Welcome to the Prince Edward Island Catholic Women’s League Website

Fall Conferences

Fall Conference East took place on October 15th at St. Joachim’s, Vernon River. We had 37 in attendance. We had Mass with the Installation of Fr. Danny Wilson as Provincial Spiritual Advisor where he was presented with a pin and the CWL stole. Thank you to Fr. Brian MacDougall for serving as our Provincial Spiritual Advisor for the last 5 years.

Karen Rossiter gave a presentation on the 2022 National Convention that was held in Kelowna, B.C. in August. Gay presented Karen with flowers and a gift of appreciation for completing the Catholic Women’s Leadership program. Shirley Pierce presented information on how to develop a Manual of Policy and Procedure for parishes.

Julie Pelletier-Lush was our guest speaker. She recited a poem to give thanks and she talked about the “Seven Sacred Teachings.” Julie also spoke about George Paul from Big Cove, NB and the story behind his book “The Honor Song”. He has been a leader in bringing back the celebrations, singing and dancing of the Mi’kmaq people. Julie then sang the song.

Our second guest speaker was Tammy MacKinnon from the Island Pregnancy Center. She gave an overview of what they do at their centers in Charlottetown and Summerside. There is a “Baby Boutique” in Charlottetown and Summerside that has clothing for moms and babies, equipment, and supplies. Their goal is to provide support and care especially at the initial pregnancy test. The center is opening a home for mothers and babies at their site in Summerside, where they can live in supportive care and learn what is necessary to care for a baby. The center will be able to house up to five mothers and babies. They are looking for support and will be hosting an open house.

Karen gave a demonstration on the new Annual Report that is to be used this year. The link to the survey will be available on November 1, 2022, and it must be completed and submitted no later than January 15, 2023.

Geraldine McDougall won the gift bag draw. $140.00 was raised and will be donated to Sister Sue Kidd, UPEI Food Bank. Donations to the Red Cross Fiona Relief Fund totaled $82.00.

Fall Conference West took place on October 29th at St. Paul’s, Summerside. We had 30 in attendance.

Karen Rossiter gave a power point presentation on the 2022 National Convention that was held in Kelowna, B.C. in August. Gay congratulated Karen with for completing the Catholic Women’s Leadership program. Shirley Pierce presented information on how to develop a Manual of Policy and Procedure for parishes.

Our guest speaker Sister Shelley Grant opened her presentation with a song and a dram. She showed several artifacts she had with her – a drum, eagle feathers, a vest, and a medicine bag. She shared her personal experiences with working with the indigenous people. The Chiefs, lawyers, government on the commission came up with the 94 recommendations. When the people shared their stories, there were counselors available to talk to people afterwards. Listening to the stories, and the repetition of the stories, led to the recommendations. The purpose is to address what happened in the residential schools. The calls to action are broken into subcategories. Many of the actions in the Call to Action have not been touched. The voice of the voiceless have been heard. We must have hope that the recommendations are followed up on and ask God to be with us on the journey.

Tammy MacKinnon of the Island Pregnancy Center was our second speaker and provided an overview of what they do at their centers in Charlottetown and Summerside. The Pregnancy Center was open approximately 12 years ago to help women who are facing unexpected pregnancy. It is a Christian organization. The center offers information on options such as parenting, adopting or abortion. They do not; however, make referrals for abortion. They do offer post abortion support to those who have gone through this. This is faith based and they hold a memorial service for the baby that was lost. There is an open house on November 14, 2022, from 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm. Once staff are in place the home will be opened. They are looking for volunteers and for mentors who they are asking to commit for two years. After the home is open there will be more opportunities. Tammy said that formula costs are approximately $300 per week. This is usually covered by donations, but they are now having to buy some.

Gail MacPhee won the gift bag draw. $170.00 was raised and will be donated to the St. Vincent de Paul from St. Paul’s Parish. Donations to the Red Cross Fiona Relief Fund totaled $35.00.

National CWL Convention 2022

The 102nd National CWL Convention was held at the Delta Hotels by Marriot Grand Okanagan Resort in Kelowna, BC from August 14 to 18, 2022. What a convention it was! There were 3 of us representing PEI, President Gay Garvey, President-Elect Karen Rossiter, and Treasurer Cheryl Boom. There were 462 delegates and guests in attendance.

Sunday afternoon began with the Resolutions Dialogue followed by the Opening Mass at Immaculate Conception in the evening.

Monday was a business day and we listened to reports from each province, National Executive, and Committee Chairs. The instructed vote on the Per Capita Fee increase was adopted with 7 provinces in favor and 4 provinces against. The fee increases from $13 to $25 and will come into effect January 2023. There will be more information on the increase in the upcoming League Magazine and on the National Website. The afternoon ended with the commissioning of 9 new Life Members from years 2020 and 2021, including our very own Irene Gallant, Past PEI Provincial President.

Monday evening, we dressed up in our Flapper attire and enjoyed the Roaring 20’s Dinner & Dance.

Tuesday was a speaker day. Honorary Life Member Barbara Dowding gave a memorable presentation on “The Art of Accompaniment”. A relevant and inspiring talk which gave wonderful ideas on how we might accompany one another in the League and in our parishes. She reminded us of the many blessings we as Catholics have and that His Holiness asks us to help our parishes to be places of Holiness, welcoming and inclusive.

Elizabeth Tomlin, author of “Joyful Momentum” and “You are Now of God,” delivered a powerful speech about pastoral care, vocation, spiritual friendships, and the gift of women’s group ministry. What an incredible presentation! Tuesday evening was Provincial Dinners and PEI joined NB, NS and NFLD at the Soul de Cuba Cafe for a lovely meal and fellowship.

Wednesday was back to business, and we heard updates on the Strategic Plan from year 3 working groups. Resources are now available on the National Website.

One resolution was brought forward for approval and was adopted. “Enact Federal Legislation to Reduce Food Loss & Waste”. The instructed votes on the 8 proposed amendments to the Constitution and By-Laws were all adopted except changing our patroness. 

The business session closed Wednesday afternoon and we joined together in gratitude for all the League is and does in the Closing Mass held at Immaculate Conception Church. National Officers reaffirmed their commitment for the upcoming year, and flags were processed out in silence.

The Convention wrapped up with a lovely banquet where we were treated to an amazing presentation of 100 years of the CWL by National Communications Chair Betty Coloneri!! We have so much to be proud of!!


The Catholic Women’s League on Prince Edward Island consists of 30 councils representing approximately 1700 members. This membership is part of a National membership of over 70,000 members all working “For God and Canada.”

The first council to be organized on PEI was the Charlottetown Council (then called sub-division) in the summer of 1921 with 107 charter members. From this early beginning, interest in this organization of Catholic women blossomed into what it is today.

Our National Theme is “Catholic & Living It!” which is lived out on Prince Edward Island.


Gay Garvey
Prince Edward Island Provincial President

I am very happy to be elected as your Provincial President for the years 2021-2023.  This past year and a half has been, as it is often referred to, “unprecedented”. I agree, COVID-19 has thrown us into uncertain and new ways of doing things.  At the same time, we have been called to be prudent, to pray and put our trust in God’s wisdom.

For those who don’t know me, I am usually called by my middle name, “Gay Garvey”. I was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario where I attended Catholic school and graduated from St. Joseph’s Hospital School of Nursing with my RN Diploma. In 1971, my husband Tom and I moved to PEI, worked and raised our 5 children.  om passed away in 2015 and my oldest son Michael in 2019. I now have 11 grandchildren who are the joy of my life.

I have been a CWL Member for 37 years at St. Dunstan’s Basilica Parish, Charlottetown. I was on the PEI Provincial Council from 1998-2002 and 2016 to present. I have also been involved with the Canadian Youth Pro-Life Organization, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition/Palliative Care, PEI Right to Life Association, Ignatian Spirituality Exercises and Prayer Group plus parish involvement over the years and most recently COVID Ministry.

I worked for 22 years at the Dr. John Gillis Lodge in Eldon, PEI. During that time, I worked as the Director of Nursing for 12 years and then as staff RN up until I finally retired. I also obtained my RN Certification in Gerontology at the same time.

At the National AMM the new two-year theme, “Catholic and Living It!” was announced by our new National President, Fran Lucas.  It will run from January 1st, 2022 to December 31st, 2023. Fran hopes that building relationships as a ‘Catholic and Living It’ will make for stronger families, members, councils, parish communities, partner organizations and beyond.

God Bless You and Your Families and May Our Lady of Good Counsel Guide Us.


All Saints , Cardigan
Corpus Christi, Glenwood
Holy Redeemer, Charlottetown
Immaculate Conception, Palmer Road
Our Lady of the Assumption, Stratford
Sacred Heart, Alberton
St. Ann’s, Emyvale
St. Anthony’s, Bloomfield
St. Brigid, Foxley River
St. Columba, East Point
St. Cuthbert’s, St. Teresa’s
St. Dunstan’s Basilica, Charlottetown
St. Felix, Tignish
St. Francis of Assisi, Cornwall
St. Georges, St. Georges
St. Joachim’s, Vernon River
St. John the Baptist, Miscouche
St. Joseph’s, Kelly’s Cross
St. Malachy’s, Kinkora
St. Martin’s, Cumberland
St. Mary’s Holy Family, Kensington/Indian River
St. Mary’s, Souris
St. Michael’s, Corran Ban
St. Patrick’s, Ft. Augustus
St. Paul’s, Summerside
St. Peter’s, St. Peter’s Bay
St. Peter’s, Seven Mile Bay
St. Pius X, Charlottetown
St. Simon & St. Jude, Tignish
St. Lawrence / St. Theresa, Morell