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Latest News

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The year has flown by and while it has been a very steep learning curve, it has also been very challenging and rewarding.  I especially wish to thank my Executive and Convenors for taking on their respective roles and for all the support they have given me. My congratulations go again to Michelle Pedersen for the great effort she has made with “The Vine” and for her election as the Vice-President of the National Council of Women.  I thank her also for accepting the nomination as our CWLA-NSW Inc delegate to National Council of Women.  Thank you also to Father Biju for accepting the position of State Chaplain.

Our recent State Council Meeting, held at the St. Joseph’s Spirituality and Education Centre, Kincumber South, was a very fruitful meeting. We were able to discuss the suggested amendments to the National Constitution and prepare a document with our comments on these amendments to send to the National Executive and Council for consideration.   Following the unanimous acceptance of a Motion put forward at our State Council Meeting which sought the initiation of an Annual Sunday Mass to be celebrated for the victims of sexual abuse in the Church and the regular remembrance of the victims and their families be remembered regularly in Prayers of the Faithful at other times, we have sent a letter to all Bishops in NSW.  

The World Congress of Families (WCF) will take place in Sydney during National Families Week from 15th-18th May 2013.The two city venues currently under consideration for the WCF are the Sydney Olympic Park and the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre.   Peg McEntee will represent CWLA at the planning meetings.

Throughout the year, Pauline, Colleen and I have attended a range of functions for the National Council of Women which included the Australian Day Awards, the Jean Arnot Luncheon as well as meeting at the NSW Parliament House Theatrette where organisations were encouraged to nominate members for Australian honours.

I attended a gathering of reflection, dialogue and, prayer for peace and justice in the world sponsored by Catholic Mission and a project of the Bishops Commission for Church Ministry which was held at Mary MacKillop Place, North Sydney from 27th-28th October. The day was called “Pilgrims of Truth, Pilgrims of Peace” and coincided with the invitation from Pope Benedict XVI to leaders of the world’s religious traditions to gather in Assisi for a prayer day of peace.

We attended the CWL conferences of Armidale, Lismore, Bathurst, Wollongong, Broken Bay, Sydney and attended Parramatta’s AGM on the 7th December.  We were also privileged to attend the 50th anniversary of the CWL Oberon Branch as well as the 25th Anniversary of the CWL in the Parramatta Diocese.  We also enjoyed joining members at the Sydney Forum, the Mass for the Feast of the Assumption, WUCWO Day and a seminar held by Maitland/Newcastle Diocese. It has been a privilege to present Life Memberships to three members of CWLA-NSW.Inc.  The very deserving recipients of these awards were Sr Kath Maher (Tamworth), Carmel Keys (Manly) and Joy Hogan (Oberon).  They have each given so much to Catholic Women’s League and their communities.

As Christmas approaches and we look at all the busyness that comes with the season, we should remember that this is a time of preparation for the birth of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ.  I wish you all a very happy and holy Christmas and pray that all the blessings of this wonderful season are poured out abundantly on you and your families.

Carolyn Metcalfe
State President, CWLA-NSW Inc.

Catholic Women Connecting Armidale through Faith, Family and Friendship

In February 2011, our Diocesan President, Robyn Judge, and our Secretary, Valmai Hunt, presented their vision to create a group called Catholic Women Connecting that might fill the needs of a ‘younger set’ of women in the Catholic Community.  There were eight ladies in attendance at this initial meeting and, they left with much enthusiasm and optimism that this venture could be an avenue for women who are at a very busy time in their lives and yet wish to enrich their faith as well as find fellowship and support through the Catholic Church.

Catholic Women Connecting gives women an opportunity to live their faith away from the hustle and bustle of their busy lives. Spirituality is an integral part of this group. It opens the doors to joint discussion and interaction relating to families and their local community.  It is a great way to meet with other women in their own age group with similar interests at times suitable to their busy schedule. Catholic Women Connecting groups are affiliated with the League in NSW.  Their annual affiliation fee covers personal insurance. Members also receive the CWLA e-newsletter, our State Magazine as well as Diocesan Newsletters.

Catholic Women Connecting groups have now commenced in Tamworth and Moree.  Congratulations to these ladies on this initiative and we wish them every success.                 

CWL Wollongong

The League in Wollongong Diocese held a Mass on the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, 15th September, which they called a Consoling Mass.  The Mass was offered for members of the community who had lost a family member or friend to suicide or other tragic circumstances.

The idea was proposed by Fr Ron Peters, Dean of St. Francis Xavier’s Cathedral, after he had celebrated the Mass for the Unborn. He reminded us that many people are also grieving for adults as well.

A new branch has formed in the Diocese with the re-establishment of the Port Kembla Branch.  The number of branches in the Diocese is now nineteen.

Gwynneville Branch hosted an International Day and the country of study was Chile.  Father John Pickering OFM, Chaplain to the Spanish community, celebrated Mass and was our guest speaker.  Father Pickering spent about eighteen months in South America, nine of them in Chili, ministering to the people there.  He gave us a very good understanding of Chili’s history and culture.  A delicious luncheon was served and our raffle raised $300 which will be sent to a charity in Chili.