Executive Profiles

Toronto Diocesan Council Executive 2015 - 2017

Spiritual Advisor - Rev. Pratrick O'Dea

Fr. Patrick O’Dea, was born in Ireland and immigrated to Rochester, New York. He enlisted in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam War serving in Europe, where he was inspired by a military chaplain to renew his calling to the priesthood.  He studied Philosophy at St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore and Theology in Washington Theological Union.  He was ordained at the Holy Trinity Monastery, Baltimore and sent to Toronto to serve.  He was the Associated Pastor at St. Anne (Brampton), Transfiguration (Etobicoke), St. Timothy’s (North York) and St. Patrick’s (Markham).  During that time he worked on a report for the Archdiocese to establish an Office of Catholic Youth.   Was appointed as Director of Vocations and Rector of Serra House (1991-2000) and then appointed Pastor of the Newman Centre and Catholic Chaplain of the University of Toronto (2000-2009).  For the past 5 years served as Pastor of St. Marquerite D’Youville Parish, Brampton.  On July 3rd, 2014 he was appointed Pastor of St. Edward the Confessor (North York) where he is currently serving.

President - Shirley Christo

Shirley joined St John Fisher (SJF) CWL in Brampton in the fall of 1991.   After taking the Leadership course, she became president-elect, bazaar convener and then council president (1997- 2001).  During this time she submitted her 1999 resolution for Intergenerational Programming fueling her advocacy for the sanctity and dignity of life and her passion for social justice.  She has since assisted with the formation and submission of position statements and many resolutions.  Shirley assisted the archdiocesan resolution committee and was resolution committee chair for SJF CWL (2003 – 2005).

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President's Goals

President-Elect/Organization - Ann D'Souza

Ann moved to Canada having lived in Goa, Mumbai (Bombay) and Dubai.  She is married to Oswald and has 2 adorable sons, Anson and Anderson, and daughter-in-laws Sarah and Nicole.

As a member of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Mississauga, she joined CWL Council three months since its formation in the Parish.  Joining the league was made possible by her family`s love and understanding and her oldest son`s involvement with the music ministry at Parish. 

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1st Vice President/Education & Health -  Debbie Bates 

Debbie joined the CWL in 1993 at St. Elizabeth Seaton in Newmarket, North York Region where she served as Secretary, President Elect, President and Historian.  After moving to Mississauga in 1998, Debbie transferred her membership to St. Martin of Tours Parish and served as Resolutions Standing Committee Chair.

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2nd Vice President/Spiritual Development  - Hilarion Mitchell 

In January 1998 Hilarion joined St. John Fisher Parish's CWL in Brampton and has held many executive positions over the years such as Parish Activities, Resolutions and Legislation, Organization and Membership and council President.  She is also active in her parish as a lector.

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Corresponding Secretary - Alice Warford

Alice was the Scarborough Regional Chair from 2011 - 2012.  She joined CWL in 2000 at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish.  She was the Spiritual Development and Organization Chair and President Elect and finally finished just short of four years as President for a wonderful council of women.

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Recording Secretary -  Tracy MacInnis

To Tracy, life is a participation - not a spectator sport.  On becoming Catholic in 2002, Tracy  embraced her new religion with great excitement.  She hopped into her spiritual car and began her journey.  No test drive was needed, the seats were comfortable and the steering wheel felt right in her hands.  In 2004 Tracy turned onto the highway marked CWL.  She knew immediately she was headed in the right direction.   Community in sisterhood and the desire to make the world a better place is what she found in the League.  While speeding down the highway she met some incredible ladies, learned about the League and made some wonderful friends.  

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Treasurer - Donna Capobianco

Donna joined the CWL in 1994 at Nativity of Our Lord Parish in Etobicoke and was the chair for several standing committees including Christian Family Life, Community Life, Spiritual Development, Recording Secretary and Corresponding Secretary before serving as the council President from 2006 - 2008.

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Historian and Past President - Mary Capobianco

After joining the C.W.L. in 1993 at Nativity of Our Lord Parish Mary served as various Standing Committee Chairs at the parish level including Spiritual Development; Education and Health; Christian Family Life and Corresponding Secretary before serving as parish council President from 1998 - 2001.

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Christian Family Life - Suzanne Cockburn

Suzanne has been a member of St. Barnabas Parish, Scarborough for the last 10 years.  She joined the CWL in 2007 because of her belief in its mission of service and faith.

Suzanne's desire to be more involved in the church, the community and our youth is exemplified in her ongoing roles within the CWL; .....

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Communications - Lucia Vacca

Joining the Catholic Women`s League in 1997 as a member of St. Joseph Highland Creek Council, has been a blessing to Lucia.  She has served as President Elect/Organization Standing Committee Chair from 2005-2006, President from 2007-2008 and Past President from 2009-2010.  She has been and continues to be very active in her council organizing several events and activities over the years.  She continues to advise, mentor, support and encourage the executive teams in her council for their continued success.

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Community Life - Andrea Tjioe

Born in Indonesia, Andrea is the 5th of 6 children and came to Canada with her family when she was 12 years old.  She and her husband Paul of 35 years have 2 young adjult sons.

Andrea joined the League in 1996, when her Parish Council, St. Patrick's Mississauga needed to fill-in Christian Family Life convenership.  In less than 2 years, she was elected Organization Chair, and then President (2000 - 2001).

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Resolution - Sue Lubowitz

Sue became a member of the St. John Chrysostom Parish CWL in Newmarket in 2006.  She was initially interested because of the joint "water campaign" that the CWL was running with Kairos and Development and Peace.  At the parish level, she held the Community Life and Organization Chairs before becoming parish council president in 2011.  As parish president, Sue was the chair and lead writer of the resolution (Rights of Seasonal Agricultural Workers) presented to the Diocesan convention in 2012.

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Legislation - Andrea Smart

Andrea has been a member of the CWL for 10 years and has served on her parish council as Recording Secretary and President.  Andrea has also held the Organization Chair for the North York Region council before moving on to the Toronto Diocesan council.  At the Diocesan level Andrea has been Newsletter Editor, Recording Secretary, Community Life Standing Committee Chair and as well as Corresponding Secretary.

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Newsletter Co - Editor - Karen Natione-Garcea

Karen joined the CWL of St. Justin, Martyr Parish  in 2002.  Having left the corporate world with 20  years of management experience she has served as Vice President , President and now past president for her parish council. In 2013-2012 she was the North York Regional Secretary. Karen is also on the North York Training Team for CWL Executive Training.
In addition, Karen was a Parent Representative on St. Augustine Catholic High School Council 2014-2015.

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Newsletter Co - Editor - Christine Abela

Christine and family immigrated to Canada from Malta in 1982, settled in Mississauga then moved to Montreal, and returned to Ontario in 1996. She joined the St. Justin, Martyr CWL Council, Unionville in 2002 and has served as vice-president, president and past president; she is now Communications chair of her council.

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Regional Chairs

Durham - Kate O'Quinn

Kate became a member of the Catholic Women’s League from the age of 16 (a Birthday gift from her mother!!)  In September of 2001, Kate became an active executive member in St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Oshawa, as Education Committee Chair, 1st Vice President and President Elect, before becoming President for the 2012 – 2014 term.  She is very blessed to be working with such amazing, dedicated, faith-filled women in her Parish Council!  Kate is currently Past President of St. Joseph the Worker.

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Click here to access the list of Durham Councils.

Humber Valley - Connie Cristinziano

Connie's Catholic Women's League's journey began two years after she moved to St. Roch's Parish.  Coming from former Parishes that did not have a CWL, she was not familiar with the League.  With family and work commitments and trying to take extra college courses, she wasn't sure if she could find the time to commit herself to this organization.  But with the encouragement, insistence of a very wonderful faith-filled CWL Advocate and neighbour (who is currently with the Lord), she was officially recruited to St. Roch's CWL in 1988, and glad that she did become part of this dynamic organization.

And so her CWL journey began ....... 

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Click here to access the list of Humber Valley Councils.

North York - Franca Bunnell

Franca joined the CWL of St. Patrick Church, Schomberg in 2012.  She was President from January 2012 to January 2015, and now Past President/Historian.

Franca has been married to Shawn for 10 years, and together they have two beautiful boys, Xavier age 6 and Mason age 3, and two kittens, Casper and Genna.  Teaching her children the ways of the Lord and teaching them to care and help others, is very important to her.

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Click here to access the list of North York Councils.

Northern - Carla Beckett

Carla moved to Alliston from Victoria BC in 2002 and became a Catholic through the RCIA program in 2006.  She is retired from the Human Resources field.  Carla has three sons and three grandchildren.

Carla happily joined the CWL in 2006 and did terms as secretary, treasurer, and is in second term as president of St. Paul’s council in Alliston – this time as co-president.  She was secretary in Northern Region council for four years.

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Click here to access the list of Northern Councils

Peel - Melanie Nazareth

Melanie Nazareth was born in Kenya, left at the age of 12 to study in England.  Mel also lived for a short time in Saudi Arabia with her parents before venturing on her own to Canada in 1988.

In 1999 she joined Big Brothers, Big Sisters and also started to DJ in order to help with fundraising efforts.

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Click here to access the list of Peel Councils.

Scarborough - Philomena Menezes

Philomena moved to Canada 30 years ago from Mumbai (Bombay), India - she started off in Regina, Saskatchewan and was introduced to CWL activities by the members at St. Ann’s parish there. However with young children, a full time job and coming to a brand new country with winter & snow, it was not possible to join at that time.

Precious Blood Church has been her home parish since moving to Scarborough. Enthusiastic CWL members “coaxed” her into helping out at the bake booth at the Church Bazaar, and voila - the following year she was in charge of the bake booth and was an active member of the CWL!   

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Click here to access the list of Scarborough Councils.

Toronto - Jovita Muller  

In 2004, Jovita joined the CWL at St. Monica’s and held various roles including: Treasurer, Secretary, Chair of Organization and Membership, and President. She had the opportunity to serve the Toronto region as Secretary and Chair of Education and Health.

Currently, she is involved in St. Monica parish as Vice-chair for Finance. She also plays roles in recruiting, screening and training volunteers, being a lector and an extraordinary Eucharistic minister. 

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Click here to access the list of Toronto Councils.

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