Our Team

Board of Directors

Sr. Anne Lewans, OSU, (Chair)

Sister Anne Lewans (OSU) grew up on a farm in southwestern Saskatchewan along with her siblings, seven brothers and four sisters. Her parents were devout Catholics; daily prayers at meal times, the rosary in the evening and Sunday Mass were the norm. It was at St Angela’s Academy in Prelate, Saskatchewan that, at the age of 16, Anne began her initial formation in Religious Life. She pronounced her first vows in 1960. 

Sister Anne brings extensive expertise gained through a wide variety of experiences to her responsibility as the Chair of the Board of Directors of Canadian Religious Stewardship (CRS). In 2007, she inherited her first role with CRS from Sr. Teresita OSU General Superior as a member of a Taskforce that was preparing the By-Laws and Statutes for this proposed new Public Juridic Person of Pontifical right. In June 2009 Sister Anne accompanied Sister Faye Wylie (SGM), then President of Canadian Religious Administrative Services Inc. (CRASI) and legal counsel to present the CRS petition to Rome in person.

She is the General Superior of the Ursulines of Prelate. She has served on Congregational Leadership from 1987 until 1991, when she was elected as General Superior and served two terms. In 2007, she was again elected as General Superior, a position she holds to this day. Sister Anne was key in the development of Trinity Manor, a 176 unit independent and assisted living residence in Saskatoon. In collaboration with the Saskatchewan Catholic Health Corporation (SCHC) the Manor opened in the fall of 2014 and welcomed 70 Religious from nine communities. She continues to lead her congregation in its transformation: adopting simpler governance structures for the community, moving members to more supportive housing, and in January 2020, transferring St. Angela Merici Residence to SCHC. 

In 2000, she accepted an invitation by the Archdiocese of Keewatin-The Pas where she was part of a newly established Lay Ministry Formation Team. In 2001, she went to Yellowknife, NWT to participate in “Returning to Spirit”, a program that occupied a major portion of her ministry and that continues to thrive across Canada with the purpose to address the hurts of the First Nations people from residential schools. She spent seven years ministering in the Cree, Dene and Métis cultures while living in La Ronge, Saskatchewan and then in The Pas, Manitoba.

Sister Anne taught in various schools in Saskatchewan and British Columbia. As the Catholic Campus Minister at St. Paul’s College, University of Manitoba for eight years she enjoyed being a presence to the students who needed service, the coordination liturgical celebrations, leading outreach programs, and serving on the Diocesan and Inter-Diocesan Lay Formation Programs. 

Sister Anne has also served on the Executive of the Canadian Religious Council (CRC) Western Region for two terms and on the National Administrative Council of CRC. She was on the Board of Governors of Newman Theological College in Edmonton. In addition, she has been dedicated to collaborating with other Religious Leaders and Bishops over the years. 

Sister Anne participated in the Canadian International Union of Superiors General (UISG) group and served three years as President and was the Canadian delegate to Rome.  She continues to serve in many other capacities including:  Advisory Board Member of Queens House of Retreats, Board Member Saskatchewan Health Corporation, Councillor at Samaritan Place Long Term Care Home, Board of Governors at St. Thomas More College, Board Member for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Chambery Corporation, and a Member of the Saskatoon Diocesan Pastoral Council.

Sister Anne is most grateful for many of her blessings including the example of her parents, the dedication and companionship of her Religious Community, the Ursuline Associate Program and the hope that their charism will live on through them into the future.  She is grateful for the witness and support of both religious and laity who have shared ministry with her. She is passionate about encouraging laity to confidently take up the ministries traditionally done by Religious.

Fr. Chris Pulchny, OMI, (Secretary/Treasurer)

Father Christopher Pulchny (OMI) was one of the founding Directors of the CRS Board. He currently serves as the Secretary/Treasurer.

Father Chris entered as a Novitiate in 1968 at the age of 17 and made his first vows the following year. After ordination, his 1st obedience was to go to Poland to learn the language. On returning, he was assigned as Assistant Pastor to St. Casimir’s Parish in Toronto. He then moved to Holy Ghost Parish in Winnipeg where he successfully led a fundraising campaign and the construction of a new church and parish centre. This was followed by an appointment as Provincial Superior of his Oblate Province for six years. After a one-year sabbatical he was appointed Pastor of St. Henry’s parish in Melville, Saskatchewan. He was then re-appointed as Provincial Superior of his Oblate Province for another six years. In 2006 he became the Director of Queen of Apostles Renewal Centre, Mississauga, Ontario where he remains today. Concurrently he was appointed by the Oblate General Administration in Rome to oversee the finances of the Oblate Province in Lesotho, Africa.  For the first six years, Father Chris spent nine months of the year in Lesotho. 

While not formally trained in finance, he has been actively involved in all areas.  As a seminarian, he was appointed to the House Treasurer; as Provincial Superior he served as the liaison for the Provincial Treasurers of the eight Oblate provinces in Canada. For over 15 years Father Chris was a member of the OMI General Finance Committee. He was also appointed a member of the Oblate Investment Pool, a position he held for 13 years. 

Father Chris has been on the OMI leadership team for 32 years, of which 12 were as Provincial Superior. In his free time, he enjoys golf and has recently taken up bicycle riding.

Mr. Aurèle Foidart

Aurèle Foidart is the Executive Director of Despins Charities in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where operates two seniors residences as well as providing management and financial services to five congregations.

Aurèle served on the Board of Catholic Religious Self-Insured Retention Program (CRSIRP) from 2007 to 2013 before being elected to the Canadian Religious Stewardship (CRS) Board of Directors in 2014. His roots to the Church are deep; his uncle Monsignor Antoine Hacault was the Archbishop of St. Boniface from 1974 – 2000.

Aurèle is recognized for more than 40 years of accounting and financial management, and over 20 years of business management. Over the years, Aurèle has worked with various small, large, pontifical and diocesan Religious Congregations. He has significant experience assisting congregations that are diminishing in number and capacity, navigate the legal requirements and the operational/administrative processes to support them on their journey to completion.

Aurèle is grateful for all of his blessings including being a father and grandfather. He especially enjoys family get togethers, and sports, mostly hockey and baseball. He is also passionate about helping others. He is an active volunteer in both his personal and professional life. He most recently served on the organizing Annual Conference Committee of Association of Treasurers of Religious Institutes ATRI. Aurèle finds joy in simple things, like the smile of a Sister or staff member that he is able to help. His hope is that there is support for all Canadian Congregations until completion.

Sr. Rita Larivée, SSA

Sister Rita Larivée (SSA) entered Religious Life in 1987. She is currently the Congregational Leader of the Sisters of Saint Anne and the former President of the Canadian Religious Conference. Sister Rita, who is fluently bilingual grew up in Rhode Island. She now works out of Lachine, a borough of the City of Montreal, Quebec.

A CRS Board Director since 2017, Sister Rita brings a broad perspective of Religious Life across Canada. As an American living in Canada, she also has vast knowledge of Religious in the United States. Sister Rita has extensive experience working with international congregations including a few years on the Navaho First Nations Reservation in New Mexico. She has also led her Congregational Sisters in Haiti since 2010, following the earthquake that destroyed many of their schools and residences.

Sister Rita is the former Publisher of the National Catholic Reporter, former President of Anna Maria College in Paxton, Massachusetts and a former University Professor in Mathematics, Computer Science and Theology. She has a Ph.D. in Christian Ethics – Loyola University Chicago, an M.T.S. Theology and Ethics – Weston Jesuit School of Theology and, a B.A. and M.A.T. Education and Mathematics.

Sister Rita is passionate about human rights. She is hopeful for the making of a better world and is most grateful for life, all of creation, and the goodness of people everywhere!

Sr. Christine Gebel, OLM

Sister Christine Gebel is a member of Our Lady’s Missionaries (OLM), a Board Director of Presentation Manor for Seniors, a Board Director of FCJ Refugee Centre and a Spiritual Director. She joined the Canadian Religious Stewardship (CRS) Board as a Director in 2020.

Sister Christine entered religious life in 1985. She was missioned briefly in Nigeria where she taught Physics and Catechism in a boys’ high school; and then for 14 ½ years in the Philippines where she was involved in Base Christian Community, ecological programs, pastoral work in different parishes, a literacy program for out-of-school youth, Muslim-Christian dialogue, and various justice concerns. She also served her community as the Vocation Promoter and Formator.

Upon her return to Canada, she trained to be a facilitator for the Awakening the Dreamer movement. Sister Christine has served three terms on the OLM Leadership Team; the last two as the Congregational Treasurer. She was instrumental in the OLM community’s journey through the discernment and decision-making making process including the move to Presentation Manor for Seniors and on becoming sponsored by CRS.

Sister Christine has a four-year Bachelor of Science (B.Sc. Chemistry) from the University of Winnipeg, a Masters of Arts in Ministry and Spirituality (MAMS) and a Diploma in Spiritual Direction (DSD) from Regis College, Toronto. She speaks English, Cebuano and some German.  

Sister Christine is hopeful that the legacy of Religious Communities that are coming to completion will be part of the impetus for something new to be born in place of Religious Life as we know it today. She is passionate about the role women could hold if women were fully able to participate in the Church structure and decision making. She is also very involved in ecological, peace and social justice concerns.  In her spare time, she is an avid cyclist and she enjoys reading, embroidery and knitting.

Sr. Marlene Roy, CSJ

A member of the Sisters of St Joseph of Sault Ste Marie since 2009, Sister Marlene Roy was elected as the Assistant General Superior in 2018. Prior to entering religious life Sister Marlene was the Executive Assistant to the General Superior from 2006-2009. She joined the Canadian Religious Stewardship (CRS) Board of Directors in February 2019. 

Sister Marlene brings a unique and much-appreciated perspective to the CRS Board having experienced life as a mother and grandmother and as a religious person. After raising her family, and resigning from the Public-School Board after 30 years, she moved to Devon England in 2003 where she worked for another two years.

Sister Marlene says her call to religious life is described well in a small plaque that reads: “Life takes you many places, love brings you home.”  Prior to 2006 she had no experience with Sisters and their lives and felt some fear in accepting employment with the congregation. Those fears were quickly alleviated. Sister Marlene found that although her life as a layperson differed greatly from the Sisters their hearts’ longing was the same. Her desire to make the world a gentler, softer place and the Sisters charism of unity and reconciliation were a match. Their numerous ministries proved truly inspirational. Initially, she joined the Congregation’s Associates Program and began her spiritual direction with one of the Sisters. She heard God’s calling and began to explore the possibility of religious life. Sister Marlene took her final vows in 2014.

Following her novitiate, Sister Marlene moved to Sudbury Ontario, where she worked with two other Sisters of St Joseph in a not-for-profit counselling centre. She was responsible for a wide range of duties including: fundraising, human resources, finance and policy development. Sister Marlene returned to the Motherhouse in North Bay in 2015 when the Ministry closed.

Sister Marlene is passionate about continuing the legacy of religious life and is hopeful that Religious will continue to be a prophetic witness to, and collaborative presence in, a very divisive world. She is most grateful for God’s faithfulness and unconditional love as well as the love of family, community and friends; good health and experiences in life, both joyful and challenging. In her spare time, she enjoys being with friends and family, especially her granddaughters. She also likes to read, walk, snowshoe, cross country ski and a good game of cards.

Ms. Lauri Cabral

Lauri Cabral, the newest member to the Canadian Religious Stewardship’s (CRS) Board of Directors, comes from generations of Catholics. She grew up with parents of faith who taught her the value of following the guidance of Jesus in how to live a relevant life. 

Lauri is committed to living according to her faith and to relying on her values to help bring peace to others. Within the limitations of her humanity, she pays special attention to hearing the voices of those around her and tries to offer an anchor to help those in need move closer to the light.

Fluently bilingual, Lauri brings a Corporate perspective accumulated over decades of experience in the provincial, regional, municipal and broader public sector, Catholic-based research institute, and the not-for-profit sector. Lauri has expertise in conflict resolution, as a negotiator and in mediating disputes. She is also recognized for her work in strategic planning, policy development, human resource management, program development, community building and advocacy.

Lauri is currently the Chair of the Working Committee on Child to Parent Violence and Aggression for Adopt4Life. She is committed to improving outcomes for families who experience violence initiated by their children. This work has brought her into close contact with adoptive, kinship and customary care parents who are trying to offer safety to their children who have survived the effect of early trauma, including neglect, assault and/or brain injuries caused by the use of alcohol and drugs in-utero. She works to build a sense of community around the families, awareness and skills among the professionals who serve them and strategic programs to help bring peace to the family unit.

She has a Bachelor of Arts (Major in Law), a Master of Education (Counselling Psychology) and is certified in Alternate Dispute Resolution. She is the primary caregiver for her elderly parents and is called Mother by three children, two who were born to her and one who came to her through adoption.  

Lauri is passionate about people. She believes that there is goodness in everyone and that it is incumbent on each of us to provide appropriate conditions for each other so that goodness can shine through fear. She is grateful for the capacity to love and be loved. She strives to honor the life that she has been gifted. In her spare time Lauri spends time with her husband and three children. She enjoys spending time at their cottage, being outdoors, journaling and yoga.

Fr. Alain Rodrigue, CMM

Father Alain Rodrigue is fluently bilingual and is the Local Superior, Provincial Councillor and Treasurer for the Congregation of Missionaries of Mariannhill (CMM)-Canada. Father entered the CMM in 1984 and was ordained in 1992. He offered pastoral care for almost ten years to some of Quebec City’s underprivileged and poor. In 2004 he began his first of three terms as the Provincial Superior for the US/Canada CMM. He continues to be active in commission and committee work for the CMM internationally. He served as a Board Director and as a member for the Future Committee for the Canadian Religious Conference from 2005 to 2016.  Father Alain coordinates activities offered to Religious in the diocese of Sherbrooke. He has completed missions to Haiti, Nicaragua and Peru in forming and accompanying youth groups from 1994 to 2006. CRS has benefited from Father Alain’s commitment and gifts since he joined the Board in the fall of 2017. He especially provides an important perspective from the province of Quebec.

Past Directors

Sr. Sheila Langton, SP

Fr. Francis Morrisey, OMI

Sr. Brenda Phelan, RSM

Fr. George Smith, CSB

Sr. Faye Wiley, SGM

Staff

Joanne Yelle Weatherall, Executive Director

In September 2018, Joanne became the Executive Director of Canadian Religious Stewardship.  Joanne is a senior executive with over 30 years’ experience as a trusted advisor to management, elected officials and board directors.  She is fluently bilingual and has extensive experience in a Catholic healthcare.  She is recognized for her collaborative approach and her track record of building bridges to form long lasting, productive relationships.  She has expertise in key areas including: planning, governance, hospital and government operations, applied health research in primary care, care of the elderly and palliative care, human resource management, public relations, advocacy, and communications. Joanne has a degree in Health Sciences (University of Ottawa) and is a Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP-Rotman School of Management University of Toronto), and a Certified Executive Coach (CEC-Royal Roads University).

Joanne says: “I recognize that this work is an answer to my prayers.  After three decades in demanding senior executive positions in federal, provincial and municipal government, in University research, and in Health at Elisabeth Bruyere Continuing Care I am grateful every day to be able to use my God given gifts and to share precious moments with the Religious I meet.  I am fascinated and touched by individual stories of service and love that the Sisters, Brothers and Priests share with me.   At CRS I can be myself, I can fully live my Catholic values.  I am blessed.”  In her spare time Joanne enjoys the peace and beauty of nature at the lake in the Ottawa Valley, kayaking, fishing and golfing with her husband of 33 years and her three sons.  

Canadian Religious Stewardship staff serving three Religious Congregations at Presentation Manor for Seniors:

Adrienne Hollis, Office Manager

Adrienne Hollis is the Office Manager for Our Lady’s Missionaries and the Loretto Sisters at CRS’s Presentation Manor for Seniors.  Under the general direction of the Executive Director, Adrienne works in close collaboration with the Sisters to ensure all the administrative, financial, communications and technology runs smoothly.  Before joining CRS in early January 2020 Adrienne worked for a financial services firm as a Business Operations Manager for 23 years.  Adrienne says: “What I like most about my job is that I am able to serve and to connect with God through the Sisters. It also brings me comfort and joy that I can make a difference in their daily lives.  It is a very rewarding feeling to know that the little things I do make a big impact to the Sisters.  They present an enormous amount of grace towards others and their goodwill helps to make me feel like a valuable person.  I was raised in the Catholic faith and I have been connected to God since I was a little girl and was blessed to receive His sacraments. What attracted me to work with Religious persons is the way in which they project inner peace and compassion. Working with Sisters is a very rewarding experience because they reflect God’s forgiveness and wisdom daily.  This brings me solitude and continuously reminds and empowers me to be a better and more accepting person in today’s society.”  In her free time Adrienne enjoys reading self-help and biographies; going for long walks by the waterfront and being around nature.  She also enjoys cooking and baking for others, and spending time with her daughter and close friends.

Felicitas Guiam, RPN Care Navigator

Felicitas Guiam is a Health Care Navigator who serves Our Lady’s Missionaries Sisters and the Scarborough Foreign Mission Priests living at CRS’s Presentation Manor for Seniors and at Providence Health Care.  Felicitas coordinates a variety of health-related matters including scheduling medical appointments and monitoring medication.  Religious have played an important role in Felicitas life.  She explains: “From my kindergarten years I’ve been taught by nuns, in high school I learned Spanish from a Priest teacher. In university I stayed in a dormitory run by Spanish Sisters. Two years after graduating from nursing school in the Philippines I asked my mother to accompany me to the Carmelite Sisters convent where I met with the Mother Superior and she told me to work first and come back in a year. Obviously, I never went back, but I did follow my calling to continue to work with Religious and stay true to the Catholic values I was taught.  I have had a wonderful career including almost ten years at Providence Health Centre, run by the Sisters of St Joseph, five years with the Sisters of the Precious Blood, and 15 years with the Jesuits in Pickering.”  In her free time Felicitas enjoys time with her two granddaughters and watching documentaries.

Esmeralda Martinez de Gonzalez, Care Companion

Hilda Esmeralda Martinez de Gonzalez is a Care Companion for Our Lady’s Missionaries Sisters and the Scarborough Foreign Mission Priests living at CRS’s Presentation Manor for Seniors and Providence Health Care. Esmeralda visits residents daily, provides companionship, accompanies residents to appointments.  Esmeralda says: “What I love most about my work is that I can share time with the residents.  I am able to have nice conversation and sometimes help them feel more comfortable and happier.  My work with the Sisters and Priests makes me feel like I am making a difference and that my work is worthy and valuable to many. The work environment is quiet and it allows me to be connected with God, through compassion, mercy and solidarity.   It helps me to better know people and to love them.”  In her free time Esmeralda likes to read a good book.

The ♥ of our Mission