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COLF to be replaced by new life and family office

  • November 19, 2020

OTTAWA -- The Catholic Office for Life and Family will wind down operations by year’s end.

But a new organization dedicated to promoting the dignity of life and families is expected to take its place under the umbrella of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) sometime in the new year.

At an online board of directors meeting Nov. 7, the COLF board passed a special resolution that will see it disband as a non-profit organization as of Dec. 31.

COLF executive director Michel MacDonald said the decision to cease operations has nothing to do with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic nor is it a cost-saving measure. But he did acknowledge that he and another staff member will be laid off once COLF ceases its operations. COLF is based at the CCCB’s Ottawa headquarters.

COLF, a non-profit organization dedicated to building “a culture of life and a civilization of love by promoting respect for human life and dignity and the essential role of the family,” was co-founded by the CCCB and the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus.

COLF’s role has been to “promote the teaching of the Catholic Church on the inherent dignity of the human person and on respect for human life in all circumstances and at all stages of development, from conception to natural death; to promote the teaching of the Catholic Church on marriage and the family, along with the fundamental role of the family in society; and to educate and support Christian families in their mission in the Church and in the world.”

COLF’s future was recently discussed at the CCCB plenary in September. The CCCB will establish a new organization that will address many of the issues COLF has concentrated on.

“I don’t know all the details of exactly what the CCCB is planning but they will be starting an office of life and family,” MacDonald said.

CCCB communications director Lisa Gall said the new office should be up and running in the new year.

“While the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops cannot speak on behalf of the Canadian Organization for Life and Family, a national priority for the conference is the pastoral need to accompany and work with diocesan/eparchial life and family networks in response to the changing realities of Canadian society,” Gall said in a statement. “To that end, and following an extended period of discussion, consultation and discernment, the bishops of Canada approved the creation of an office of and a standing committee for family and life to support this important area of Church life.”

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