Our Spiritual Directors
Spiritual Direction is offered at St. Raphaela Center by formally trained sisters with whom you may meet privately and confidentially on a one-time or continuing basis during retreats and/or outside of retreats.
Sister Mary has been a Spiritual Director at St. Raphaela Center for many years. Her internship program in spiritual direction began with the Sisters of St. Joseph’s Center for Spirituality in Chestnut Hill, PA. She earned her undergraduate degree in Education at Chestnut Hill College and a Master's of Arts in Spirituality from Duquesne. She has completed the spiritual direction program at the Jesuit Center in Wernersville, PA. As a Sister of St. Joseph, Mary has served as directress of novices and as a congregational area delegate for her community. She has directed the 30-day and 8-day retreats, and has conducted workshops over the years on prayer and discernment.
Sister Julie, a Dominican Sister of Peace, has a Master's degree in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University. She is a graduate of the Institute for Spiritual leadership (ISL) in Chicago and the Center for Religious Development in Cambridge, MA. Her work includes spiritual direction, program development at Emmaus Spiritual Life Center in CT. She has given directed retreats throughout New England and has served in formation ministry for her congregation. Sister Julie is currently a full-time director with St. Raphaela Center.
Sister Jessica was born and raised in Wauwatosa, WI, just outside of Milwaukee. She graduated from Valparaiso University with an elementary education degree. She then served with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps on the Northern Cheyenne reservation in Montana. Jessica entered with the Handmaids in 2006, having met these Sisters on a mission trip in El Salvador. After professing her first vows in 2009, she went to Madrid to complete her philosophy and theology studies at the Jesuit Pontifical University. Since arriving back in Philadelphia in 2014, she has been the Director of Religious Education at Ancillae-Assumpta Academy, and has complemented the work among the elementary students with ministry among the university students, doing some campus ministry and spiritual direction at St. Joseph's University and teaching an introductory theology class at Villanova. This summer, she'll be collaborating with other Handmaids and Jesuits for the pre-World Youth Day Ignatian experience, Magis, in Poland. She is eager to be a part of the team at St. Raphaela Center, offering others the possibility of a further encounter with God.
Deacon David Schaffer received his Master’s Degree in Pastoral Counseling from NeumannUniversity, and a Master’s in Religious Studies from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary. He has extensive experience in counseling engaged and married couples through the Family Life Office of the Archdiocese. He has accompanied individuals for 30 years in parish ministry with RCIA and Pre-Cana, as well as directing programs and retreats at St. Raphaela Center. Deacon David, from his personal experience, has journeyed with many people in spiritual direction, with a particular gift for walking with others through the various aspects of grief and loss. Presently, he is in active ministry as a Deacon at St. John Neumann Parish in Bryn Mawr, PA.
Sister Cecilia is a Handmaid of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She is a Vietnamese-American and has previously served in the United States as a counselor for Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees for 13 years. She holds a Master of Arts in Counseling from Villanova University and a Master's Degree in Religious Studies from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia. She has completed the training program for directing retreats and spiritual direction at the Jesuit Center. Prior to her arrival at the Center, she was a staff member at the East Asian Pastoral Institute of the Jesuit University in the Philippines, served as the formation director for the Handmaid Postulants, and worked for Radio Veritas.
Sister Lyan joins the St. Raphaela Center Staff in two capacities - first as a Spiritual Director, and second as our new Business Manager. Sister Lyan is a native of Vietnam and is a member of the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Most recently she has come to the Center from Ancillae Assumpta Academy where Sister served in coordinating the Religious Education Program Academy and was also a Religion teacher. Sister Lyan brings many gifts to our staff. We are happy to have her with us. Sister holds a Master's degree in Spirituality and Retreat Directing from Loyola School of Theology, Ateneo De Manila, a Jesuit University in the Philippines. She has also 9 years experience in Vocational Pastoral Ministry and has served in formation ministry for a number of congregations, men and women, in her home country, Vietnam. Sister Lyan’s infectious smile lights up the halls of our Retreat Center.
Sister Kayjoy's ministry includes pastoral counseling and spiritual direction in the Ignatian tradition. She studied Ignatian spirituality at the Jesuit Center in Wernersville, PA and the theology of religious life at Saint Louis University. She received her Master's of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy at St. Thomas University in Miami. Her work has included accompanying young adults in the process of the discernment of life choices.
Rev. Dan Joyce