Christian Family Life Communique #5

National Chairperson of Christian Family Life Doreen Gowans, September 11, 2017


“May our children find in us models and incentives to communion, not division! May our children find in us men and women capable of joining others in bringing to full flower all the good seeds which the Father has sown!” (Pope Francis)

Welcome to the new chairpersons of Christian Family Life: Alberta Mackenzie, Carol Schlachter; Saskatchewan, Margaret Appell; Manitoba, Crystal Reiter; Ontario, Linda Squarzolo; Quebec, Carol Lynn St. James Fascia; Newfoundland and Labrador, Ellen Kilfoy; and to second year chairpersons: B.C.& Yukon, Susan Steiner; Military Ordinariate, Cindy Robinson; New Brunswick, Marjorie D’Entremont; Nova Scotia, Theresa Duann; and Prince Edward Island, Iris Rodger. Together this team will enlighten members on the issues of Christian family life.

Marriage and Family: Congratulations to National President-Elect Anne Gorman, on the occasion of marriage to John.

Sanctity of Life: The United Nations Human Rights Committee is considering excluding the unborn child from the right-to-life clause of an important United Nations human rights treaty. If passed, access to abortion would be an international human right. A petition to oppose this consideration is being circulated and is sponsored by the Center for Family and Human Rights in Washington, DC. The petition will be presented on October 6th at the United Nations headquarters and is available at

LifeCanada and host group Action Life Ottawa are excited to be sponsoring the 2017 National Pro-Life Conference in Ottawa, Ontario, November 3-4, 2017. Entitled True North Strong for Life, guest speakers include Senator Betty Unger and Jonathon VanMaren, communications director for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform. Visit for more information.

Ministry to Youth: A video created by a group of Catholic high school students in the Archdiocese of Hartford, Connecticut in response to a senator’s remark, “Where is God in all the tragedy in the world today?” is available at Fz4uUfPfN8?rel=0&autoplay=1. Consider promoting its use to your parish council counterparts.

The Vatican released an online anonymous questionnaire open to youth aged 16-29 years of age regardless of faith or religion, to better understand their lives, attitudes and concerns. The questionnaire is available at Information provided will be the basis for drafting a working document for the assembly. It will be interesting to see how many young people take advantage of the opportunity to share their views and expectations with the Vatican.

Ministry to Seniors: During an interview, Saint Mary’s College of California professor Anna Corwin stated that in a study of a religious women’s infirmary over a period of seven years, the sisters caring for their peers did not talk “elder talk”, a loud, slow, simple, patronizing and common form of baby talk for seniors. They told jokes and stories while speaking to the individuals suffering from varying degrees of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and neurological deterioration. Consider promoting this technique through your diocesan and parish counterparts for members who talk to and work with seniors experiencing these impairments.

Vocations: The Congregation for the Clergy published a document The Gift of the Priestly Vocation, a resource for those discerning to become a priest.

Read and share the inspiring story of Libby Osgood, a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) engineer who is following a call from God to become a religious sister. The story is available at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation at

There are many Christian family life resolutions that can be used as education tools for members on the national website at Encourage your diocesan and parish counterparts to follow the Holy Spirit by taking appropriate action on these resolutions.

Annual reports will soon be sent to all parish councils. Make it a goal to provide 100% reporting by encouraging parish councils to complete and send in the online report, which is simpler and more time effective. It is very rewarding to see the work that provincial, diocesan and parish councils have accomplished in the past 12 months.

Your sister in Christ,

Doreen Gowans
National Chairperson of Christian Family Life