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.