resolution standing chair had increased.  I am hopeful that this indicates a trending toward an overall increase in interest in this standing chair position.   

Over the last 2 years, much focus was put on helping our members to better understand the overall Resolution process. In an effort to achieve this goal, The Resolutions Tool Kit, How to Get Started Job Aid, Working Template and Workshop Talk Notes were all developed and distributed. The information is now available on our website. 

Also in an effort to encourage our members to study past resolutions and to follow through on the ACTION part of the resolution process, the Action of The Month Contest was introduced.   Congratulations to all who participated, for this was truly a WIN-WIN for everyone who took the time to rise to this challenge.  All the good works by all of the participating councils are also available on our website. 

Once again this year our parish councils throughout the diocese worked very hard on researching excellent resolution topics and I will be very proud to present 2 resolution topics to you this morning.  

On Monday just prior to the opening of this convention, for the first time, for our Toronto Council, a Resolution’s Dialogue Session was held and it was attended by approx.  90 members.  It was wonderful seeing so many members taking the opportunity to examine the resolutions to be presented at this convention. For some of these ladies, it was the first time they had ever attended a dialogue session.  I hope that the session served to introduce the overall process to our members and that this becomes an ongoing Toronto tradition.   

In writing this report, I looked back over the past 2 years and I remembered what a friend of mine recently told me. She reminded me that the CWL has a lot of strong women.  And indeed, the CWL is made up of a lot of strong women. 

What I saw over the last 2 years,  was women who took the time to take part in  the resolution process;  Women who took the time to study and educate themselves on new topics and those from PAST resolutions; Women who took the time to write letters to their members of parliament, took the time to organize petitions, cared enough to ensure that issues for Justice and Christian values were maintained. 

And what I realized was that YES, we are a group of really strong women but it’s when we take the time to identify those injustices in the world, when we care enough to BE that  Voice for the Voiceless, when we are NOT afraid to STAND UP for what we truly believe in,  then that is when we truly show the world that we are NOT only a group of strong women but we are TRULY women of strength. 

Resolutions are part of our CWL history and my hope is that we will continue to uphold this tradition and keep the doors to Justice and moral Christian values open for our future.

Fellow Sisters, we ALL have that ABILITY.  It’s what WE DO with that ABILITY, that makes the difference. 

This concludes my oral report.

My written report can be found on page 33 & 34  in the annual report book.

Thank you.

Mary Capobianco
Resolutions Standing Committee Chair



May 16th, 2011

Madam Chair,

Ladies, how can you as a Communications Standing Committee Chair help promote Peace, Faith and Justicewithin your parish; your community and aboard?  One way is to report on the projects and activities your members are involved in – be it: 

*       visiting a local retirement home; 
*       working at a food bank; 
*       working with the children in your local schools; 
*       raising money to help children in third world countries; 
*       holding the White Ribbon Campaign and presenting the ribbons and petitions to your local MPP;
*       or working with other local organizations to support the youth and elderly  in your community .... and the list goes on.  

Whatever it is your council is involved in, make sure that the activities are advertised and reported on in your church bulletins and even in the local papers. Let people know that – the C.W.L. exists!  Its members are involved!  And the League is here to stay!   

Did you know you can also submit your good news stories to National Office to be included in the “Be League” grassroots E-Newsletter?    While you are at it, why not submit a write up for the CWL Toronto Archdiocesan website? Just make sure you share your news so others can be inspired!   

Yes, Toronto’s website has been up and running since January. Hopefully the “lines of communication” have been open and most members have at least heard that there is now a Toronto website.  If you have not done so already please visit www.cwltoronto.ca  

My thanks go out to the website development committee for all their help and support with website. The committee members included Ann D’Souza; Melanie Nazareth, Edie Petruzelka and last but definitely not least our fearless leader Marlin Taylor. As you know a website is never “finished” – it is always evolving.  For example, we are currently in the process of adding a new section under the Resources Tab called Speakers. Here, readers will find a list of Speakers as recommended by you the members. We already have our 1st Speaker ready to add once the section is available.  So the next time your council has a “Great” guest speaker submit the details so we can add the information to the list.    

Many members asked that the website include regional calendars so we gave each of the 7 regions their own calendar. The purpose of these calendars is to advertise your events that are open to multiple councils or the community at large. If you are hosting such an event please provide your regional chair with all the details so the event can be added to the website.  Such events include Regional Meetings; Bazaars; Fund Raisers; Dances; Communion Brunches; Anniversary Parties – you get the idea. 

While your council may have embraced more modern communication methods to reach out to your members – don’t forget those who are unable to access the web or email.  Please don’t let those members fall through the cracks. The good old “tried and true” telephone committee is still a good communication tool to reach such members. So use the combination that works for your council to stay in touch with ALL your members and keep them informed. As I have said in the past and I will say again, – informed members translate into more involved members. 

Drop by the Communications Table and browser through the photo albums and newsletters and pickup the Salt and Light literature and a copy of their latest magazine that is hot off the press.  We also have complimentary copies of this week’s Catholic Register for you. The Catholic Register has put together a promotion on a one year subscription so drop by for the details.

In closing, CWL sisters are like snowflakes – one of nature’s most fragile creations, but just look what they can do when they stick together!  
Remember to wear your CWL PIN with pride to all CWL functions!

Enjoy the convention.  My written report can be found in the Annual Report Book starting on pg 31.

This concludes my report. 

Debbie Bates 
Communications Standing Committee Chair



May 16th, 2011

Madame Chair:

Congratulations to all Organization Chairs for taking this important position on your council executive. Your efforts allow the women of your parish to become more fully involved in the life of your parish community by their commitment to the works of the League.We were grateful to the 63 councils who sent us their annual reports and shared with us all the work their councils do.

The following bears repeating although I mentioned it last year: please note that the Parish Council Remittance Form for Per Capita Fees is due at National Office each year on January 1st. The final date which should be adhered to, is February 28th, a two month allowance, to include all the members you recruit at the beginning of the new year. This means that when you do your membership drive, you should have your cheque and the Per Capita Form ready to go immediately afterwards.  Further remittances can be sent, and please co-ordinate the activities of the Organization Chair and the Treasurer so the dues are sent promptly.   A New and Renewed Members List form is available for late-paying and new members to help you with this process.

We have had several successful Leadership and Public Speaking courses this past year.  I hope you are aware there can be one in any region throughout the year. It just means presidents, should be in touch with your Regional Chair to indicate your parish councils’ interest and she will work with the new Archdiocesan Organization Chair to arrange a course in your region.

We also held Executive Training sessions in the last year. This has similarities to the Leadership course, but it is designed to help executive members to effectively perform their duties on their parish council.  We can arrange for these sessions to be presented, either to one council or a number of councils in any area. 

We were fortunate to have St. Philip Neri and St. Patrick, Markham, Councils, North York Region re-activated last year and St. Leo the Great, Durham Region establish a new council. St. Norbert, North York Region began the process to activate in 2010 and was officially established in 2011, so we will formally recognize them at next year’s convention. Regretfully, Our Lady of the Assumption Council, Brentwood, Northern Region, disbanded at the end of 2010.

Our ultimate objective in this role of Organization Chair is to maintain and promote membership and help to provide the skills which make us effective in all our roles in our councils. May Our Lady of Good Counsel continue to guide us in this role and all our service to the League.  My written report can be found on pages 21-22 of the Annual Report Book.

This concludes my report.

Mary Hawkley


May 16th, 2011

Madame Chair:

The newsletter subscription has increased tremendously we have crossed 850 subscriptions.

On our website you may have noticed that we have uploaded a couple of old issues of the newsletter.

The yearly subscription cost of the newsletter is $10/-, 3 issues in a year, covering the period from March 1st 2011 to end of February 2012

I would recommend:

All members to subscribe, especially every CWL Council Executive.   The newsletter is important to the League; it is the best way for each chair to communicate to the member as there is a wealth of information and a good way to stay connected

  • Continue to advise of the change in address.  Please report non-delivery so that this may be corrected.
  • Send in your Council’s anniversaries, service awards Leadership graduation, it is a great accomplishment and requires acknowledgement.
  • If you or your council has not subscribed to the newsletter come during break to the newsletter desk and subscribe for a copy.
  • The balance of my report can be found in the Annual Report booklet page 37.

This concludes my report.

Ann D'Souza