The Sturgis branch of the Catholic Women’s League of Canada planted a spruce tree sapling at the Roman Catholic cemetery in recognition of the 100th anniversary of the Catholic Women’s League in Canada.
In attendance at the tree planting on Aug. 12 was Father Michal Pajak. minister for the Roman Catholic parish at the cemetery, to plant the tree and say a small prayer. Members in attendance were: Lillian Smith, Barb Biccum, Laurie Decker, Norma Appel, and Carole Hauber.
Laurie Decker organized the event, with the evergreen tree donated by Barb Biccum.
When the Catholic Women’s League was organized nationally in 1920, it was the beginning of a lay association of Catholic women who would change the world as they advocate for social justice while working towards personal spiritual development. The CWL mission statement is 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 from coast to coast through urban and rural communities. Women have met in homes, church halls and community rooms, in beautiful as well as humble surroundings.
What all members had and have in common is the goal of making Canada and the world a better place through personal and collective spiritual growth, promoting the teachings of the Catholic church, enhancing the role of women, recognizing the dignity of all people, and contributing to the understanding and growth of religious freedom, social justice, peace and harmony.
To commemorate the League’s 100th anniversary and in keeping with the national theme (Care for our Common Home) every diocesan council across Canada was asked to plant a tree in a place of honour to help the environment and be enjoyed by the community.
The national president planted a tree with a plaque in Montreal to commemorate where CWL first began.
Sturgis Council joined its sister council members across the country in celebrating their “roots” from the past century while we look to the future as we “branch-out” into the next century.
The Sturgis Council of the Catholic Women's League was chartered on March 6, 1949 with Mabel Durham as the first president and Van Reedas secretary and treasurer. Previously the Ladies Altar Society had served the needs of the St. Patrick's Church.
Father Thomas Novak was the first spiritual director. It was with his encouragement that the ladies club changed to join the National Organization.
The council's highlights through the years involved in many activities that helped with the aspects of spiritual and community life. Previously they had purchased the gavel and Our Lady of Good Counsel did hospital visits, sent cards, did bazaars, card parties, and held Mother 's Day teas as well as numerous other projects. Today, many of the same activities are supported by the members. The club has been responsible for St. Patrick’s Day card parties and bake sales, active in fall markets and recently formed a sewing club that makes and ships clothes to underprivileged countries.