Council Members

St. Joseph’s Parish Pastoral Council  2023/24

New Members Joining in June 2023

Marwan Abou Diwan

Marwan A. Diwan recently made Ottawa his home in 2021, bringing a rich mosaic of diverse experiences and expertise. Originally from Lebanon, Marwan is immersed in both Oriental and Occidental traditions of the Church. With a strong commitment to helping others and a profound understanding of human relationships, Marwan is an internationally educated social worker holding three master’s degrees: one in Social Work, one in Religious Sciences/Pastoral Theology, and another in Living Languages/Translation. Recently promoted to the role of manager of The Centre for Couples and Relationships at JFS Ottawa, he provides invaluable support to individuals, couples, and families, drawing on his 15 years of project management experience and seven years as a religion teacher. Marwan’s rich linguistic repertoire includes fluency in English, French, Arabic, and Spanish, as well as knowledge of Latin, Syriac, Hebrew, and other living languages, enabling him to bridge cultural divides and foster meaningful connections. Additionally, Marwan is a devoted musician with over 40 years of pastoral dedication, actively participating in various pastoral groups and choirs. Grounded in his steadfast belief that the essence of Christianity lies in the personal encounter with the Risen Christ within the heart of the community, Marwan hopes to contribute his multicultural upbringing and extensive expertise to the Saint Joseph Church council.

Luke Guimond

Luke Guimond is a young professional in Ottawa who moved to Ottawa in 2019 to pursue a master’s degree in political thought at the University of Ottawa. Currently, he works for a member of Parliament in his parliamentary office. Prior to moving to Ottawa, Luke had been an active member of his home parish in Regina, Saskatchewan as well as an active member of Catholic life at Campion College at the University of Regina where he received his bachelor’s degree. Luke believes that, as Catholics, we are called to build an inclusive Church, parish, and world that values each person’s life and dignity. He believes in the synodal path that Pope Francis has adopted and is encouraged by the desire to continue to the work of Vatican II, the opening up of the windows to let in fresh air as Pope John XXIII put it. As a young person, Luke also believes that it is important that younger voices be included in the active life of the parish to ensure its perennity. Luke is happy to exchange emails, chat on the phone or over with coffee with anyone who might have any questions.

Walter Hughes

Married to Petra Nortier, we have two daughters now in their thirties – Jasmine and Stella-Marissa; I retired as Trade Commissioner with responsibilities for sub-Saharan Africa; my postings abroad were in Britain, Vietnam, United States, and the Netherlands. Prior to Foreign Affairs, I worked as a community development officer for the New Brunswick departments of Agriculture, Social Welfare. My Studies: B.A. (St. Thomas University) philosophy, theology; M.A. (U. of Toronto) economics; and Community development (Algonquin College). I have been a parishioner at St Joe’s Parish since at least 1996. I was a one-time Parish Council member prior to 2018. Former lector (always tried to read Paul). Participated in this parish’s synodal committee report writing. I write for Island Catholic News of Victoria BC. Petra and I attend 9:30 mass. I am all for inviting as many people as possible to serve in a ministry in the parish.

Roshene Lawson 

My name is Roshene Lawson and I have put my name forward for Parish Pastoral Council.

I have been a parishioner at St. Joe’s since my first communion here 50 years ago! My family (the Calcutts) were parishioners since the early beginnings of the church, so I have a long history here that I cherish. Over the years I have been a member of the choir, eucharistic ministry, youth ministry, lectors and reflection ministry. I also worked at the front desk during my university years in the early 1980’s!

For twenty two years I have worked as a clinical chaplain in acute care, pediatric acute care and for the past nine years, with Bruyère at St. Vincent Hospital. I am grateful every day for the sacred spaces I am allowed to enter into as a hospital chaplain. I know that my “growing up” at St. Joe’s is what has nourished my hospital ministry and allowed me to carry forward the mission of inclusivity and care to my work.

I feel very strongly about St. Joe’s and how our parish is to continue into the future and I think that my “institutional memory” and my deep connection to the parish will help me support our pastor and community.

Angela McCanny

I 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 20 years, I have been involved in a variety of ministries including the Liturgical Committee, Children’s Liturgy, Marriage Prep, Lectors and I have served a previous term on the PPC.  For the last four years, I have been the coordinator of the Eucharistic Ministers, a ministry that has allowed me to work with many beautiful people at St. Joe’s.

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 to contribute to the life and health of St. Joe’s as a member of the Parish Pastoral Council, working together to strengthen and grow our St. Joe’s community.

Beth Smith

Upon retirement from work, six years ago, I moved back to Ottawa, moved into an apartment in Sandy Hill and began to attend St. Joe’s. I quickly became involved in The Seekers Group and with the Friday evening Christian Meditation. I have volunteered for Elizabeth Fry at the Courthouse pre pandemic and volunteered at Chef Ric’s (The Mission) until recently. My careers have included a long stint as a high school English teacher, then a high school vice principal. After retiring from education I attended St. Paul’s University to qualify as a chaplain and worked for six years with the Royal Ottawa Hospital in the Forensic Treatment and Secure Treatment Units in Brockville. During that time I also worked as a counselor for an EAP program. I have had a practice of Christian Meditation for 26 years and last year took my final oblation as an oblate, with the World Community for Christian Meditation. Finally, I am a mother to two sons who live here in Ottawa, and a daughter, and “Nanny” to two grandchildren, all of whom live in Perth, Australia

Joy Umoafia

Shane Valliyanayil

Continuing Members in 2023/24

Claire Cheesman

Hi, my name is Claire Cheesman,

I moved to St. Joseph’s Parish, from Kanata, in 2019.  I joined the Pastoral Council in 2022, having met a few parishioners through on-line discussion groups during the Pandemic and during the Synodal process.

My working experience was Clerical Work, followed by Early Childhood Educator, before retiring in 2017.

I live in Sandy Hill and love that I can walk to Church.  I emigrated from England in 1984 and I have lived in Ottawa for 37 years. I am a wife, mother and grandmother. I enjoy time with family and friends, walking, cycling and growing in my relationship with God.

  • Joan O’Connell

Stephen Okoduwa

I am truly grateful for the opportunity to contribute to meaningful discussions and decision-making processes that have a direct impact on St. Joseph’s Parish through the parish council. It has been a great experience volunteering alongside such dedicated members and look forward to continuing our important work together

  • Kathleen Strader
  • Ex-officio:
    • Fr. Robert Laroche, OMI
    • Christopher Adam

St. Joseph’s Parish Finance Council

  • John Mark Keyes, Chair
  • Joe Gunn
  • Kathleen Keenan
  • Joanne Kellerman
  • Nancy Keyes
  • Ex officio
    • Fr. Robert Laroche, OMI
    • Christopher Adam 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

An inclusive community of faith