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‘Women of light’ gather for the final time at the Aspley Catholic Women’s League group

Candlelit conclusion: The ladies of the Catholic Women’s League of Aspley parish after their liturgy.

CATHOLIC Women’s League members gathered at St Dympna’s Church, Aspley to celebrate and give thanks for 33 years of community service, faith and memories.

Ursuline Sister Gabriel Williams led a liturgy, saying it was a simple liturgy using “everyday God” as their focus.

 “If we believe that Jesus is risen, then we must ask what is there that there we could envisage as we move on from now,” Sr Williams said.

She concluded the liturgy by giving each member a candle lit from the Paschal candle and encouraging the women to go forward as “women of the Light”.

“That’s stemming from the baptismal commitment with the Paschal candle, and when they’re given the baptismal candle, the prayer actually says – ‘this light is entrusted to you to be kept burning brightly’,” Sr Williams said.

“That is the image that I had in mind, that in spite of (CWL) finishing up, these people continue to burn their baptismal light brightly within the community,” she said.

“They all had a deep appreciation for the companionship and for the work they were doing.”

President Trish Borger gave a brief presentation on the history of the Aspley branch from May 9, 1984 to present day.

She thanked her “wonderful committee” and such willing members.

CWL archdiocesan president Sandy O’Donohue and archdiocesan patroness Margaret Begg were also at the celebration.

Mrs O’Donohue said it was always unfortunate when CWL branches had to end.

“When we all get to the age when we just feel we can’t take it on anymore,” she said.

Unfortunately the league, which has been in Australia since 1926, doesn’t have the younger members to take the reins.

“Normally, years down the track, my daughter would join Catholic Women’s League – it was just a family thing,” Mrs O’Donohue said.

“Whereas now, young people either have to go work and the grandparents, who would be willing to join, have now got to look after the grandchildren while their daughters work,” she said.

“It’s a sad day, it really is.”

Despite the unfortunate closure, Mrs O’Donohue said it was a beautiful association to belong to.

“It’s the only organisation I know of that’s run by only Catholic women,” she said. 

“But people just aren’t becoming members.”

Mrs O’Donohue said it was wonderful to see women come together under one Catholoc organisation.

“We look after women in domestic violence, we write our submissions to the government on abortion bills, same-sex marriage,” she said.

She said CWL was out there speaking for Catholic Women, “we’re a voice for them”.

“To be a member of the Catholic Women’s League is a wonderful, wonderful thing.”

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