Only nine weeks have gone by since our last Diocesan Meeting but so much has happened in this time. Every week there was something to do or attend and as you all well know from the amount of emails that you have been receiving from me that the Catholic Women’s League is very much alive and active not only in the Church but in society in general.
23rd April. Diocesan Secretary Margaret McMahon and I met wtih FR. David Catterall to plan the Mary Mackillop Mass to be held at Albion Park and also discuss the re-launch of the Albion Park CWLA branch.
!st May. I attended the launch of Samaritan Accommodation in Sydney. This is an initiative of the Salvation Army to provide accommodation for women who have been victims of human trafficking.
7th May was the Reflection Day at Berry, a most enriching day attended by many members.
14th May. WUCWO Mass held at St. Francis Xavier’s Cathedral-again celebrated by Fr. Ron Peters and attended by members from local branches.
1st May. I went to Nowra for a Grantkeepers Workshop conducted by Philanthropy Australia. This workshop gave information on how to apply for grants for projects from Trusts throughout Australia.
22nd May saw me meet with Bishop Ingham for the first time as your Diocesan President. Bishop Peter informed me of Fr. Sarkis’ request to be relieved of his pastoral role and his appointment of Fr. Sean Cullen as our Diocesan Chaplain. We spoke of the role of the CWL in the Diocese and his support and prayers for all of us. I also put to the Bishop the possibility of him conducting a reflection day for us. He is willing to do this but it would be some time in the future-at least not until 2009.
24th May. On Saturday Margaret and I again attended a meeting at Albion Park to relaunch the branch. This time we were accompanied by International Secretary Joan Hughes and Nowra members Marie Hanley and Katherine Brandon. It was a very well attended meeeting with about 25 present as well as Fr. Catterall. He is very supportive of the re-formation.
10th June was the Annual General meeting for Nowra CWL. Secretary Margaret, Treasurer Monica and Past President Carmel joined me for this trip. One year on and the branch has grown in numbers-they are aiming for 30 members by Christmas.
12th June. This Thursday was the celebration of Fairy Meadow’s 35th Birthday. Mass was celebrated by Fr. Paul O’Donohue and there was a very challenging sermon urging us to follow the way of Margaret Fletcher the founder of CWL over 100 years ago. The history of the branch was succinctly told in the Mass booklet-very interesting and informative.
14th June saw a successful meeting held at Albion park to re-launch their CWL.
You would now be aware of the proposed changes to laws within NSW regarding same sex relationships. many of you have made submissions to members of parliament and for this I commend you. We must be very vigilant in reading the paper, watching television or listening to other forms of media for anything that denigrates family life and the dignity of humankind. If something doesn’t seem right or brings a concern to you, Act, don’t leave it for someone else.
Shortly we will have pilgrims for Days in our Diocese prior to going to Sydney for World Youth Day. Welcome them to your home, parish and area, make their visit to the Diocese of Wollongong a highlight of their tour Down Under.
Before we know it it will be time for our State Conference. The registration forms are now available. Think about coming for the whole time if you are in a position to – both financially and time wise. maybe consider coming up each day or for one day. You won’t regret it.
Thank you to those branches that have taken books of raffle tickets. I know you were to decide what your branch could sell but this doesn’t mean just to your members, think outside your membership – family, friends, social groups. Just do the best you can.
Goods for the Trading Table at the Conference is another source of income that only comes bi-annually. if your branch could support this in some way it would be wonderful.
A reminder to branches to forward the names of deceased members for inclusion in the State Conference Book. These names must be forwarded by us to State by 14th July as the printer is retiring in August. Names not received by the required date will miss being included. President Catherine would also like to honour in the booklet current members who have been members for long periods of time eg. 20, 25, 30, 35,40,45,50 years. If you have members in your branch who would qualify, their names are also required by this date.
Please remember in your prayers those members who have died and their families. Pray also for those members and their families who are sick. It is of great consolation to them to know that their loved ones are cared about and remembered.
Keep me and the rest of the Diocesan team in your paryers as well.
May the Holy Spirit guide us in all we do.