Consultation Center
Consultation Center: Spiritual Directors

Jon R. Allen, M.B.A., received his training in spiritual direction from the Upper New York United Methodist Conference.  He is Principal with Performance Matters, Inc., in Clifton Park.  He is a professional coach, management consultant and advisor with over 25 years of experience.  In addition to his ministry as a spiritual director, he is also an instructor in the Albany Diocese’s “Holy Ground: A Program for Forming Spiritual Directors” and is a member of the Spiritual Direction Ministry Team for the Upper New York Methodist Conference


Annette Brooks, M.A., is a spiritual director, a retreat leader, a member of the Formation Team for the Diaconate, and a presenter for the Kateri Institute for Lay Ministry Formation.  She has directed week-long retreats, led days and evenings of reflection, and presented on such topics as Women in Scripture and Ignatian Spirituality.  Formerly, she was the Program Director at the Dominican Retreat and Conference Center.  Prior to that, she served as the Program Coordinator for Living Healthy Community Workshops, a program of the Center for Excellence in Aging and Community Wellness.  Her extensive ministry experience includes Parish Life Director for St. Gabriel’s Church in Rotterdam, Pastoral Manager at St. Ambrose Parish in Latham, and directing the 19th Annotation of the Spiritual Exercises since the 1980’s.  She has a Bachelor’s degree from Fordham University and a Master’s degree in pastoral Studies from St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry..

Mary Carlson, M.S.W., received a Certificate in Spiritual Direction from the Haden Institute and Mount Carmel Spiritual Centre, Niagara Falls, Ontario, and a Certificate in Applied Spirituality from Hartford Seminary.  She has a diverse background in the arts, health care, horticulture and dream work.
Sister Eleanor Guerin, RSM, M.A.,  is a Pastoral Associate at St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Albany, doing outreach to the sick, elderly, bereaved and senior members of the parish.  Additionally, she is involved in a freelance spiritual and personal development ministry.  She does spiritual direction, directs retreats, the 19th Annotation Retreat, and offers days of prayer.  She holds an M.A. in Education from SUNY Albany and an M.A. in Theology from St. Michael’s College, Winooski, VT.  She received her training in spiritual direction  at Mercy Center, Madison, CT.
Deacon Charles Hall, M.A.,  is a deacon with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany and currently serves as chaplain at the Capital District Psychiatric Center.   He has a Certificate in Jungian Psychoanalysis from the C.G. Jung Institute of New York, and an M.A. in Theology from Saint Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry.  He received his training in spiritual direction at Wellsprings Retreat Center and has been companioning individuals since 1998.  He welcomes all religious traditions as well as those with no religious tradition.
Sister Katherine Hanley, CSJ, Ph.D., is coordinator of Holy Ground, a spiritual direction training program at the Consultation Center.  She is the former Director of St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry, Albany.  She has a Certificate in Theological Study from the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California.  She has been engaged in spiritual direction since the early 1980’s.
Cynthia Herman, D.Min., graduated in 2015 from Fordham University after studying with well-known author, speaker, and spiritual director Janet Ruffing.  Formerly a Parish Director of Faith Formation and Youth Minister, Cynthia is currently a theology teacher at the Academy of the Holy Names, Albany.  She focuses on the integration of theology, psychology,  and spirituality.  She is knowledgeable and experienced in working with Ignatian Spirituality, Contemplative Prayer, Healing Life’s Hurts Course, and Healing the Eight Stages of Life Course created by Dennis and Matt Linn.
Ellen E. Howie, R.N., is a spiritual director, retreat leader, and registered nurse.  She holds a certificate in spiritual direction from  the Spiritual Life Center in Bloomfield, CT., a Bachelor’s in Social Science from Pennsylvania State University, and a Diploma  in Nursing from St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing.
Harley M. McDevitt, M.S., L.M.H.C., CASAC, is the Diocesan Coordinator of Pastoral Care.  She received her Certificate in Spiritual Direction from Our Lady of Divine Providence School of Spirituality, Clearwater, FL.  She holds an M.S. Degree in Community and School Counseling from SUNY Plattsburgh.  She is a New York State Licensed Mental Health Counselor and New York State Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor.
Sister Constance Messitt, CSJ, is the former Director of the Priory Retreat House in Chestertown.  She has a Master’s in Educational Psychology and has completed graduate courses in Spirituality and Spiritual Direction at St. Joseph’s College, Hartford, Connecticut.  She has participated in the Spirituality Institute with the Diocese of Bridgeport and a Spiritual Direction Institute at Mercy Center in Madison, Connecticut.  She has been a spiritual director since 1982.
Marge Milanese, M.Ed., free-lances from her Wellness Connection/Retreat Center in Waterford.  A spiritual director, facilitator of days or evenings of recollection and guest retreat director in the Diocese of Albany and the Archdiocese of Boston, she is also a chaplain at Samaritan Hospital, Troy, an on-call chaplain, and a seasoned guest lecturer in Adult Faith Formation.  She received her M.Ed. from Boston College and is a graduate of the Center for Religious Development in Cambridge, MA.
Sister Patricia Mills, SNJM, M.A., is a retreat leader and spiritual director, and is also on the staff of the Academy of the Holy Names, Albany.  She holds an M.A. from the Catholic University of America.  She was trained in spiritual direction at Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA.
Patricia Mousaw, M.A., is a spiritual director, retreat leader and a member of the Formation team for the Diaconate.  She has a degree in Theology from St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry and certificates in Spiritual Guidance and Contemplative Group Leadership from the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation in Washington, DC.

Elizabeth Simcoe, M.A., has served for 30 years as a lay ecclesial minister in a variety of capacities and is currently Parish Life Director for the Church of St. Vincent DePaul in Albany.  She holds a Master’s in Theology from St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry and a Master’s in Liturgical Studies from the University of Notre Dame.  She holds a Certificate in Spiritual Direction through Sacred Heart University and has been guiding individuals in the Ignatian spiritual Exercises since 2004.

Sister Joanne St. Hilaire, CSJ, M.A. English, M.A. Liberal Studies, is a retreat and spiritual director.  She holds a certificate in Spiritual Direction and Retreats from Creighton University.  She has offered workshops and retreats in the diocese and area retreat centers.

Sister Susan L. Wieczynski, RSM, M.A., is a certified Retreat Director through Mercy by the Sea, Madison, CT and can facilitate the 19th Annotation of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises.  She teaches theology at Saratoga Central Catholic High School and is a healing practitioner and master with Rays of Peace Healing energy therapy.  She will journey with all persons no matter their religious tradition, or those with no religious tradition.  She holds an M.A. in Theology from St. Bernard’s Institute in Rochester and an M.A. in Pastoral Ministry from St. Joseph College in West Hartford, CT.

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