In May, Parish Pastoral Council began the process of seeking new members. A nominating committee was formed and their task was to find nominees to fill the four at-large positions on Council. At the same time, the ministry clusters were polled to surface names of cluster representatives on Council. Many thanks to all involved in the work of seeking these new members, who this weekend are welcomed at the new Parish Pastoral Council. Later there will be a more formal commissioning and blessing of the Council.

In order to help us get to know one another better, and so that the new Council members are more recognizable to all, we are posting photos and short bios of the new members.

New PPC Members At-Large:

Jackie Maurais

Jackie Maurais

Parish Activities: Choir, Lector, former president of MAMI (Missionary Association of Mary Immaculate), Funeral Ministry, former Parish Council, Diocesan Synod Representative.

Community Activities: immediate past president of Ontario Branch of the King’s Daughters and Sons (Christian Group in Ottawa), started Meals on Wheels, operate affordable housing.

Education: Patrick’s College, St. Paul’s (MA in Mission Studies), Algonquin College (Volunteer Management), plus courses in Palliative Care, Aging, and ESL.

St Joe’s: Member mainly because the oblates are here. Sermons are not aimed for the “comfortable pew” crowd. Want to return to being more active at St. Joe’s.

Personal: Mother of three – Michael, Edward, and Marc. Grandmother of five.



Robert Orser
Robert Orser

My name is Robert (Bob) Orser. I feel it is time to serve this vibrant community and to bring my background as an owner of a Pharmacy and as an Assistant Director of Pharmacy for a hospital in Ottawa. I also have a specialization in Addiction Management as a Methadone Pharmacist serving those with addiction issues.

I have been a member of St. Joseph’s Parish since 2003. During this time, I have served on the Funeral Committee, a “Money Counter”, and as a Eucharistic Minister at 9:30 am Mass. At my former Parish, I was e member of the Infant Baptism Committee for 10 years. As a father of three children and a grandfather of six granddaughters, I have dealt with many of the issues surrounding young families.

As a recent retiree, I now have time to devote to my Parish. As a member of the Funeral Committee and Infant Baptism Committee, I have met many couples who have been estranged from their Church and their Faith. My goal has been to encourage those who no longer practice because they have felt pre-judged or not understand to consider community, a community that accepts everyone no matter where they  are in their faith journey.

From the perspective of a business owner, I have experience in financing, budgeting, and personnel management and I bring these experiences “to the table”.

This Parish has helped me in so many ways as a Catholic and a retired Pharmacist and I look forward to serving the people of this community.


 Robert R. Sykes

Robert R. SykesI am currently a small business owner as well as a student at Saint Paul University. I come from a large Catholic family, spread across Ontario, though I was primarily raised in Ottawa, I first began attending Mass at St. Joseph’s Parish in the early 2000’s during my theology undergrad. After returning to Ottawa in 2010, and continuing with my Master’s in theology, I also returned to the parish.

During this time, I have produced and assisted with our children’s pageants, delivered multiple reflections at Sunday Masses, volunteered my time to design and construct the back wall of the parish sanctuary, and assisted at St. Joe’s Supper Table.

I have a professional background in administration, the arts, carpentry and restoration, and an academic background in the pure sciences, as well as philosophy and theology. I have served on multiple advisory boards, been key to renovating multiple church properties, and worked as an advocate for minorities and the disenfranchised.

It would be an honour to formally lend my diverse experience to our community by serving on the Parish Pastoral Council.


Roslyn Brown

Roslyn Brown

I am, first and foremost, a person of prayer, both private and communal. I am passionate about the sacraments – I need all the grace I can get! Extremely serious, I have, at the same time, a wicked and quirky sense of humour (that can sometimes get me into trouble).

I attended Sunday liturgies at St. Joe’s in the 1980s and 1990s. Now retired from the workplace, I have become invested in St. Joe’s over the last year and half. I have assisted in the Supper Table Kitchen, the English Conversation Group and today am a Eucharistic Minister at the Saturday 5 p.m. liturgy.

I bring a varied educational preparation:

  • B.A. (Gen) – Queen’s University, 1975
  • B.Th. – St. Paul University, 1978
  • M.H.A. – University of Ottawa, 1994

My work has also prepared me to assist:

  • Pastoral Assistant – Canadian Martyrs Parish, Ottawa
  • Pastoral Assistant – St. Mark’s Parish, Aylmer
  • Director of Pastoral Care – St. Patrick’s Home, Ottawa
  • Coordinator of Staff Development, Information Systems and Quality/Risk Management – St. Patrick’s Home, Ottawa

As a retired person, I now have time to give and I seek a place where my talents can be used. These are, in part, skills in:

  • Organization
  • Strategic Planning
  • Communication
  • Teaching
  • Problem solving


Ministry Cluster Representatives:

Music Cluster Representative: Donna Rietschlin

Donna R.

St. Joes has been one of my spiritual homes since moving to Ottawa in 2001. I appreciate our liturgical celebrations; they are one of the many riches of this community that drew me here. John and I have been married for 45 years.  We have 7 adult children and our 7th grandchild just arrived on June 11th.  I look forward to serving our community through working as a member of the PPC.



Faith Formation & Initiation Cluster Representative: Paul Roche

Paul Roche

I am a Toronto native, attending St. Michael’s High College, University of Toronto and Osgoode Hall Law School. I worked as a lawyer in Toronto for a number of years and moved to Ottawa in 1994 to join the Department on Foreign Affairs (now Global Affairs). While at the Department I was posted for two years each, at our Embassies in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Bucharest, Romania. I am now retired and am a member or the Seekers and the Men’s Group. Also, I help at with the setup at St. Joe’s Table on Tuesdays.



Community Building Cluster Representative: Andrea MacWilliams

My faitAndrea MacWilliamsh journey with the St Joe’s community began in 2012 when I moved to Ottawa to study music at the University of Ottawa. As a child of a military family, I have had the good fortune to experience many diverse faith communities all over the country – but never have I so quickly and deeply felt at home until I found myself at St Joe’s. The welcome that I received upon coming to this parish was unparalleled, both in the Music Ministry and the LGBTQ and Straight Alliance. I have gone from sitting in the congregation, knowing almost no-one, to singing in three mass choirs, leading the university mass choir, cantoring in the summer months and marching in the pride parade with my fellow parishioners. It is my honour to join the parish council and do my part to contribute to the community that welcomed me with open arms 5 years ago and made my life infinitely brighter. I can’t wait to start doing what I can to help keep this wonderful parish as active and welcoming as ever.


Pastoral Care & Social Justice Cluster Representative: Angela McCanny

Angela McCannyI have been a member of St. Joseph’s Parish since 2001, along with my husband, Steve, and my four now-grown children.  I was originally attracted by the joyful liturgies, thoughtful proclamation of The Word by the lectors and strong lay leadership fostered by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate – these still nurture me today!  Over the last 15 years, I have been involved in a variety of ministries including the Liturgical Committee, Children’s Liturgy, Marriage Prep and the Lectors.  For the last two years, I have served on the PPC as Secretary and Representative for the Pastoral Care and Social Justice Cluster and I am honoured that this Cluster will have me as their Rep for one more term.

In my work life, I am a math teacher and “transition coach” with ACElinks, an adult academic upgrading program, jointly offered by Algonquin College and the John Howard Society.  A consistent theme over my life has been the desire to connect people in living community.  I hope that during this next year on the PPC, we will find new ways to strengthen and grow our St. Joe’s community.