Wellington newsletter

Wellington Archdiocese


JULY 2017.

ARCHDIOCESAN CONFERENCE –  arranged meticulously by the Hutt Valley Branches was a successful gathering at the Angus Inn, Lower Hutt concluding with Mass celebrated by Cardinal John Dew at Sts Peter and Paul’s Church, Lower Hutt. The Theme “CWLANZ; the face of mercy in creation“ was introduced with prayer, the science and our responsibility, by Dr Sr Elizabeth Julian. The afternoon was devoted to an introduction to Amoris Laetitia with Sharron Cole, who was one of the Lay contributors at the Vatican Synod on the Family in Rome.


CLOSURE AND BRANCHES –  The October closure of the Newlands CWL Branch was a sad time, especially considering the time and effort of Anne Conroy, who kept it going as long as she could. The usual reluctance to lead by other members happy to be led, but not to lead, epitomises the position all Branches face.  We have been sad to farewell long time faithful CWL members –  Cassie Devlin aged 100 from Karori / Otari CWL


COMMUNICATION – With our branch numbers reducing through closures and God’s call, the branches remaining need to know each other, need to work together to a degree, share the load as far as possible, and keep in touch so we have encouraged each Branch to have a plan for the year (flexible) and put this onto the Parish website, as well as the CWL website. Some have done this and some are still thinking about it …….

KNITTING –  Guided by the Holy Spirit, I think, a 2016 email came to light, sent by Sr Marcellin Wilson alerting us to the need of primary school students for slippers to keep their feet warm. Recently a “pillow bag” filled with about 30 pairs of slippers, knitted by Hutt Valley CWL members was delivered to Holy Family School, Porirua. It is wonderful to see responses like this picked up and done to help needy young people. I felt very proud of this effort and know that there are more TV slipper to come.

SUPPORT FOR PRISON FAMILIES – Initially this posed a problem for some Wellington members, as only telephone contact was provided and we would need to pay for travel and accommodation for a speaker . There was much soul-searching, talking to Prison Chaplains, as we ascertained the need in Wellington, and how these needs were met. We will have a Prison Fellowship speaker talk to us following the Mass for St Margaret Clitherow’s feast day.  Our initial dilemma has resulted in a very positive growth and learning for us all.

WELLINGTON ARCHDIOCESAN CWL HISTORY –  50 Golden Years was written 20 years ago and is a very valuable resource for today’s Wellington Branches, especially when the 70th Anniversary of Paraparaumu is being celebrated at lunch time today ( Tuesday) and Lower Hutt reached 66 years in June. Reading the history reveals that leadership was a problem in those days, that the story of commitment and Service was as strong then as now, and above all the Faith celebrated and shared together.

NATIONAL CONFERENCE The arrangement of the venue and hospitality are the major focus for Wellington this year. Fortunately we have some experienced Conferees to support those of us less accomplished. The venue is booked, organisation of committees with special contributions established, Opening Mass time ,  involving College students etc


NEW MEMBERS OF THE ARCHDIOCESAN COUNCIL – In February the Council welcomed Samantha Walker as Wellington Regional Representative and Christina O’Dwyer from Lower Hutt who is our WUCWO representative.

SYNOD 2017 – will meet in Wellington in September to consider the theme “Go … you are sent…….. “. A book of discernment points was sent to various groups including CWL, so we had one gathering as combined League members. Together we discerned the need to consider  “Go … you are sent to the peripheries “ – an amazing process which made us all wish we could meet again to consider another topic. The peripheries topic was a wonderful choice as we considered the position for all –  it was an umbrella topic covering many aspects of Parish Life and parishioners’ life situations/circumstances. Many had been part of Parish groups as well and the invitation was there for us to consider individual responses. I did one of these on “Go … you are sent to find leaders “ which was an interesting topic; one very close to my heart, but also a concern for  many community groups today, whether social, sports, cultural or church  groups.

NEW PRESIDENTS’  LIST –  As there are many  ways to keep records and pass on information to new presidents, allowing for the different background and experience, CWL and professional, of each person,  I have begun to form a list of items, information and preparations we need to know when we are faced with the decision to lead Archdiocesan / Diocesan CWL Councils. Advice that has proven helpful to others and is worth passing on would also be welcome.  We do have the Handbook, of course, but this has to be generic. Having been new to the process  myself, and having made mistakes and misjudgements, I hope to make the decision and process a less threatening one than it is, and encourage potential leaders to realise that there is support and compassion for them …….

This is a process so I will bring what I have written to the Board meeting next week, and make it available for you all to add your advice, ideas and helpful tips.

I am looking forward to our time together, renewing friendships, building networks and to meeting Colleen, our Auckland President.

In Faith and Service

Christine Paterson

Wellington Archdiocesan President

The Catholic Women’s League began in the Wellington Archdiocese in 1944 and initially operated as a contribution to the war effort from Catholic women – assisting with the running of service canteens and other activities for the welfare of servicemen and their dependents.

While it is for the work done at branch level that the League is best known within the wider parish communities, over the years members have represented the League on various bodies in the Archdiocese – Commission for Justice, Vincentian Home Trust, Education and Bioethics.