Conference 2017

This year’s biennial conference will be hosted by St Peter’s Parish in northwest Calgary (541 Silvergrove Drive, NW), November 3 & 4.

Use this link for a PDF of the brochure.

REGISTRATIONS, will need to be done in advance (including payment, by October 27). (1) We can accept e-transfer [ with the security answer: conference ] through the office – (2) You could make payment through SquareRegister (providing: your credit card information (number; expiry date; CSC/CVV/CVC; and postal code) to (403) 281-2229. (3) It is also possible to send a cheque (payable to the Catholic Psychotherapy Association of Canada) to 1018 – 23rd Avenue, NW, Calgary, T2M 1T6. In any case, we will want to know also: • your name (as you’d like it to appear on a name tag); •  professional designation, if any; •  best contact (telephone and/or email); and •  your location.


* attendees needing accommodations will have to book themselves. Two, of many, options that are nearby are Sandman Hotel & Suites, and, Four Points by Sheraton.


Friday, November 3

  • 12:00 pm … registration opens
  • 1:00 pm … Rosary
  • 1:30 – 2:30 pm … CPAC Annual General Meeting
  • 3:00 pm … Chaplet of Divine Mercy
  • 3:30 – 4:00 pm … The Spiritual/Psychological Mesh of Sin – Sacramental Freedom (Fr J. Lavigne)
  • 5:30 – 6:30 pm … supper
  • 6:45 – 7:00 pm … opening remarks & welcome (E. Peterson)
  • 7:00 – 8:00 pm … KEYNOTE: Anxiety, Courage, and Trust in the Therapist’s Office (G. Lucki)
  • 8:00 – 8:45 pm … panel discussion: professional conscience rights (Dr C. Barry; J. Cameron; Fr J. Lavigne; G. Lucki)
  • 9:00 – 10:00 pm … wine & cheese reception

Saturday, November 4

  • 8:00 am … Rosary, with the parish
  • 8:30 am … Holy Mass, with the parish
  • 8:30 – 9:00 am … continental breakfast
  • 9:00 – 10:00 am … The Impact of Substance Abuse in the Family (J. Pender)
  • 10:15 – 10:45 am … Witnessing the Truth About Marriage (Fr D. Dowle)
  • 11:00 – 11:30 am … Tiptoing Between Confession and Spiritual Direction (Fr M. Bayrock)
  • 11:45 am – 12:15 pm … The Devil Made Me Do It (Fr C. Bouvette)
  • 12:15 – 1:00 pm … lunch
  • 1:00 – 1:30 pm … Anxiety in Action (T. Tomiak)
  • 1:45 – 2:45 pm … Mindful Practices for Children and Teens (T. Smith)
  • 3:00 – 4:15 pm … small group discussions
  • 3:30 pm … Confession available, in the parish
  • 4:15 – 4:30 pm … closing remarks (W. Ottenbreit)


Fr Jerome Lavigne is a Roman Catholic priest serving in the Diocese of Calgary. In April of 2009 he graduated from St Peter’s Seminary in London, Ontario with his Advanced Masters of Divinity and was ordained to the Holy Priesthood of Jesus Christ on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart, June 19, 2009. He is currently Pastor of St Peter’s Roman Catholic Church in Calgary, and the Vicar for Catholic Education. You can find his weekly homilies and other presentations on the multi-media website Swords of Truth (

The Spiritual/Psychological Mesh of Sin – Sacramental Freedom: (Friday, 3:30 – 4:00 pm) This talk will touch upon the importance of one’s personal relationship with God in light of how everything we experience in life – good or bad – leaves its mark. Knowing this, Christ, the Divine Psychologist, has instituted for human beings the experience of Sacramental Grace. A reality that frees the soul from that which oppresses it, namely sin.


George Lucki is a clinical and forensic psychologist and a partner with ARCH Psychological Services in Edmonton. Over the course of 36 years of practice he has worked with community mental health, HIV, Indigenous communities developing sexual abuse intervention programs, Indian Residential School survivors and others who have experienced trauma, child welfare programs, high conflict family law disputes and also with sexual offenders. For two decades he taught Law and Ethics as well as clinical courses to MFT graduate students, and for the last 30 years he has been supervising provisionally registered psychologists. George is a graduate of St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto, and holds post-graduate degrees in philosophy and psychology from the Catholic University of Lublin, law from the University of London, and clinical supervision from the University of Derby. In the past he has served as president of the Psychologists’ Association of Alberta and chair of the Alberta Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health. He is a member of the Fides et Ratio Society at Cardinal Wyszynski University in Warsaw. George often experiences anxiety in his work.

Anxiety, Courage, and Trust in the Therapist’s Office: (Friday, 7:00 – 8:00 pm)


panel discussion: (Friday, 8:00 – 8:45 pm) panel members, all professionals in their fields, will expand on and answer questions related to how conscience rights for people of faith may be threatened – and give suggestions for how to face these. Therapists, educators, health care professionals, and all those who have concerns about such issues can expect to find value in this discussion and the keynote which precedes it.

Dr Chantal Barry is a Catholic family physician and certified lactation consultant practising in Calgary. She was born and raised in Saskatoon and completed her masters degree in biochemistry in Vancouver where she married her husband Tyler. She completed her medical degree at the University of Alberta in 2010. They moved to Calgary to finish residency training. In June 2014, Dr Barry underwent media attacks for her stance against prescribing birth control. This media coverage sparked growing debate about the conscience rights of medical professionals versus the rights of the public. Dr Barry is now the owner and medical director of the Westglen Medical Centre and continues to practise in family medicine. She has been married for 12 years and now has 5 children.

Jay Cameron is the litigation manager at the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF), a non-profit law firm dedicated to the education and defence of Canadians constitutional rights, particularly freedom of religion and conscience, freedom of speech and freedom of association. Jay graduated from law school in 2007 and articled in Calgary. He has appeared at every level of court in four provinces, at the Court of Appeal in Ontario, testified as an expert on constitutional issues at standing committees of both the House of Commons and the Senate, and will represent the Justice Centre at the Supreme Court on a landmark freedom of association case. He is married, loves the outdoors, and believes that everyone is created equal by God and endowed by his Creator with certain inalienable rights. See the JCCF website for articles about their work, including about: assisted suicide; parental rights in education; free speech on university campuses; and Charter rights for law students.


Jim Pender has completed four degrees including a Master of Social Work (Clinical Specialization) and a PhD in Educational Research. Jim holds three certifications in the area of substance addiction and is also a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT). Jim is in private practice where, in addition to working with alcoholics and addicts and their family members, he provides mediation and arbitration services to couples experiencing high levels of conflict post-separation.

The Impact of Substance Abuse in the Family: (Saturday, 9:00 – 10:00 am) Alcoholism is a chronic and progressive disorder. The first place the impact of addiction is felt is within the family unit. Over time, the spouse becomes preoccupied as the alcoholic or addict becomes increasingly disabled. Children, depending on a variety of factors, adjust and adapt to the family dysfunction. This presentation will provide insight into what addiction is, what its impact is on the alcoholic, the spouse and the children. Effective strategies regarding clinical approaches will be discussed.


Fr Dean Dowle was appointed by Archbishop Richard Smith to the position of Spiritual Director for the Catholic Psychotherapy Association of Canada in 2015. He also serves as Adjunct Judicial Vicar of the Interdiocesan Tribunal for the Archdiocese of Edmonton, and holds the position of Chaplain for the Edmonton Catholic Schools. Fr Dean was born in Edmonton, raised in Fort Saskatchewan and ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Edmonton in 2010. He served in parish ministry at St Theresa’s and St Joseph’s Basilica before beginning graduate studies at Saint Paul University in Ottawa. Fr Dean also holds a Licentiate in Canon Law.

Witnessing the Truth About Marriage: (Saturday, 10:15 – 10:45 am)


Fr Mark Bayrock is a Catholic priest of the Byzantine-Ukrainian Rite, for the Eparchy of Edmonton. He recently celebrated thirty-two years of ordination. A car aficionado, he attended the Fiat Club of America annual gathering in Auburn Hills, MI, in 2016 as part of a road trip through Canada and USA. He completed three month’s graduate studies at The Pontifical North American College in Rome in 2017. Fr Mark enjoyed an eclectic ministry over nine years in Calgary, including parish sacramental work, confessions at Calgary Remand Centre, marriage assessment counselling, and spiritual direction. He is currently enrolled at the FCJ Retreat Centre for the Spiritual Direction Training Program.

Tiptoing Between Confession and Spiritual Direction: (Saturday, 11:00 – 11:30 am) How do these dynamics work with clients and clergy, and when is the time for referrals to other professionals.


Fr Cristino Bouvette is a Roman Catholic priest serving in the Diocese of Calgary. In September of 2004, he entered St. Peter’s Seminary in London, Ontario and graduated with his BA in philosophy in May 2007. He remained at St Peter’s to pursue studies in theology, there completing his Advanced Masters of Divinity through the University of Western Ontario. He was ordained to the Sacred Priesthood of Jesus Christ on 22 June 2012. He is currently the Director of Vocations for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary.

The Devil Made Me Do It: Discerning Issues of Mental Health from the Possibility of Demonic Oppression: (11:45 am – 12:15 pm) As a Catholic priest, Fr Cristino works closely with many people in counselling scenarios. It has become clear to him over the years when a person is too quickly blaming evil influence in their lives for what is more likely an issue related to mental illness, in which case, he refers to a mental health professional. However, what are some pointers from the other direction when a clinician might benefit from the intervention of a spiritual guide related to a client’s care who does not respond to therapeutic interventions?


Tracy Tomiak is a Registered Psychotherapist practising in the city of Calgary for the past 8 years.  Her specialty is Marriage and Family Therapy but she also has a passion for working with clients with anxiety.  Tracy has a private practice as well as being a Family Therapist with New Heights School and Learning Services – a private school specializing in students with ASD. She currently runs group sessions for parents whose children struggle with anxiety and helps parents identify and gain insight into their own anxiety.  Tracy is an active member in the Calgary Catholic Community providing counselling support to many Catholic parishes as well as working with the Tribunal Office.

Anxiety in Action: (Saturday, 1:00 – 1:30 pm) This talk will address the biology of anxiety and active tools that can be used by therapists in their practices.  This dynamic presentation will challenge you to see anxiety from the position of hope and provide confidence in passing that hope onto your clients.


Terri Smith has a M.Ed. in school and child psychology from the University of Calgary. For the past six years she has worked as a school counsellor with Calgary Catholic School District and before that has taught regular and special education as being in school administration. While working at two different schools, Terri recognized that she needed to be more mindful of stress and self-care so she completed an eight week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program. Since then Terri has become an avid student of mindful practices and has incorporated being mindful in her practices and lessons with children from the ages of five to 15 years. Since practising mindful activities Terri has noticed a number of benefits for both herself and her students including a deeper sense of peace and prayer.

Mindful Practices for Children and Teens: (Saturday, 1:45 – 2:45 pm) This is an introductory session into mindfulness that will include simple techniques of mindfulness and mindful awareness that you can take and use immediately. Based on a variety of programs and resources including, MindUp!, Mindful Movements and Stress Free Kids, this session will share simple and easy methods that, if used regularly, will help you and your clients become more thoughtful, resilient and empathetic.


small group discussions: (Saturday, 3:00 – 4:15 pm) To facilitate reflection on, integration of, and action from the conference, attendees will be encouraged to share their own learning in interaction with one another.