"Give, and there will be gifts for you: a full measure, pressed down, shaken together, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap; because the standard you use will be the standard used for you."

- Luke 6:38

Diocesan Messenger

News release August 2010

Catholic Foundation launches fund-raising drive

Trustees 2010-2011 (left to right):
Bishop Richard Gagnon, Judy Roberts, Fr. Marek Paczka, Leah MacKenzie
(Finance Administrator), Suzanne Lemay, Terence Penney, Rose Marie Hague, Keith
Jones, Charlotte Herkel, Ben Pires, chair, (missing from photo: Sister Marina Smith, SSA).

The Catholic Foundation of Vancouver Island (CFVI) is launching a diocese-wide drive to build its capital fund now stagnant at around $1 million because of the recent economic times.

"We need to dramatically increase the CFVI's capital fund because a bigger fund means a larger annual income from this fund to ensure that CFVI can support our faith family's growing number of programs and projects that need financial assistance," said Ben Pires, the CFVI's new chair.

The CFVI is a registered charity that makes grants to various organizations, both Catholic and non-Catholic, provided that the grants are consistent with the gospel teachings of love for our neighbor.

At their July meeting, CFVI trustees approved grants to:

  • The diocese-wide Marvelous Mystery Youth Camp at Camp Bernard for youths from grade five to 12, with the CFVI funding going towards bursaries for campers in financial need;
  • The Oasis Society for the Spiritual Health of Victoria for its First Nations' Spiritual Growth Opportunities;
  • The L'Arche Comox Valley for its Outreach-Creative Arts Project;
  • St. Ann's Parish in Duncan for feeding First Nations' children during their three-hour religious education class on Sundays;
  • The Mount St. Mary Foundation for its project to uphold the mission through three educational courses; and,
  • The Island Catholic Schools for a Faith Development/Religious Education Project for Staff and Parents.

The CFVI is independent of the Diocese and is hence not subject to liabilities that might be incurred by the Diocese. No more than three (including the Bishop) of the 10 trustees can be clergy or Diocese employees. As a result, the CFVI is lay-managed and trustees adhere to the "prudent investor" standards of the British Columbia Trustee Act.

The current trustees are: Ben Pires, chair (South Island), Dr. Rose Marie Hague , vice-chair (North Island), Keith Jones (South Island), Bishop Richard Gagnon, Suzanne Lemay (South Island), Fr. Marek Paczka (North Island), Marina Smith, SSA (South Island), Charlotte Herkel (North Island), Judy Roberts (South Island), and, Terry Penney (North Island).

Since 1985, CFVI has disbursed more than $2 million for many worthy programs and projects.

"Without the tremendous generosity of those in the faith community, who love and live the gospel teachings of love your neighbor, the CFVI would be unable to support these projects and programs for our neighbors," Pires said.

CFVI donors give cash donations and designate CFVI as a beneficiary of their life insurance and/or estate. They also donate real estate, securities, and masterpieces of art and other gifts.

"Donations to the CFVI are long-lasting personal legacies, because the donations go into the capital fund where the annual interest earned goes towards grants towards supporting projects and programs not just for the year the donations were made, but year after year after year," Pires said.

CFVI gives an income-tax receipt to those who donate cash to help reduce the tax the donor pays for the tax year of their donation.

All cheques should be made payable to the Catholic Foundation of Vancouver Island and mailed to 1-4044 Nelthorpe Street, Victoria, British Columbia V8X 2A1.

The Catholic Foundation of Vancouver Island sponsored Oasis pilgrims to journey to Fraser Lake, BC from July 9 - 11, 2010 to attend the annual Rose Prince Pilgrimage on the site of the former Lejac residential school. Our carload joined hundreds of First Nations pilgrims for a weekend of prayer, sharing and renewal of our Catholic faith. Pilgrims travelled from across Western Canada to partake in a community event centered on Jesus, and the revelation of His love through our participation in the Eucharist, the Stations of the Cross and the Rosary.

Serenity and gratitude for the beauty of Creation flowed pilgrim to pilgrim as if a gift from Rose Prince herself.

This healing setting was a true spiritual growth opportunity for us all, but most particularly for our First Nations pilgrim, so familiar with sorrow, and so enlivened by contact with his Catholic roots and First Nations family.

Rose Prince (1915-1949) of the Carrier Nation was buried on this pilgrimage site, where her body remains uncorrupted. Daughter to Chief Joseph, Chief of the Carriers of Fort St James, Rose's grandfather was the great Carrier Chief Kwah. Her father, known as the "Church Chief," was a devout Catholic and went frequently to church, leading the prayers and singing, and translating for the parish priest. Rose inherited a profound love for Jesus from within her First Nations family and carried this love into the residential school in which she became daily more "at home."

Rose asked to stay on at the school as an adult and lived onsite until her death at age 34.

Rose was a woman of prayer. To Jesus she confided everything.

There, she lived an uncompromising love for Jesus through a hidden yet ever more intense love for the nuns and priests that equaled her love for her People, lived out through discreet and tender relations with the children who inhabited the school. Rose was a woman of prayer. To Jesus she confided everything—even the joys and the agonies of those who confided in her. To them she counselled: "Pray for those who wrong you."

The memory of her sweet presence remains uncorrupted as she continues to point pilgrims onto the path of the Beatitudes.

Among the Vancouver Island pilgrims was a descendent to the Carrier youth who in 1951 uncovered the body of Rose Prince. "Uncle Jack" told the story of how the coffin was accidentally opened, and of his terrifying teenage discovery of Rose's uncorrupted body. He told of loading the coffin onto a stone wagon, and bringing it down the hill to show Father Principal. "One by one, every priest and nun came out to view the sight," he said, describing Rose's body as fresh, "as if sleeping."

Later, we pilgrims searched down and found Elder Elsie Quaw on the reserve outside Vanderhoof. Elsie, classmate to Rose Prince, descendent of the great Carrier Chief Kwah, and Mother to Hereditary Chief James Jr. of Victoria, was overjoyed to have news of her long-lost son, and spoke tenderly of Rose.

We wish to thank the Catholic Foundation of Vancouver Island for such a very important spiritual growth opportunity.


"Jesus looked steadily at him and he was filled with love for him, and he said, 'You need to do one thing more. Go and sell what you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.'"

- Mark 10:21