Sr. Linda Gregg
Sister Linda’s roots are in the West Coast of Canada where a deep love of God’s creation was nurtured in her. She brings to her ministry a market gardening and farming background from Saanich, a rural area of Victoria near the Butchart Gardens. These gardens begun in an old gravel pit have been an inspiration to her and, wherever she is missioned, Sr. Linda can be found creating a garden.
Through her years with the Congregation of Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada she has served in parish ministry, university and hospital chaplaincy and as Co-Administrator of the Catholic parish, of the M’Chigeeng First Nation on Manitoulin Island. When missioned to Villa St. Joseph it was a temporary assignment while studying in Toronto. But she found there were gardens to create and spiritual ministries in which she was needed. Today she coordinates an 80 plot Organic Community Garden on site and extensive Sister’s organic gardens. She ministers as an experienced Retreat Director, Spiritual Director, and as an Organic Master Gardener.
Sister Linda has a B.A. in Indigenous Studies from Trent University, and both a Masters of Divinity and a Doctorate of Ministry in Eco-Theology from Toronto School of Theology at the University of Toronto, where she is now a part-time faculty member
Sr. Mary Rowell
Sister Mary is originally from Cambridge in England. She has been a Sister of St. Joseph isince 2004. At Villa St. Joseph, Sister Mary is engaged in retreat facilitation, spiritual accompaniment and she is deeply engaged in the ecology ministry at the Centre. She teaches theology at Regis and St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto. Sister Mary is also the Vocation and first formation Director for the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada.
Before entering the Congregation of Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada Sister Mary worked as a nurse and nurse educator in England and later in ophthalmological and blindness prevention programmes in South-East Asia, China and the Indian sub-continent. She is also a clinical bioethicist. Sister Mary has a bachelors degree in philosophy, a Masters in Medical Law and Ethics and a doctorate in Theology.
Sr. Teresa Ryan
Sister Teresa is a missionary at heart and has ministered in Africa and Peru. Her quiet and prayerful presence along with her generous heart brings love and hope to those who come to the Villa for a time of rest and relaxation.
In addition to her ministry at the Villa, Sister Teresa reaches out to the community through her volunteer work as a board member of Transition house and visiting those in the local community who are in Hospice care.
Sr. Christine Carbotte
Sister Christine comes to us with a background in technology and administration. She has a deep passion for learning and is grateful to be a part of the Ecology and Spirituality Centre where she is learning about caring for our Common Home, living sustainably and sharing this knowledge with others. She has become a valuable asset to the Villa by increasing our online presence through the website and Social Media
Her other passions include music & photography. Some of her photographs can be found on blank cards which you can take home for a donation.
Sister Christine joined the Congregation of Sisters of St Joseph in Canada in 2014. After professing first vows in 2016 she joined the Villa Team.
Sr. Mary-Ellen Francoeur
Mary-Ellen was born in Montreal, completing her undergraduate pre-medical degree there. She then went to Ottawa to complete Master’s and Doctoral degrees in clinical psychology. With these degrees, she entered the Sisters of Service in 1976. Always drawn to an appreciation of the whole person, she later completed training in Ottawa as a spiritual director . She continued to practice psychology with an emphasis on healing which included the mental, emotional and spiritual. She spent many years in the north and in Ottawa with indigenous people of Canada. With them, she was drawn to attend to peace and justice issues. This has led her into an extended time in Rwanda, as well as delegations to Israel-Palestine, Republic of Congo,and Japan.
In Ottawa, she began a personal journey in eco-spirituality, This spirituality became the grounding for her approach to peace through nonviolence. Thomas Berry and Teilhard de Chardin have been mentors as she has grown in an appreciation of the Universe Story as a guide for all of life.
She integrates the body into all that she does, offering Reiki, mediating the Healing Energy of the Universe into healing of others, particularly indigenous women. She teaches the healing movements of Shibashi, and has offered Dance/Movement therapy and meditation. Living in Toronto since January, 2017, she is active in the peace and justice work of Pax Christi, and in spiritual growth in her parish. She is a member of the Indigenous Rights Circle of Kairos. A ministry in spiritual direction, and retreats is growing. Mary-Ellen is delighted to have joined the ministry of Villa St. Joseph. She balances her life with yoga, singing, and dancing.
Nettie passion for the Villa shows itself through her humour, culinary and artistic skills. She not only feeds our guests with her wonderful meals and baking, she feeds our eyes with the care she takes to decorate the Villa and our souls with her good nature and laughter. Many who come to the Villa for a retreat stop by to have a little chat with her before going home.
Barry May, our part-time maintenance worker, is currently the custodian of St. Michael’s Church. After working for 28 years in the food-processing industry, he is putting to use the skills learned from a farming background, as he attends to repairs and upkeep on our large property. Barry is married to Therese, is father to Sara and Lee, and Pappa to Brayden.
What would a ecology centre be without an animal friend. Pushkin had been hanging around the Villa for awhile before formally adopting us as his official family and home. His duties include official greeter and special companioning presence.
His passions include: head rubs, back scratches, treats, and long naps.
You can find him roaming and protecting the grounds. Make sure you say hello and give him a few back scratches before you go home!