Archbishop's Blog

  • 97th National Convention of The Catholic Women's League of Canada

    Posted on August 10, 2017

    The Catholic Women's League of Canada held its 97th Annual National Convention this summer in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Some 750 women from across Canada gathered in Canada's smallest province and the national historic site of Confederation to do the national business of the League, to celebrate their faith, make inter-provincial connections‎ and to put forth initiatives for the CWL throughout Canada. A large group of Manitoban Catholic women came to this national convention to begin preparations for next year when the National Convention will be held in Winnipeg.

    In 2018, the Catholic Church in Manitoba marks the 200th Anniversary of the coming of the first missionaries to western Canada and this serves as a good motivation to host the CWL National Convention in Manitoba.

    St. Dunstan's Basilica, Charlottetown, served as the site for the opening and closing Liturgies of the National Convention‎. The Cathedral is the spiritual home for Catholics in the Province of Prince Edward Island. Erected between 1897 to 1907, it is one of the best examples of High Victorian Gothic architecture in the country. It was elevated to the status of a basilica in 1929.

    Interior view of the basilica

    Interior view of the basilica

    Unique stained glass windows decorate the nave of the church. Here is a unique window displaying past rectors of the basilica.

    Historic bishops of Charlottetown

    "Inspired by the Spirit, Women respond to God's Call". This year's National Convention theme captures the importance of listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit‎ in our lives as Christians belonging to the community of Christ, and responding to that voice with generous hearts. The CWL seeks to follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit in all that they say and do, be it at the national level, the provincial level, the diocesan level or in the many parish councils.

    The Patroness of the Catholic Women's League of Canada‎ is Our Lady of Good Council. The photo here is of a copy of the famous miraculous icon of Our Lady of Good Council installed in a church in Genazzano, Italy. Our Lady is the perfect example of listening and responding to the Holy Spirit.

    The Manitoba representation at the 97th National Convention of the CWL. It is a very large group that came to help prepare for the National Convention to be held in Winnipeg next year.

    The Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island brings greetings to the more than 750 women plus many spouses and people of Charlottetown after Mass at St. Dunstan's Basilica.

    National President, Margaret Ann Jacobs, brings greetings to the Convention attendees after Mass.

    Scene of the 1st morning session with speaker, Ken Yasinski (in the distance), giving a talk on: "A Catholic Identity Crisis" and "Becoming a living Thank You".

    Statue of Bishop Angus Bernard MacEachern (1759-1835) outside the old archbishop's residence beside St. Dunstan's Basilica. Bishop MacEachern was the first bishop of the colony and founder of St. Andrew's College, the first post-secondary institution‎, later to become St. Dunstan's University.

    Province House (now under renovation). It is a national historic site as it was where the Confederation of Canada came into being. Today it serves as the Provincial Legislature.

    Housing across the street from St. Dunstan's. These are typical of Charlottetown's historic city centre.

    Msgr. Louis  McCloskey (to my left), with parishioners from St. John XXIII Parish, Winnipeg, who were visiting Charlottetown during the Convention. Msgr. Is now retired in PEI, his home province, after serving in the Archdiocese of Winnipeg for many years.

    Reginald Bibby, well-known sociologist from the University of Lethbridge and an expert on religious trends in Canada, addresses the Convention on the main themes in his recent book on Catholicism in Canada.

    One evening's entertainment included the 'Charlottetown Pops Orchestra', a local PEI comedian, and a wonderful 'Mi'kmaq' singer who sang a series of songs in English, French and Mi'kmaq  in honor of Canada's 150th birthday. ‎Seen here is the comedian with the Charlottetown Pop's Orchestra. 

    Since Winnipeg will host the national convention next summer, our delegates put on a welcoming skit in front of the entire convention, inviting everyone to Manitoba next summer.‎ This photo shows our Manitoba delegates, wearing traditional costumes, assembling before entering the convention.These two photos show some of the variety in costumes including representations of early missionaries and Winnipeg's Golden Boy. 

    Since Winnipeg will host the national convention next summer, our delegates put on a welcoming skit in front of the entire convention, inviting everyone to Manitoba next summer.‎ This photo shows our Manitoba delegates, wearing traditional costumes, assembling before entering the convention.These two photos show some of the variety in costumes including representations of early missionaries and Winnipeg's Golden Boy. 

    Procession into St. Dunstan's Basilica for the Convention closing Mass. Bishop William McGrattan (Calgary) preached the homily.

    At closing banquet the "Dream Catchers" indigenous singing and dancing group (a Canadian 150th Anniversary funded arts project) entertained the delegates with a focus on youth today. 

    The 2017 National Convention is brought to a close and Winnipeg starts preparations for next year.


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