St. Paul's CWL was formed in 1990. Fr. Ian McRae, our pastor, was our first spiritual advisor. Our charter members included Corinne Ramler, Evelyn McEvoy, Gloria Martin, Karen Blakie, Deborah Gilman, Maureen McDonald, Deborah Jans, Cecile Knittle and Betty Sahagian. For the full list, click here.

In September we vote on our schedule of meetings and special events for the year. Following the goals of the League, we endeavour to cover these topics over each two-year period: Spiritual Development, Christian Family Life, Community Life (social justice), Education & Health, Communications, Legislation and Resolutions.

Along with having special presentations pertaining to these topics, we volunteer in events that "fit." For example, we have participated as "St. Paul's Blue Jays" when the Canadian Cancer Society held the Relay for Life event in our city (Education & Health). In October, we take care of Friday teas at the Bethany Care Centre (Christian Family Life).

Each year, we coordinate the Christmas Market and Spring Rummage Sale for St. Paul's Parish. Funds raised are donated to the parish; Catholic schools and charities in Airdrie; and internationally to those in need. We only keep enough funds with which to operate; the rest are donated.

As part of the Calgary Diocesan CWL, we participate in a convention each May bringing our views on provincial and national issues to the table. Some of us have even attended the Alberta Mackenzie Provincial Convention and the National Convention of the Catholic Women's League of Canada. The CWL is the largest women's organisation in Canada.

And we do like to have a good time -- no apologies! We make sure to party regularly in December and June but there is always lots of laughter whenever a few of us are together.

A bit of history

Catholic women in Canada were first organised in the Edmonton Archdiocese in November 1912 to assist with the care and placement of the ever-increasing influx of immigrants from Europe and elsewhere.

The movement gradually spread to the port cities and other major centres across Canada – to Montreal in 1917, Toronto in 1918, Halifax the following year, and then to Ottawa, Sherbrooke, and Saint John, New Brunswick.

On June 17, 1920, The Catholic Women’s League of Canada was formally established with Miss Bellelle Guerin of Montreal elected first national president. The first annual national convention of The Catholic Women’s League of Canada was held in Toronto in 1921.

Learn more by visiting our diocesan website. (See the link on our Contact page.)