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Our History

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The League in Canberra and Goulburn began as a small group in St Christopher’s Parish, Canberra, in 1945 but ‘the intervening years have seen it develop and grow, spreading to the city of Goulburn and to towns and country centres throughout the archdiocese.’1

Our membership numbers have fluctuated over the years and are now approximately 180. Since our foundation, ‘the League’s area of interest has expanded from parish affairs to the wider community, and to matters of global and international importance.’2

‘Many members of the Catholic Women’s League in the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn have risen to heights beyond their expectation because the organisation gave them the opportunity to develop hidden talents; others have been content to remain the equally valuable followers, the workers, the givers without whom nothing could have been achieved.’3

As an affiliate of CWLA, we have provided a National Executive for that organisation on several occasions. Some of our members have served on the Board of the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organisation (WUCWO). In 1996, the WUCWO General Assembly was held in Canberra. The theme of the conference was: "I made all things new (Rev 21:5): Women, Reconciliation and Hope". About 700 participants from around the world attended this major event.

Membership of the League has been an uplifting experience for many women. ‘They have supported each other in the practice of their faith and have shared opportunities to serve God by aiding the distressed and needy. CWL has provided a chance for them to make lifelong friendships which have sustained them through troubled times; country members found themselves drawing together in times of drought, supporting each other in their struggle to survive. Those friendships have not been restricted to the archdiocese but have extended across Australia and around the world through the organisation’s affiliation with CWLA and WUCWO.’4

‘The work of the Church has been enriched… by the presence of the League and its members in parishes throughout the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn. It has, indeed, been a power for good.'5

Putting our trust in God, we pray that we will continue to be a power for good and, that many more women will join the League and help us make a difference.

 

1 Sheila M. Tilse, A Power for Good, 1998, p 2.
2 Ibid, p 2.
3 Ibid, p 116.
4 Ibid, p 119.
5 Ibid, p 120.