Retreat Directors

Brian O. McDermott, S.J.

Brian O. McDermott, S.J. entered the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus in 1956 and has been a priest for fifty years. He received his doctorate in systematic theology at the University of Nijmegen in Holland in 1973 where he specialized in contemporary Christology. For twenty-seven years he was professor of systematic theology at Weston Jesuit School of Theology, where he also served as rector of the Jesuit community and academic dean. He has been a religious superior for eighteen years and a spiritual director and retreat director for forty-four years. He has taught courses in spiritual direction and has engaged in supervision of directors for a number of years. He is the author of books on Christology and grace, and articles on theology and on the intersection of authority, leadership, and spirituality.

Nancy V. Sheridan, SASV

For many years, I have been involved in a ministry comprised of four dimensions: as a spiritual director, as a retreat director, as a facilitator and as a supervisor of spiritual directors and retreat directors in formation. Three intermingled threads guide my formation and continued ministries. Ignatian spirituality invites me to see God in all things. Feminist spirituality encourages me to gaze upon reality as a woman in search of inner and outer beauty and to offer correctives when such beauty is lacking. Liberation spirituality urges me to see the world from the perspective of the poor and impoverished and sends me repeatedly toward the Church and a just society. Weaving these threads in my ministry as I help people touch and embrace God, Jesus, and the Spirit who lives within their hearts. These experiences bring me great joy.

Sister Kathleen Short, CSJ

Sister Kathleen Short, CSJ, is an experienced spiritual director and retreat director. Sister Kathleen has facilitated twelve step spirituality retreats for many years. She is also a member of the Credo Dancers of Boston. Sister Kathleen is also: a pastoral counselor, a drug and alcohol counsel, a holistic practitioner, a licensed massage therapist, and a reflexologist. Sister Kathleen focuses her ministry on the poor, those struggling with addiction, the sick and elderly. A member of Perfectly Balanced Life Wholistic Team, Sister Kathleen and other massage therapists offer gentle chair massage and wellness sessions that usually take an hour: Topics: Healthy Breathing, Compassion Road to Peace, Communicating with Love , Revitalize through Self Care, Growth through Meditation, Natural Skin Health, Kindness is Powerful, Happiness through Positive Thinking, The Power of Gratitude and Visualize New Possibilities. Please contact or

Carissa A Kane

Carissa is a Certified Spiritual Director trained through the Spiritual Direction Internship Initiative in Brighton, MA. She is the married mother of two children and author of the blog Hope That Floats on Word Press. Her ministerial experience includes working with people of all ages in varying settings from spiritual direction and retreat work to faith formation, marriage preparation, prayer groups, and visiting the sick and the homebound. Carissa is passionate about companioning others on their journey as they look to explore, deepen and grow in their relationship with God.

Carol Fitzsimmons, CSJ

Carol Fitzsimmons, CSJ has more than 30 years experience as a Spiritual Director and Retreat Director. She has a Masters degree in Counseling, a Certificate of Study from the Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley, California and holds a Certificate in Spiritual Direction from the Center for Religious Development, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Following 10 years as Team member and teacher in the Sabbatical Program at St. Stephen Priory and Spiritual Life Center, Sister Carol served at St Joseph Retreat Center in Cohassett, Massachusetts. She continues offering Spiritual Direction and Retreats.

Christine Connolly, OP

Christine Connolly, OP is on the staff of the Dominican Retreat and Conference Center in Niskayuna, NY. Sr. Chris has been engaged in the ministry of spiritual direction and retreat work for over 30 years. She is a trained spiritual director and served at Claret Center in Chicago, conducting retreats for college students, seminarians and young adults, while concurrently serving as a spiritual director at the Loyola University Institute for Pastoral Studies. Sr. Chris is a member of the Dominican Sisters of Peace. She has a master’s degree in pastoral ministry from Boston College and a master’s in pastoral studies with a concentration in Scripture from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.

Joan Duffy, CSJ

Over the last ten years, Sister Joan has been a facilitator for Directed Retreats at St. Joseph Retreat Center in Cohasset, Miramar Retreat Center in Duxbury and recently at Eastern Point Retreat Center in Gloucester. As an experienced group facilitator, her focus has been on discernment of heart as a way of being attentive to God’s presence in our lives as each day unfolds. With varied experiences in spiritual companionship, Sister Joan is involved in the ministry of Spiritual Direction at the Motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Brighton. Additionally, her ministry involves spiritual companioning of retired sisters and leading prayer services.

Lyn Ferrara

Ellen (Lyn) Ferrara is a graduate of The Center for Religious Development in Cambridge, MA where she received a Certificate in Spiritual Direction and she holds a Masters in Clinical Pastoral Counseling from Emmanuel College. She has been active in retreat work and Cursillo leadership since 1972 and received CPE training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.  Lyn has been a hospice volunteer and is currently a Eucharistic Minister at St. Anthony’s Parish in Cohasset, Ma, South Shore Hospital and Plymouth House of Correction and provides Spiritual Direction at Glastonbury Abbey for retreatants upon request. Lyn is the mother of five daughters and one son, a widow, and Nana to thirteen grandchildren.

Joanne Fantini, CSJA

Joanne Fantini, CSJA serves as a member of the Full-Time Retreat staff at Eastern Point Retreat House in Gloucester, MA. Joanne has been providing spiritual direction and retreats since 2007 in the Ignatian tradition. She is the mother of 4 adult children and grandmother of one. Joanne has been an Associate for 30 years and is currently an Agregee candidate in formation with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston.

Joan M. McCarthy, CSJ

Joan M. McCarthy, CSJ has been ministering in spirituality programs since 1973. When St. Joseph Retreat Center began in 1974 it was her privilege to be one of the two founding co-directors. Joan ministered full-time at Gonzaga Retreat House in East Gloucester for approximately seven years, at an ecumenical, residential treatment center in Canada for two years, on the congregation Formation Team for four years and on the congregation leadership team for six years. In 2006 Joan returned to full-time ministry at St. Joseph Retreat Center in Cohasset where she ministered until October 2016. Over the years Joan has given hundreds of 4-30 day retreats in numerous U.S. retreat centers, Wales, Ireland, England and Canada. Since 2003 Joan has also co-directed a weekly Spiritual Direction Internship Program and for several years she offered a monthly, multi-cultural training program in New York. Presently Joan is part of St. Joseph Spiritual Ministries and continues to offer spiritual direction, supervision, directed retreats and professional development programs for spiritual directors.

Kathleen Hagerty, CSJ

Kathleen Hagerty, CSJ is a Sister of St. Joseph of Boston. She holds a M.A. in Religious Education and a M.A. in Christian Spirituality from Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska. She is also a NACC Certified Chaplain. Kathleen is a certified Mid-Life Directions Consultant, an international group who conduct aging programs for mid-life and older adults throughout the U.S. and abroad. Kathleen has been an educator and administrator. She recently served as an Interfaith Chaplain for the State of Massachusetts in an inpatient locked clinical setting for fourteen years. Currently, Kathleen conducts workshops on aging and spirituality and does Spiritual Direction and conducts retreats in the New England area.

Marybeth Harmon

Marybeth is a widow, mother of 5 and involved grandmother of 13. She holds a masters degree in Pastoral Counseling from Emmanuel College in Boston, MA.  She is a board certified chaplain with the National Association of Catholic Chaplains.  Marybeth was trained in spiritual direction at the Internship in the art of spiritual direction at mercy center in Burlingame, CA , The center for religious development, Cambridge, MA and the Spiritual Direction Intern Institute in Brighton, MA. Marybeth’s current ministry is her spiritual direction practice and pastoral care for long-term care residents.

Mary Beth Robinson

Mary Beth has been directing at St. Joseph Retreat Center since 2008 after she finished being trained with the Spiritual Direction Internship Initiative. She worked as a missionary for 7 years as an RN in Colombia, South America and also in Pastoral Care work there. Back in the US she has been a part of the training in religious formation for a Missionary Community. Mary Beth also worked as a chaplain for the Spanish speaking community at MCI Norfolk Prison and presently is the Spiritual Care Coordinator for Notre Dame Hospice in Worcester, MA.

Nancy C. Kehoe RSCJ, PhD.

Nancy C. Kehoe, RSCJ, PhD., is a member of the Religious of the Sacred Heart. She is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, part time. Her area of expertise is religion and spirituality in the clinical context. For thirty-five years, using a model she created, Dr. Kehoe has led groups on spiritual beliefs and values for adults with psychiatric disabilities. She has presented at regional, national, and international conferences and published on the subject of religion and psychotherapy. For twelve years she served in an administrative position within her religious order and for two years was a member of the Provincial Team, the central governing body for her religious order in the United States. For more than ten years she has directed retreats at the Retreat Center in Cohasset MA and has presented at the CSJ Intern program in Brighton MA. In 2009, her book “Wrestling with Our Inner Angels: Faith, Mental Illness and the Journey to Wholeness” was published by Jossey-Bass/Wiley. She has recently published six You Tubes, “Conversations on religion and mental illness.” Additional information can be found on her web site at:

Patricia McDermott, IHM

Sister Pat McDermott, IHM has been involved in Spiritual Direction and Retreat ministry for more than 25 years. She served on the Retreat Team at Loyola Retreat House for 16 years. Presently, Pat serves on the Leadership Team of her community.

Pauline Curley, CSJ

Pauline Curley is a Sister of St. Joseph of Boston with master’s degrees in both Pastoral Counseling and Reading. She is certified in spiritual direction. Having made the Spiritual Exercises and the Exercises in Everyday Life, Pauline has directed retreats and weekend programs at St. Joseph Retreat Center in Cohasset, MA. Presently, she offers individual spiritual direction at the spiritual ministry offices at the Sisters of St. Joseph residence in Brighton, MA. Pauline has experience working in shelters for homeless women and has a commitment to end the trafficking of women and children. She is presently working as the coordinator of a learning center in a Montessori School.

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