Farewell and thank you Anne

Anne Joyce and Christine Patterson

At the Annual General Meeting held in St Theresa’s Church, Karori, Otari Parish, Mrs Anne Joyce was formally fare welled by the Archdiocesan President, Mrs Christine Patterson.

Mrs Patterson recognized the different leadership roles Anne has held in Catholic Women’s League at Parish, Diocesan and National level, especially as National President for four years.

She said that Anne’s faith and vision has made a large contribution to the growth of CWL throughout New Zealand.

She also managed the rewrite of the CWL Constitution and its accompanying Handbook.

Anne has also been very generous with her time in mentoring leaders within the organisation.  Anne was presented with flowers.

We all wish Anne and her husband, Bill, every happiness in this new phase of their lives with family in Christchurch.

Change lives and shape futures


There are over 700 women in our prisons and almost 6,000 on probation.

Although Corrections New Zealand’s role must always be to hold people to account for their crimes, it is also responsible to help them to stop offending.

The increase of women offenders demands attention and a fresh approach which is different and separate to men’s.

Just as there are a number of recognised factors contributing to women’s offending, it is known that relationships are important with successful outcomes improved by helping women rebuild and maintain relationships or to extricate themselves from violent or dysfunctional ones.

Correction New Zealand’s goal is to reduce re-offending by 25% through a new four-pronged approach.

  • Industry, Treatment and Learning
    Learning skills, trades and supporting women in to meaningful work.  Improving mental and physical health and tackling the causes of their offending.
  • Community Safety
    Probation officers will have greater emphasis on women’s circumstances both in the whanau and in the community.  Assisting women, especially those caring for children, to complete their community probationary period.
  • Modern Infrastructure
    As new and updated facilities are brought in to use attention will be given to what supports women’s rehabilitation.
  • Our People
    Corrections staff in women’s prisons need to be able to respond through a range of advanced inter-personal skills to build positive and effective relationships.

Read the full text from Corrections New Zealand

Whakatane celebrate silver jubilee

On the 19th of September 1957, the then Parish Priest, Father Courtney with the backing of Archbishop Liston, addressed a gathering of local ladies.  The outcome of this meeting was the formation of a Catholic Women’s League Branch and the election of the following executive – President, Mrs Fogerty; Vice President, Mrs Doran; Secretary, Mrs Bridges; Treasurer, Mrs Hand.   From this beginning came an energetic, vibrant women’s group whose motto was, “In Faith and Service”.   For 60 years, ladies from St Peter Chanel Parish have continued to honour and fulfil the aims of Margaret Fletcher – they have prayed for and supported the poor and needy and provided friendship and fellowship.

There was a good attendance of members at the celebratory luncheon, including a former Parish Priest, Father Frank O’Regan, present Parish Priest Father Robert Sharplin and branch Chaplain Peter Lander.

These five ladies were honoured by the Branch Executive for the service they have provided over the years.  Josie Gillick, Maria Goes, Riet van Boheemen, Maryrose Butler and Helen Spring were each presented with a framed Hamilton Diocesan Service Certificate and a spray of flowers.  Absent was Lorna Scholtens.

Over the years the branch has retained archival material and the members enjoyed looking at photos and recalling the fellowship they had experienced.

Helen Spring, a present-day member who was at the initial meeting, and Mary Rose Butler who joined shortly after, cut the cake.




Books for Fiji from New Plymouth

New Plymouth shipped 21 boxes of nearly new books to Nadelei, their mission community in Fiji.  The books came from a closing primary school in Taranaki.  A generous benefactor sourced, packed and paid for the shipping.

The happy faces of the children demonstrate the joy and excitement of unpacking these treasures.

New stationery and gifts were sent for the sisters from the Branch.

Port Chalmers Celebrates 50 Years

The Port Chalmers Branch began their celebrations on a warm spring day with Mass in the Star of the Sea Church, celebrated by four of the five priests who served as parish priests in the time of the League.
Guests from Oamaru CWL, Dunedin CWL, and friends from the local Anglican and Presbyterian Churches joined members and parish friends in the Chalmers Room at the local Civic Centre for a shared lunch, social time and formalities.

Current members
Maureen Love,
Anne-Marie Warren,
Joan Dickinson,
Pauline Lysaght,
Natalie Smith
and Joan Burgess.



Flowers were presented to Pauline Lysaght and Natalie Smith for their years of service. Natalie was also presented with Life Membership for her dedicated service to League for over fifty years





Natalie Smith cutting the cake while Joan Burgess looks on.

Korean Cooking at the Orakei Eastern Suburbs, Auckland

Cecilia Lee did us proud when she demonstrated the Korean cooking techniques at a monthly meeting.  The food she cooked was superb and in great abundance.  She was able to feed twenty members and friends for lunch without batting an eye.  Thank you so much, Cecilia.  We were all keen to try to duplicate the different dishes you cooked for us.

Cecilia Lee, chef and committee member with members and friends enjoying the lunch.

Morrinsville Branch

Approximately ten members & parishioners gather together every second Tuesday and knit for children. All the wool they knit with is machine washable making it easy to keep clean. They knit beanies in the colours of St Joseph’s School and slippers for them to wear in class. All the hats and slippers are the children’s’ to keep all through their schooling. When the new entrant’s knitting is completed, the members & parishioners knit for the children who are new to the school.

The group also knit booties, hats, matinee sets and mittens for the Neonatal Unit and the New-Born Unit at Waikato Hospital, especially for the premature. There are a large number of babies who are born unexpectedly and have nothing to wear when going home. The knitting provides babies with warmth and care.

Each year the Branch gains funds through a grant from Trust Waikato. With some of this being used for the wool. The knitters are given yarn and patterns. The president, Mrs Patricia Pellow, says, “When we meet it’s great to see the combined knowledge of the group learning from each other. It’s a great place for sharing our understandings together. It’s mind blowing taking in the garments to the school or the hospital. People are genuinely thankful for the knitting that we give. It brings tears to our eyes.”

The Branch has also donated a recliner Lazy Boy Chair to the Rhoda Read Hospital. Stephanie Smythe (Charge Nurse) Renee Cooper (CWL President) and Ria van de Laar (member)

Other donations have been to Victim Support, equipment to a swim teacher. The main source of income is from CWL share from the Community Opportunity Shop.

Te Awamutu celebrates 80 Years

Nonagenarians Kath Sheehan and Marie Corey cut the birthday cake while President Maureen Picken looks on

July 2017 was a momentous occasion for the Te Awamutu CWL celebrating 80 years of faith and Service to the parish and community.  This special occasion commenced with our Chaplain, Margaret Louissan, arranging the musical numbers and pianist, with Fr Joe Stack celebrating the Mass which reflected St Mary Magdalen.  She is an example to members, sowing hope and encouragement although we are weak; the mystery of grace that is present in the life of Christ is powerful.  Mass was followed by a luncheon with our grateful thanks to the small committee who created a wonderful event.  Members reminisced on happy days over the years where close friendships were made and still are strong.

Double celebration at Matamata C.W.L

Emeritus Bishop Denis Browne, Diocesan Chaplain for Hamilton celebrated 40 years as a Bishop and 55 years as a Priest along with C.W.L Matamata who celebrated their 80th birthday on July 2nd 2017.

Lalla Luefen and Melba Dunn; our most senior members; cut the cake with Bishop Browne.

Noeline Gibbons(Central Region Rep),  Joan Pigou Diocesan President) and Pat Steffert (Branch President).







C.W.L members celebrated with a shared lunch with parishioners and invited guests.

A Happy and successful occasion.  Congratulations!


Oamaru Branch Celebrate 65 Years.


A winter lunch following the social meeting was a warm and happy way to celebrate 65 years of Catholic Women’s League in Oamaru (Dunedin Diocese) with parishioners.

We honoured six members who had been in the Branch for over fifty years; Joan McMullan, Marion Mierniki, Dorothy Tysan and Margaret Jones.  We also presented a spray to Mary Dwyer and Jeanette Verheyen who had served over forty years.