The Catholic Women's League of Canada was organized nationally on June 17, 1920 and granted federal incorporation on December 12, 1923.
The League is officially recognized by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) as a lay association of women and is affiliated with the World Union of Catholic Women's Organizations (WUCWO), a world-wide federation holding membership in the conference of International Catholic Organizations (ICO) and having consultative status with agencies of the United Nations.
The Objects of the League shall be to unite Catholic women of Canada:
- to achieve individual and collective spiritual development. to promote the teachings of the Catholic church.
- to exemplify the Christian ideal in home and family life.
- to protect the sanctity of human life. to enhance the role of women in church and society.
- to recognize the human dignity of all people everywhere.
- to uphold and defend Christian education and values in the modern world.
- to contribute to the understanding and growth of religious freedom, social justice, peace and harmony.
Structure of the League:
The CWL a National organization, with it’s National office in Winnipeg. There are over 1300 “parish based” CWL councils spread across Canada. There are 11 Provincial Councils and most are divided into Arch/dioceses Councils. Each Arch/diocese council has an elected executive. In some of the larger Archdioceses there is further division by regions. Depending in which province the parish councils resides, it may be part of a region, a diocese or report directly to the provincial council as is the case in PEI.
The Toronto Diocesan CWL Council, one of 13 diocesan councils that make up the Ontario Provincial Council was formed in 1921 and celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2011.
The Toronto Diocesan Council is comprised of seven regions including Durham; Humber Valley; Northern; North York; Peel; Scarborough and Toronto. There are 98 councils spread across the regions with 7,400+ members. Each region has its own executive lead by a Regional Chair. The Chairs are appointed by the Toronto Diocesan President and then each Chair appoints her own regional executive. The seven Regional Chairs sit at the Toronto Archdiocesan Council executive table to represent the members in their parish councils.
The Purpose of the Toronto Diocesan Council:
- To implement The Catholic Women's League objectives and policy in the Toronto Archdiocese,
- to represent the Catholic Women's League members of the Toronto Diocesan Council at the provincial level to coordinate the parish and regional councils across the archdiocese.
- to be a link between the regions /parishes in the archdiocese and the Ontario Provincial council for reporting, or resolutions and for those matters requiring an instructed vote at the provincial convention to disseminate information and direction from the provincial council to the regional and parish councils in the archdiocese.
- to provide direction, inspiration and encouragement to the Catholic Women's League members across the archdiocese.