Fonds PR1179 - Catholic Women's League, Edmonton Diocesan Council fonds

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Catholic Women's League, Edmonton Diocesan Council fonds

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    • Source of title proper: Title based on the provenance of the records.

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    Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

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    • 1915-2011 (Creation)

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    Physical description

    17.73 m of textual records; 3999 photographs; 267 negatives; 1 audio cassette; 2 transparencies; 1 rpm grooved disc; 2 plaques; 10 flags; 7 banners; 1 scarf; 1 floppy disk

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    Administrative history

    The Catholic Women's League of Canada is an organization that connects church, family and community and that contributes to their life and vitality. The general goal is to serve the Catholic Church and promote its teachings. It is a national organization with diocesan councils and local branches in parishes.

    The first Catholic Women's League unit in Canada was formed in Edmonton in 1912 at the instigation of Katherine Hughes and through the efforts of Abbé Casgrain who saw the need for an organization in the West to help immigrant women to find a home. The first meeting took place on November 12, 1912 and the first annual meeting took place on April 13, 1913. The Edmonton unit was incorporated in May 1918 under the "Ordinance respecting benevolent and other societies". The purpose of this organization, later known as the Edmonton Senior Subdivision was "to unite Catholic women in a bond of common fellowship in the promotion of religious, educational, and charitable work and to assist the poor and friendless children, and engage in any other work of public charity and in accordance with parish regulations". The unit activities focused on providing for the welfare of new immigrant women in Edmonton. A hostel, Rosary Hall, was opened to give them temporary housing. By 1920, Catholic Women's League branches were established in all seven existing Edmonton parishes.

    The Catholic Women's League was organized nationally on June 17, 1920 with Miss B. Guerin of Montreal as first national president. The association was granted federal incorporation on December 12, 1923. The Edmonton group then proceeded as a Diocesan Council with a first convention on March 31, 1922. This new Council became responsible for co-ordinating Catholic Women's League functions throughout the diocese. However the original Edmonton group, the Edmonton Senior Subdivision, maintained a few activities and disbanded only in 1950. The first national convention of the Catholic Women's League of Canada took place in Halifax in 1923 but the second national convention was held in Edmonton in 1924.

    The Edmonton Diocesan Council worked on social service activities and provided financial support to Catholic social welfare institutions. During the Great Depression, in the Edmonton Diocese, the League dispensed food and clothing to the needy. During both World Wars the League performed war work such as knitting and sewing to send "ditty bags" to men overseas, served Communion breakfasts to soldiers, assisted soldiers' families and veterans, visited patients in hospitals, found homes for neglected children, and distributed Christmas hampers to the poor. The League in the Edmonton Diocese had also a number of educational interests. The members established a diocesan lending library, offered scholarships for Catholic university students, and supported the training of priests by assisting St. Joseph's College in Edmonton. They sponsored oratorical contests for Catholic high school students, and activities involving Girl Guides. The Catholic Women's League is officially recognized by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops as a lay association of women and is affiliated with the World Union of Catholic Women's Organizations, a world-wide federation holding membership in the conference of International Catholic Organizations and having consultative status with agencies of the United Nations.

    Custodial history

    Scope and content

    The fonds consists of a constitution, minutes, financial records, reports, membership lists, correspondence, subject files, programs, brochures, biographies, newspapers clippings and photographs.

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    Physical condition

    Immediate source of acquisition

    The fonds was deposited at the Provincial Archives of Alberta in 1975, 1976, 2007 and 2008. The records were under permanent loan from 1975 to 2001 when the fonds was donated to the Provincial Archives of Alberta. This donation included material deposited prior and after 2001.


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        The material is in English.

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        Restrictions on access

        Access Conditions: None

        Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

        Use Conditions: Permission for use required. Subject to the Copyright Act.

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        File list is available.

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        Further accruals are expected.

        General note

        Includes accessions PR2010.0561, PR2007.0278, PR2008.0004, PR2008.0292, PR2009.0169, PR2010.0237, PR1975.0576, PR1976.0185, PR1975.0576, and PR1976.0185.

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