Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of April 30, 2007
CWL targets new younger members
Women's group wants to integrate various talents, interests
By RAMON GONZALEZ
WCR Staff Writer
The new top brass of the archdiocesan Catholic Women's League is out to increase membership by 10 per cent in the Edmonton Archdiocese.
As president, Cathy Bouchard of Red Deer will provide leadership to 4,670 women in 76 councils throughout the archdiocese.
"The most successful way of getting (new) members is to invite our friends, our daughters, our mothers and our aunts. But to invite, we also need to know what we are about," Bouchard told the WCR.
"We need to know who we are and what we can offer to the different varieties of Catholic women out there and even to women who may be interested in our work but who may not even be Catholic," she said.
Bouchard took over as president from Edmonton's Mable Solomon at the council's 85th annual convention at the Dow Centennial Centre April 20-22.
Chosen president-elect by the 200 delegates attending the convention was June Fuller, a medical secretary and a mother of two from St. Albert's Holy Family Parish. She will take over as president from Bouchard two years from now.
In the meantime, "I'll be Cathy's right hand lady, so to speak," Fuller quipped. "I'll be learning the ropes and helping her with her duties."
Fuller's main responsibilities as president-elect will be for membership and organization. She wants to help Bouchard inject fresh blood into the organization.
"My main focus will be to encourage young women to join our organization and to show the benefits that they will gain by joining the largest women's organization in Canada," Fuller said.
The benefits are many, including growing spiritually and gaining new friendships, said Fuller, a CWL member since the establishment of Holy Family Parish in 1990.
"I've always been vocal about the CWL because it has helped me grow in my faith and even in my daily life and how I view life in general."
Bouchard said the CWL must be prepared to welcome, develop and use everybody's gifts and talents for the betterment of the Church and society.
"If a young woman is interested in the political aspect, we can answer that need and use her gifts with what we have. If somebody else may be interested in education we should be able to coordinate that need."
Bouchard said she joined the CWL in 1978 to enrich her life as a Catholic woman. "To me, being involved in the Catholic Women's League was a way to make what I believe about my Catholic faith happen," she said.
"The action part of our faith, the education part of our faith - all these things can happen through the CWL and that's why I joined. It's also to me an identity of the Catholic woman to be in the Catholic Women's League."
Other CWL officers elected at the convention include Jeanne Davis of Red Deer's Sacred Heart Parish as vice-president, Angie Cook of Edmonton's St. Joseph Basilica as secretary and Bea Salmon of Edmonton's St. Dominic Savio as treasurer.
Solomon, the immediate past-president, described her two-year term as "a learning experience and joyful experience filled with sisterly love and acceptance."
"I will miss it, but I'm not sad to leave because I know that my commitment will remain," she said. "In CWL you don't leave; you just change roles."
The CWL's annual Doreen Melton Scholarship was awarded to Khoa Tran, a 28-year-old seminarian from Vietnam who is currently studying English as a second language at Norquest College.
Speaking on the convention's theme at the April 21 banquet, Quebec's Lorette Noble, the CWL's national president, reminded delegates of their call to love one another. "It is when we love those who hurt us or are difficult to love that God is fully revealed to us."