S+L logo

Halifax Dispatches: 50 Conventions (and counting!)

August 26, 2016
Halifax50
Mary Quinlan was 22 years old when she joined the Catholic Women’s League in her parish in Quebec. In those days, she says, the league had almost two hundred thousand members.
From the moment she joined the league she was mentored by other members. “That’s what we did then,” she says matter of factly.
Quinlan attended her first national convention in Hamilton in 1966 “because we were hosting it the following year in Montreal, during the Expo year.” Since then Quinlan has attended 50 conventions. She has been a member for 61 years.
“I was just thinking about how things have changed” she reminisces. “We used to say we had almost two hundred thousand members. Today we’re under one hundred thousand. We also used to try to keep resolutions (at national convention) down to less than 15.” At the 2016 convention only a handful of resolutions were discussed. Yet the downturn in members does not worry Quinlan.
“I think we’re in a valley before a hill,” she muses. Pausing thoughtfully she adds that when she joined the league women tended to marry young and start having children very shortly after. A married woman working outside the home was a rare thing. As a result joining the parish CWL council was appealing because “it was a night out!” she says. “It was something apart from changing diapers. It kept the mind going and because it was the church our husbands didn’t mind,” she states. “But oh boy we had fun”
Quinlan says her most memorable convention was the one held in Edmonton in 1974. She had to give a presentation on right to life. Having been mentored by other women and previous diocesan and provincial presidents the presentation went so well she received a standing ovation. But the 1974 was also memorable because then-president Mary Matthews was called away on the first day. Her husband had died unexpectedly.
While not all national conventions come with that level of drama, Quinlan says “I tell all members they should experience national at least once.”
Quinlan has been a member of the league for 61 years.

 
Related posts
Good evening and welcome to Perspectives Daily. 2019 World Youth Day in Panama is coming up pretty fast and registration for this event is open and spots are starting to fill up. On today’s sho ...read more
Blessed Paul VI will be canonized later this year. Pope Francis made the announcement to the pastors of the Diocese of Rome during a question-and-answer session, that he had with the priests on Februa ...read more
Second Sunday of Lent, Year B – February 25th, 2018 Moriah. Sinai. Nebo. Carmel. Horeb. Gilboa. Gerizim. Mount of Beatitudes. Tabor. Hermon. Zion. Mount of Olives. Calvary. Golgotha. Mountains a ...read more
In today's episode of Perspectives Daily, we sit down and chat with the geniuses behind the Broadway musical hit, Come From Away. Canadian playwright Irene Sankoff and David Hein talk to Noel Ocol abo ...read more
Deacon-structing Lent: Our Baptismal Promise
FacebookTwitter
When you think of Lent, what do you think of? Do you think of feasting or fasting? Do you think of partying or penance? It’s true that Lent is a penitential season, but do you know that the word ...read more