DATE: October 9, 2020 FROM: Faith Anderson, national chairperson of education and health TO: Parish chairpersons of education and health
As another League year begins, members are mindful that it will not be a “normal” year. COVID-19 has created many challenges for the League and its members, including challenges for councils to make their regular financial contributions. Like so many others dealing with the pandemic, councils are finding creative ways to continue to support League initiatives and organizations financially.
The annual report survey (564 councils) indicated councils/members were not informed on or did not promote some areas, i.e., National Bursary Fund (67%), Mental Health Postcard (46%), Coady International Institute (66%), Catholic Bioethics Institute (97%) and Canadian Blood Services’ Partners for Life program (93%). Thank you for providing this valuable annual survey information. These topics will be covered during the remainder of the term.
DATE: September 30, 2019 FROM: Faith Anderson, national chairperson of education and health TO: Parish chairpersons of education and health CC: Parish presidents, diocesan presidents, provincial presidents and life members (on request) ENCL: Water Challenge Pledge Report National Bursary Fund Brochure
Welcome back after the summer hiatus. With autumn beginning, there is much to be thankful for. Members continue to honour and celebrate Mother Earth who provides for our daily needs. As promised, the “Water Challenge Pledge” report is attached. I am pleased and excited that members answered the call of Laudato Si’ (On Care for Our Common Home), with more than 2,000 members participating in the pledge. It is never too late to make a personal pledge.
Catholic Education If you reside in one of the lucky provinces that offer Catholic public schools, there is still an ongoing need to be educated and informed on this issue. Take time to contact the schools and become aware of any issues or immediate needs. Should you reside in a province that does not offer Catholic public school options, but have Catholic private schools, it is even more important the option of Catholic schools be preserved. These institutions need support — reach out and make the League a welcoming force in Catholic schools in your area. St. Mary’s University in Calgary has a CWL Chair for Catholic studies. Is there a way for your council to support Catholic education?
LITERACY AND CONTINUING EDUCATION Coady International Institute Individual and council contributions to the Coady International Institute national voluntary fund for the period July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019 totaled $23,991.44. Due to restructuring at the institute, the Diploma in Developmental Leadership Program is not offered in 2019. A motion was adopted at the 2019 national convention to disburse the funds collected to the Global Change Leaders program for this year. Global Change Leaders program is a seven-week education program offered by Coady Institute’s International Centre for Women’s Leadership. This program “enables women from developing countries to strengthen their leadership capacities in order to contribute to innovation and change in their organizations and communities” (coady.stfx.ca). Thank you for the ongoing support to Coady Institute.
SCHOLARSHIPS AND BURSARIES The National Bursary Fund brochure has a new look and brings clarification to several areas. Members can apply in a variety of areas, i.e. attending courses, seminars, conferences, workshops and diploma or degree programs, providing the necessary criteria is met. The national executive would love to support members expanding their knowledge and personal development. Please make members aware of this opportunity. Thank you to members and parish councils for donating to this fund, allowing more applicants to receive funding.
WELLNESS AND SICKNESS/DISEASE Bell Let’s Talk Campaign is Canada’s largest corporate initiative dedicated to mental health. The national awareness campaign begins with Canadians sharing personal stories about mental illness. Bell donates five cents to Canadian mental health programs for each interaction on Bell Let’s Talk Day at no cost to participants beyond what they normally pay the service provider for online or phone access. For more information visit letstalk.bell.ca.
Partners for Life program with Canadian Blood Services using the League’s unique Partner ID (CATH011269) may be promoted to members. Did you know when donating blood you may direct the donation to several different groups, i.e. the League and Knights of Columbus? Some changes in eligibility have occurred that need to be highlighted.
There is no longer an upper age limit.
For most types of cancer, you can donate five years after treatment is complete and you are cancer free.
While taking some medications means you cannot donate, most are okay.
Visit the Canadian Blood Services website, blood.ca for more information. Members are encouraged to make regular blood donations. Canadian Blood Services states, “It’s something you can do today to ensure someone else is waking up healthy tomorrow.”
ENVIRONMENT Waste Reduction Week—October 21-27, 2019 “Each day during Waste Reduction Week has its own theme [i.e. plastics & packaging – October 24, Food waste – October 25 etc.]. Participants have the option to support areas that are most important to them or learn about a new issue” (wrwcanada.com/en/2019-theme-days). Visit wrwcanada.com for more information.
Although this week brings the topic to our attention, invite members to follow the mantra “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” every day. What better way to Care for Our Common Home?
Eliminate single use plastic (including plastic straws).
Discontinue use of Styrofoam cups and plates.
Dr. Peter Baltutis, associate professor at St. Mary’s University, Calgary, provided the following facts on plastic during his presentation at the 2019 annual national convention:
Approximately eight million metric tons of plastic are thrown into the ocean annually.
There are five massive patches of plastic in the oceans around the world, including one the size of Texas between California and Hawaii.
Every minute, one garbage truck of plastic is dumped into an ocean.
Dr. Baltutis’ presentation, “Living Laudato Si’: Practical Tools on How We Can Care for Our Common Home” at the convention challenged members to live simply. As councils resume activities this fall, members are encouraged to continue focusing on water in relation to Care for Our Common Home. Let us be true disciples and ensure a sustainable environment for children and the future.
Written by Kathleen Winter, Health & Education Chairperson
Education and Health Standing Committee Responsibilities
Under this umbrella there are many subheadings, I have provided links and resources for your use
a) CATHOLIC EDUCATION
- Talk to your trustee and find out about the curriculum in schools
- Sacraments 2018 – The Bishop is implementing a Pilot Program in 5 Parishes for both parents and children for Reconciliation and First Eucharist in order to have a consistent program throughout the Diocese. Confirmation will be the next pilot program.
St. Mary’s University – Bishop McGrattan says the CWL have honoured our commitment to establish the Chair for Catholic Studies at St. Mary’s University and raising 1.6 million for this chair. He feels that our fundraising goal has been accomplished and no more fundraising is required. If your Council would still want to donate to St. Mary’s University – make sure your donation goes to the CWL Chair for Catholic Studies not the St. Mary’s University General Fund.
He would like to use the university as a bridge to the Permanent Deaconate and Lay Formation and Education through the Pastoral Office. Allow the university to provide teachers and programs.
RCIA – volunteer to be a sponsor.
b) LITERACY AND CONTINUING EDUCATION – volunteer at schools and work with children who need help with reading
c) SCHOLARSHIPS AND BURSARIES
Bishop Paul O’Byrne Scholarship
This scholarship was established in 1993 to commemorate the celebration of Bishop Paul O’Byrne’s 25th Jubilee as Bishop of Calgary. This year marks the 25th Anniversary since it was established. The original amount of the scholarship was $200.00 but this was later increased to $500.00. During the last 25 years this scholarship has been awarded in just 14 years. This scholarship open to any CWL member and has not been utilized by CWL members.
The applicant must be an active CWL member in good standing
A letter to the scholarship committee shall be submitted on behalf of the applicant and signed by the council president.
This scholarship was set up to help CWL members further her knowledge of the Catholic faith which in turn will enhance her ability to participate in and be of tangible benefit to the League.
Deadline is May 31. A member may apply for funds for a course taken in the year preceding or for a course to be taken in the year following that May 31 deadline.
Think about taking a course at St. Mary’s University, the FCJ Center of Newman College
National Bursary Fund
The bursary fund is used to provide financial assistance to members needing it to pursue studies, courses, seminars, workshops and diploma/degree programs in areas of
adult faith formation
ministry to patients in palliative care
ministry to shut-ins
Catholic Women’s Leadership Foundation
This new leadership program began its inaugural year in May 2018 and the inaugural class had 13 outstanding Catholic women. 2019 Applications are open – deadline November 9, 2018 https://cwlfcanada.ca/