The Catholic Women's League
President: Lillian Weir
President Elect: Natalie Morris
Secretary: Tricia Vermeulen
Treasurer: Martha Carrera
Past President: Jeanette Mills
Spiritual Development: Marie MacNeil
Organization: Sheila Rooney
Christian Family Life: Alicia Yorke
Community Life: Terry Wigle
Education and Health: Gerri Norton
Communications: Tricia Vermeulen
National Catholic Women’s League website http://www.cwl.ca/
St. Peter Catholic Women’s League continually serves the parish community as the need arises. We also play an important role representing the parish by assisting at masses as lectors and ministers of the Eucharist, assist with baptisms, coordinate the senior’s group lunches, teach catechetical programs, music ministry, assist with nursing home mass services and are members of the ministry to the sick at local hospitals and private residences.
During the past year, the CWL Council provided assistance to many organizations and groups such as:
Mass for Shut-ins
Development and Peace
Feed Others of Dartmouth (FOOD) – Margaret’s House
Least Coin (Interfaith, Worldwide Organization supporting Peace and Justice)
Collect stamps in support of the Leprosy Mission of Canada
Birthright – baby items in support of expectant mothers in need
Christmas backpack program
Provide crosses and reception for First Communion and Confirmation students.
Offer scholarships to youth attending university or college
Contribute funds to the Steubenville Retreat
Support Edwards House (male youth) and Brockwell House (female youth) who are in a group home setting
HISTORY OF THE LEAGUE:
Below are the Presidents and Spiritual Advisors with their terms of office from March 25, 1952 to 2018:
Presidents and Terms of Office:
Miss Nan DeVan – 1952 to 1954
Mrs. J. Colin Dunn – 1954 to 1956
Mrs. Joseph McGowan – 1956 to 1958
Mrs. Edna Henderson – 1958 to 1960
Miss Nellie DeVan – 1960 to 1962
Mrs. Peg Meagher – 1962 to 1964
Mrs. Dorothy Meaden – 1964 to 1966
Miss Frances Dunn – 1966 to 1967
Miss Doris Richards – 1967 to 1969
Mrs. Marie Bowlby – 1969 to 1971
Mrs. Betty Fougere – 1971 to 1973
Mrs. Ruth Fraser – 1973 to 1974
Mrs. Marilyn Chapman – 1974 to 1975
Mrs. Peg Meagher – 1975 to 1977
Mrs. Betty Fougere – 1977 to 1979
Mrs. Shirley Horne – 1979 to 1981
Mrs. Marie Bowlby – 1981 to 1983
Mrs. Josephine Deeble – 1983 to 1985
Council Inactive – October, 1985 to January, 1987
19. Mrs. Diane West – 1987 to 1990
20. Mrs. Sharon Keddy – 1990 to 1992
21.Mrs. Shirley Horne – 1992 to 2006
22.Mrs. Betty Fougere and Mrs. Terry Wigle – 2006 to 2008
23.Mrs. Terry Wigle – 2008 to 2009
24. Mary MacLeod – 2009
25. Tricia Vermeulen – 2009 to 2014
26. Pat Mullins – 2014 to 2016
27. Jeanette Mills – 2016 to 2018
28. Lillian Weir – 2018 to 2020
Spiritual Advisors and Term of Office:
Father William Smith – 1952 to 1954
Father Gerald Murphy – 1954 to 1972
Monsignor John Campbell – 1972 to 1982
Father Louie Caissie – 1982 to 1987
Father Thomas White – 1987 to 1999
Father Jack Hayes – 1999 to 2003
Father Owen Connolly – 2004 to 2007
Father James Richards – 2007 to Present
2002 - 50TH ANNIVERSARY (Presentation prepared by Katherine DeVan)
Madam President, Father, Guests and Ladies of the CWL:
The year 2002 marks a very important period in the history of St. Peter’s Council of the Catholic Women’s League. We are celebrating our fiftieth anniversary, or as we say Our Golden Jubilee.
In 1952, Reverend Father William Smith invited the ladies of St. Peter’s Parish to meet together to form a branch of the Catholic Women’s League. Our inauguration meeting was held on March 24, 1952. Two of the Diocesan members were present to help us organize. Approximately, one hundred members signed the membership list. Father Smith was so pleased with the response that he presented us with a gavel.
Our first Spiritual Advisor was Father Smith and the First President was Miss Nan DeVan. During the last fifty years, our Council has had the guidance of six Spiritual Advisors, Father William Smith, Monsignor John Campbell, Father Louis Caissie, Father Thomas White and Father Jack Hayes.
The CWL is a national organization of Catholic Women that was formed around 1920. The patroness is our Blessed Mother under the title of Our Lady of Good Counsel. The logo is For God and Canada. Perhaps it is fitting to review the arms of the Catholic Women’s League and we shall see how clearly our Council has followed, and still follows these aims, the aims are: to assist in promoting religious vocations to carry on social work to encourage good Christian family living.
So important has the League become in Canada that it has been given the privilege of presenting briefs and resolutions to the Federal Government, so as a member our local Council is quite important.
Our Council has seen many changes since that memorable day in 1952, but there is one characteristic that has not changed – the loyalty of the members to the church and Canada. Even though our membership has decreased in numbers we have taken part in many projects connected with the church and the community.
The Council sends a member to the FOOD organization and thus our parish is represented. Our members supervise the donations sent to Hope Cottage from the parish. Our League sends donations to Mass for Shut-ins. Each year our League sends representatives to the World Day of Prayer, and members attend the Lenten Service held in the downtown churches.
We also have a committee social action which cooperates with others in sending gifts to the Nova Scotia Hospital, and attends Cancer Clinics and Red Cross projects.
In past few years our Council has undertaken another great project – catering at funeral receptions. This is greatly appreciated by the members of deceased families and has proven to be a very commendable work for our Council.
Members of our Council volunteer as Ministers of the Eucharist and as a Lector. The Rosary is recited at the funeral home on the death of a member or her spouse. When the Parish suffered the loss of the old St. Peter’s Church, the CWL came forward immediately with offers of assistance. When the ruins were considered safe, the ladies were successful in salvaging some of the valuable linens.
When the present St. Peter’s Church was being built, our Council made many contributions towards the expenses of the building, among them being the payment for one of the large stained glass windows over the entrance of the church.
Presently we made a donation to the renovation of the kitchen in the school hall. On this occasion we have much to be thankful for. Our membership may be low in quantity, but high in quality.
We have our Spiritual Advisor, Father Jack Hayes who guides us on our plans, our President, Mrs. Shirley Horne who keeps us going, our Treasurer, Mrs. Betty Fougere, who always seems to have money in the bank, our Secretary, Chella Stephens who keeps us aware of our activities.
Some of the other ladies take part in other activities. We can look back with pride on our past endeavors, and look ahead with a good feeling as we work for God and Canada.
2014 – 60th ANNIVERSARY
The Parish Administrative Council of St. Peter Parish held a dinner and celebration honoring CWL members and invited guests for 60th Anniversary of the Catholic Women’s League in the parish. Among the invited guests were Glenda Carson, President of the Halifax Yarmouth Diocesan Council, Past Presidents of St. Peter Council – Mary MacLeod, Diane West, Sharon Keddy and Marilyn Chapman.
The Council is still actively involved in ministries of the Parish and helping groups in Metro such as Feed Others of Dartmouth, the Backpack program, Marguerite Centre, Chalice and Birthright naming a few.
The current President is Pat Mullins and Spiritual Advisor for the past seven years has been Father Jim Richards.
We look forward to the future as we continue being the voice of Catholic women who promote dignity and justice for all.