Christian Family Life


Christian Family Life memo - Doreen Gowans, National Chairperson of Christian Family Life

The path toward the future passes through the family.

The duties of the chairperson are:

The chairperson should:

  • refer to communiqués and/or annual reports from all levels
  • study and act on League resolutions adopted at each level pertaining to this standing committee
  • file with the recording secretary a copy of monthly and annual reports


The following are available from national office:
• National Manual of Policy and Procedure
• Constitution & Bylaws
• Personal Letter Writing Guide
• Resource List

Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF)
COLF Phone: (613) 241-9461
2500 Don Reid Dr. Fax: (613) 241-8117
Ottawa, ON K1H 2J2
Current addresses for additional resources may be obtained from national office and/or your diocesan council.

  • Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute
  • Theology of the Body Institute
  • Catholic Engaged Encounter Canada
  • Catholic Marriage Preparation
  • Marriage Encounter Canada
  • National Evangelization Tem
  • Catholic Health Alliance of Canada
  • Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
  • The Vanier Institute of the Family
  • Canadian Association of Family Resources

Source: Executive Handbook


The family is the basic cell of society. It is the cradle of life and love, the place in which the individual “is born” and “grows.” (Christifideles Laici)

The chairperson shall:

  • promote programs that enrich and support all aspects of home and family life such as:
    • encounter weekends for engaged couples
    • marriage preparation courses
    • marriage encounter weekends
    • natural family planning methods
    • programs for single-parent families
    • parenting courses
    • stress workshops
  • offer gifts and welcoming pamphlets to newlyweds, couples celebrating their children’s baptism, confirmation, etc.
  • arrange for speakers on topics related to marriage and the family; hold workshops
  • celebrate National Family Week, special masses and liturgical celebrations for married couples, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, special anniversaries


The aim of each council is to create an attitude that regards disabled individuals not only as people to be loved and served, but as responsible partners in the church’s mission.

The chairperson should:

• invite disabled people to take part in liturgical celebrations
• organize support groups and respite for caregivers
• assist disabled persons living on their own
• urge communities to make churches and other public buildings accessible
• provide transportation
• support and initiate shelters/programs for abused disabled



Seniors provide a gift to society of tradition and heritage acquired through a lifetime of experience.

The chairperson should:

• involve seniors in intercessory prayer
• pray with seniors in their homes
• visit seniors in their homes and share a meal
• involve seniors in suitable projects in seniors complexes
• initiate social programs for seniors in the parish
• support and initiate shelters for abused seniors
• provide respite care for caregivers
• invite senior members to share their faith story
• offer transportation services
• invite newly-retired members to share their expertise by preparing programs for the council

Many single and divorced people face the responsibility of raising children alone. The need to express the message of hope by offering assistance can be very beneficial.

The chairperson should:
• be available if they need to confide in someone
• offer babysitting services to allow free time for the parent
• assist with programs of interest to them
• invite the separated and divorced to join group outings


By the sharing of their gifts in church and society, the widowed may find their personal fulfilment in reaching out to others.

The chairperson should:

• encourage participation in projects and programs offered in the parish
• invite the widowed to attend community events
• include the widowed/their children in family outings
• ensure that there is a bereavement program in the parish
• invite the widowed to council meetings and social events, arranging transportation where required


Young people are the church, the people of God. Youth today have much to share; an exchange of ideas between generations is a source of growth and renewal for all.

The chairperson should:

  • provide meaningful programs for young people
  • encourage young people to share their gifts in ministry with peers
  • support and encourage youth ministers
  • sponsor, encourage and invite young people to work in the church, share their talents and take part in liturgical services, youth rallies and other functions provided by parishes/dioceses
  • support and provide programs that:
    • teach chastity as a way of life
    • nourish spiritual growth
    • educate youth regarding ecumenism
  • make use of existing programs
  • subscribe to Catholic magazines, videos and books for use in the local community/school/parish library
  • support and initiate shelters/programs for abused youth


It is the belief of the League that the right to life is sacred from the moment of fertilization to natural death.

The chairperson shall:

  • encourage members to join and support local, provincial and national pro-life groups
  • initiate and encourage members to support pro-life walks, marches, fund-raisers and meetings
  • encourage members to make their views known to politicians and the media
  • educate and keep members informed of the church’s teaching on pro-life issues
  • attend and provide workshops on pro-life and ethical issues
  • support pro-life legislation and legislators

The chairperson should:

  • pray
    • at prayer services
    • for pro-life issues
    • using pro-life rosary
    • support Life Chain
  • minister to the abused
  • offer friendship and help to single parent families and caregivers


Vocations “are a gift of God” and “they are born in communities of faith…” (Ecclesia in America)

The chairperson should:
• encourage prayer for vocations
• invite priests and religious to speak on vocations
• encourage families to invite priests and religious into their home
• encourage families to discuss vocations with children, grandchildren and friends
• promote and distribute materials that offer tips on making the family a community of faith
• adopt seminarians and/or novitiates
• support travelling chalice/crucifix programs