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The Catholic Women's League of Canada (the League) was organized nationally in June 1920 and granted federal incorporation in December 1923. The League is officially recognized by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) as a lay association of women and is affiliated with the World Union of Catholic Women's Organizations (WUCWO), a worldwide federation holding membership in the conference of International Catholic Organizations (ICO) and having consultative status with agencies of the United Nations.
The Mission Statement
The Catholic Women’s League of Canada calls its members to grow in faith, and to witness to the love of God through ministry and service.
There are currently over 90,000 members throughout Canada. The League is composed of four levels: national, provincial, diocesan, and parish. The national office is in Winnipeg, Manitoba. www.cwl.ca.
Parish Level Council
The parish-level council consists of President; President-Elect; Vice-President; Secretary; Treasurer and nine Standing Committee Chairpersons. (Spiritual Development; Christian Family Life; Community Life; Education & Health; Resolutions and Legislation; Parish Activities; Communications and Organization.)
General Membership at Parish Level
Catholic women 16 years of age or over may become members with voting privileges and with eligibility for office by election or appointment. Membership is established and maintained by payment of the annual prescribed membership fee ($25.00). The membership dues include a membership card and a subscription to the "Canadian League" magazine, which is published three times a year. Items such as scarves, pins, prayer cards, medals, rosaries etc can be obtained through a printed catalogue and available through your Council.
The objects of the League shall be to unite Catholic women of Canada:
- to achieve individual and collective spiritual development
- to promote the teachings of the Catholic church
- to exemplify the Christian ideal in home and family life
- to protect the sanctity of human life
- to enhance the role of women in church and society
- to recognize the human dignity of all people everywhere
- to uphold and defend Christian education and values in the modern world
- to contribute to the understanding and growth of religious freedom, social justice, peace and harmony
Our Patroness is Our Lady of Good Counsel (Feast Day: April 26th)
The picture of Our Lady of Good Counsel is on display in a small Italian village named Gennazzano, some 30 miles from Rome.
The opening of the old church, named Our Lady of Good Counsel was restored in the 15th century and reopened on April 26, 1467. It has been confirmed that the illustrious painter, Antonio Vivanini, a master of the Veronese school of art painted this wonderful image of our Lady and the Christ child.
The original picture of the Mother and Child is painted on light plaster measuring 18" x 15" (see below). The style is oriental and Byzantine and shows evidence of moving away from the stylized rigidity of the east. The original was brilliant and brightly coloured, the faces simple, pure, compassionate and devotional. The infant is so close to his mother that his simple and loving gesture draws us all to Mary, Our Lady of Good Counsel.
In the five centuries since 1467, it has seen miracles, pilgrimages of popes and saints and visits of the faithful from all over the world. All councils and members are encouraged to celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Good Counsel on or around April 26th every year.