Directive: Administrative Assistant
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. In 2017 She was re-elected for a second term to the Ontario Provincial Council as Spiritual Development Standing Committee Chairperson. She was thrilled to be appointed as Administrative Assistant in July.
Most Reverend Archbishop Marcel Damphousse
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 is 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), Education and Health Chair (2015-2017) and Organization Chair (2017-2019).
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!
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, president-elect/organizations chair; and currently provincial president.
Anne was awarded her Life Membership in 2011 and was a member of the national resolutions committee in 2013-15.
Anne and Jim have been married for 41 years; they have eleven children and fourteen 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 40 years, completing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing on-line in 2013. She works full-time for the Kingston Health Sciences Centre at the Urgent Care Centre, Hotel Dieu Hospital site as a senior staff nurse, Mentor, Preceptor and educator.
Anne was blessed to be chosen for the initial cohort of the Catholic Women’s Leadership Foundation Leadership Course commencing in April 2018.
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 married Tullio in 1970. They have two sons (an educator and a fireman), a daughter (a doctor) and eleven wonderful grandchildren.
Linda joined the League in 1975 at St. Paul the Apostle Council and served 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 as chair of the resolutions and legislation committees. She 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. Linda was appointed the archivist for the Sault Ste. Marie Diocesan Council.
Her mother, daughter, granddaughter, two sisters and mother-in-law are all League members.
At her present parish of Holy Redeemer, she is a lector and a member of the parish social justice committee.
Linda has been a breast cancer survivor for more than 20 years. Her favourite pastimes are reading, 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 President-Elect / Organization Chairperson.
Directive: Christian Family Life
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 through the activities focused on reconciliation. Colleen’s goal for the next two years is to focus attention on the President’s theme of loneliness and the sanctity of life.
2nd Vice President
Wilma was born and raised in St. Catharines. She is married to Robert and they have been blessed with two children and recently became proud grandparents for the first time. Wilma joined the League in 1987. She served at her 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 has chaired Community Life, Education and Health and at the present time Resolutions. Wilma is also serving on the sub-committee of Legislation on the National Council. She became a Life Member is 2016. She has developed and presented several leadership workshops for the Diocese and a Resolutions workshop for the Provincial Council. 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. Her favourite past times are her family, reading, travelling, and spending time with her sisters in the League across the province.
Marie-Theresa has been married to Larry, ordained a deacon in 2011, for the past 52 years in November 2021. 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.
Joanne Hough has served in many roles as a CWL member for over 35 years. She held positions in St. Mary’s Catholic Women’s League in Lindsay, as education chair, president-elect, president and past president. She has also held diocesan positions such as treasurer and president of the Peterborough Diocesan Council. In addition, Joanne has served on provincial subcommittees for convention minute review and Christian Family Life.
Joanne was awarded her life membership in 2018. She has continued to serve as a member of the St. Mary’s CWL in leading Strategic Planning implementation and booking events on-line for the council. Joanne is working with the past-president of the Peterborough Diocesan CWL with two projects in honour of the 100th Anniversary of The Catholic Women’s League in Canada and the diocesan council. She has prepared and given several workshops on various topics.
Joanne and her late-husband celebrated their 50th Anniversary in 2018. She has three children who are teachers and four grandchildren. Joanne is a eucharistic minister and lector in St. Mary’s Church. She has played a leading role in establishing the parish screening program for use throughout the diocese. She presently serves on the executive of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul and is the recording secretary for the Women’s Probus Club of Lindsay.
Joanne holds a Master of Education in School Administration and a Specialist Certificate in Special Education. She has a passion for working on behalf of exceptional children and has held several administrative positions in education. Joanne was very pleased to be appointed to the position of recording secretary for the Ontario Provincial CWL Council.
Emma Rose Rayburn
Spiritual Development Chair
Directive: Spiritual Development
Emma was raised in the small village of Monkland, with her six older brothers! The small community along with her parents influence was the perfect background to instill her love for being involved in all things community oriented.
Emma has been a parishioner of St. Anthony’s/St. Michael’s all her life and made all her sacraments there; obviously in no rush to make the remaining sacrament! In September of 1992, she and Kevin were married at her home parish, now theirs, and they have been and continue to be involved in many ministries. Their daily lives are busy as self-employed entrepreneurs. Emma enjoys many hobbies and has turned scrapbooking, cardmaking and quilting into her little business called Auntie Em’s Scrapbooking and Quilting.
The Catholic Women’s League has been Emma’s blessing in disguise. Upon joining the League she was quite content at attending meetings here and there and oh yeah, even said yes to being St. James council’s organization chair – having no idea what it was all about. Her first convention was the game changer! Oh the things she learned! The more she learns the deeper she falls in love with the League, the works and the many blessings received. Plus now she has more sisters then she could have ever dreamed of!
Her mantra has been – If it doesn’t challenge you it doesn’t change you.
Community Life Chair
Directive: Community Life
Mary was born and raised in Toronto. She has been happily married to her husband Vincent for 41 years. They are blessed with a son Michael, daughter-in-law Shannon, daughter Kathryn and three beautiful grandchildren, Nico, Selina and Noelle. 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 be her driver and constant companion. Mary continues to serve her parish as a lector and member of the finance committee.
Mary 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 Diocesan 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 the 2011 National Convention. In 2017 Mary was honoured to receive her Life Membership as well as her 25-year service pin. In 2018 Mary co-chaired the Ontario Provincial Convention and she is currently the co-chair for the 2021 National Convention which will be held in Toronto.
Mary has served on the Board of Directors for the Toronto Catholic Children’s Aid Society for 6 years and now currently serves on the Board of Directors for Catholic Charities for the Archdiocese of Toronto.
In 2017, Mary was elected to the Provincial council as Recording Secretary. She is honoured to now be serving as the Community Life Standing Chair. Her goal for the next two years is to educate and encourage members to actively promote social justice and human rights issues at home and abroad.
Betsy joined the League with her mother’s encouragement in 1993 and has 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, president-elect / chairperson of organization, president, and is currently past president/historian.
As president Betsy chaired the 98th and 99th annual Sault Ste. Marie diocesan conventions in Sudbury (2018) and Sault Ste. Marie (2019). She participated in a very successful diocesan-wide food drive and many other projects which addressed the 2017-19 provincial theme of homelessness. She was blessed to present a CWL Life Membership, 2 Bellelle Guerrin Awards and the Ontario Provincial Social Justice Award to some sister CWL members in the Sault Ste. Marie diocese.
She has presented workshops on the Objects of the League and Health Care Ethics (Informed Consent, Substitute Decision Making & Privacy). She was a facilitator for Catch the Fire! and presented a “discernment” workshop as an introduction to the “S’Mores” program.
On a personal note… Betsy was born, raised and still lives in Sault Ste. Marie, ON. Her legal birth name is Elizabeth, but she was always called by her nickname “Betsy” since she was a toddler.
After graduating from Mount St. Joseph College, she was married and had two children, Trish and Stephen. When her children were in school for a full day, she returned to Sault College and then Laurentian University and graduated with a diploma and then a Bachelor of Science Degree 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 beautiful grandchildren ranging in age from fourteen to thirty-six, and two great-grandchildren.
She enjoys volunteering at the Algoma Residential Community Hospice (ARCH) and loves nature and camping in the RV all summer at the lake. She is also an avid reader and motorcyclist.
Education Health Chair
Directive: Education and Health
Karen is a single gal who was born and raised and lives in Sudbury, Ontario. She obtained a B.A. (Hons) degree in Law & Justice from Laurentian University and has worked as a legal assistant since 1990, the year she joined the CWL. Karen is an avid sports fan, enjoys gardening and being outdoors, watching forensic programs, cooking and Discovery channels, cherishes her time spent with special friends, and loves a challenge!
Karen credits her grandmother and mother for her faith and love of the League. Her father passed away over 30 years ago and she and her mother cherish their League sisters who have always been there. In 2002, Karen was president-elect of her council when it 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. 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 chaired the spiritual development, resolutions and organization standing committees, and served as treasurer, Sudbury regional chairperson, president and past president. Karen presented League workshops across her diocese including Leadership and Public Speaking, Knowing the League, and Catch the Fire! Elected to the Ontario provincial council in 2017 and 2019, she is blessed to have been legislation chairperson and is currently the education and health chairperson. Karen enjoys the personal interaction with members and feels blessed to serve through her League involvement.
Ann moved to Canada having lived in Goa, Mumbai (Bombay) and Dubai. She is married to Oswald and has two married sons and a grandson. 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 her parish council had been newly formed in year 1999 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 level(Communication, President-elect, President and Historian), at Region level (Christian Family & Community Life, Peel Regional Chair and Historian), and at Diocesan level (Newsletter editor, Communication, President-Elect, President and presently Historian).
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 (Secretariat) 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. She was awarded the Maple Leaf Service Pin in 2012.
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.
Alexandria-Cornwall Diocesan President
Angela was born in November 1959 to Dutch parents in Aylmer, Quebec. Her parents moved to Winchester, Ontario when she was 8 ½ years old.
She is the oldest of 7 children – 6 girls and 1 boy. She worked alongside her parents and siblings on a dairy farm. She graduated from high school and worked at Nestle Canada in Chesterville for almost ten years. She believed that she had to leave Nestle’s in order to find her true love. They met on a blind date and a year later, George and her were married. This year, they will be celebrating 33 years of marriage. They were blessed to have 3 amazing sons. Family was everything and she would mention to people that she had the best of both worlds – raising her family while working alongside George who started a business 25 years ago in May. They count their blessings every day.
She became a CWL member at St. Bernard’s in Finch just after she was married. As the children got older and the business got going, she became more involved in the church and with the CWL. On the parish level, she was Treasurer for a term, then President. When she became Past President, she was asked to step in as Diocesan Spiritual Development Chair. It was a wonderful experience and she was grateful for her husband’s support. She became Treasurer and the last 3 years because of COVID, held the President-Elect/Organization Chair. She has learned so much about herself and is grateful for the many wonderful ladies she has met that share her faith.
Hamilton Diocesan President
Born and raised on a dairy farm in Kincardine Township, as the youngest of five children, Joyce Cotter fondly remembers making mud pies, building forts in the hayloft, and calling the cows in for supper. Through Junior Farmers, Joyce met her husband Paul and they have been married for 34 years. They are blessed with two sons Brent and Shane, daughter–in-law Karla and granddaughter Millicent.
Joyce was confirmed in the United Church but joined the Catholic Church in 1991. Joyce sings in the choir, is part of the collection counting team, and St. Vincent de Paul. She has been a member of The Catholic Women’s League for 28 years at St. Joseph, Fergus.
At council level, Joyce served as resolutions/legislation chair, president for 5 years, and past president. Joyce held the position of Kitchener regional chair, and was elected to diocesan spiritual development chair, 2nd vice-president and Christian family life chair, president-elect, and organization chair. She is currently serving as Hamilton Diocesan President.
Joyce has worked with the public for over 27 years as a cashier at Zehrs. She loves to read, watch movies, listen to music and is a football fan.
Joyce feels privileged to be a part of The Catholic Women’s League. Her life has been enriched by the gifts of friendship, of purpose in serving the Lord, and seeing Christ through member’s action. She believes all members can make a difference and hopes to inspire and encourage you to share your gifts and faith within your council, parish, and community.
Kingston Diocesan President
Nancy has been a League member in good standing since 1994. At the parish council level she has served as Communications Chairperson, two terms as Secretary, Organization Chair/President Elect, President and Past President, a position she held for two terms due to the passing of the next President. She remains active at the parish level.
On the diocesan level Nancy served as Region Four Rep for one year. She was then elected to the Recording Secretary position, followed by 1st Vice President/Organization Chair, Treasurer, President Elect/Organization Chair and is now President.
She helped organize and accompanied the group from St. Mary/St. Cecilia Parish to World Youth Day in Toronto. She retired from 13 years active service with Scouts Canada.
Nancy has over 17 years experience in the accounting and secretarial field. She has been the part time bookkeeper/secretary for St. Mary’s Parish, Morrisburg since 2001. In 2016 also took on a part time position at Divine Infant Parish in Orleans as bookkeeper. In 2017 she added another part time job as a part time bookkeeper for Resurrection of our Lord in Ottawa. She worked in the property management field for 8 years in Ottawa before moving to Iroquois.
Nancy has been married to Chris for 30 years and they have two grown children, Madeline and Michael.
Hearst-Moosonee Diocesan President
Married to Don for 40 years
We were blessed with one daughter and one son, 6 amazing grandchildren, and most recently, 4 laying hens! I never would have guessed the last item would be part of our life!
I have served as Lector, Eucharistic Minister, and Parish decorator, Chair of the Parish Council, member of the Finance Committee, RCIA coordinator and instructor on the Parish Spiritual Education Team. I have worked as Parish Secretary for over 10 years. I am a founding member of our Parish’s Hook and Needle Club. My CWL participation started over 35 years ago with some interruptions along the way due to family and work commitments. I regained my passion for the league over 10 years ago and have served as Spiritual Development Chair for the Parish and the Diocese, Communications Chair, Parish President and now I am starting as Diocesan President. I am a humbled recipient of the Maple Leaf Pin.
I am also an avid Rotarian and have just finished a three year term as Assistant Governor.
I love to read and belong to a monthly book club. I love gardening, scrapbooking, journaling, and spending as much time as possible at our cottage with my husband and family.
London Diocesan President
Theresa Ryan is the youngest of 13 children and was raised on a dairy farm in Huron County. She started working in a factory after graduating high school where she met her husband of 45 years now. Together they have one daughter and one grand-daughter. Along with working full-time her husband and her take care of the church grounds and cemetery for the past 44 years. Admittedly that job has been mostly done by Francis for the past 11 years.
They live in Kinkora, a small hamlet about ten minutes northwest of Stratford, Ontario. They have hens, and turkeys in their back yard. You can’t take the farmer out of the person. She has been an active member of the C.W.L. for 44 years taking on all the executive positions at her parish level and moving on to regional chairperson for Huron-Perth in 2006. Since 2008 she has held the positions of Resolutions, Corresponding Secretary, Christian Family Life, Spiritual Development, Legislation and President-Elect /Organization chairperson. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic all positions were froze for a year and she became president at the Annual Meeting of Members held April 20-21st, 2021. Her favourite standing committee was Spiritual Development. She and her husband have been putting on coffee and homemade cookies every Sunday after Mass, outside weather permitting. The C.W.L. have subsidized the cost of this. Parishioners can still be seen on the church lawn an hour after Mass.
After working for 45 years in two different factories she is now retired and has lots of time to devote toward the C.W.L. She has enjoyed going to conventions and workshops and loves the education and comradery that they involve. Theresa believes in the importance of mentoring and suggests that we start looking for a replacement for our position while we are still in it.
St Catharines Diocesan President
Lisa lives in St. Catharines, Ontario. She has a Business degree from Brock University with a minor in Political Science. Her degree took her to a career in finance, both in financial advising and managerial positions. Lisa has been married 32 years to Geoff, and has two grown daughters, Kendra (and soon to be son-in-law Matthew) and Laura.
She was Parish President for 4 years, has held webmaster, corresponding secretary, communications, and organization chair positions on the Diocesan before becoming president. She is also on Parish Council and involved with different ministries and events at Star of the Sea in Port Dalhousie where her family have been members for 31 years.
Lisa became an active member of the Parish CWL and has never looked back. Lisa truly never knew what was missing from her faith and life, until her involvement grew with the CWL. Her love of Christ and our Blessed Mother grew exponentially through her Spiritual Adviser, Spiritual Development Chair, and the works of the CWL.
In the last 5 years, Lisa has taken the Catholic Women’s Leadership Foundation Course, is now a board of director for the CWLF, handling communications. Lisa also took the Laudato Si’ Animator’s course. She is on the National 5-year Strategic Marketing Group, the new Effective Communication Marketing Group, and the website redesign ad-hoc committee. She is also on the sub-committee for the Ontario Spiritual Development Chair The Beatitudes and Corporal Acts of Mercy are lived very evidently through the actions and involvement of the CWL.
Ottawa Diocesan President
Lynn and her husband, Deacon Will Read, have been happily married since 1984 and have raised two children and now cherish the fruits of the next generation with two granddaughters.
Lynn has worked for Bell Canada for 42 years as a technician whether it be hardware or software and continues to enjoy troubleshooting new and old technologies. Her studies were in Fashion Design and Electronics Engineering. She is also a part-time student at Saint Paul University, received an Honours Bachelor of Theology degree in 2018 and is currently enrolled in the Masters of Divinity program with hopes of graduating in 2022.
Lynn is an active member of her new parish, St. Theresa of the Child Jesus in downtown Ottawa where she was asked to video the Sunday Masses, edit the parish bulletin and prepare the Prayers of the Faithful. She also volunteers as a Lector. She is looking forward to getting to know the parishioners more, who have been most welcoming. Her hope is for a CWL council to be revived in the parish. Having been a member of the League since 2003, Lynn continues to be active and serve her council and members. At the parish and diocesan levels, Lynn has served in the chairs of Spiritual Development, Secretary, Christian Family Life, Communications, Resolutions, Legislation, Organization, First Vice-President, President-Elect and President. Lynn was the Liturgy co-chair on the occasion of the 2010 National Convention that was held in Ottawa. In March 2021, she was asked to serve as chair of the 75th Ontario Provincial Convention and was honoured to accept this position.
Lynn has a thirst for learning. She pioneered a Funeral Ministry and led a Reader Ministry for 17 years. She has enjoyed taking courses in parliamentary procedures and voice lessons. The Catholic Women’s League of Canada has provided Lynn with an insatiable desire to learn more about what we can do as sisters in Christ for the members, communities, and the people we serve nationwide and worldwide for God and Canada.
Pembroke Diocesan President
Joan (Lajoie) was raised in Marmora Ontario, in Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish. She received her diploma as a Registered Nurse from St. Joseph’s School of Nursing in Peterborough Ontario in 1969.She retired in 2016, after a fulfilling career in nursing. She has been married to Eugene for 50 years.
Joan joined St. Francis Xavier Parish CWL in 2000, and she has served as chair on several committees, and 2 terms as president. She joined the Pembroke Diocesan Council 4 years ago, and has served as Community Life Chair, and Organization Chair/President Elect, before becoming President in May 2019.
Peterborough Diocesan President
Helena was born and raised in Oshawa. She graduated from the University of Western Ontario in Political Science and from Durham College in Human Resources. She was employed in Human Resources in insurance and government sectors then balanced an analytical role of bookkeeping with a creative role of designing and creating competitive dance and gymnastic wear. Helena is married with two adult daughters, both married.
Helena has been a member of the League in Peterborough Diocese since 1990 and was awarded the Maple Leaf Service pin in 2014. She has held several committee chairs at the parish and diocesan levels culminating in Presidency. She has served as Registration Chair for diocesan convention in Lindsay and on the Credentials and Protocol committees for provincial convention in Cobourg. Helena has also collaborated on various projects and committees. She has presented retreats on the Holy Land and Fatima and various workshops such as Catch the Fire and the League’s Welcome Program.
Sault Ste Marie Diocesan President
Cathy is a third generation Catholic Women’s League member joining in 1981 when her mother gifted her a membership on her sixteenth birthday. She has been married to Ted for 29 years and together they have two adult daughters.
She has been active in the League most of her adult life from sitting on the parish executive as the Christian Family Life Chair, to baking teams and President for two terms in the early 2000’s. Cathy was active in convention planning for several years including chairing the Liturgy planning for a Diocesan convention as well as chairing a convention in 2010. She was also active on the regional level serving as the Liturgy chairperson for the region of Sault Ste. Marie.
At the Diocesan level, Cathy has served as the legislation chairperson, recording secretary as well as serving as the Spiritual Development and organization chairperson. As the Diocesan President, Cathy hopes that the new strategic plan gives rebirth to our dear League.
Thunder Bay Diocesan President
Maria joined the Catholic Women’s League in 1993 at St. Dominic’s Church in Thunder Bay, and was the chair for several standing committees including Communication, Treasurer, Corresponding Secretary, Spiritual Development before serving as the council President from 2010 to 2012. She went on to serve on the Diocesan Council and held the Education and Health chair as well as Communications, Spiritual Development and Organization. Maria was born in Italy and traveled to Canada with her mother and brother, when she was 22 months old. Her 28-year career as a travel agent afforded her the possibility of extensive travel and the pleasure of assisting clients to plan their dream vacations. She also worked for 12 years in an International Social Service office and currently works at St. Dominic’s church.
Maria continues to be active in her home parish CWL council by assisting with annual bazaars, teas and other events. She also participates in the Sunday Mass as Eucharistic Minister. Maria is married and has a daughter and a son and two young grandsons.
Timmins Diocesan President
Annette Kelly lives in Timmins with her husband, Philippe. Married 49 years, they have five daughters and five grandchildren.
Fortunate to be able to stay at home while her children were growing up.
Annette has volunteered as a La Leche League leader from 1980-1992, supporting and teaching breastfeeding mothers, and as a Lamaze instructor for several years, preparing couples for childbirth. Phil & Annette were trained as a teacher-couple in 1976 for Serena, a Natural Family Planning organization, actively teaching the Sympto-Thermal method until 2007.
Annette served as President of the local Campaign Life Coalition pro-life group for a number of years, and promoted and billeted speakers and numerous young people from the Chastity Challenge teams, who had opportunities to speak to her own children on a one-to-one basis.
Annette received training and now volunteers with the Timmins Horizon Palliative Care group accompanying people who are dying. She is a Eucharistic minister and lector at her parish. Until recently, she was coordinator of the CWL Funeral Luncheon committee.
Annette joined C.W.L. in 1989 and is a member of St. Anthony of Padua Parish Council. Annette has been active in almost all executive positions at parish and diocesan levels and served at provincial level as Christian Family Life chair and as Recording Secretary. She has given and promoted the Leadership Training and Public Speaking Course to members.
In 2014, Annette was very proud to receive her Life Member pin. In this, her second time as Diocesan President, Annette’s goal is to promote environmental awareness and change in keeping with the national theme and to encourage greater communication at the diocesan level and with the parish presidents.
Toronto Diocesan President
Hilarion was encouraged to be a member of the Catholic Women’s League on her mother’s advice, who was not a member at the time. As a young career mom in 1998, she joined St. John Fisher Council in Brampton. She credits the League for the influence it had on how she raised her family; strengthened her Catholic values; enhanced her professional life and assisted with a better understanding of the importance of volunteerism.
Hilarion held many positions at the parish, regional and diocesan levels. She chaired her council’s 50th and 55th anniversaries. In 2009, she received her Maple Leaf Service Pin. Hilarion is also active in her parish as a Lector and was a past Eucharistic Minister. At the diocesan level she served as 2nd VP/Spiritual Development, 1st VP/Resolutions, Legislation and Christian Family Life. Hilarion has facilitated League development courses and is proud to have relaunched the Leadership & Public Speaking Course in the Fall of 2017. She has assisted on a number of diocesan convention planning committees. She was one of the sub-conveners for the Prayer Room, Vesting Room and Liturgy at the 2018 OPC Convention held in Toronto. Hilarion was one of the National CWL Catch the Fire Sparks, appointed for Ontario. One of her priorities as the Toronto Diocesan President, is to champion and celebrate the richness of the diversity within the diocese.
Hilarion is married to Glen who has gifted her with their three sons, her passion besides CWL. She is a Registered Dietitian and promotes healthy eating throughout the lifespan. For relaxation, she likes to cycle, take long walks around the neighborhood, dinner dances, cruising and now football with her youngest playing professional football. She grew up listening to Desiderata and her favourite mantra in recent years is, “God is in Control”. Hilarion strongly believes that the CWL is an excellet organization for Catholic women.