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Advent begins and as branches wind down their activities for 2011, we have time to reflect on the year that is almost over.  So many of our members have gone to their eternal reward during the year, which made our annual Mass for the repose of their souls, during the month of November, even more poignant as we reflected on lives well lived in the service of God and the CWL.

Soon after returning from the CWLA National Biennial Conference in September, motions were acted upon and it was heartening that less than a month later, we saw an end to off-shore processing of asylum seekers.  We hope that continuing follow-up letters to the Federal Government, seeking a speedier processing of applications, will be the next step in treating these most vulnerable of people more humanely.

Our Annual Special Day of Reflection was a very beautiful and uplifting experience. Brigidene Sister Lorraine and her assistant Meryl did a wonderful job of leading us in prayer, scripture readings, using music, poetry and art to convey themes and rediscover the love of our God.  If we radiate peace and calm then that is what we can offer our troubled world each and every day.  It was good to have enforced ‘what would Jesus do?’ in any given situation.  Most times we would definitely react differently if we applied this question.   None of us wanted the day to end!

On the last Friday in October, it was wonderful to see so many League members at the Service to commemorate World Community Day at Holy Rosary Church, Watson.  Sister Elizabeth West LCM was the guest speaker and she challenged us to look more closely at our lives and, how we respond to all sorts of atrocities occurring in so many parts of the world.  If we truly believe that we can bring darkness into light, in Christ’s name, we should be much more willing and prepared to speak up against man’s inhumanity to man, while holding all oppressed people in our hearts and in our prayers.

Many members attended the recent Archdiocesan Assembly, which addressed “The Changing Face of Sunday”.  More than 420 attendees discussed issues such as challenges of the liturgy; balancing work/family/life; and the needs of youth and young adults to name but a few.

The Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn, Mark Coleridge, urged us to find new ways of engaging, taking risks and trying new things.  He said: “There are many things that are possible, more than we imagine.  But we need to keep in mind what is possible.  A spirit of realism needs to engage with a spirit of imagination and energy.” Perhaps we could apply some of his thoughts to the future of the League.  

Scripture readings for Advent include themes of accountability, judgment on sin and the hope of eternal life.  While we look forward to welcoming our Lord and Saviour and to celebrations with beloved family and wonderful friends, let us not forget those less fortunate.  We can, and indeed must, make a difference in whatever way we can, so we can truly be worthy to receive Him on Christmas morning.  

Deo gratias,

Angela M. Devlin
President, CWL Canberra Goulburn

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