by ROWENA OREJANA
AUCKLAND — Changes are needed if the Catholic Women’s League is to continue to grow, says
retiring president Anne Joyce.
In her report to members at the CWL national conference in Auckland last month, Mrs Joyce said the members have a responsibility to look after what previous generations have handed down.
“CWLNZ has a long and proud history in the New Zealand Church, but today’s society poses challenges that our founders would never have dreamt of. We need to grow — and growth means change. I know we are capable of meeting this challenge if we work together,” she said.
She said they needed to focus on 50- to 70-year-old women who were not yet members. She said
those women are looking at reconnecting with parish affairs as children become less demanding
of their time.
“These women have a wealth of experience to offer, so we should be encouraging their participation; even if they are unable to attend meetings regularly, associate membership
could be the way to foster their interest,” she said.
Mrs Joyce added that apart from the Pasifika community, CWL should also start encouraging
women from the strong and committed Filipino group.
“Many of the Pasifika and Filipino community have young families — don’t let this be a barrier to an invitation,” she said.
She said there is also a need to change the way the league thinks of the Pacific. The Church in the Pacific has more priests and higher proportions of practising Catholics. The challenge is to think of the situation of the Pasifika people in New Zealand. “Are we making an effort to include local Pasifika women in our league — or making their issues and needs part of
our thinking. There is a real challenge to us all in our thinking,” she pointed out.
Mrs Joyce thanked members for their support as she wished incoming president Kaye Blackburn the best for her term.