The name of the organization shall be CATHOLIC NETWORK FOR WOMEN’S EQUALITY (CNWE)
2. MISSION STATEMENT
To enable women to name their giftedness and from that awareness to effect structural change in the church that reflects the mutuality and co-responsibility of women and men within the church.
• To identify, understand, communicate and celebrate the history, talents, skills and contributions of women
• To raise consciousness about the nature and consequences of patriarchy
in the church
• To foster solidarity among women, especially those who are experiencing alienation within the church
• To communicate with women in other religious traditions and with secular women’s groups in order to promote greater awareness of issues concerning women
• To encourage the people of God to retrieve and name the feminine aspects of God
• To work towards the full inclusion of women in all aspects of the daily life and structure of the church: prayer, language, images, public worship, and all ministries, including ordained ministries
To operate from a principal of consensus and inclusiveness.
PART I: MEMBERSHIP
(a) Membership is open to all women and men concerned about the position of women in today’s world and church and supportive of the purpose and philosophy of CNWE.
(b) Once admitted, a member shall have all the rights and privileges of any other member provided the annual fee has been paid.
2. Membership Fees
(a) Each member shall pay an annual membership fee to retain membership in the Organization.
(b) Membership fee shall be reviewed annually by the National work and a recommendation made for approval at the Annual General Meeting.
(c) Before any changes in the fee structure becomes effective, members must approve the amount of the fees at the annual General Meeting, by a two-third majority of the votes cast.
(d) Membership fees may be waived or adjusted in special circumstances.
(e) Notification of a proposed change of fees shall be mailed by the National Work Group to the membership at least 30 days prior to the Annual General Meeting.
(f) Persons who become new members of CNWE between January 1st and the date of the Annual General Meeting of the same year will be considered paid in full until the renewal period of the year following.
(g) CNWE’S membership year will be from June 1 to May 31. Unless renewed, a CNWE membership expires for(4) months after the Annual General Meeting.
(h) Thirty percent of individual membership fees shall be forwarded to
recognized local groups on a per capita basis following receipt of the list of the local group members.
3. Rights of Members
(a) All members have the right to discuss and vote at the Annual General Meeting.
(b) Every member has the right to receive written notice of the Annual General Meeting.
(d) Every member has a right to receive an annual report of the National Work Group and periodic communication.
(e) Every member has the right to vote on substantive issues relevant to the life and work of CNWE.
(f) Following the Annual General Meeting, a copy of the revised constitution will be available to members on request.
PART II: NATIONAL WORK GROUP
(a) Any member in good standing may serve on the National Work Group.
(b) The National Work Group shall consist of five members representing, where possible, the various national regions.
(c) Three members shall constitute a quorum.
2. Election of the National work Group
(a) Election of the National Work Group shall take place at the Annual General Meeting. Members are elected for a two-year term. They may be re-elected for a second but not a third consecutive term.
(b) When a member is elected to fill out the term of another, at the end of that mandate the person may be elected for a second term.
(c) Nominations to the National Work Group are to be submitted by local groups or individuals prior to or at the time of elections.
3. Responsibilities of the National work Group
(a) The National Work Group shall choose from among themselves a coordinator, treasurer and secretary.
(b) The responsibilities of the National Work Group shall be to:
• fill vacancies on the National Work Group for the remainder of a term of office
• provide members with the National work Group Mailing Address
• assure that responsibilities accepted by local groups for publication of the newsletter, membership and conference organization are fulfilled
• establish the agenda for the Annual General Meeting
• call for resolutions or amendments to the constitution at least sixty days prior to the Annual General Meeting
• appoint a nominating committee
• prepare an annual report for the Annual General Meeting and for distribution to the general membership and other appropriate individuals and groups
•manage and administer the funds of CNWE
• mail the minutes of the Annual General Meeting and the membership renewal notices to all members
• initiate and approve grant applications
• make public statements on behalf of CNWE
• network with other organizations
• promote membership in the organization nationally
• communicate with the Canadian Conference of Bishops, with other organizations and with CNWE membership through the newsletter
• to lobby on behalf of CNWE
• to appoint a coordinator of regional contacts
(c) The National Work Group may delegate tasks related to the above responsibilities to local groups, committees or individuals as required.
(d) The coordinator is responsible for the co-ordination of the activities of the National Work Group
(e) The secretary shall keep all written records of minutes of all meetings of the National Work Group and Annual General Meetings, prepare an annual report of the work of the National Work Group to be published, co-ordinate the development of the CNWE archival collection and be custodian of the organization’s official seal.
(f) The treasurer shall be the custodian of the funds of the Organization. The treasurer shall prepare a budget for approval by the National Work Group, pay expenses incurred by the National Work Group in accordance with the budget, forward monies to local groups according to the By-laws, keep full and accurate records and present a financial statement to the membership at the Annual General Meeting.
PART III: LOCAL/REGIONAL GROUPS
1. Four or more members may organize themselves into local or regional CNWE groups. The local or regional group determines its own geographical bounds.
2. Local/regional CNWE groups shall communicate their intent to function as a group to the National Work Group for recognition.
3. Each local/regional CNWE group shall name a National Work Group contact person. The duties of this contact person shall be to:
• relay communications from the National work Group to local group members
• communicate on behalf of the local/regional CNWE group to the National Work Group
• act as a contact person for new members
4. Local/regional groups may:
• provide a local forum for women and men to exchange views and support each other in the ongoing renewal of the church
• sponsor workshops, lectures and small group discussions for study and
reflection on our Christian history and traditions from a feminist perspective and request funding for such initiatives
• assume responsibility at the National Conference for one of the following tasks: conference planning, membership, newsletter, and for other tasks as identified at a National Conference
• dialogue with local bishops and clergy
• make public statements on behalf of the local/regional CNWE group as the occasion demands
5. A local/regional group shall hold one annual gathering and there present a financial report to its members. A copy of this report shall be sent to the National Work Group 30 days prior to the Annual General Meeting.
PART IV: NATIONAL CONFERENCE AND ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
1. The National Conference shall be held at a location decided upon at the previous conference. The National conference shall be held annually.
2. The planning of the National Conference shall be the responsibility of the local/regional group in whose region the conference is to be held in liaison with the National Work Group.
3. The Conference shall include a significant educational and spiritual component related to the aims of the organization.
4. In the absence of a National conference, the Annual General Meeting will be held no later than six months after the fiscal year.
5. A quorum of the Annual General Meeting shall be 8(eight) percent of the paid members including a quorum of the National Work Group.
6. The coordinator of the National Work Group shall chair the Annual General Meeting.
7. Amendments to the by-laws shall be carried by a two-thirds majority of the votes cast.
PART V: MEMBERSHIP RECORDS
1. Membership shall be the responsibility of a local group who will constitute the Membership Committee. This responsibility will be determined at the Annual General Meeting.
2. Responsibilities for membership shall continue until a new group assumes the task at the following Annual General Meeting.
3. Responsibilities shall include:
• receiving fees and donations from new and renewing members
• maintaining an up-to-date membership list and regional contact list and circulating the relevant part of the list to local groups and regional contacts at regular intervals at the discretion of the membership committee
• informing local/regional group contacts of new members in their area
• forwarding monies to the National Work Group treasurer on a regular basis
• sending out renewal notices annually
• inviting members from various regions to act as contact persons for new members and communicating with such contact persons
PART VI: NEWSLETTER
1. The newsletter shall be the responsibility of a local/regional CNWE group as decided at the annual general meeting.
2. Responsibility for the newsletter shall continue until a new group assumes the task at the following Annual General Meeting.
3. A newsletter shall be published three times a year.
4. The cost of publishing and distribution of the newsletter shall be maintained within the budget set by the National Work Group.
5. An editorial policy for the newsletter shall be developed and renewed annually by a sub-committee of the National Work Group.
PART VII: FINANCES
1. The fiscal year of the Organization shall be from April 1 to March 31.
2. There shall be an internal annual financial audit by two members appointed by the Annual General Meeting.
3. Two signatures shall be required for all cheques and documents of the Organization.
4. The National Work Group shall appoint the treasurer and two other members from the treasurer’s local group as signing officers.
PART VIII: AMENDMENT
1. The Constitution and By-laws may be amended by a resolution presented at the Annual General Meeting and confirmed by at least two-thirds of the votes cast.
2. Notice of proposed amendments must be mailed by the National Work Group to the membership at least thirty days prior to the Annual General Meeting.
Revised September 2006 (from June 2005 AGM)
Last Updated September 22, 2006