Executive Profile

Stephanie Spinelli
Administrative Assistant
Administrative Assistant

Stephanie joined The Catholic Women’s League in her home parish of St. Francis de Sales/Blessed Sacrament, Smiths Falls in 1992. She soon became an executive member of her council and served 12 years in officer positions. She is presently a subcommittee member of the community life standing committee.She has twice had the opportunity to belong to both diocesan and provincial convention hosting committees serving as treasurer and co-convener.At the diocesan level Stephanie served two terms as treasurer and one as recording secretary; then as chairperson of organization/president-elect, followed by presidency (2013-15) and past president/historian.Stephanie has served as a sub-committee member of the provincial legislation committee, was a member of the 2011 and 2014 Ontario provincial convention minutes review committees and was a member of the most recent OPC Manual of Policy & Procedure review committee.For the over 30 years Stephanie has been actively involved in parish life through volunteering at parish schools assisting with various events and programs including the Speech and Language and School Nutrition Programs. She has served on the Parish Pastoral Council and is presently an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist, co-chair of the Parish Hall Committee and a member of the Finance and Property Committee.Charlie is Stephanie‘s husband of 46 years. They are proud parents of two grown children and have been blessed with four beautiful grandchildren. They are members of the small business community of Smiths Falls. Stephanie is excited to have been invited to serve the provincial council once again.

Most Reverend ArchBishop Brendan O'Brien
Spiritual Advisor

Archbishop Brendan Michael O’Brien was born in Ottawa on September 28, 1943; he is the eldest son of Margaret O’Brien (née Foran) and the late Redmond O’Brien.  He has three brothers and three sisters. Archbishop O’Brien attended St. George’s Elementary School in Ottawa and the University of Ottawa High School.  He earned undergraduate degrees in Arts and Philosophy from the University of Ottawa before beginning his priestly formation.  After completing theological studies at St. Paul University, he was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Ottawa by Archbishop J. A. Plourde on June 1, 1968.  From 1971 until 1974, he studied in Rome, where he obtained a Doctorate in Moral Theology from the Lateran University (Alfonsianum). Over the years, Archbishop O’Brien served in several Ottawa parishes, including Holy Rosary, Resurrection of Our Lord, St. George’s, and St. Augustine’s.  He was also professor in the Pastoral Institute of St. Paul University for a number of years. On May 9, 1987, His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, named him titular Bishop of Numana and Auxiliary Bishop of Ottawa.  His episcopal ordination took place in Notre Dame Cathedral, Ottawa, on June 29, 1987.  After six years as Auxiliary Bishop of Ottawa, he was named Bishop of Pembroke on May 5, 1993, and installed in St. Columbkille’s Cathedral on June 29, 1993.  On December 4, 2000, His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, appointed him to the Metropolitan See of St. John’s.  He was installed in the Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist on January 29, 2001.  On June 1, 2007, His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, appointed him Archbishop of Kingston.  He was installed at St. Mary’s Cathedral on July 25, 2007. Archbishop O’Brien was president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops from October 2003 to September 2005.  He has served on the CCCB Commissions for Relations with Associations of Clergy, Consecrated Life, and Laity, for Theology, and is currently a member of the Commission for Ecumenism.  He is also the CCCB representative for the Roman Catholic–United Church Dialogue.  Archbishop O’Brien served for several terms on the Executive of the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario and is currently Chair of its Social Affairs Commission and its Institutional Chaplaincy Committee.       

Anne Madden

  Anne became a CWL member in 1981 through a gift membership. Her CWL journey has taken her across the country in her varied roles as a diocesan and provincial officer. She has held positions at the provincial level as legislation chair; 2nd vice-president, resolutions chair; 1st vice-president, spiritual development chairperson, organizations chair; and currently president. Anne was a member of the national resolutions committee in 2013-15. She was awarded Life Membership in 2011.
Anne has been married to Jim for 38 years; they have eleven children and thirteen grandchildren. She was born in the United States moving to Canada when she married; becoming a Canadian Citizen in 2011.  Anne has been a Registered Nurse for 39 years, completing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing on-line in 2013. Anne works full-time for the Kingston Health Sciences Centre at the Urgent Care Centre, Hotel Dieu Hospital site as a senior staff nurse and educator. 

Pauline Krupa
Past President

Pauline was born in Fort William, ON, now Thunder Bay.  Following her high school education and a short stint at working in a bank, she entered Lakehead Teacher’s College.  She began her career in a number of communities around Northwestern Ontario including years teaching in Northern First Nations Communities.  Settling back home in 1974 she began her teaching career with the Thunder Bay District Catholic School Board.  She retired in 2010 ending her career as a special education teacher.  For fun she putters around the house working in her garden and loves basket weaving.  She is the member of an RCIA team, helping with instruction and formation.  Her son Daniel, daughter in law Shan and grandchildren Joelle and Wyatt are the joys of her life.Over the years Pauline has volunteered her time in many community, diocesan and parish groups.  Presently she is the secretary of the discipline committee for Soccer Northwest Ontario.  Pauline is a charter member of St. Peter’s CWL council.  As a member she has held a number of executive positions at parish and diocesan levels.  In 2012 Pauline was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her work in the community, parish and most specifically with The Catholic Women’s League of Canada.  She has served on the provincial executive as spiritual development, resolutions, communications, organization chairperson, president and now serves as past president/historian.  Over these years, she organized a successful meet and greet reception in Queen’s Park (March 2011), facilitated the update of the provincial website, reviewed manuals and guides and introduced teleconferencing as a tool for league development. She is presently the provincial president.

Colleen Perry

Colleen was born and raised in the Ottawa area and still lives there with her family. Her children and grandchildren are the light of her life. Colleen recently retired after a 41 year career with Bell Canada. She is an active member of her parish. Colleen joined the Catholic Women’s League in 2003 when her pastor asked her to help re-establish the CWL in the parish. That first night she was elected president. She was Ottawa Diocesan President 2009 -2011. Colleen was elected to Ontario Provincial Council in July 2011 and has served as Legislation Chair (2011-2013), Communications Chair (2013-2015) and Education and Health Chair (2015-2017). Colleen was honoured to accept Life Membership in the League in 2016. Colleen enjoys social interaction and that has inspired both her career and her personal life. The Catholic Women’s League has provided her with the opportunity to meet many wonderful women of faith. The League has influenced her life both personally and spiritually. It is her passion, just ask her!

Linda Squarzolo
1st Vice-President
Christian Family Life

        Linda was born and raised in the Timmins area.  She graduated from North Bay Teachers’ College and moved to Sudbury.  After teaching Grades 1 to 8 in several Catholic schools in the Sudbury area, she retired after a career of 28 years. While teaching, she earned a B. A. from Laurentian University, a B Ed from Nipissing University and two Education Specialist Certificates.  She has been married to Tullio for over 47 years.  They have two sons (an educator and a fireman), a daughter (a doctor) and ten wonderful grandchildren.Linda joined the League in 1975 at St. Paul the Apostle Council and served the council as president, president-elect, recording secretary and chaired the standing committees of resolutions, legislation and education.  She was awarded the Maple Leaf Service Pin in 2007.  She was appointed to the Sault Ste. Marie Diocesan Council in 2002 to chair the resolutions and legislation committees and later held the positions of regional chair, recording secretary and chaired the standing committees of organization, spiritual development and historian.  While serving on the diocesan council, she worked on four resolutions.  One was approved at a national convention.  She was Diocesan President from 2011 to 2013.  She has developed and presented several leadership workshops across the diocese.  Linda was appointed archivist for the Sault Ste. Marie Diocesan Council. Her mother, daughter, two sisters and mother-in-law are all  League members.  At her present parish of Holy Redeemer, she is a lector and is a member of the parish social justice committee.Linda is a nineteen-year survivor of breast cancer.  Her favourite pastimes are knitting, embroidery, travelling, spending time with her grandchildren and doing the work of the League.She was awarded a Life Membership on a lucky Friday 13th in May 2016.  She is currently a member of the Ontario Provincial Council as First Vice President / Christian Family Life Chairperson.                  

Colleen Martin
2nd Vice President

Colleen Martin grew up part of a large family, in a small town in northern Ontario; Atikokan.  She attended Carleton University in Ottawa, obtaining a Bachelor of Commerce with Honours in Accounting, then returned to the north to Thunder Bay where she met her best friend Bruce.  She and Bruce married in 1987 and have two children, Tamara and Jarred, and a beautiful grandson Noah. Colleen has been active in the church her whole life.  She joined the League in 1992 and has held various positions at the parish, diocesan and provincial level.  Colleen’s personal career has led her through a journey with First Nations for nearly 25 years and one of her passions is to bring understanding of, and compassion for, the challenges faced by First Nation peoples through awareness of history and Indian legislation.  Recently, Colleen has been asked to represent the League nationally, as part of a coalition of Catholic partners focused on renewing and strengthening relations with Indigenous people of Canada. Colleen’s goal for the next two years is to present resolutions in a way to attract the attention of more League members in Ontario.

Patricia Rivest

Pat was raised on a farm a few miles outside of Leamington.  She is the eldest of 4–1 brother and 2 sisters.  Pat worked on the family farm and then worked for neighbouring farmers.  Actually, she met her husband, Vic, in the potato field.  They have been married for 45 years with 2 wonderful sons – Christopher who lives in Sudbury and Ryan and his wife, Jolanta who live in Winnipeg along with 2 adorable grandchildren – Sophie and Nathan. Pat became a member of the League over 40 years ago.  She was a non-active paying member for quite a few years and attended only a few meetings.  She became very active after listening to Life Member–Lillian Mousseau from Belle River.  She was a marvellous mentor to many in the Diocese of London. Pat served as president of St. Michael’s Council in Leamington twice.  She held the positions of Corresponding Secretary, Treasurer, President-Elect/Organization, President and Past President.  She was Secretary/Treasurer for Essex Region for 2 terms and became Regional Chairperson in 1984. In 1986, Pat was appointed as Diocesan Treasurer and was elected to the position of Treasurer for a second term.  She has been elected to the positions of Corresponding Secretary, 2nd Vice-President/Communications, 1st Vice-President/Spiritual Development, President-Elect/Organization, Diocesan President and Past President/Historian. On the provincial level, Pat held the positions of Spiritual Development Chair, Recording Secretary, Treasurer and elected a second term as Treasurer. Pat was Registration Chairperson for 1 National Convention and 2 Provincial Conventions.  She prepared and presented and Organization workshop, Archive workshop, manual of policy and procedure workshop and a workshop for Regional Chairpersons.  She has also prepared and presented a retreat entitled, “A Walk Together with Mary.  Pat participated in the programmes of Field Worker, Project Grow and Catch the Fire.  Pat and the League have been having a love affair all these many years.  As a chosen catholic, she has found this call to service very fulfilling and very rewarding.  Pat received her Life Membership in the League in 2013. Over the years, Pat has been involved in various community activities – Girl Guides, Canadian Cancer Society, Heart and Stroke Foundation and Hearts Together for Haiti. Parish activities involve COR–Youth and Adult, Faith and Sharing Groups, member of Parish Advisory Board and a Eucharistic Minister. Pat retired 9 years ago after 21 years as bookkeeper/clerk for municipal government.  She was employed by the Public School System and the Catholic School System in the area.  Pat has also worked for 4 lawyers as well as in the customs department of a manufacturing company. The Catholic Women’s League has become a way of life.  She looks forward to her term as Provincial Treasurer with joy and anticipation.  Pat will rely on those who came before her, those who she walks the journey with now, and those who, she prays, will learn and know the joy, love and sisterhood that the League has to offer.

Mary Capobianco
Recording Secretary

Mary was born and raised in Toronto. She has been happily married to her husband Vincent for 39 years. They are blessed with a son Michael, daughter-in-law Shannon, daughter Kathryn and two beautiful grandchildren, Nico and Selina. She retired in 2011 after working for Bell Canada for 36 years. Mary joined the C.W.L. in 1992 at her home parish of Nativity of Our Lord after hearing an appeal from the pulpit during an annual membership drive. Shortly after joining she was elected as the Spiritual Development Standing Chair.  She attributes this position for changing her relationship with God, moving him from the back seat in her life to being her driver and constant companion.   She then went on to hold various standing committee chair positions at the parish level before serving as parish president 2000-2001 and received her Maple Leaf pin in 2003.  She went on to hold standing committee chair positions at the regional and diocesan levels including serving as diocesan president 2013-2015.  In 2015 she was appointed as the Provincial Newsletter Editor and a member of the National Resolutions Committee.  She was also appointed as the Toronto Representative on the Capital Campaign Cabinet for the Catholic Women's Leadership Foundation.  Over the years Mary has led the Leadership Public Speaking Course throughout the diocese, rolled out the Catch the Fire initiative and delivered the Parish Executive Training Course fondly known as PET; she co-chaired numerous Toronto Diocesan Conventions, was part of the organizing committees for the 2005 and 2009 Provincial Conventions and organized the special events for the 2011 National Convention.  In 2017 Mary was honoured to receive her Life Membership as well as her 25 year service pin. Mary remains active in her own home parish as a lector and member of the Parish Finance Committee.  She also served on the Board of Directors for the Toronto Catholic Children's Aid Society for 6 years.  In her spare time, Mary helps support her husband in his various roles with the Knights of Columbus, enjoys gardening and scrapbooking but her favourite pastime is spending time with her precious grandchildren.        

Anna Tremblay
Spiritual Development Chair
Spiritual Development

Anna and her husband, John, were married in 1971 and have raised three adopted children, now all in their early forties.  She was a medical secretary before leaving the work force to raise her family.  After the children were in school, she became Parish Secretary, a position she held for 20 years until her retirement in 2006.  Both Anna and John are now retired and their best days are spent visiting their 7 year old granddaughter, Hayleigh, in London ON.  They are both true northerners and look forward to spending summers at their log cabin on Lake Talon, just outside North Bay ON, where they have lived since 1980.  Her love of scripture led her to become a Lector in 1983 and since then she has developed and facilitated Lector Workshops, annual Days of Reflection for the CWL and earned a Diploma in Theological Studies from Newman Theological College in 2009.  A CWL member since 1967, she didn’t become active until 1981 when she was invited to become Communications Chairperson in her home parish of St Peter the Apostle, from whom she received her Maple Leaf Service Pin.  She served in several positions on the Sault Ste. Marie Diocesan Council, including North Bay Regional Chairperson, and thoroughly enjoyed ‘birthing’ Catch the Fire! in her diocese before assuming the role of Diocesan President.  When not busy fulfilling her League duties, Anna likes to knit, make chocolates and spend time at the cottage.  She was thrilled to be re-elected for a second term to the Ontario Provincial Council last July and is very much looking forward to serving God and Canada as Spiritual Development Standing Committee Chairperson.

Joanna Sisk
Community Life Chair
Community Life

Joanna Sisk was born in Ottawa and raised in Arnprior and Ottawa.  Growing up, she was involved in the Girl Guides and has been involved in the parish activities her entire life.  She studied at the University of Ottawa and obtained a Degree in Nursing Science and also studied at St. Paul University in Ottawa. Joanna was a medical secretary in Ottawa; as a registered nurse, she worked in Sault Ste. Marie General Hospital, St. Anthony’s Hospital in Esterhazy, Saskatchewan, St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto and in Street Outreach, with the unstably housed, in downtown Ottawa.  Joanna has been a CWL member since 1974 and has held numerous positions at parish and diocesan levels. In July 2017, she was elected to the Ontario Provincial Council and sits as the chair of community life.

Wilma Vanderzwaag
Education Health Chair
Education and Health

Wilma was born and raised in St. Catharines.   She has been married to Robert for 30 years.  They have two children one daughter who is married and lives in Sudbury and a son who is living in Ottawa.  Wilma joined the League in 1987.  She served the parish council as Health & Education, Communications, President-Elect/Organization and President.  She was awarded the Maple Leaf Service Pin in 2011.  She became a member of the Diocesan Council in 2002.  While on the Diocesan Council she chaired the standing committees of Spiritual Development, Health & Education, Resolutions, Organization/President-Elect and became President in 2012.  Wilma was elected to the Provincial Council in 2015 and was the Community Life Standing Chair.  She became a Life Member is 2016. She has developed and presented several leadership workshops for the Diocese.  Wilma was a co-leader for training and presenting Catch the Fire.  A lifelong parishioner of Star of the Sea, she serves currently in the ministry of hospitality.  In 2001, she completed the Diploma in Ministry program from St. Francis Xavier University. Wilma is an avid 5 pin bowler and has represented Ontario on 3 separate occasions at the Canadian Championships.  She was inducted into the Niagara 5 Pin Bowlers’ Association Hall of Fame in 2013.  She now works part time at the Meridian Credit Union.  Her favourite past times are reading, travelling and spending time with her extended family.

Marie-Theresa Lamphier
Communications Chair

Marie-Theresa has been married to Larry, who was ordained a deacon in 2011, for the past 48 years.  They have three children and four grandchildren.  She worked at the Bank for 8 years, then moved on to Chrysler Canada where she held various positions of increasing responsibilities.  She retired after 30 years in 2003, worked at home doing book-keeping, then worked as Pastoral Minister for the parishes of St. Joseph and St. Ursula in Chatham from 2008 to 2014.  Her ongoing formation includes attending University of Windsor and receiving her Bachelor of Commerce in 1994, her Masters in Business from Central Michigan in 1996; certificate in Pastoral Ministry from St. Peter’s Catholic Foundation in 2010 and Masters in Religious Education from Assumption University, Windsor in 2014.   Marie-Theresa has been a member of The League for 25 years and has held various positions at the parish level and the diocesan level and has facilitated at many of the workshops.  She has had many roles in the convention planning for diocesan, provincial and national conventions. She received her Maple Leaf Service pin in 2015 and was elected to Provincial in 2017.  The League has been a gift and a blessing to her! She has had the opportunity to put many of the objects of the league into practice by reaching out to others in Christ Centered love.  

Karen McDonald
Legislation Chair

Karen is a single gal who was born and raised and lives in Sudbury, Ontario.  She obtained her B.A. (Hons) degree in Law & Justice from Laurentian University in 1989 and has been employed as a legal assistant since 1990, the year she joined the CWL.  An avid sports fan, she enjoys gardening and being outdoors, watching the cooking and Discovery channels, cherishes her time spent with many special friends, and loves a challenge!  Karen credits her grandmother and mother for her faith and love of the League.  She was president-elect in 2002 when her home council amalgamated with a ladies auxiliary to form Our Lady of Hope council of which she is a proud member.  In 2015, Karen was honoured to receive the Maple Leaf Service Pin from her council.  Active in her parish, one of her greatest pleasures is singing alto in the choir which she believes is good for the soul.  She co-chaired the 86th diocesan convention in 2006 and was appointed to the Sault Ste. Marie Diocesan Council that year.  At the diocesan level, Karen has chaired the spiritual development, resolutions, organization standing committees, served as diocesan treasurer, Sudbury regional chairperson, diocesan president and is currently diocesan past president.  She has presented League workshops across her diocese including Leadership and Public Speaking, Knowing the League and Catch the Fire!  Karen enjoys the personal interaction with her League sisters and feels blessed to serve through her League involvement.  

Stephanie Spinelli
Administrative Assistant
Emma Rose Rayburn
Alexandria-Cornwall Diocesan President

I was raised in the small village of Monkland, with my six older brothers! The small community along with my parents influence was the perfect background to instill my love for being involved in all things community oriented.I’ve been a parishioner of St. Anthony’s/St. Michael’s all my life as I’ve made all my sacraments there; obviously in no rush to make my remaining sacrament!  In September of 1992 Kevin and I were married at my home parish, now our home parish which we have been and continue to be involved in many ministries.  Our daily lives are busy as self-employed entrepreneurs.  I enjoy many hobbies and have turned scrapbooking and cardmaking into my little business called Auntie Em’s Scrapbooking.The Catholic Women’s League has been my blessing in disguise.  Upon joining the League I was quite content at attending meetings here and there and I even said yes to being our council’s organization chair as I had no idea what it was all about.  My first convention was the game changer!  Oh the things I’ve learned! The  more I learn the deeper I fall in love with the League, our works and the many blessings we receive. Plus now I have more sisters then I could have ever dreamed of! 

Joan Schurter
Hamilton Diocesan President

Joan was born and raised on a dairy farm close to the small village of Chepstow, near Walkerton, with her four brothers. She remembers her Mom always helping with funerals, bazaars, bake sales etc. as a League member for over fifty years.  She never considered joining, while at home working on the farm. After graduating from Stratford Teacher’s College, Joan taught in Chepstow for one year;39 grade one students.  She married her husband Mike in 1969.  They moved to Kitchener, where she taught in Bridgeport, until the arrival of their family.  Joan then became a stay-at-home Mom, until their youngest daughter started school. They have three daughters, two sons-in-law and three granddaughters. Sadly, their youngest daughter passed away three years ago at the age of 37, after fighting brain tumors for four years. The wonderful support of Joan’s sisters in the League helped her and continues to help her through this difficult journey.Joan has been a member of St. Anthony Daniel Parish, in Kitchener, almost since its’ beginning. In her first year of joining the League she was asked if she would be their recording secretary. She moved on to treasurer and then president. As Joan became more active in the League, she became Kitchener Regional Secretary and then regional chairperson, where she continued to realize the support and fellowship of the sisters in the League. While serving on Hamilton Diocesan Council, she was education and health chair and then was encouraged to let her name stand as president-elect. In addition to the League, Joan is very involved with their church, serving in several ministries .  Retiring from supply teaching and special education allowed her to do more volunteering and become more involved with the League. She also enjoys spending time with their granddaughters. Joan greatly enjoys her work with the League and looks forward to her two years as diocesan president.

Hazel Barbour
Hearst Diocesan President

Hazel was born and raised in Cochrane, Ontario, and was the fifth of six children. After graduating from teacher’s college, she taught at St. Patrick School in Kapuskasing. She married Peter in 1966 and lived in West Germany for three years while Peter taught Canadian students at Baden Solingen. Their two marvelous grown sons brought into the family two wonderful daughters-in-law and four awesome grandchildren.   Hazel was a stay at home mom until the boys entered high school, then she refocused, studied business administration and took a job with the local community college coordinating the Independent Learning and Distance Education programs.   Both Hazel and Peter became Lay Leaders in their parish of St. Patrick Church and have been very active in their parish for the past 25 years.  Hazel also became an animator for the biblical study course, Mess’AJE,   which originated in Lille France.  Over the past two years, she assisted in the live delivery of the four threshold program via internet, where students were situated in the U.S.A. Quebec and Ontario – both northern and southern parts of the province.After joining the League in 2001, Hazel has been active in the local council executive since 2003, having been President twice.  She was Spiritual Development Chair at the Diocesan Level. This is her first year as Diocesan President.The most rewarding part of the league for Hazel is the aspect of journeying in her faith with sisters of like mind and like heart. 

Maureen Vincentine
Kingston Diocesan President

Maureen Vincentine and her husband live in Foxboro, are the proud parents of two children and have five grandchildren.  Maureen taught math and religion for the local Catholic schoolboard for 31 years before retiring in 2002.  She has been an active member of the Catholic Women’s League for more than thirty years during which she served in many executive roles at the parish level before being elected to the Kingston Diocesan Council in 2013.  In addition to being coordinator for the bereavement committee, Maureen is involved with several other parish ministries and volunteers with the St. Vincent de Paul Society and the Belleville Youth Justice Committee in her community. 

Angela Pellerin
London Diocesan President

I was born and raised in England, coming to Canada when I was 14 years old, first to Saskatoon, then British Columbia before coming to Ontario.  I joined the church just prior to meeting my husband.I have been married to Tom for 39 years and we have two son and five grandchildren.   I retired on January 1, 2016 after a career working for London Life, in engineering and in the general insurance business and obtained my Chartered Insurance Professional designation.I joined the CWL at Holy Family Parish (formerly St. Pius X) when my husband volunteered me to drive a senior lady to meetings.   I have served in several positions over the years including president-elect, president and past-president, co-chair of Spiritual Development, Community Life Chair and two terms as Recording Secretary.  I served as Secretary then Chairman of the London Central Committee before being elected to Diocesan Council. On Diocesan I have served on the positions of Legislation, Resolutions, Christian Family Life, Community Life, Spiritual Development, Corresponding Secretary and Recording Secretary along with serving as President-Elect and currently President. I have facilitated Elder Care Workshops and Catch the Fire! Workshops.In my parish I serve as an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist, an altar server for daily mass and funerals, belong to the Social Justice Committee and the Refugee Committee, the prayer shawl ministry and the Conversations That Matter group.Being a CWL member for 25 years has taught me many skills and helped me overcome my shyness. I know I have the support of many as I begin my journey on provincial council.

Onagh Dooley
Ottawa Diocesan President

Onagh was born in the city of Limerick, in Ireland and moved, with her family, when she was two and a half years old, to the seaport town of Cobh, the largest of three islands in Cork harbour.  After graduating high school, she worked in Cobh, for about two years, as a secretary, before embarking on her second emigration journey;  Sydney, Australia.  She has been married to Kevin for 47 years.  They travelled Australia and decided to travel back closer to Ireland; stopping first in Durban, South Africa, where they lived for about 18 months, before moving back to Ireland.  They immigrated to Canada 40 years ago and moved to Ottawa 18 years ago.  They have four children, two girls, two boys, and have five grandchildren.   Onagh joined the League, in Ottawa, in 2003, walking away from her first meeting as council secretary and she has been on an executive, ever since.   She gained her knowledge of the League, by attending diocesan events.  She was elected to the diocesan council in 2011, attended her first provincial convention and hasn't looked back.  She retired in 2010 after a 28 year career in finance and is an active member of the craft group and a librarian at her parish.

Carmel Rumleski
Pembroke Diocesan President

Carmel was born in Renfrew, the second eldest of 11 (four girls, seven boys), but has lived most of her life in Barry’s Bay.  She attended St. Joseph Catholic School from grades 1 to 12; then graduated from MVDHS in Grade 13.  Carmel attended Ottawa Teachers’ College in 1968 and began her teaching career in Arnprior.  In 1974, she married David and together they had six children and now have five grandchildren.  Carmel graduated from Carleton University with a BA in English and Religion in 1991.  She became an elementary teaching principal in 1996 and retired in 2002.  Carmel is very involved in her CWL parish council, church ministries and is a volunteer in several areas in her community.  She is Pembroke Diocesan President, for the second time.   Her greatest joy is working with her sister members in the League in service “for God and Canada.”

Wendy Tedford
Peterborough Diocesan President

Wendy Tedford is the mother of two boys, 9 years apart, and now out on their own, expanding their minds and life skills. Her oldest son is married. Wendy is a mother-in-law of one, and a grandmother of two grandsons, 1 child born while she was attending a CWL Fall meeting in Huntsville 2013 and 1 child born on Mother’s Day 2016. If you do not see Wendy at work in special services for an airline, she is on a ball field umpiring or instructing. She volunteers in a senior’s facility with a travelling dental office, saying: “Open wide…wider”.  Wendy volunteers with several community groups as she tends to get involved where people are. On the rare chance she is at home, she will be working at one of the many projects that a house continually provides. Wendy became involved with the CWL after being approached in the parking lot after an evening Mass. She didn’t think she was getting into her car until she said yes to this “little job and we really need you”. It was dark and cold, she was tired and wanted to go home so she said: “When’s the next meeting and yes, I will be your secretary”. She said yes, knowing that she did not have time for another project but time was found and she did and still does enjoy it! It can be a once a month meeting or it can expand into the many avenues and highways that this powerful organization has to offer. It can be your choice to move into a position or in response to a little nudging but the CWL is good for the soul! Wendy felt it was a chance to meet new and interesting people, to check out resources, to tackle a hidden issue or a big public one and to join others and see where that could take you. She values the spiritual growth… GOOD for YOU and YOUR soul.

Elizabeth (Betsy) Currier
Sault Ste Marie Diocesan President

Betsy was born, raised and still lives in Sault Ste. Marie, ON. Her legal birth name is Elizabeth, but she was called by her nickname, “Betsy” since she was a toddler.  After graduating from Mount St. Joseph College, she was married and had two children, Trisha and Stephen.  Once her children were in school, full-time, she returned to Sault College and then went on to Laurentian University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.  She also earned a certificate from St. Michael’s College in Toronto in Education and Healthcare Leadership. After being blessed with a wonderful career of bedside nursing, teaching and management she retired in 2011. She and husband, Steve Larocque, have a blended family of three adult children, nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.  Betsy joined the League with her mother’s encouragement in 1996  She held several executive positions in her home council at St. Jerome Parish in Sault Ste. Marie. In 2011 she was appointed to the diocesan council and has served terms at that level as recording secretary, first vice president, Sault Ste. Marie regional chairperson organization chair, president-elect and now president. Betsy co-chaired the 93rd Annual Sault Ste. Marie diocesan Convention, held in in 2013, has presented various workshops and served as a facilitator for “Catch the Fire!”. She enjoys volunteering at the Algoma Residential Community Hospice (ARCH) loves nature, camping and travelling to a warmer climate for a few weeks in the winter months. She is also an avid reader and motorcyclist.

Frances Murdaca
St Catharines Diocesan President

Frances Murdaca was born and raised in Niagara Falls, Ontario and is a long-time parishioner of Our Lady of the Scapular Church.  She joined The Catholic Women’s League of Canada in 2007 after receiving a personal invitation from a member on the Feast of Our Lady of Good Counsel and recently received her 10 year pin.  Frances has held positions at the parish level as Spiritual Development Chair and President.  She has also served on the Diocesan Council as the Niagara Regional Chair, Spiritual Development Chair, Organization sub-committee Chair and on the Catch the Fire team.  Frances works full-time as a law clerk in a St. Catharines law office where she has been employed for 28 years.  She also volunteers her time serving at her parish as a Lector, Eucharistic Minister and on the Evangelization Committee.  The Catholic Women’s League of Canada is a gift that Frances hopes all women discover and unwrap.

Mary Wilson
Thunder Bay Diocesan President

Mary immigrated to Canada from the United States in 1977, with her husband and two children,  to purchase a tourist camp in the Ear Falls area.  In 1978 she was approached and asked to join the CWL.  However, Mary’s busy life, at home and work, caused her to decline the invitation. The following year she did join and was elected to the executive, at the first meeting.   Mary served as CWL president, in Ear Falls, before moving to Red Lake in 1987, where she eventually opened her own auto part store, in 1999.   Mary joined the newly activated council of St. Francis/St. John CWL and has held several offices in that council, including the office of president.  In 2010, she was awarded the Maple Leaf Service pin.   Mary has served on the Thunder Bay diocesan council, as a standing chair of Spiritual Development, Legislation and Resolutions and Organization.  As a volunteer in the community, Mary works with seniors and as a volunteer with the hospital auxiliary. She is also very active in local parish ministries.

Audrey Shelton
Timmins Diocesan President

Audrey was born and raised in the Woodstock area. She and Russell were married in 1981. After four years of living in Saskatchewan they moved back to the Woodstock area where they dairy farmed until 2000. They have two girls (an educator and a librarian) and a son who works in the agricultural field.In 2000, they moved to New Liskeard where they have a woodworking shop and make canoe paddles and yokes.Audrey has worked as a Personal Support Worker for 10 years and is now concentrating on their business and her volunteer “jobs”.Audrey’s mother enrolled her in the CWL when she was 16. She has served her parish councils as Spiritual Development, Communications and Organization Chairs. She has also been secretary and Parish Council President three terms. At the diocesan level she has chaired the standing committees of Christian Family Life and Organization.  Audrey was awarded the Maple Leaf pin in 2015.Audrey is also very involved in Girl Guides of Canada and has been a Guide leader for 20 years. She enjoys teaching the girls new skills and says they keep her young.Audrey loves to garden, canoe, bird watch, and play with her three grandchildren.  She works towards making the world a better place through her involvement in Girl Guides and the Catholic Women’s League.

Ann DSouza
Toronto Archdiocesan President

Ann moved to Canada having lived in Goa, Mumbai (Bombay) and Dubai.  She is married to Oswald and has two married sons.  Working in the corporate world keeps her busy, but her family has been instrumental in helping her carry on with various activities; juggling life as a mother, wife, career woman and volunteer.  Ann joined The Catholic Women’s League, when a council had been newly formed, at St. Francis Xavier Parish in Mississauga.  Joining the League provided her with an opportunity to meet women who have, in many ways, influenced her personal and spiritual life.  She has held many positions in the League at the parish and diocesan levels, currently serving as Toronto Diocesan President.  Additionally, Ann is part of the team of facilitators that leads the Public Speaking & Leadership Course and facilitates Parish Executive Training (PET), in the Peel Region.  She was part of the organizing committee (secretary) for the 2011 National Convention, held in Toronto; was a sub-convener for the Toronto Diocesan Convention in 2012 and chaired the Toronto Diocesan Convention in 2013.  Ann also volunteers her time for charities and fundraising.  In 2013, Ann was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, for her work in her community and parish.