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Latest News

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It certainly has been a busy time for the Catholic Women's League in Tasmania and also the League nationally.  

Our State Mid-Term Meeting took place on the 7th September at St Francis Centre at Riverside in Launceston. After a busy morning, Holy Mass was concelebrated by Fathers Southerwood and Harchier followed by a wonderful lunch which was catered by the Launceston CWL Branch ladies.  During the afternoon, we enjoyed an interesting, informative and entertaining presentation on 'Ageing and it's Possibilities' by Dr June Hazelwood.

The League in Tasmania celebrated its 70th birthday on the 19th October, 2011.  The League was established in Launceston in 1941, when Mrs. Gwen Mullins, recently arrived from South Australia, where she had become familiar with the League and its work, met with a group of interested women in Launceston and established the first group.  Other branches quickly followed and a state-wide motto was chosen: “God be glorified in all we do”.  Our members have been very busy organising the celebration for this important milestone.  Eighty people attended the day, past and present members, religious, family and friends.  It really was a great turnout. We had the loveliest weather as well!

The day commenced with Holy Mass celebrated by Father Terry Southerwood, our State CWL Chaplin at Mt Esk Nuring Home Chapel.  Members travelled from the North West by bus and carloads came from the North and the South.  After Mass we went to 'Sandors on the Park' in Launceston central where we enjoyed lunch, chatting, catching up with friends, looking over old photographs and even some entertainment.  Father Southerwood gave a presentation on the history of CWL in Tasmania; Father is a gifted author and talented speaker.   He also entertained us with some hymns sung in Latin. We are very blessed to have him as our Chaplin.

A lovely birthday cake was cut and many photographs taken. Good wishes were received from the CWLA National Executive and from Executive of the Canberra/Goulburn Diocese.

Sister V.M. Burns ssj presented us with a special poem she had written for our birthday, called Look Back, Go Forward CWL 1941-2011:

Seventy years ago those women stood
So strong and resolute to do good.
As ambassadors for Christ in deed
As champions of human dignity and need.
Not just to pay their civic dues
But to proclaim their Christian views.
The powers that be, stopped in their tracks
When challenged by the League's attacks.
So passionate, true and clear
They defended all values held dear.
Through the long years they've walked
And bravely acted, and never baulked.
When stricken down and all seemed lost
They soldiered on whatever the cost.
Still today that campaign spirit is afire
Even when some days they struggle and tire,
These valiant women follow that same road
With Christ, to share with him the load.
Their faith keeps their torch alight,
Gives them strength to fight
For human dignity in a world of strife
So all can enjoy their gift and right to life.

We were thrilled with the recent discovery of significant historical documents proving that there was an earlier ‘League’ presence in Tasmania.  The Catholic Women’s Social Guild (now known as the Catholic Women’s League of Victoria and Wagga Wagga) established a branch in Hobart in early 1936 and Tasmania sent representatives to the Catholic Women’s League International and Inter-State Conference in South Australia in October that same year.   Further research will now be undertaken to discover more about the CWSG presence in Tasmania.  It would appear from the research to date that we may have just turned 75!   

Our third key project for the year is now complete.  The last of the books and magazines for the Women's Prison in Risdon were sent via the Red Cross in October.

The CWL Tasmania State Executive met again on 30th November 2011.  We discussed our Conference dates, themes, venue etc for 2012. We will be choosing three new projects to undertake in 2012.  The projects will centre on community needs in the North and North West of the State.

On 20th December 2011, the Most Rev Adrian Doyle AM, Archbishop of Hobart, will celebrate his 50th Anniversary of his Ordination to the Priesthood.  The Jubilee Mass will be celebrated on the evening at St Mary’s Cathedral in Hobart and CWL ladies will be attendance by invitation.  The Archbishop is retiring as well and the CWL will make a presentation to him after the Mass.

We would all like to wish the National Executive, CWLA Member Organisations, Dioceses, members and all their family and loved ones a holy, safe and happy Christmas as well as joy and blessings for 2012.

We will be keeping the incoming National Executive in our prayers for God's guidance and success.

Marjorie Payton
State President, Tasmania

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