Our People

Mariandale Retreat and Conference Center Staff

Jane Hanley, Director
Donna Brunell, OP, Quilting Program Specialist
Katherine Campoli D’Amore, Operations Coordinator
Nancy Erts, OP, Program Coordinator
Bette Ann Jaster, OP, Environmental Program Specialist
Karen Noreika, Administrative Assistant
Linda Rivers, OP, Registrar
Deann Sarcone, Asst. Registrar and Receptionist

Catherine Walsh, OP, Leadership Liaison

 

Mariandale Retreat and Conference Center presenters include:

Don Bisson, FMS, D.Min.

Don Bisson, FMS, D.Min.

Brother Don Bisson, FMS is, first and foremost, a spiritual director and is widely respected as a specialist in the training, formation and supervision of spiritual directors. A Marist brother based in Esopus, New York, he has graduate degrees in liturgy, spirituality, and transpersonal psychology, and earned his Doctor of Ministry at the Pacific School of Religion, specializing in Spiritual Direction and Jungian Psychology.  With more than 60 live audio recordings available, Brother Bisson is internationally recognized for his lectures, workshops, and retreats on the interrelationship of Christian spirituality and Jungian psychology

Donna Brunell, OP

Donna Brunell, OP

A Dominican Sister of Hope, Donna is an experienced teacher, communicator, photographer, and crafter. Inherited from her parents, her love of handcrafting has enhanced her experience of nature and of God as Creator. Her favorite crafts are quilting and paper crafts.

Fernando Camacho, MD

Fernando Camacho, MD

Fernando is an ordained lay Buddhist priest of the Dharma Teacher Order, a Western group of Vietnamese Zen lineage. The Dharma Teacher Order is very interested in developing ecumenical bridges and relationships across all religious traditions. Fernando  is also a practicing medical oncologist in the Bronx and is the Director of the Community Oncology Program of the Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care. Fernando is also a member of the Mariandale Advisory Committee.

Janet E. Corso, MA

Janet E. Corso, MA

A teacher of philosophy for many years, Janet is a spiritual director and an experienced workshop presenter. She is a core team member of Awakening the Spiritual Heart, a 12-month contemplative formation program at Mariandale. She is the former Director of Mariandale, and was the founder and director of Sarabrae, Women’s Spirituality Center.

Gaynell Cronin, MA

Gaynell Cronin, MA

Gaynell is a spiritual director, facilitator of group spiritual direction, and leader of contemplative prayer, retreats, and parish missions.  Doorways to Holiness,with co-author Jack Rathschmidt, OFM Cap., Ph.D., is her most recent book.

Nancy Erts, OP

Nancy Erts, OP

Nancy is the Program Specialist at Mariandale, and holds degrees in Education and Theology. She has completed additional work in Psychology, Holistic and Eco-Spirituality. She has been involved in the ministry of adult spiritual development for over 25 years.

Francis Gargani, CSsR

Francis Gargani, CSsR

Francis, a Redemptorist priest, is an experienced spiritual director, retreat leader, and workshop leader. He has served in a variety of ministries as parish priest, campus minister, and retreat director. Presently, Francis is engaged full-time in a ministry of social justice.

Chris Glover

Chris Glover

Chris is a certified E-RYT 500 level yoga teacher and a Reiki ll Practitioner in the Usui system of Reiki. She has taught Hatha Yoga in Westchester since 1990. Her certification was under the tutelage of master teacher, Tao Porchon Lynch. She was a student at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, a professional circus performer and the director of the Circus Arts Camp. Chris’s love of movement led her to the connection of all the different aspects of ourselves-yoga.

 

Janet Marchesani, OP

Janet Marchesani, OP

Janet, who is a Dominican Sister of Hope, holds degrees in Education, and specializes in ministry with the hearing impaired. She is a certified spiritual director and instructor of sacred dance. She has a background in classical ballet as well as sacred dance.

Jack Rathschmidt, OFM Cap.

Jack Rathschmidt, OFM Cap.

Rev. Jack Rathschmidt, Ph.D., is Director of Post Novitiate Formation for the Capuchin Franciscan Friars of New York/New England. Writer, teacher, and spiritual director, he is vitally interested in empowering lay people in the church.

Karen Rippstein

Karen Rippstein

Karen Rippstein is a Certified Poetry Therapist, Poet and Creative Writing Teacher.  She teaches popular writing programs at Westchester Community College, senior centers, Divine Compassion Spirituality Center, poetry and creative writing workshops at Greenburgh Public Library, North Castle Public Library, and inter-generational programs at area schools.  An ongoing recipient of Poets and Writers, Inc. grants and a member of the Poetry Caravan, Karen has been published in National Association of Poetry Therapy’s Journal of Poetry Therapy, NAPT Museletter, Letters from the Heart, Personal Journaling magazine, en(compass): The Poetry Caravan Anthology, Layers of Possibility Anthology, and A Slant of Light.

Linda Rivers, OP

Linda Rivers, OP

Linda is a Dominican Sister of Hope. She is active in Music Ministry, is a spiritual director, and is the Registrar at Mariandale.

Judy Schiavo, MA

Judy Schiavo, MA

Judy holds an MA in Secondary Education from Seton Hall University and an MS in Religious Education with a concentration in Spirituality and Spiritual Direction from Fordham University.  Retired after43 years in Catholic and public education, Judy is now a full-time spiritual director and retreat director.

Ann van Buren

Ann van Buren

Ann is a teacher, librarian, and lifelong resident of the Hudson Valley. Her poems have been published by several journals including The Westchester Review, THE Magazine, and Blue Door Gallery. She writes about contemporary poetry for The Rumpus online. Educated at Columbia University and NYU, Ann has worked at schools and universities in the US and abroad. She regularly facilitates poetry workshops for the Brenda Connor-Bey Learning to See Legacy Series and joins fellow members of The Poetry Caravan in reading poems to people in hospitals and care facilities in Westchester County. Ann also teaches poetry for The Amsterdam Writing Workshop, in the Netherlands. She looks forward to sharing the inspiring space at Mariandale for weekend poetry retreats and workshops.

 

Patricia Werner

Patricia Werner

Patricia learned to sew in 1965 at St. Joseph’s Mission in Texas where she also taught migrant Mexican women how to turn simple scraps of fabric into beautiful garments for children. Patricia began quilting in 1998.

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