The national board of the Catholic Women’s League has decided to cancel the league’s national conference in July.
National president Susan Dickson said this was done with heavy hearts.
“We acknowledge the hard work of the Hamilton Diocesan Council and thank the organising committee for all their planning and efforts towards making this conference a success for us all,” Mrs Dickson said.
She noted that all members were looking forward to the launch of the league’s 2020-2022 theme, which is traditionally done at the biennial conference.
But even though the conference will not take place, a new theme has been shared. It is “Kia Kaha – Courage, Take Heart”.
“Little did the board know how apt this theme would be,” Mrs Dickson said.
“Our faith gives us such peace and reassurance. One of our board members has commented that the Holy Spirit must have been helping us in our deliberations.” Mrs Dickson cited Scripture passages such as Isaiah 35:4-10 and John 14:27 as examples of a promise made throughout the Old and New Testaments. League members were encouraged to find similar passages. “Make a list and use them as prayer and inspirational starters during the coming weeks. In the coming weeks, it is imperative that we grasp this lockdown as an opportunity to build strong connections. To have courage and stay strong. Be positive. It is a challenge. Follow the rules. Care for each other,” Mrs Dickson said.
She suggested league members take advantage of the many prayer opportunities online and via email, as well as diocesan websites that are streaming Masses and scripture.
Mrs Dickson suggested several other ideas in line with the theme at this time – such as taking part in an Internet prayer circle; Activating an old-fashioned telephone or email circle for all those who don’t use social media; Setting up a “ring for a chat” roster; Establishing a branch or parish Facebook page or group on Messenger; Having virtual meetings, cuppas and challenges; Using Skype and video calling; Sharing photos and updates to encourage each other; Identifying who, in branches and parishes, are most vulnerable or who lack a support network; Involving as many members and others within league members’ community as possible.
Another suggestion was: “If knitting and sewing are your thing it could be gloves for the homeless, or craft items for a fundraising stall, when this is all over.”
Mrs Dickson exhorted members to take the lead to actively support others and to share news and encouragement. “Don’t forget to have some fun,” she added. She said that Ministry of Health advice should be followed at all times and that league members should keep themselves safe and well.
“May God keep you always within the palm of his hand.”