Sr. Shane Phelan

I am a co-founder of the Companions of Mary the Apostle.  Before we began in January 2013, I had several lives.  I have lived all over the U.S., from California to Massachusetts.  I’m a Westerner who loves water!

I received my Ph.D. in political science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  From 1988 to 2000 I taught political philosophy and women studies at the University of New Mexico, where I wrote primarily on lesbian and gay politics.  I am a teacher through and through; I love leading retreats and small groups, as well as preaching.

I have been doing recovery work since 1985.  I learned through that experience how much I love to listen for what God is doing in other people.  That eventually led me to learn about spiritual direction, which is now part of my ministry.  Through my own prayer I realized I loved to pray, and to help others pray.  In late 2000 I entered an Episcopal women’s community in New Jersey, and remained there until 2009.  While there I led spirituality groups at a teenage therapeutic community, and served as a pastoral assistant at a local parish that had a large recovering population as well as many lgbt members.  In 2009 I was ordained an Episcopal priest, and I served a parish in New Jersey for three years before starting the Companions.

I love to sing and dance and play games.  I brought a cat named Shadow to community with me, and I’m learning to share her love.

Sr. Elizabeth R. Broyles

I have been reveling in living the life of a Companion since January of 2013, when I became co-founder of the Companions of Mary the Apostle.  A priest for the last twenty years, I came to ordained ministry in response to waking up to the ache of deep need of God’s life-giving presence through work with teens with autism, in the foster care system in New Jersey (where I grew up), and finally as a counselor at a soup kitchen in Manhattan.I have had the lifelong joy and challenge of seeking God in body, mind and spirit.  Wonderful guides in the Christ’s Way and those of other faiths encouraged me to journey through prayer and spiritual companionships; singing, movement and study; woods wandering and times of silent retreat. I first heard God’s whispers about monastic life at age 17, and had the special blessing of being in residence at Holy Cross Monastery for 5 years during a life-changing time.I love being a spiritual director and retreat leader, and delight in accompanying others in their lives of faith.  I also enjoy poetry (reading and a bit of writing), early morning meanderings in beautiful places and backgammon.

Covenant Companions

Dario Ghersi

Dario was born and raised in Genoa, Northern Italy. An academic by training, he received his M.D. in 2004 and his Ph.D. from New York University in 2010. He is currently a Biomedical Informatics professor and calls the Great Plains of Nebraska home. After many years of wandering in the desert, Dario rediscovered Christianity as his native language and the Episcopal Church as his most congenial dialect. The Companions of Mary the Apostle provide that school for continual conversion of life that he had been seeking for most of his life.  Dario plays the mandolin and the tenor banjo, and enjoys the outdoors and long road trips.

Ernesto Medina

My name is Ernesto Medina. I am an Episcopal priest serving in the Diocese of Nebraska. I was ordained in 1988. I have been on a journey most of my adult life to find the truth of God as expressed through the human experience. My quest has been to listen to the stories of others of how they have encountered the divine. I find my life more satisfied as we are willing to share the intimate narratives of our lives. All win when we share our realities of God. This journey has never disappointed. I pride myself in being a storyteller and a steward of tradition. I am not afraid of the future. I tend to think and/or dream “out of the box,” sometimes being considered unconventional or unorthodox. I seek inclusion for all people. I have found that recently I am on a path in search of “Sophia” or Holy Wisdom, which is to say I am exploring ways to find/experience God through the Holy Spirit. The journey is leading me to find GRACE that is expressed horizontal rather than vertical. My interests include travel, photography and Frisbee golf.

Annie Hall
Annie was born in Anaheim, CA, a few blocks from Disneyland, and has found her life most entertaining, to date.  She has migrated from place to place (living in metropolitan DC more often than not) and occupation to occupation (too many to list), and deeply enjoys seeing new wonders and learning new things.  She is a divorced mother of two young men who continue to astound, and she recently earned an M.S. in environmental science at University of MD (2008), and an M.Div. at Virginia Theological Seminary (2016).  Looking back, she sees that the thread tying all things together has been her quest for deepening her awareness and love of God, self, and others.  She feels most blessed to have found kindred spirits in the Companions and is enjoying the benefits of integrating into a community that welcomes the transformation of the Spirit.  Annie currently resides in Southern Maryland, working as a chaplain and bereavement coordinator for Hospice of Saint Mary’s and as a lay minister at Trinity Church, Saint Mary’s Parish.