Bellelle Guerin


Bellelle was the very first National President of the Catholic Women's League in Canada. World War I changed both Canadian and European society forever. In Europe thousands fled their war torn countries and arrived in Canada, many young women looking for work and safe places to stay. Starting here in Alberta, Catholic women began the ministry for immigrants that continues to this day. Early in 1920, a few friends sent out letters to all the small, local groups of Catholic women that existed in most larger Canadian cities to see if there was interest to form a national organization. Three months later on June 17, 1920, seven provinces sent representatives to this historic meeting in Montreal - and thus the league was born. These ladies discussed ways to help immigrants as well as writing a CWL constitution, publishing a national League to keep members informed, and how to fight immodesty in dress, plays and movies. With a year more than 100 councils were organized by women travelling across the country by train, inspired by the motto "for God and Canada". As one of the founding members said, "In future years, Canadian history shall be written. I like to think that the CWL of Canada will be an organization of such tremendous force that its birth be chronicled among leading events."

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