D.O.O.R.S. to New Life Refugee Services is a diocesan ministry dedicated to facilitating protection and resettlement for refugees and assisting them with integration and settlement. D.O.O.R.S. is a grass roots organization where we believe that the worth and dignity of all people must be respected and valued, regardless of religion, race, culture, language, beliefs, class and/or status.

Mission Statement

The Diocesan Office of Refugee Services, D.O.O.R.S. to New Life Refugee Centre Inc., is a Community Centre established by the Catholic Church of Thunder Bay which, through networking with local, national and international organizations, serves and empowers those who have lived a refugee experience by providing the assistance they need - material, spiritual and emotional - to adapt to a new culture while not abandoning their own.

Board of Directors

Romano Taddeo, Chairperson
Denis Legros, Director
Maureen Ahokas, Director
Patrick Klug, Director
Marilou Adams, Director
Carol Bruni, Director
Adele Henry, Director

Administrative Assistant:

Sarah Qeer

Office Hours:
Tuesdays and Thursdays 9 am – 2 pm.

Refugee Representative:
Deacon Larry Chlebovec
(807) 343-9313, Fax: (807) 343-9114

Office Contact

Mailing Address:
D.O.O.R.S. to New Life, Box 10400
Thunder Bay ON, P7B 6T8.

Newcomer Services

Thunder Bay Multicultural Association
17 N. Court St. Thunder Bay, ON
P7A 4T4

Newcomer's Settlement Worker:
Beverly Knutson
(807) 345-0551, Fax: (807) 345-0173

Newcomers' Settlement Program

Beverly Knutson
17 N. Court Street
Thunder Bay, ON
P7A 4T4

Office Hours:
Monday: 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday: 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday: 1 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Thursday: No office hours
Friday: 1 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

The Newcomer Settlement Program provides walk-in information and referral services to refugees and newcomers. Settlement workers provide newcomer refugee and immigrant families with basic settlement, orientation, and information services. Second migration families are also assisted.

Services and Support

  • Initial Settlement (housing, schools, orientation to Thunder Bay life)
  • Immigration (filling out applications for permanent residence, work permits, and citizenship)
  • Health Issues (referral to programs at Thunder Bay Health Unit, filling out OHIP applications)
  • Housing Issues (filling out applications for Thunder Bay District Housing, apartment search)
  • Family Issues (filling out applications for Pro-Kids, Child Tax benefits, referral to various agencies)
  • Citizenship Application Support
  • Employment Related Matters (job search, resume writing, employee rights, application for Employment Insurance)
  • Education Issues (information and referral to ESI, LINC programs, tutors)
  • Social Service Issues
  • (assistance in applying for Ontario Works, assistance in dealing with agencies)
  • Sponsorship Related Issues (assistance in filling out applications for sponsorship)
Refugee Sponsorship Program

In the Diocese of Thunder Bay, we have welcomed and supported refugees for more than 25 years through our sponsorship programs and our outreach ministry at  D.O.O.R.S. To New Life.

Any parish or group of individuals may sponsor a refugee family. The commitment to support the refugees financially and with friendship during their first year in Canada is an opportunity to make a deeply personal and tangible difference in the lives of refugees who have faced persecution and violence and cannot return to their home country. Many refugees have been left in refugee camps for several years or longer, many of them giving birth to children while in the camps. These children have never known another life. Women and children in these camps are especially vulnerable to ongoing violence and desperate poverty.

The Refugee Sponsorship Coordinator, Larry Chlebovec can be reached at the Pastoral Centre to assist parishes and other refugee sponsorship groups with: information, planning, training and the application process.

D.O.O.R.S. to new life refugee service will work with parishes and sponsors to assist the newcomers when they arrive.

Financial assistance is given to new comers in any way possible to ease their burden of settlement to their new life.

This is our opportunity to reach out in solidarity to the persecuted. It is also a time to celebrate and affirm the courage and determination of people who are rebuilding a life for themselves and their children and enriching us all as they join their lives with ours.

Where people of different origins are welcomed, God is revealed:
“I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”

Contact: - Coordinators, Catholic Pastoral Centre (807) 343-9313,, for more information, presentations, resources, etc.

The Canadian Council of Catholic Bishops issued a pastoral letter on the Immigration and Protection of Refugees in January 2006. In their conclusion, they wrote:

“Migrants and refugees are a reminder that all of us before God are ‘aliens and transients.’ Their presence among us is a source of mutual enrichment for humanity as well as an encouragement toward dialogue and unity. Moreover, their presence is a sign of the Risen Christ. When people of different origins are welcomed, God is revealed.”

The Pope's Statement
Diocesan Ministry
Affiliated Organizations
Other related Organizations