Shari Guinta

Ontario CWL names new provincial president

By 
  • July 7, 2011

Three hundred Catholic women from across Ontario met from July 10-13 in Hamilton for the 64th annual Ontario Catholic Women’s League Provincial Convention, where Marlene Pavletic of Thunder Bay was chosen as the new provincial president.

This year’s four-day conference, which concluded with the election of a new provincial executive including Pavletic, was themed “Centred on Faith & Justice — Led By The Spirit." Held at the Sheraton Hotel in Hamilton, the convention offered representatives of the CWL, which has 54,000 members in 13 dioceses across Ontario, a chance to reflect on the past year, deepen and celebrate their faith and set their goals for the future.

Those goals consisted mainly of this year’s three resolutions, each focused on health. The resolutions, submitted by Ontarian dioceses, aim to provide clean water for First Nations communities, limit sodium use in food and raise awareness of colorectal cancer. These resolutions, which were passed at the provincial level, will be submitted to the national CWL, which will gather Aug. 14-17. A final set of resolutions will be chosen at the national convention and set as initiatives for the CWL over the next year.

“We learn, we debate, we talk about issues, but it’s that fellowship that really does make us feel very good and I think a lot of the women would tell you that,” said Shari Guinta, former provincial president of the Ontario CWL.

That fellowship took centre stage to begin the convention, when the representatives gathered for Mass, celebrated by the Ontario CWL's spiritual advisor, Bishop Douglas Crosby of Hamilton.

Daily Mass and workshops were offered to the women in attendance, including presentations from keynote speakers, including Fr. Rico Passero, a newly ordained priest in the diocese of St. Catharine’s, and motivational speakers Bill and Barb Johnston, who highlighted the importance of communication. Kristine Vasilloo of the Hamilton Good Shepherd Centre also spoke about abused and homeless women.

“It’s just a wonderful time for Catholic women. We’re all on the same page, we’re likeminded,” said Guinta, now in her 25th year with CWL. “It’s just a very rewarding, fulfilling experience.

“I get more out of the CWL than I could ever possibly put back into it.”

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