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“May we have Wisdom in our heart and mind, Success in every challenge we find, Courage to seek life’s purpose for all, and Belief in ourselves to make it come true. Strength to do our best and endure with the guiding light of our faith to ensure. That wherever we go, whatever we do, God’s love will always see us through. Amen.”
Author Unknown

I believe that the above is what we, as members of CWL, have made our mantra this past year and, as women with families, work and commitment to the wider community, we can look back with thanksgiving, pride and love for all that we have received and achieved.

On the 14th October, a Special General Meeting was held at the Redemptorist Monastery Retreat House to move that the Revised Constitution of CWLWA (Inc.) in accordance with the Associations Incorporation Act of WA, be accepted. The Resolution was duly put to a secret ballot vote and was carried unanimously in favour.  Certificates for twenty years of membership and service in the League were presented to Pat Miragliotta, Tina Mangano, Geraldine Mincham, Molly Berger and Dot Wilson.  Group photos of the twenty one members who attended the National Conference were presented to the attendees from WA as a reminder of the wonderful time we enjoyed at the Conference.  We were very honoured to have CWLA National President Madge present with us at our Special General Meeting.   She spoke of the new and exciting things that have occurred at the National level—the e-newsletter, the new website, the CWLA Twitter and Facebook accounts and, the appointment of Dr Bridget McKenna as the new CWLA Research Officer who will be based in Tasmania. Madge also spoke about Dr Sister Mary Glowery JMJ.   

After Mass—which was concelebrated by our Archdiocesan Chaplain Father Roy Pereira and Bunbury Diocesan Chaplain Father Wally Kevis—and lunch, we adjourned to the Monastery Garden for a garden party celebration to mark the beginning of CWLWA’s 75th birthday. Guests included members of the Knights of the Southern Cross, Muslim Women, Legion of Mary, Focolare, Catholic Outreach, National Council of Jewish Women, National Council of Women WA and Ruah as well as many CWL members. A presentation of bath towels was made to Ruah for use in their outreach service of providing showers to the homeless.

Entertainment with some lively and beautiful singing was provided by Veronica Moylan OAM and her ladies choir and the celebration cake was duly cut by Betty Moran and CWLWA Life members Alice Gee, Molly Indermaur and Joan Quinlan. The weather was perfect and a wonderful afternoon was enjoyed by all present.

We were privileged to have Mr Tony Stefanoff, a member of the Knights of the Southern Cross and a Chartered Accountant, attend a recent State Council meeting to speak and enlighten us on the some of the options and decisions we need to consider as stewards of the proceeds of the sale of our Headquarters Downey House earlier in the year.

As State President, I was invited to join the Knights of the Southern Cross at their AGM Dinner, where Bishop Max Davis, Catholic Military Ordinary, was the after Dinner speaker.

In the Bunbury Diocese, members recently participated in a Diocesan Council meeting in Boyup Brook.  Some lively discussion followed the responses to a “Discussion Paper” which had been sent out beforehand and some decisions were reached.  These included the agreement that members no longer see a need for zone meetings; that two council meetings and an AGM were sufficient forums for face-to-face Diocesan communication.  However, it was suggested that informal activities organised at the discretion of neighbouring branches would be excellent opportunities for further fellowship and inter-branch communication.  In keeping with the CWL aim of an annual day of reflection, members suggested that a Diocesan “THEME” would be very useful and could give a unified aspect to all branches in the diocese when organising their reflection days.  Other aspects discussed included the compiling of an annual Diocesan calendar to ensure there was no overlap of activities and to enable maximum attendance at events; suggestions of items for inclusion on council meeting agendas were guest speakers, meeting procedure hints, spiritual input, discussion on motions particularly direction on current issues which could be pursued as motions and the regular update of the Bunbury Diocesan pages of the State handbook; membership building was also mentioned and could incorporate talks and presentations from other branches; and a CWL banner and brochures to be given to all branches to use alongside activities as well as the constant advertisement of all branches’ meeting days and times and, relevant contact person in the Diocesan quarterly magazine the “Grapevine”.  All in all a very fruitful Council meeting!

The Geraldton branch continues to engage in some interesting activities.  On 8th September, Our Lady’s birthday, members travelled in convoy to Mullewa enjoying the sights of magnificent wheat and canola crops on the way—it has been a long time since the farming families in the areas have expected such a good harvest. Many wildflowers and the tall flowering wattles were still in bloom.  They were greeted by Father Michael Morrissey and visited the presbytery and the beautiful Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, both built by the legendary Bishop Hawes.  The Geraldton Cathedral and many other churches in the Midwest are also testament to the building work of Bishop Hawes.  Maria Flavel reported that a “Timeline” roll of the Mullewa school and parish from 1881-2010 was brought out and some of the women spent time on their knees poring over old paper clippings and photographs bringing back memories of teachers and friends from the past.

On 20th October, the Geraldton branch celebrated CWLWA’s 75th Anniversary at St John’s Church.  The day commenced with a gathering of members and friends in the church hall for fellowship over coffee and scones and then progressed to the Church for a Retreat facilitated by Sr Therese Denny SGS.  The retreat was based on the Beatitudes which Sr Therese placed in contemporary society and in her inspiring talks directed attention to the qualities of Blessings of Gratitude, Compassion, Courage, Justice, Mercy, Truth and Wisdom.  The talks were of great spiritual value and gave a new insight to the teachings of Christ.  After the Angelus at midday, a beautiful Thanksgiving Mass was celebrated by our Geraldton Chaplain, Father Peter Downes assisted by Father Larry Rodillas.  The day concluded with lunch, much talk and laughter and the cutting of a “jubilee” cake.

The Perth Archdiocese incorporated its last meeting with Breast Cancer week and contributed $200 towards Breast Cancer Research.  A great effort!  Whilst State Council continues to discern its future meeting place, the Archdiocese has found a very comfortable temporary home at the Legion of Mary premises which has proved to be situated conveniently for drivers and those using public transport.   

The members of CWL WA (Inc.) express their sincere gratitude to the National President, Madge Fahy, and members of the National Executive for the commitment, drive and love they have demonstrated during their term of office, and we ask God’s blessings on them as they pass on the Office of Catholic Women’s League Australia to Queensland.

This Christmas season, we wish all members of Catholic Women’s League and their families and friends, a time of Prayer, Hope, Love and Peace.  

In Charity Work & Loyalty,

Karyn Kammann
State President, CWL WA (Inc.) 

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