CWL crest
June 29, 2015
THANDIWE KONGUAVI
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

YELLOWKNIFE – Being chosen to lead the provincial Catholic Women's League during the time of Pope Francis is a significant coincidence for new president Cathy Bouchard.

Bouchard, of Red Deer, is a secular Franciscan. She was named president at the Alberta Mackenzie provincial council convention held here June 5-6.

"It's kind of a nice synchronicity for me as a Franciscan," she said. "All of us are very happy that this pope reflects St. Francis of Assisi."

The retired religion, math, social studies and science teacher shares concerns about environmental and global issues. In the past, she has spoken out particularly on fair trade issues.

Bouchard, a CWL member for 37 years, sees the league as a vehicle for Catholic women to use their voice to make a difference in society.

"The CWL is really an effective way for me to live out my social justice call as a Catholic woman because the CWL gathers all of those ideas and puts them into an organization that really speaks to our government at all different levels," she said.

Bouchard, 59, said she feels humbled and excited to accept leadership of the provincial council.

"I am excited by the opportunity to work with the close to 10,000 members in the Alberta Mackenzie provincial council," she said. "I am also awe-filled, thinking about the trust placed in me by these women who themselves have so many gifts and talents."

PRAIRIE WOMAN

Bouchard was born in Lethbridge and raised in St. Albert. She studied education at the University of Alberta and joined the CWL in Estevan, Sask., in 1978, the year she married her husband David.

She is an RCIA catechist and sponsor and involved in Magdalene House Society, which is a home for survivors of human trafficking in the Red Deer area. She is a eucharistic minister and adult server at Sacred Heart Parish and a graduate of the first class of the lay ministry program in the Regina Archdiocese.

Bouchard shares many of her activities and ministries with husband Dave whom she calls an "incredible support," and her four children, their spouses and seven grandchildren, the light of their lives.

Bouchard was the Edmonton diocesan president from 2007 to 2009.