Responsibilities of the Executive
The executive team will :
- direct and administer the affairs of the League
- coordinate and organize programs to promote the Objects of the League
- represent League members in spiritual, social and political issues
- develop League policy and long-term planning
The role of the Diocesan Spiritual Advisor:
- The spiritual advisor, in cooperation with the chairperson of spiritual development, shall provide advice and guidance for the spiritual program.
- The spiritual advisor shall receive due notice of all executive and council meetings and conventions and shall attend and participate in all such meetings and conventions, when possible, in an advisory capacity.
- At diocesan level, the spiritual advisor shall receive due notice of the diocesan administrative committee meetings and shall attend and participate when possible.
Father Patrick Woods
Fr. Pat was born the youngest of seven children in Toronto and later as a child moved to North Bay with his family. Baptized and raised Roman Catholic, Fr. Pat attended catholic school and began to hear Gods's call as a young man. After pursuing different interests, Fr. Pat entered St. Augustine's Seminary in 1997 as a candidate for the Diocese of Sault Ste Marie. After 5 years in the Seminary Fr. Pat was ordained to the priesthood on the 24th of May 2002 and assigned to the merging parishes of Our Lady of Hope in Sudbury as an associate pastor.
Fr. Pat moved to Wawa where he was assigned pastor of St. Monica's parish in Wawa and St. John Francis Regis parish in Pic Mobert in 2004. In 2005, Fr. Pat was assigned director of the Catholic Youth Office for the diocese and moved to Thessalon to become pastor of St. Ambrose parish in Thessalon and St. Boniface parish on St. Joseph Island. Fr. Pat was then sent to St. Kevin's parish in Greater Sudbury in 2005 while continuing to work the Catholic Youth Office. In 2008, Fr. Pat was assigned pastor of Our Lady of Peace parish in Capreaol while remaining pastor of St. Kevin's and ministering in the Catholic Youth Office. In 2009, he was asked to merge St. Kevin's and Our Lady of Peace parishes into the new St. Kevin's parish with two worship sites and give up his responsibities in the Catholic Youth Office. Fr. Pat became the pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel parish in Sault Ste Marie in September of 2011 as well as becoming Dean of the Algoma Region of the diocese. In the fall of 2014, Fr. Pat was asked to leave parish ministry to travel the diocese fulltime as Vocation Director visiting parishes and schools to establish a culture of vocations throughout the diocese.
On the 1st of July 2015, Fr. Pat became the seventh pastor of St. Jerome's parish while remaining director of the Office of Vocations and Youth Ministry for the diocese. In 2019, Fr. Pat gave up his responsibility for the Office or Vocations and Youth Ministry while remaining the pastor of St. Jerome’s. Fr. Pat was reassigned to Our Lady of Hope Parish in Sudbury in September of 2021 and became the Diocesan Spiritual Advisor for the Catholic Women’s League in March of 2022.
The President shall:
- Inform the membership of the League’s position on current issues
- Foster open communication
- Preside at all council meetings and conventions
- Be a signing officer for all official documents
- Provide active leadership
- In consultation with the officers, initiate policy
- Keep fully informed on the operation of the League and report annually to the membership
- Be an ex officio member of all committees except the nominations and elections committee
- Be the official spokesperson for the council
- Appoint committees
- Read and be familiar with the National Manual of Policy and Procedure
- With the executive, be responsible for reporting activities to the next level
- Perform such other duties as may be incumbent upon the office
Lisa was born in North Bay and recently retired from the Royal Canadian Air Force as an Aerospace Control Operator. She now works as an administrative assistant for her husband, Arthur in his Counselling practice.
Lisa had always been involved in her parish but mostly volunteering with youth groups and one day decided it was time to join the CWL, a group her sister-in-law’s were a part of. Coming out of church one day, she saw a dear friend she hadn’t seen in years, who was selling raffle tickets for their CWL bazaar. She chatted with her for a bit and then was invited to help sell tickets and the rest was history. One person’s warm, welcoming invitation was all it took to be bitten by the CWL bug. From there, she was invited to sit on her home council executive at the Pro-Cathedral of the Assumption, North Bay as Resolutions & Legislation Committee Chairperson. Following that, she stayed on for consecutive terms as Corresponding Secretary, Membership & Organization and eventually President, then Past-President. At the Diocesan level she has served as Communications and Education & Health chairperson and North Bay Regional chairperson from 2015-2017.
She currently is a part of the CWL Implementation Committee tasked with carrying out the implementation of the National Strategic Plan which is scheduled to finish in 2023.
She has been married for 31 wonderful years to the love of her life, Arthur Henry. She loves cooking, travelling, but most of all, spending time with friends and family.
The President-Elect shall:
- become president automatically after serving her elected term as president-elect
- perform the duties of the president in her absence or inability to serve
- be the chairperson of organization
- be responsible for League development and leadership training
- perform such other duties as may be delegated to her by the president
The Organization Standing Committee is responsible for:
- recruiting members and maintaining membership
- leadership development
- League resource material
- annual reports
- life membership
Patricia and Paolo (high school sweethearts) have been married for 33 years and 'grew up' with their daughters - Andrea (30 yrs) and Natalie (28 yrs) in Sudbury. Their family increased in size in 2018 as they welcomed a son-in law Tim, and their first grandchild - Carter- in 2019. They enjoy traveling to Edmonton-Alberta and Dublin-Ireland visiting with their girls in the cities they now call home.
Patricia has been a member of the League for 13 years at Our Lady of Hope. She joined the League on invitation from a friend and was elected Recording Secretary soon after. She then served as Communications Chairperson, Organization Chairperson, President and Past President. She values the relationships she enjoys with fellow sisters in the League. She is an Associate of the Sisters of St. Joseph and considers the call to service a blessing in her life.
She convened the 92nd annual Diocesan Convention and led publicity for the 95th annual Diocesan Convention. She has served as Sudbury Regional Chairperson and Communications Chairperson on Diocesan Council. She developed and co-delivered a social media presentation to members in all regions. She is actively involved in community and parish life and is enjoying a fulfilling career that has spanned more than 30 years.
Duties of the First Vice-President:
- In the absence or inability of the president-elect to serve, the vice-presidents, in order of rank, shall perform her duties.
- In the temporary absence or inability to serve of both the president and president-elect, the first and second vice-presidents shall perform the duties of the president and president-elect respectively.
- Each vice-president shall:
- be the chairperson of a standing committee
- perform other duties as may be delegated by the president.
The Communications Standing Committee is responsible for authoring material related to:
- The Canadian League magazine
- for evangelization
- to promote the League
- evaluation and promotion of good content
- newsletters and bulletins
- Media Relations
Colleen was born in a small village in Saskatchewan, attended university in Saskatoon, worked and met her husband, Bill, in Calgary, and moved to Sault Ste. Marie with their first daughter in 1987.
She attends St. Gerard Majella parish in Sault Ste. Marie. She was invited to join the CWL in 1988. She attended her first CWL meeting as Christian Family Chairperson. She has held positions of Secretary, Treasurer, Tea Convenor, President and Past President. She also chaired the 2016 Diocesan Convention. She currently sings and plays guitar for the 11am Sunday Mass, and has helped on the Baptism and Marriage Preparation teams in the past.
She and Bill have 4 daughters. Megan is married, lives in the Sault, and has 2 daughters. Rita is married and living in Thunder Bay with a son, Erin is a School Counsellor with the Thunder Bay School board, and Bridget is living in Ecuador, engaged to be married. Girls rule – at least in this Murphy family!
Colleen worked as an IT Analyst for the City of Sault Ste. Marie, but happily retired in June, 2019. She leads a Lunch team at St. Vincent Place, loves singing in the Algoma Festival Choir, and in her spare time golfs, hikes, bikes, snowshoes, paddles, and loves to travel!
She values the League as a pro-active and spiritual community of Catholic women.
Duties of the Second Vice-President:
In the absence or inability of the president-elect to serve, the vice-presidents, in order of rank, shall perform her duties.
In the temporary absence or inability to serve of both the president and president-elect, the first and second vice-presidents shall perform the duties of the president and president-elect respectively.
Each vice-president shall:
be the chairperson of a standing committee and
perform other duties as may be delegated by the President.
The treasurer shall:
- maintain the financial records of the council concerned and have them appropriately audited or examined annually
- receive all League monies and pay all accounts as authorized
- be a signing officer for all official documents
- present a report of revenues and expenditures at meetings
- prepare and monitor annual budget
Deborah Hickey and her husband live in the home they built twelve years ago in Corbeil. She has been a member of the Catholic Women’s League for 27 years and is an active member of St Alphonsus Liguori Parish in Callander and is currently the Treasurer on her CWL Parish Council.
Since joining the CWL Council at St Alphonsus Liguori, Deborah has served as Community Life Chair, Resolutions and Legislation Chair, Communications Chair, and a three-year term as President. In 2017 Deborah served as the Convention Coordinator for the SSM Diocesan Convention hosted in North Bay.
Currently, Deborah will continue her duties as North Bay Regional Chairperson for another term. In addition, Deborah was acclaimed in the position of Treasurer as well accepted the position of Second Vice President.
Since retiring from her full-time career, Deborah considers herself truly blessed to be able to devote herself to the work she is most passionate about. As always, her priority is to spending time with her husband, four children and their spouses and her five grandchildren. When not working in her stained-glass studio, Deborah can be found volunteering at the Callander and District Food Bank, working with her sisters in the League at either the Parish or Diocesan Council, or as an active member of the Canadian Vintage Motorcycle Group. Deborah also enjoys reading, sewing, knitting/crocheting, and walking through the bush with her “fur baby”.
The Recording Secretary shall:
- record the minutes of all meetings and conventions of the council concerned and retain them as a permanent record
- be a signing officer for all official documents
- have charge of all papers and records of the council concerned
- be responsible for reports as required
Corresponding Secretary (may be appointed) shall attend to correspondence as required.
The past president shall:
- serve in a consultative capacity
- be responsible for archives and history
- facilitate the study and implementation of the Constitution & Bylaws
- perform other duties as assigned by the president
- be chairperson of laws at national level (Part XIII, Section 1(10))
Cathy is a third generation Catholic Women’s League Member serving God and Canada for 40 years. As a member of St. Gregory’s parish she served as the President for two terms with the guidance of some amazing mentors. While serving as the Past-President Cathy was also active in the Regional Council as the Spiritual Chairperson.
One of the highlights of her League journey was chairing the Diocesan Convention held in Sault Ste. Marie in 2010.
She has been blessed with a great husband of 32 years as well as 2 beautiful successful daughters, who both call Alberta home, for now. Cathy is a part-time Regulated Pharmacy Technician for a large retailer in Sault Ste. Marie and in her leisure time she enjoys travelling and spending time at the family cottage with her husband, Ted. Her work for the Catholic Women’s League of Canada has made me a better wife, daughter, mother, sister and friend.
The duties of the Spiritual Development chairperson are:
- spiritual growth of members
- study of Catholic teachings
- role of women in the church
- evangelization and mission assistance
- lay ministries
- ecumenism and interfaith endeavors
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 served terms at that level as recording secretary, first vice president / Sault Ste. Marie regional chairperson, president-elect / chairperson of organization, president, past president/historian and is currently back as the chairperson of the spiritual development committee.
Betsy has served on the Ontario Provincial Council as the SSM past president, legislation chairperson and is currently the Christian family life standing committee chairperson.
As parish 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, six beautiful grandchildren ranging in age from fifteen to thirty-eight, 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.
Christian Family Life Committee is tasked with the oversight of:
- marriage and family
- sanctity of life
- ministry to:
Kelly has been a parishioner of St. Alexander's Parish in Chelmsford for more than 50 years. She joined the CWL in 1997 taking a position on the council's executive in 2005. She has held many positions over the years, Community Life, Christian Family Life, Organization, Secretary, Treasurer, President for two terms and Past President and Historian.
In the parish, Kelly is part of the Liturgy Committee and a Sacristan. She helps with funeral luncheons, and fellowship after Sunday masses. In 2008, she and her husband Pete took over convening the Annual Spaghetti Dinner, her council's longest running fundraiser. In March of 2022, the two of them took over running the Chelmsford Food Bank after the sudden death of the Director.
Kelly has been married 39 years, has two grown children, and two beautiful grandchildren. She worked as a bookkeeper for her brother's business for 29 years, retiring at the end of September 2019. She and her husband love spending time with family and friends, at their family cottage on Manitoulin Island.
The Resolutions Standing Committee is tasked with:
- research and preparation of resolutions and briefs
- study and implementation of resolutions adopted by other levels
- at provincial and national levels, presentation of resolutions to government
The Legislation Standing Committee is tasked with:
- monitoring and studying legislation at all levels of government
- preparation of briefs and position papers on proposed legislation
Mary-Lynn is a lifelong resident of North Bay and a graduate of St. Joseph=s College and St. Mary=s Commercial Academy. She is a retired administrative professional, having served forty plus years in the profession she loved. This was demonstrated when serving as charter vice-president and subsequently, treasurer and president of the North Bay Chapter of the International Association of Administrative Professionals. She is a lifelong parishioner of the Pro-Cathedral of the Assumption Parish and has used the phrase, AI belonged to the Pro-Cathedral Parish even before I was born@ because her adoption at birth was arranged through the Parish Priest at the time.
She has been a CWL member for thirty-nine years serving on the executive in the 80's for several years and then taking a break due to family member’s serious health issues. She also served several years on Parish Council and helped with various annual Bazaar committees as well as co-convening the Bazaar. Retirement allowed time to be more deeply involved and this has included chairing the Knitting Table for the annual bazaar for close to 20 years, volunteering on a Parish funeral luncheon team, now as captain. Executive positions have included Resolutions and Legislation, Recording Secretary, Membership and Organization, then President (3 years) and Past President. At the Regional level, she served as Secretary/Treasurer, Secretary and Chairperson.
Her daughter and husband live in Sudbury, now both retired, and she has 3 adult grandchildren, also in Sudbury, who she is extremely proud of. And bringing much happiness to her life are 3 awesome “little people,” 3 greatgrandchildren! She feels very blessed that her life also includes extended family of 4 adults and 6 grandchildren of husband Ron who passed away in August 2021. She loves reading, cooking and puts a great value on her family and wonderful circle of friends, many who are CWL sisters.
The Education and Health Standing Committee is responsible for:
Catholic schools and catechesis
Rites of Christian Initiation
literacy and continuing education
scholarships and bursaries
wellness and sickness/disease
Diane is 60 years old and works with her husband, Brian Kelly, in the family business,
Kelly’s Pumps, doing the office administrative work. They have been married 29 years.
They have 3 adult children, Paul, 52 years old, (from Brian’s first marriage) Shannon, 28
years old and Nicholas, 26 years old. Paul recently was married and Nick got engaged.
Shannon has started at the NBRH as a Respiratory Therapist.
Diane has been attending the Pro-Cathedral of the Assumption in North Bay for 30+
years now. She and Brian were married in the parish and their kids went through their
first 4 sacraments at the Pro-Cathedral.
Diane is a member of the RCIA team at the Pro-Cathedral. She has been part of the
parish CWL for 27 years now. She has served on the Parish Executive as Recording
Secretary, Organization/Membership and President and now Education and Health as
well. Diane also a co-chaired a Christmas bazaar. Diane has been a part the Diocesan
Executive as Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary and now Education and
Diane enjoys the connection with other CWL sisters. It is like a lifeline in this turbulent
world!! She knows that feeling when fellow CWL sisters have your back and are
praying for you can’t be beat. We all belong together, for God and Canada.
The Community Life Standing Committee is responsible for:
- dignity and rights of persons
- social and economic justice
- refugees, immigration and citizenship
- Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP)
- developing countries
Debbie and Domenic celebrated their 40th anniversary with the renewal of their vows at Our Lady of Hope Church June 12,2021. They have 4children and 7 grandchildren.
Debbie has been a member of the League for 31 years. She has served as Recording Secretary, President and Past President.
She enjoys volunteering at the Inner City Home and most recently accepted an invitation to join the Executive Board at the Inner City Home.
Debbie is passionate when it comes to Community Service and serving others.
For more information about the Regional Chairpersons, please visit the Regional Councils & Committees page.