Communique #1 – Christian Family Life

October 17, 2018

National Chairperson of Christian Family Life Pat Deppiesse, August 27, 2018


Fondest greetings to all of you as I embark on a new journey in The Catholic Women’s League of Canada. Unable to attend the national convention due to a planned trip to Spain, I returned to find a lovely e-mail greeting from National President Anne-Marie Gorman informing me of my election as a standing committee chairperson and the gift of Christian family life standing committee chairperson. Needless to say, I was overwhelmed, pleased and terrified! To be at the national table is an awesome responsibility, and one with which I will certainly need the help of the Holy Spirit!

My career in the League started as founding president of St. Pius X Parish Council, in North Vancouver, British Columbia. It was a huge learning curve, but one I thoroughly enjoyed. Positions I have held in the past at various levels were secretary, president-elect/organization, 2nd vice-president/resolutions, president and past-president. I particularly loved resolutions, and enjoyed the challenge of visiting the provincial government in Victoria to present them.

It was a joy to be on the original Catch the Fire team presenting workshops throughout the Vancouver diocese. I have written and presented a number of other workshops at diocesan and parish council levels. It gave me great satisfaction to help guide the Yukon Diocesan Council to remain as a diocesan council and to mentor other parish councils in danger of closing.

I was honoured to receive a maple leaf service pin, and in 2013 I received my life membership. Currently I am the life member liaison for the Vancouver Diocesan Council.

I was chairperson of the parish pastoral council for many years and spearheaded the building of an elementary school, planned the structure and gardens, and raised funds to build a beautiful Grotto dedicated to Mary, Mother of the Redeemer. In parish ministries, I was in the choir for 20 years, a lector and taught religious education to parish youth. I worked in the Vancouver Archdiocesan Chancery Office to help organize a diocesan synod along with many other large events, and became administrator for a mission appeal program for the archdiocese.

One of the e-mails I received upon my return from Spain was from national office requesting a communiqué by Aug. 24th! Along with jet lag, family phone calls to catch up, etc., I didn’t have a lot of time for research. I contacted my predecessor, Doreen Gowans to follow up on her oral report at convention. Therefore, until I have had a chance to do some more in-depth research, I will offer the following timely reminders.

Ministry to Seniors
National Seniors Day on October 1st is an occasion where members can join in celebrating older adults, whether a parent, a co-worker, a neighbour or a friend. Encourage members and councils to acknowledge the life-long contributions seniors have made and continue to make to families, communities and society. There are many ways to thank and show seniors just how much they’re appreciated by perhaps taking a walk together, sharing a meal together or treating them to a day out.

Ministry to Youth
The Prime Minister’s Youth Council is an advisory board created in 2016. Up to 30 Canadian youth aged 16 to 24 comprise the non-partisan board, who advise the prime minister on education, economy, climate change and other issues affecting youth. The call for applications is currently underway with a deadline of November 30, 2018. For more information visit

Sanctity of Life
The Petition of One Million 2019, a project initiated by Ontario Alliance for Life, calls upon the federal government to enact legislation granting full legal protection to an unborn child from the beginning of its biological development as a human being, the same protection granted to any other human being. The petition will be presented to the federal government in 2019. Encourage members and councils to visit the Ontario Alliance for Life website to obtain a copy. If you have signed it, thank you.

Alex Schadenberg, executive director for the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition has an excellent new DVD entitled Fatal Flaws: Legalizing Assisted Death, which asks the question “should we be giving medical professionals the legal right to end the life of another human being?” Visit for more information or to purchase a copy. Consider sharing it with your family, council and parishioners.

Visit to find out information on Pope Francis’ trip to Dublin, Ireland for The World Meeting of Families, along with other church updates.

I look forward to meeting each provincial Christian family life chairperson and in reviewing your communiques to keep up to date with what is taking place in each province. Please contact me if there is anything I can help you with. Have a lovely end of summer, a happy return to school and to the joy of working for The Catholic Women’s League of Canada.

God bless you all,

Pat Deppiesse