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Diane Zerfas, OP, is the coordinator for the Spirituality Center for Dominican Center at Marywood, and is deeply involved in the center's Spiritual Formation programs through the planning and teaching of Foundations in Spirituality, Spiritual Companioning, and Spiritual Direction Practicum. She holds bachelor's degrees in math, chemistry, theology, and education from Aquinas College; master's degrees in Arts in Religious Studies and in Pastoral Studies; a Specialized Certificate in Parish Life and Administration; and a Certificate in Spiritual Direction. Sr. Diane has ministered in many ways, including teaching high school as well as serving as formation director for Grand Rapids Dominicans, initiation and evangelization director at St. Mary Magdalen in Kentwood, Diocesan director of RCIA for the Diocese of Grand Rapids, co-director of Pastoral Life at Marywood, and leadership team member for the Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids.
Carmelita Switzer, OP, serves as a staff facilitator and presenter for Dominican Center at Marywood. She holds a Master of Arts Degree in Religious Studies from Aquinas College and a Master of Arts Degree in Biblical Studies from Providence College. She completed Pastoral Studies with an emphasis in Formation Studies at Aquinas Institute on the campus of St. Louis University. Her ministries include teaching, pastoral ministry in a parish setting, and pastoral administration in a parish that had no priest. She has also spent time in ministry on behalf of the Grand Rapids Dominican Sisters as director of formation and as co-director of Pastoral Life for the Marywood Campus. Coming from a rural farm community background she loves Michigan’s many lakes and natural beauty and God’s creatures large and small. Study of spirituality and living an integrated contemplative and active lifestyle have been long-time interests and priorities.
Ann Walters, OP, earned her master’s degree in Christian spirituality from Creighton University. Sr. Ann is active in leading adult faith formation classes, workshops, and seminars; preaching at and directing retreats; and providing spiritual direction. Her past work includes serving as co-director of Collaborative Dominican Novitiate of the United States Dominican Women’s Congregations; director of formation for Grand Rapids Dominicans; and elementary and high school education administration. She has also been active in inner-city ministries in Detroit; Chicago; rural northern Michigan; St. Louis, Missouri; and Gusau, Nigeria, West Africa.
Debbie Eisenbise is a spiritual director and end-of-life doula. She teaches courses related to aging, illness, and end-of-life at Western Michigan University. Ordained for 30 years in the Church of the Brethren, she has accompanied many families, individuals, and communities through grief. She writes poetry, likes to cook, hang out with her husband and her cat, take walks, swim, kayak. and canoe.
Amanda Dobson is the associate coordinator for the Foundations in Spirituality Program and is a member of the Formation Team at Dominican Center. Amanda is a 2019 graduate of Richard Rohr's Living School (Albuquerque, New Mexico), a spiritual director, wife, and mother of three.
Mindy Hills is a Dominican Associate and certified Spiritual Director who assists with retreat coordination and facilitation. With radiant hope, she offers deep listening and gentle prompts to help others reflect on the spiritual dimensions of life and to notice the loving invitations of God’s presence within the ups and downs of their journey. Her faith-filled lived experiences support a belief in the gifts of retreat experiences that are designed to access the beauty of creation as a contemplative practice. As a prayerful companion, she empowers others to release limiting beliefs and feelings of hopelessness to live consciously active and fulfilling lives. Her ministry embodies heart-centered spiritual care with a passion for helping others rediscover and restore their capacity for resiliency.
Orsika Julia is a single mother of three and a domestic violence survivor. She is dedicated to bringing healing to other survivors. Orsika is a Certified Canfield Trainer, meaning she was trained by one of the greatest mentors of our time - Jack Canfield. Her training and her personal journey have enhanced Orsika's ability to see things logically and empathetically. She has been passionate about supporting others throughout her life. Now, it is Orsika's mission to guide domestic violence survivors to find their own path to live a life filled with forgiveness, peace, and empowerment.
Orsika is also an author and writes weekly blog posts on Medium.
Andrea received her spiritual direction training through Dominican Center in Grand Rapids. While she worships in the Reformed tradition, she is comfortable meeting and discerning God’s spirit with all seekers. Andrea has a master's degree in counseling and has worked for many years in social work.
As a coach and creative, Sandra Mitchell guides and supports those on a path of transforming fear, frustration, and heartbreak to that of wisdom and healing. In addition to coaching, she facilitates retreats and Write Your Heart Out sessions where she holds space for you to hear your voice first. Sandra earned a degree in English literature from Aquinas College; spent more than a year in intense study, training, and practice with The Ford Institute for Transformational Training where she received her coaching certification; completed Martha Beck’s Write Into Light and Practical Wayfinding: The Creativity Mindset programs; and has 30 years of experience in storytelling, writing, and marketing for healthcare, wellness practitioners, ministries, and good causes. Learn more at www.sandramitchell.online.
Andy Rebollar is a Dominican Center Apprentice for the Spiritual Direction Practicum, a spiritual director, writer, and speaker. For more than 19 years, he has served the church in various roles ministering to youth, young adults, and adults, nationally and internationally. Andy loves the journey that God’s invitations have led him on, especially the people and places.
Allison is a limited licensed psychologist with a master’s degree in counseling psychology. She finds it a great honor to help people through difficult issues such as depression, anxiety, and relationships. Her ultimate goal in this field is to help women find their power and courage. She works in the field of domestic violence and understands the complexity facing women as they seek to find freedom.
Allison is also the author of Black Eye, Blue Sky, a fiction book that addresses issues such as past family abuse, intimate partner violence, trauma, and sexual assault. It’s a heart-pounding story of resilience, hope and freedom. Copies of Allison’s book are available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and at the Walking Through Fire retreat. Allison is currently at work on her second book.
Lisa is a licensed professional counselor and spiritual director. She has experienced the sacred privilege of walking alongside people as they allow their deepest pain to become passageways into hope-filled new life. Her greatest desire is for all people to live in the fullness of their unique identity, and to flourish in healthy, thriving, mutual relationships. Lisa has experience with many mental health and addiction organizations, and currently serves in private practice. She concentrates on helping people navigate, heal, and live in recovery from trauma, addiction, anxiety, depression, and many other expressions of unwellness. Lisa and her husband currently serve as VP and Education chairs for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in Kent County.
Esther Yff-Prins listens to sacred stories in spiritual direction and mentors aspiring spiritual directors. She writes poetry and lives an intentional, contemplative life.