By Laura Ieraci
MONTREAL — Lay Centre alumna Katerine Perrault is working to found a new centre to support marriage and family in Canada. A native of Montreal, Perrault lived at The Lay Centre (2012-2014) while studying at the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family.
Before going to Rome, Perrault worked at the tribunal of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, which set her on a new path.
“I experienced a huge desire to help couples. I was seeing many requests for annulments from couples who were struggling in their marriage,” she said.
Archbishop Christian Lepine of Montreal heard of her desire and growing interest in St. John Paul II’s theology of the body, and asked if she would study in Rome and return to work in his archdiocese.
Earning her master’s degree in Rome put Perrault in contact with collaborators of St. John Paul II.
“One of my professors was actually a great friend of John Paul II and knew exactly what our late pope was dreaming about when he created the institute almost 40 years ago,” she said. “It was like being part of John Paul II’s close circle of friends, who shared his vision on marriage and the family and who the Holy Spirit was calling to continue this mission.”
Archbishop Lepine suggested Perrault live at The Lay Centre, in order to be surrounded by other people of faith.
The Lay Centre “was an incredible gift for my spiritual life,” she said. “It was also very enlightening to meet people from other religions and get to know them as brothers and sisters in humanity, searchers for the Truth like me.”
Perrault said she remains in “awe” of “the number, quality and variety of guests” who had come to The Lay Centre throughout her time there.
“Whether bishops from various country, distinguished professors from different religions, or ambassadors to the Holy See, all the guests at The Lay Centre quickly became friends,” she said.