Heartwarming Tales with Monica Doumit

On the 9th of July we hosted our most monthly branch gathering. Themed ‘Heartwarming Tales’, we dressed up in red and decorated the room to reflect that of the heart.

We were delighted to be joined by Monica Doumit, writer for the Catholic Weekly, and Director of Public Affairs and Engagement for the Archdiocese of Sydney. Monica also has a background in law, and spent some time working as a lawyer before starting her role at the Archdiocese.

Monica shared three heartwarming tales with us, that both shocked and amazed us. We were sent reeling by her story about a woman whose privacy was violated whilst she underwent surgery; and felt heartbroken to hear of a young teenager in foster care who was being forced into an abortion. But these stories had happy endings, with Monica helping to share the woman’s story through the Catholic Weekly and gaining support for her cause to have the laws changed, as well as providing support to the young teenager by calling her FACS officer and explaining what the teen’s rights were, so she was able to go on with the pregnancy and have a healthy and happy daughter.

Its always great to reflect upon those we come across in our lives, and realise the potential we have in impacting other people’s lives in a positive way.

Thank you to Monica for coming to share her stories with us.

Monica Doumit with Helen Cook and President Margaret Blomfield. Photo by Annie Wong.

Monica Doumit with Helen Cook and President Margaret Blomfield. Photo by Annie Wong.

International Women's Day: Cultivating Feminine Genius

On Friday the 8th of March Catholic Women's League Archdiocese of Sydney, in collaboration with Catholic Women's Mentoring, hosted a special International Women's Day evening in the Polding Centre.

Our two organisations came together to promote women under the theme of 'Cultivating Feminine Genius'.

With about 80 people in attendance, the room was full of women from different organisations and workplaces, some of whom work in the Polding Centre.

Lenten food was available as well as wine and nibbles. The evening began with a prayer from Helen Cook before the evening's MC, Cathy Hammond, introduced everyone. Christine Pace from Catholic Women’s Mentoring told us a bit about their organisation, where young women are linked up with a mentor. Catholic Women’s League was also introduced, and we heard from State President Ann Pereira, State International Secretary Peg McEntee, and State Vice President (and Sydney International Secretary) Loretta Chester. Bishop Umbers also spoke.

The panel discussion was a fantastic example of ‘feminine genius’. Sonia di Mezza, CWLA Research Officer, Rachel Wong, lawyer and women’s advocate, and Stephanie Lorenzo, Communications Director at Voices of Faith were on a panel facilitated by Monica Doumit, Director of Public Affairs and Engagement for the Archdiocese of Sydney. The discussion was engaging both in terms of subject matter and the thoughts and opinions of the women. The panel discussion was so thought provoking it left you wishing for more time to hear these wonderful and articulate women speak.

We would like to thank everyone who attended the evening for helping to make it a success.

A special thank you to Christine Pace and Cathy Hammond for teaming up with CWL for this fantastic evening.

We hope to do this again next year!

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Photos by Giovani Portelli

Photos by Giovani Portelli

St Patrick's Day!

Our St Patrick’s Day luncheon was one full of much laughter and fun - and LOTS of green!

Members showed off their Irish knowledge during our Irish Quiz, before enjoying a glass of Bailey’s with mini green cupcakes, green jelly, and pavlova. Secretary Sandra Skarsky told some Irish jokes while some Irish tunes played in the background.

Thank you to all who helped with decorating, baking, and cleaning up! It was wonderful to see everyone dressed up and celebrating all things Irish!


Opening Mass and Luncheon

We had our first meeting and Mass of 2019 on 12th February.

Mass was said by our Chaplain Fr Ray Farrell, where we also welcomed our new Executive by blessing the Executive badges.

At our branch meeting, we shared news from each branch, as well as updates on the Sydney office, State, and National.

After lunch, we heard from our very own Viki Pompor. Viki told us about her family’s journey as they escaped the war, and their time in the camps awaiting acceptance to a new country that they could call home. Viki and her family were fortunate to eventually end up in Australia, where they stayed. It was lovely to learn more about one of our own members, and to hear about her experiences, and the sacrifices Viki’s parent’s made to ensure their survival. Thank you Viki for sharing your story with us!

Our next meeting will be on Tuesday 12th March - St Patrick’s Day theme!

Thank you to Annie for the photos.

Thank you to Annie for the photos.

CWL Sydney Executive 2019

We are pleased to announce our Executive for 2019.

President – Margaret Blomfield
Vice President – Sally Fennell
Vice President – Margaret Burke
Secretary – Sandra Skarsky
Treasurer – Sue Halliday
WUCWO International Secretary – Loretta Chester

Helen Cook will still be present as Immediate Past President.

Congratulations to our new Executive, and thank you to Helen and her team for their work the last three years!

Our office closes Thursday 13th December and reopens 29th January 2019.

Have a safe and happy Christmas!


Annual General Meeting plus New Issue of Inform!

Tuesday 13th of November was CWL Sydney’s Annual General Meeting, and final branch gathering for 2018.

The day began with a liturgy. The tables were decorated with small purple candles and wreaths. There was a table decorated at the front of the room with purple fabrics, a rosemary covered wreath, and purple candle.

Following the liturgy, our Chaplain Fr Ray gave a reflection.

The AGM went smoothly, and was followed by a festive lunch.

Thank you to members who attended; we hope you had an enjoyable day!

Make sure to catch up with us through our final newsletter for the year, Inform.

Inform cover art by Helen Cook

Inform cover art by Helen Cook


October Branch Gathering

On the 9th of October we held our monthly branch gathering in the Polding Centre.

We were excited to be joined by Rose Chan and Fenn Idle, local musicians, who performed some music for us.

Rose and Fenn studied various levels of music during high school and at university. They both teach music (piano and flute) and play in a few local bands.

For their performance to us, Rose played electric guitar and sang, and Fenn played melodica. They played their own original music and some covers. They also sang an acapella version of the Everly Brothers song “Cathy’s Clown”, having never practiced it before - we were very impressed! It was great to listen to two very talented musicians.

Thank you Rose and Fenn!


Annual Mass and Luncheon

On the 14th August we hosted out Annual Mass and Luncheon.

The day began with mass said by our Chaplain Fr Ray Farrell in the Chapel of our Lady.

Our meeting followed upstairs in the Taylor Barlow rooms. Branch representatives shared news and upcoming events in their branches, and the President caught everyone up on State and National news.

Our guest speaker was Ashleigh Green, a young woman who works for Catholic Care and who is involved in church life. Ashleigh shared some of her experiences as a young catholic woman and her views on the future of the Church, particularly in relation to young people.

Lunch was a delicious roast dinner, followed by fruit flans.

Thank you everyone who attended, especially those from other Diocese. We are also grateful to those who helped with the food, and helped make the day a success!

Winter Indoor Picnic

On the 10th of July we hosted our first fundraiser for our new Project of the Year - an indoor picnic! The room was decorated beautifully, and everyone enjoyed feeling cosy with a hot chocolate. After a delicious lunch, our guest speaker Lee Trennidick shared the history of the Australian soldiers involved in the Battle of Villers-Bretonneux, and the unique and ongoing connection between our country and this small town in France. Lee also explained that her father had fought in this battle, and shared her journey to learn more about her own history and this part of the war.

Thank you to the members who attended - we hope you had a great day!

Reminder to please book in for our Annual Mass and roast lunch.



WUCWO Mass and Celebrations

Our Annual WUCWO Day held on May 8 was a wonderful success.  The day began with a special Mass by our CWL Sydney Chaplain Fr Ray Farrell and a delightful day followed.

The Guest Speaker, CWLA National International Secretary Madeleine Banister spoke about her time in New York at the United Nations and her passionate enthusiasm was a delight. Her PowerPoint presentation and talk were enjoyed by all. 

We were fortunate enough to have guests from many different organisations join us for the day and they thoroughly enjoyed the inclusive, friendly energy of the day.  Our visitors asked to be included in future functions, so we will be inviting them to our Annual Mass in August.

The meeting room looked lovely and the lunch went very well.

Report by Chris McKirdy