The National Presidents Blog


National Presidents Blog 

Blog 3 15th March 2020

National President Jeanette Collins attended KSC  meeting in Jersey 9th March 2020 and writes: –

They presented me with a framed certificate of my visit , a mug for their Centenary and £100 for my project (Medaille Trust) .

They have been invited to bring their wives to our Coffee morning and we have been invited to their celebration in April when 25 Knights and their wives come over from UK.

This email received from Knights of St Columba Jersey

Dear Jeanette,

Very many thanks for your visit to our Council last night. You gave a wonderful presentation and I for one was quite amazed how similar both the CWL and KSC are in their structure and organisation.  I attach the great photo from last night for you.

Lets hope we can both prosper both in Jersey and in the UK as we both have a wonderful Catholic ‘brand’ which should be nursed through these troubled times and live long enough to survive so we can see the fruits of our hard work.

With my best wishes to you and looking forward to enhancing our work together, beginning on April 26 at St Thomas.

With my kindest regards,

Blog 2 8 January 2020

A message from our National President –

Email sent to CWL Australia – Dear Margaret
Firstly let me introduce myself – I am the National President of the Catholic Women’s League of England and Wales .
Each day we see on the news horrific stories of the devastating bush fires, loss of life, homes and of course the wildlife .
Many of us including myself have family or friends living n Australia and indeed our National Treasurer has been in Sydney since the beginning of December visiting her son and family for the Christmas Holidays.
Please pass on our thoughts and prayers to all your members at this difficult time. I will be asking our members to remember you all at communion when they attend Mass on Sunday 26th January – Australia Day.
Kindest regards
Jeanette Collins


And the email sent to all our members

Dear Members
I am sure we have all seen the devastation caused in Australia by the bush
fires. I have just sent a message to Catholic Women’s League in Australia
sending them our thoughts and prayers at this most difficult time. I am sure there are many of you like me with friends and family in Australia and we must particularly remember them . Our very own National Treasurer is visiting her son and family in Sydney so we wish her a safe trip .
26th January is Australia Day and as it is a Sunday can I ask you all please when you go to Mass on that day in particular you offer a special prayer at Communion for all those in Australia effected in way by these terrible fires .

Thank you and God Bless

National President CWL England and Wales

Australian bushfires

Blog 1 National President Jeanette Collins from October 2019

If you go to Canon’s corner on the link you can see that my parish were so kind as to report my election to National President in our newsletter.

I look forward to reporting more of my visits etc and please see my Christmas message on the home page.

Blog 15 February 2019 (final entry National President – Margaret Valentine 2016-19)
Yesterday (26th February) I had the privilege of been at the Commissioning of the Mothers’ Union Worldwide President Mrs Sheran Harper from Guyana, the first Worldwide President from outside the British Isles. The services was celebrated by the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby Archbishop of Canterbury. It
was a most moving service, music from the Cathedral Choir and Nostalgia Steel Band, we were dancing up the aisle. A very encouraging Sermon from the Archbishop saying how the Mothers’ Union were unique and they had to get out there and shout out their name. I am enclosing a few photos . I wouldn’t have missed this for the world. Margaret


Blog 14 5 September 2018 

The next few pictures were taken at the Ladyewell Shrine on Saturday where again I joined the ladies of Lancaster Branch for a days retreat. Mass was celebrated by three fantastic priests , lunch followed by rosary and benediction . I received a wonderful welcome

and was awarded a certificate for attending the shrine, the priest is a visiting priest to Ladyewell from Rome.

Spent a lovely day with the members of Westminster Branch on a retreat at the Rosary Shrine at St Dominic’s Priory London

Blog 13 22 May 2018

I visited Crewe Section Monday/ Tuesday a fairly new section, they are so active and eager . The photo attached was taken against the back ground of all flags of the different nationalities that worship in the parish a wonderful display of red roses were around the church for the feast of Pentecost .The Bidding Prayers again were said in their own languages. The
Parish Priest is very supportive of the League and while at the meeting new ladies had come along to hear what we do, and they are coming back.


Blog 12 23 April 2018

National President – Margaret Valentine writes – Have spent a lovely weekend with Dorset Branch a wonderful evening spent with Carol & John a great meal Thank you. And of course a superb lunch and excellent meeting. A long journey but certainly worth it to meet a wonderful set of ladies. Must return even just to sample their cream teas.

Blog 11 30 January 2018

The members of St Robert’s Morpeth Section celebrated Burns Night Yesterday evening. The Haggis was piped in, and the Chairman then addressed the Haggis and stabbed the Haggis several times, it was then served up with tatties and neeps and washed down with a wee dram. The tables were cleared and the dancing started .  A good night was had by all.

Blog 10 26 January 2018

I attended the Holocaust Memorial Day Service which was held in St Mary’s Catholic School in Newcastle on Tuesday Evening. It was one of the most moving services that I have been too. The speaker was Mr Simon Wallfisch he is
an opera singer and cellist. He told us the history of his Grandmother who was arrested and sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau , she was recruited as the cellist in the women’s orchestra and was therefore not sent to the gas chamber. She is still alive aged 92.It was a very emotional evening. Her grandson then played his cello and sang “The Kaddish” . We then all said a prayer for Universal Peace .” Do with it what thou wilt “.


Happy New Year 2018

Blog 9 11 December 2017

Here is a link to our CWL CIO Christmas message for all for 2017.


Advent message from CWL CIO National President Margaret Valentine
The birth of Christ fills us with hope and joy – the joy that his blessed Mother Mary shares with us and the hope that her child brings into our hearts; for God himself has chosen each one of us to be part of His family.
As we do our Christmas shopping we know that we cannot just buy Christmas off the shelf – the best things need patient preparation and not just the Christmas puddings!
It is the lovely season of Advent that makes Christmas worth waiting for.
As we light the Advent candles one by one our hearts are quietly stirred into greater awareness of all that God does for us – so that we can thoroughly enjoy Christmas day when it arrives.
I wish each of you a calm and reflective Advent – and of course a truly merry Christmas.
God bless you all for all that you do in the name of the Catholic Women’s League.
National President


Blog 8 4 December 2017

National President Margaret Valentine had a busy day for the First Sunday of Advent 2.00 p.m. Service at Morpeth attended by the Lady Mayoress and then on to St Dominic’s Newcastle for 4.00 p.m. Advent service and several mince pies.


Blog 7 20 November 2017

Westminster Abbey evensong to celebrate 100 Oscar Romero – Who is wearing the biggest medal!

On the 23rd September Jean Clarke (National Secretary) and I were invited to Evensong to Commemorate
the Centenary of the birth of Blessed Oscar Romero in Westminster Abbey. We were certainly treated as VIP’s , sitting in the Choir Stalls.  A very moving service the music was wonderful as was the address by the Reverend Ronan Williams, along with our own Cardinal Vincent Nichols.

AGM Weekend 13 – 15 October

We have received good feedback from the members regarding the AGM held at Swanwick.  Sister Imelda gave a very good report on the work that she carries out to help girls who are being trafficked around the world. The AGM went well,
and as I stressed to the members we must be looking at new younger members, when I saw the enthusiasm in the young women from Brentwood and Westminster it gave me hope. The visit to the National Arboretum was well received. On the
Sunday morning we had Phil McCarthy from Caritas to tell us more about my project in helping Syrian families to be resettled in this country. Mass on the Sunday morning was celebrated by Bishop Peter, the entertainment as usual was a
great success.  Just a few photos for now – See the AGM report and photos post for more detail!


Blog 6 11 September 2017

On Saturday 9 September National President Margaret Valentine joined Hexham and Newcastle Branch on their annual prayer walk in Morpeth. We walked along the river and stopped at different spots to pray for our priests, the elderly and lonely, the young, the sick and those who had been recently bereaved. Here are some pictures during our walk

Blog 5 August 2017

26 August 2017 – National President Margaret Valentine – visits Lancaster Branch pilgrimage to Ladyewell Shrine
Lancaster’s Annual Pilgrimage to Ladyewell Shrine
What a wonderful day. It started at 4.30am out by 5.45 and on my way to the Ladyewell Shrine in the Diocese of Lancaster.
Mass was held in the magnificent church of St Mary, and after mass a silent procession down a country lane so near the M6 , but it was so peaceful. We recited the rosary in silence.
We arrived at the shrine and made our way to the statue of St Margaret Clitherow to say the league prayers. We all had lunch and then prepared for benediction and a talk by one of the resident Nigerian priests,which was most illuminating.
A cup of tea & then my journey home. A wonderful day!

Blog 4 March 2017

9th March Extraordinary General Meeting of the League held at Westminster Cathedral Hall – to agree our new constitution. What a fantastic turn our of over 100 members who voted unanimously for the new constitution which will come into being in 2018. A momentous day for the League and well done to all who attended.  A special thanks to our guests Gordon Reid our charity lawyer and Matt our accountant for attending and guiding us through the meeting.

Members attending – what a great turnout!

Gordon Reid our charity lawyer explaining the process

Matt our accountant in attendance with National President and National Secretary

Blog 3 February 2017

On the 25th Feb I was privileged to be invited to Westminster Cathedral for Mass celebrated by Cardinal Vincent Nichols and afterwards the blessing of the new Across Jumbalance which takes the sick to Lourdes. The first person I met was Sheila Allan CWL member of A & B and past President of the branch. She has been involved with Across for many years and was privileged  to be part of the offertory procession. The Cardinal blessed the bus and then was taken up on the lift to look around . I was welcomed by Helen Young a Trustee of Across who looked after me for the afternoon, and what a surprise when she said she had ordered afternoon tea at Browns . What a wonderful day.

Cardinal blessing the new ambulance

The crowds gather for the blessing

Inside the bus eight beds and seating for helpers

Shelagh Allen, A & B on the newly commissioned ACROSS Jumbulance

17-19 February

We all attended the Officers meeting in Swanwick – the first of my presidency – when the time was given over to full discussion of the Model Rules required to be  drawn up to support the new constitution. A lot of hard work was achieved with full participation by the members attending. Here are a few scenes from the weekend

Jennifer Halal talking us through our preparations for National Coffee Morning on 30th April

Morning Prayer on Saturday

National Secretary and National President at the end of a very busy day

Margaret Valentine presents Catholic Women’s League Brentwood Branch officers with cards and badges for their new section opened at Gidea Park (32 members)

Esther talks us through the requirements of Data Protection

November 2016

Blog 2 – Saturday 26th November went to a concert at St Aidan’s  Ashington Northumberland to hear a concert  by Newcastle Male  Voice Choir, they were excellent all fifty of them with a lady conductor. The inside of the church is wonderful as you will see from the photos. I am off to a Advent Service in the German Lutheran church, what a super weekend.

Blog 1 The members of the National Executive met to discuss their plans going forward. More details will be issued as we go along.

I attended Ipswich Section, East Anglia Branch 80th anniversary celebrations. What a wonderful start to my presidency visits.

Margaret Valentine (right) National President with Ipswich Section member and Branch President of East Anglia

And cutting the cake with their eldest member – what a privilege!

At Salford Branch meeting there were so many smiling faces – what a treat to visit. I even ended up taking part in a Play!!

Such a lively meeting

Putting my acting skills to good use