The Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary and Cormaria Retreat Center Board of Directors have appointed Joan McGovern the new Director and Administrator of Cormaria.
Joan brings a wealth of business acumen as well as experience in retreat program development, spiritual direction, hospitality, volunteer management and community outreach. Following a career in risk management with JP Morgan Chase, she then worked with Chicago Cenacle/Emmaus Retreat Center/St. Brigid’s Parish as a retreat developer, presenter, and bereavement counselor, and at the Ronkonkoma Cenacle Retreat Center as Director of Mission Advancement.
She earned a B.S. in Healthcare Administration from St. Francis College in Brooklyn, NY, and her M.P.A. in Healthcare Administration from Long Island University/CW Post. She is currently pursuing an M.A. in Theology from St. Joseph’s Seminary and College and serves as a board-certified chaplain at Mount Sinai South Nassau Hospital.
Assuming the role on September 1, she will manage day-to-day operations, including program planning, grants administration, community outreach, and connecting with retreatants, community organizations and other stakeholders. “As the fifth Director of the Cormaria Retreat Center, I stand humbly upon the shoulders of those women who preceded me. Accepting this role with a joyful heart, my desire is to celebrate God’s love and make that love known to others. Ever present in my daily approach will be to respond to the words of Pope Francis, from his encyclical Laudato Si, ‘Hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor,’” she stated.
Also joining the team at Cormaria as chaplain is Maryknoll Father Larry Lewis, M.M., who ministered in Taiwan and China for over 20 years. Father Lewis also served at Cenacle from 2014-2018, and currently serves as Spiritual Life Minister at Maryknoll headquarters and has an active retreat ministry.
Joan succeeds Sister Ann Thaddeus Marino, RSHM, who is retiring at the end of August. Sister Ann served as Cormaria Retreat Center’s director for the past 40 years, extending hospitality and spiritual direction to people of all faiths and walks of life. In 1982, under Sister Ann’s direction, Cormaria became one of the first retreat centers to welcome people suffering from AIDS and HIV and offered new programming for women and people in 12-step recovery programs. “We are grateful for Sister Ann’s inspiring dedication and commitment to this extraordinary ministry for over four decades,” said Sister Rosamond Blanchet, RSHM, Leader of the RSHM Eastern American Area.
Cormaria Retreat Center, a place of gracious hospitality in Sag Harbor, New York, offers retreats and programs in spirituality and contemplative practices, including group, private, directed, and silent retreats. They welcome groups and organizations for day and overnight retreats or workshops at the center. Guests enjoy the quiet, peaceful environment here, as well as the beautiful views of Peconic Bay. Cormaria is an unforgettable and peaceful setting for planning, teaching, training, studying, or contemplation.
The Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary is an international congregation of women religious whose mission is: “to know and love God, to make God known and loved; to proclaim that Jesus Christ has come in order that all may have life.” (RSHM Constitutions #7) Each sister wears a cross that reads Ut Vitam Habeant, “so that all may have life.” Their lives are built around the common understanding that everyone deserves a life of dignity. Through various ministries, the sisters cultivate a care for the most vulnerable and a care for creation.