Mental health and its ramifications on society were one of two themes explored at the Regina Archdiocesan Catholic Womens’ League (CWL) annual convention held April 26-27 at St. Joseph’s Parish here. Guest speaker Christine Boyczuk, Regional Intersectoral Coordinator for the Five Hills Health Region in south central Saskatchewan used the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) definition of mental health in her talk. She was accompanied with a friend who described how her family was dealing with mental health issues. Sister LeAnne Letourneau and Gail Pelletier of the Regina Urban Native Ministry opened the two day convention the evening of the 26th talking about the ministry’s work in building relationships with Canada’s indigenous people.”
“It was good to hear both presentations,” said outgoing President Marge Appell, “People have to hear that over and over again. We can’t just sit in our own little circles. We have to get out of that and do things with other people. It’s how we grow.” Appell completed her two-year term at the convention and takes on the role of past-president.
The convention elected Lynn Rogers, Mazenod President; Marilyn Schuck, Weyburn President-Elect who in the normal course of events will become president in 2017. Yvonne Bachelu, Regina was elected First Vice President and Janette Reiger, Emerald Park was elected Second Vice President. Lynn Jones, Regina, Recording Secretary; Viola Joel, Regina, Corresponding Secretary. Treasurer is Brenda Keating, Manor. Carol Dieters, Yorkton; Bernice Gobiel, LaFleche; Frances Mroczko, Yorkton; Sharon Musey, Danbury and Donna Seebach, LaFleche were all elected chairs of the various standing committees.
Two-hundred members registered for the annual convention. Appell said the number of councils has declined from something over 90 to 74 currently. “Church closures and members moving to other councils and declining rural population have contributed to the decline. “Our members are aging and our young people are very busy and both parents are working and with children and so on so it’s hard to attract new members.” She and Yvonne Bachelu made 15 presentations over the last two years of the Catch the Fire recruitment program, “so we’re working on it and we’ve had good success with that but it’s not something that can change overnight.”
The convention had no resolutions to debate. “They come from the grass roots and unfortunately nothing has come forward so that’s something we have to work on.”