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The 96th Annual Catholic Women's League Convention for the Calgary Diocese was hosted by Drumheller Region on May 4th, 5th and 6th, 2018 with the theme of Palliative Care.  

(click on the words in blue for more information)

Our first speaker on Friday morning was Dr. Eric Wasylenko MD CCFP (PC) MHCs (Bioethics), a palliative care physician and clinical ethicist. His palliative care practice has focused primarily on caring for patients in their homes and in hospices. He co-led the creation of one of Canada's first rural residential hospices, Foothills Country Hospice, near his home north of Okotoks. Eric has led several clinical ethics services, assists in the development of programs and policy, currently consults to the Health Quality Council of Alberta, and chairs the Ethics Consultative Group for the Public Health Agency of Canada. He has university appointments at the U of C and U of A, and speaks to public and academic audiences provincially, nationally and internationally. Eric has many fond memories of CWL, having grown up in St. Anthony's Parish in Calgary. 

Dr Wasylenko spoke on "The Gift of End of Life Care: Divergence and Intersection with Medical Assistance in Dying" and included topics of the laws and what has changed; future issues and the gifts that we bring to the dying.  The palliative approach to care is not just end of life care but must start at the time of diagnosis.   When “withdrawl care” is given he stressed that it is very different than assisting in death.   Withdrawl care is withdrawing interventions to allow a natural death.

Dr Wasylenko included information on Palliative Care as an important factor to ensure that people do not chose medically assisted death only because they do not have the options they require to address their needs. Dr Wasylenko has generously agreed to share his presentation slides with us. To ensure that they are not taken out of context, please request them from the webmaster explaining the use you want to make of them so they can be forwarded to you electronically.


His Excellency Most Reverend Bishop W.T. McGrattan presented on "Care for the Dying in the Christian Tradition", emphasizing:

  • the Dignity of the Human Person
  • True Compassion and End of Life Care
  • the Protection of the Vulnerable
  • the Healing Ethic of the Medical Profession
  • Authentic Human Freedom

The Bishop spoke on the moral conscience of dying.   He first thanked the CWL for our involvement in promoting Palliative and hospice care, and asked CWL to assist in the following ways:

  • Continue to advocate for legislation
  • Promote Palliative and Hospice Care initiatives
  • Support education & awareness in the parishes
  • Become involved in coordinated care options for the ill and elderly through diocesan and parish programs
  • Be vigilant in promoting the sanctity of human life form conception to natural death.

You can email to request an electronic copy of his presentation slides.


Dr. Marin G Owen MD (H) CCFP received his MD with honours from Queen's University School of Medicine, He is a fellow of the Reproductive Health Research Institute (RHRI) and member of the International Institute of Restorative Reproductive Medicine. He was the first Canadian clinical consultant for FEMM, the Fertility Evaluation Medical Management system. Additionally, he was Canada's first physician trained by FACTS, the Fertility Awareness Collaboration to Teach the Science, an educational program for physicians to teach colleagues and students. He has a particular interest in growing the influence of Catholic Medical Associations, and as such, has become involved at the local, national and international level, representing Canadian physicians to FIAMC (Federation International des Association Medical Catholique). In 2016 he founded Vitae Medical Solutions to address the need for clinical and technological solutions in the restorative reproductive medicine field internationally. Dr Own is supported by his loving wife, Theresa, and their seven children. Dr. Owen is the President Central Alberta Catholic Physicians, Vice President Canadian Catholic Physicians and a member of the Executive World Federation of Catholic Physicians.

Dr Martin Owen presented on "Euthanasia Deception: standing strong on the slippery slope", examples being the gray areas of: 

  • Medical Ethics,
  • Patient Autonomy,
  • fundamental autonomy and
  • expansion of definitions for example:reasonable foreseeable death, and mature youth. These can be interrupted in different ways.

CWL can lobby for protection of physician rights to act on their conscience, and to protect the dignity and sanctity of human life. Please also see Canadians for Conscience for more information on issues around Canadian doctor's conscience rights.

Dr Owen stated that only 1/3 of Canadians have access to quality palliative care. We know that when people have access to quality care, they choose death less frequently, and Dr Owen called us to action in providing that option. The day-to-day care needs of the dying person and their family need to come from the community (e.g.: CWL).

Under Alberta Health, all physicians have the ability to bill for palliative care.  Many physicians may be unaware of this mechanism to provide care for their patients at the end of life.

For information on your local Catholic Physicians' Guilds and Associations please see www.canadiancatholicphysicians.com

You can email Dr. Martin Owen or find him online (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin) by searching his name.


Prayer for the Protection of Human Life
- Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF)

Heavenly Father, Lord and Maker of all that is good, fill our hearts with joy before the wonders of your creation. Open our eyes to the presence of Your beloved Son Jesus in all those we encounter and especially in the weakest and most vulnerable among us.

Where we see life threatened, at its beginning or at its end, or by poverty and deprivation, inspire us with love and mercy, so that, empowered by Your Holy Spirit, we may work together to defend human dignity.

Help us to build a culture of life: a culture in which each and every person is loved and valued as Your child, from conception to natural death, and in every circumstance of life. Amen.


New Business

Canada 150 C3 Presentation

Makrina Morozowski shared with us her Canada 150 C3 experience, where she spent 10 days on a ship that was traveling from coast to coast to coast for Canada’s 150 birthday.  CWL gave her some money when she was chosen to participate in this.    The money was used for her flight to catch the ship as well as clothes needed for the journey (especially rain gear).  They visited many villages during her 10 days. 

Makrina encouraged us to practice ACE:

Accept Everyone
Challenge Yourself
Encourage Others

Strategic Planning Workshop

Fran Lucas led a workshop to give feedback on goals proposed by the National Planning Strategically process. Members can add their own comments online until July 18, 2018.

Distribution of Mass Collections:

  • Wheatland Food Bank
  • Mission Council of Calgary for use in the Diocese
  • St. Anthony's Church

2018 Diocesan Fall Meeting

- will be held in St George's Hanna, AB September 22, 2018

2019 Diocesan Convention

- hosted May 3-4-5, 2019 by Medicine Hat Region in Holy Family Parish Church

Registration Report

156 participants including:

  • voting delegates
  • accredited members
  • Diocesan Officers
  • 1 Honorary Life Member
  • 6 Life Members
  • members
  • spiritual advisors
  • 1 Hierarchy
  • 1 Provincial
  • 1 National
  • 1 parliamentarian

Fr Jonathon Gibson, Diocesan Spiritual Advisor, shared his reasons for becoming Roman Catholic. Email if you want a copy of the slides he used to illustrate his points.

Annual Reports:

2017 Annual Report Booklet

Oral reports:

Convention Package
 Convention 2018 Invitation Letter Invitation to Spiritual Advisors
Call to Convention Voting Criteria Registration Form

 

Agendas:

MINUTES OF MEETINGS – The minutes of the 95th Annual Convention (Calgary May 6 2017) need to be approved at the 96th Annual Convention, May 5 2018 in Drumheller.  Please review.

The minutes of the Fall Meeting/Workshop (Medicine Hat September 23, 2017) need to be approved at the Pre-Convention meeting, May 4 2018 in Drumheller. Please review.

Attendees are reminded to:

  • Bring your council banners
  • Wear your CWL pins and scarves
  • Wear RED on Friday
  • Bring your own bag
  • Support Growing Opportunities by buying Diapers (newborn to toddler)

Meet our speakers

© Calgary Diocesan CWL