EXECUTIVE MEMBERS OF THE BOARD
Jessica is the mother of two young girls and a program developer and director who has worked for a number of non-profit health and social justice organizations in diverse settings across the globe. She has recently enjoyed focusing more energy on the innovative work being done to support healthy communities in Rockland County and the greater New York area. She studied international affairs and Spanish language at the George Washington University and holds a Master in Public Health degree from Columbia University. She is also a trained career advisor, labor doula, and lactation counselor. Jessica feels at home when she visits Marydell; the quiet, stunning rock formations, trees, and open water views remind her of Minnesota, where she was born.
Marketing & Communications
Mike feels lucky to live near Marydell and for many years has been able to enjoy the sight of Marydell’s open meadows framed by Hook Mountain, blue skies, and the Hudson River. After finishing a professional career in publishing with McGraw-Hill Education, Mike was thrilled to become a part of the Marydell community, first by helping as a gardener with the Garden of Faith and then as a Board member. The chance to share the spiritual, meditative, and healing qualities of our green space with a wider community has been a most rewarding experience for him.
Denise’s involvement with Marydell has been sparked by her own spiritual journey and interests colliding with the energy and mission of the RCD Sisters. She has found rich community being rooted in the Good Shepherd program for young children, as a member of the Garden of Faith team providing organic produce for those served by our local food pantry, and through time spent in Centering Prayer sessions. To Denise, Marydell’s majestic land and place is “Holy Ground.” The longstanding leadership of the sisters and their supporters in making Marydell a place of welcome and peace for all, especially for those in need, inspires Denise as she looks forward to Marydell’s future.
Sr. Veronica Mendez, RCD
Verónica Méndez, RCD, was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico and was raised in Spanish Harlem, New York City. She is a religious of the Institute of Our Lady of Christian Doctrine and has ministered with her congregation in Florida, South Carolina and New York. From 1981 to 1988 she was director of Marydell Camp. Sister holds a master’s degree in Hispanic ministry from the Jesuit Theology School in Berkeley, CA and has participated in numerous workshop on a variety of topics.
Kathleen M. Burke
Sr. Susan McCarthy, RDC
Sr. Eileen O’Farrell, RCD
Sr. Cecilia LaPietra, OP
Maria Joy joined Marydell Faith and Life Center in 2017 after a 21-year career in the banking industry in NYC. She’s a wife and mother of one daughter and one puppy. “I love working at Marydell. I found their mission to serve all people in our community, particularly children of lower socioeconomic circumstances, fit my own personal vision.”
Roxana Morel, our Executive Assistant is a former account executive who joined Marydell Faith and Life Center in late 2017 after a short hiatus from work to care for her young children. She’s a wife and mother of two sons and one dog. “Being surrounded by nature, I feel at peace here at Marydell. I love talking to the sisters and receiving their daily blessings.”