Mary Barker

Mary Barker has a PhD in art history. Her interests lie in early Christian art and the way in which art has been used to explain and even instruct theology.

Mary Betz

Dr Mary Betz is currently writing, spiritual companioning and offering retreats. She has studied and worked in ecology, scripture, spirituality, adult faith education and social justice.  Her PhD explored women’s images of God. She enjoys engaging with people of all ages who have lots of questions. Mary has two grown daughters, and lives with husband Peter in the Titirangi bush.

Helen Bergin op

Helen Bergin is a Dominican sister who until recently has been teaching theology at The University of Auckland. She still maintains her theological interests by writing, giving occasional presentations and participating on several committees. She appreciates living near several other Dominican sisters in view of the Waitakere ranges.

Margaret Bowater

Margaret Bowater is a long-experienced tutor, supervisor, dream facilitator, counsellor-therapist and co-founder of the Human Development and Training Institute. She is the author of Dreams and Visions – Language of the Spirit (1997), and “Healing the Nightmare – Freeing the Soul – A Practical Guide to Dreamwork” (2016); NZ’s Regional Rep for the International Association for the Study of Dreams, and a lifelong active Anglican. Margaret is interested in strengthening people’s inner resources for spiritual growth.

Mary Catherwood rsm

Mary Catherwood is a Sister of Mercy living in Otautahi Christchurch. She is a team member at Rosary House Spiritual Life Centre where she facilitates retreats, prayer and spiritual awareness opportunities.  Her formation as a spiritual director was through Arrupe NZ and St Beuno’s in Wales. She has a Master of Spiritual Direction from the University of Divinity (Melbourne).

​Mark Chamberlain

Fr Mark Chamberlain is a priest of the Dunedin Diocese and is currently the pastor of the Dunedin North Pastoral Area. He is Chaplain to Dunedin Public Hospital, Mercy Hospital, University of Otago and the Otago Polytechnic. For many years he has been offering Spiritual Direction in the Ignatian tradition and engaged in Retreat Ministry.  He is a Giver of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola and is part of Ignatian Spirituality New Zealand.

Marie Corbett

Marie Corbett is a Counsellor and Clinical Supervisor who lives and works in private practice in Orewa. Marie has twenty-five years’ experience made up of Couples counselling, Family Court mediation, Mental Health, and Hospice Family Support.  In the last six years Marie has studied and presented the Enneagram.  Training Marie has done with Enneagram Australia promotes the narrative tradition. People’s stories of their lives are told using Panel discussions, and this is where they bring the Enneagram to life.

Sarah Cooper is a mum of four who gratefully drinks from the stream of contemplative Christianity. When not changing nappies, she offers retreats and workshops to enable people to live lives that are deeply rooted, healed, and whole (visit FourQuartersWhole. com to see more). She has previously worked for churches in the UK and South Africa, and founded a New Monastic community in the UK, where she is originally from.

Joy Cowley

Joy Cowley describes herself as a wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and daughter of God. We in Aotearoa New Zealand know her also as a prolific writer of sacred psalms and poems and a much loved writer of children’s literature.

Marta Cullen was born in the Netherlands and came to Aotearoa/New Zealand almost 30 years ago.  She is married to John who works as an Osteopath.  Marta works as an early intervention teacher, visiting children with a disability in their own early childhood centres and/or at home. Marta loves reading and folk dancing, in particular Israeli folk dancing and sees this as her form of prayer and connecting with our Creator.

Bridget Crisp rsm

Bridget Crisp is a religious sister of Nga Whaea Atawhai o Aotearoa, Sisters of Mercy New Zealand.  Bridget returned to NZ at the end of May 2017 after working for a short time at the Mercy Global Action Desk at the United Nations in New York.  Bridget is the Mercy Global Action Co-ordinator for New Zealand and works part-time at Pax Christi Aotearoa New Zealand.  She is passionate about the Environment and Social Justice and has an academic background in Agriculture, Development Studies, Teaching and Theology.

Rangi Davis

Rangi Davis was brought up in the Bay of Islands.  Her mother steeped in Catholic traditions and Maori values, her father steeped in tikanga Maori flavoured with Anglican teachings.
After raising a big family and having been involved on several Trust Boards, she now works from her own private counselling practice. She loves life and the potential that the universe has in store for those who dare to make a difference

Merv Duffy sm

Fr Merv Duffy is a lecturer in Theology and Acting

Principal at Good Shepherd College. He has lectured an Art History paper for Auckland University Summer School. He is co-author of Verguet’s Sketchbook: A Marist Missionary Artist in 1840s Oceania (ATF Press, 2015).

John Fawcett

Rev John Fawcett is an ordained Anglican Priest and Spiritual Director. For 25 years he worked internationally with Humanitarian Organisations with a primary focus on Resilience and Coping in conflict and disaster contexts. John still provides services to NGO’s and individuals internationally on request. He believes that we, along with all of creation, are created in order to thrive, not merely survive. As we discern the pathways we are individually and together called on throughout life we draw closer to this meaning and grow as we are intended to grow. Spiritual Companionship is recognition that this is a whanau journey, one that no-one walks alone.


  John Fawcett

  Resilience Coach

  Auckland, New Zealand

Fran Francis is an experienced spiritual director and retreat leader. She has a Masters in Ministry and 20 years or more in pastoral work in a local church. She is National Co-ordinator of the Spiritual Directors Formation Programme offered by Spiritual Growth Ministries. She has 25 years of experience in pastoral ministry and with Kris Telfer established their spiritual direction practice Solace Spiritual Direction. www.

Kevin Gallagher

Kevin Gallagher MA (SD), a Spiritual Director and retreat director based in Christchurch is coordinator of Ignatian Spirituality NZ and faculty member for Te Wairua Mahi, a course forming spiritual directors in the Ignatian

Tradition. Kevin has an MA in Spiritual Direction through the University of Divinity Melbourne.

Iain Gow

The Rev Iain Gow, born in South Africa, lived in

Switzerland, Guernsey, the United States, France, Belgium and the UK. He studied an MBA and also a MA in ethics and pastoral care. At thirty, Iain became an Anglican priest. Since coming to NZ, he worked as the chaplain at Kristin School and at the Hibiscus Hospice. Recently, he was director of Vaughan Park Retreat Centre. He trained as a spiritual director in NZ, and was co-founder of the Christian community Without Walls.

Linda Gow

Linda Gow is a Christian and a Clinical Psychologist who works in the public and private sectors in New Zealand and has an interest in the integration of psychological and biblical/faith-based concepts in therapy. She is married with two adult sons and her husband Iain is an Anglican Priest. They have lived and worked in both NZ (13 years) and previously England where they married and spent 18 years in ministry together.

Ron Hepworth

For Ron Hepworth, story craft has been a lifelong passion, shaping and influencing his youth as he travelled to far off places. Storytelling became a part of Ron’s parenting and value system, becoming the core of his enquiries and interventions as a systemic family therapist. Ron found the beauty and wisdom of these stories took him into youth residential centres, prisons, maraes, community projects, high places within government ministries, the front line of eco activism and fun filled festivals. Storytelling continues to be a privilege and a pleasure for Ron, to see and feel these stories come to life within the listening.

Richard Kerr-Bell

Tēnā tatou te whānau whānui! Greetings to all. Ko Hūnoke te maunga, Hokianga te moana Waiwhatawhata te awa, Ngāti Wharara te Hapū, Ngāpuhi te iwi rātou ko Te Rarawa me Ngāti Kuri. Ko Richard Taka Kerr-Bell tōku ingoa. Born in Tokoroa of a dad who grew up in Rangi Point and mum a teacher from Rotorua, Richard spent 3 ½ years with the RNZAF before serving in the bakery of his uncle and aunty in Panmure and Tamaki (east Auckland) followed by a period of work and study completing tertiary qualifications. He has worked in the fields of teaching from secondary to tertiary education, counselling with the Department of Corrections, Family Court, private practice and secondary schools as well as many governance roles. He is currently the Mission Administrator with Whānau Mercy, the Sisters of Mercy.

Cecilia Kim

Cecilia Kim is originally from South Korea. She is an educator and works for St. Heliers school as a pastoral carer.   She ran Korean Cuisine and Korean Language courses at Community Centres for many years contributing to the local communities while sharing Korean Culture in many ways. Her special interests are in tea ceremony, gardening, and charity work. She is currently a Committee Member of Catholic Women’s League Eastern Suburb of Auckland and involved in the Marian Movement of Priests in the Korean Catholic Community.

Rachel Marr

Rachel Marr was born profoundly deaf. She grew up in New Zealand and is married. Her husband is also deaf and they have two hearing sons.  She has been involved with the Deaf Community all of her life, and her first language is New Zealand Sign Language. She uses this form of communication every day in her home as well as at work.  She is currently employed as Pastoral Worker for the Deaf Community in the Catholic Diocese of Auckland. She is passionate about helping, supporting and caring for her Deaf Community.

Susan Healy

Susan Healy is a Pākehā New Zealander of Irish, English and Cornish ancestry. She has a long involvement in teaching and research on issues related to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and a particular interest in Christian involvement in the Treaty. She believes the more we study the Treaty relationship, the more we find of richness and challenge.

Eric Matthews

Ko Te Reinga te maunga

Ko Waihou te awa

Ko Hokianga te moana

Ko Waihou-Nui-a-Rua te marae

Ko Te Rarawa te iwi

Eric Matthews is the Assistant Pastoral Worker to the Catholic Deaf Community of Auckland (alongside Rachel Marr) and identifies himself as Maori Deaf. He is actively involved with the Maori Deaf Community, Maori Community, general Deaf Community and Deaf Youth. He has strong ties to his Maori culture and

Deaf culture. His Catholic Faith has been a part of his life from his late grandparents who were strong Catholics from up north, Panguru. Eric also has some involvement with Te Unga Waka Marae in Epsom.

Beate Matthies

Beate Matthies is the manager of Te Ngakau Waiora Mercy Spirituality Centre. Beate has a background in linguistics, history of art as well as marketing and business.  Beate is member of the executive of ADCOSS (Auckland District Council of Social Services), ADCEIR (Auckland Diocesan Commission for Ecumenism and Interfaith Relations), the Auckland Interfaith Council and is involved in her local community. 

Ana Maria de Vos Sanchez

Ana Maria de Vos Sanchez QSM, JP, B. Soc. Sc. was raised in Araucania, the IX region of Chile and grew up observing the injustice and oppression suffered by the Mapuche. Ana Maria worked as an Administrative in Chief -Social Work- for CARITAS Chile in Araucania. She married a New Zealander in England 33 years ago and has two daughters. Ana Maria has been living in New Zealand for the last 23 years and is a Parishioner of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in Epsom. Ana Maria believes in social responsibility, justice and making a positive difference in peoples’ lives.

Max Maxwell

Max Maxwell is a choir leader based in Auckland. He has had a love of music from the time he took piano

lessons as a young lad in Scotland and his passion lies in bringing people together to create community, harmony and rhythm through song, played or sung. Max sang with the Heaven Bent Gospel Choir for 7 years and led it for another 7 years, and has led regular evenings singing songs from Taizé and other spiritual traditions.

Pip Nicholls

Pip Nicholls has been a member of the Aubert, Baxter, Merton, Kirk catholic lay community for forty years and has been interested and involved in contemplative spirituality since then. She is a Spiritual Companion, a member of the NZ Contemplative Network and in 2015 graduated from Richard Rohr’s Living School in Contemplation and Action.  In her work as a retreat facilitator she hopes to create environments where people can get in touch with their natural contemplative soul and have a deeper conscious relationship with the ‘stuff’ of their life and the life of the Divine Indwelling.  More can be read about what she offers on her website:

Ocean Numan

After leaving New Zealand in his twenties, Ocean lived and worked in the UK for over 25 years. In a private capacity, he was past Chairman (12 years) of a medical research charity he founded, and past Chairman of the Jeans for Genes Trust (UK) national appeal which has now raised over 30 million pounds towards pioneering research into genetic disorders. More recently he has been a Teaching Elder on Richard Rohr’s men’s “Rites of passage” programme. In his free time, Ocean describes himself as a “poetry busker”.

John O'Connor

Fr John O’Connor is a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Christchurch and author of the project.

Hilary Oxford Smith

The Rev. Dr. Hilary Oxford Smith is a writer, poet, theologian and retreat giver. She has worked at Vaughan Park since 2013 and is currently Acting Director. Hilary has previously served in hospital, hospice, parish and prison ministry and has a particular interest in supporting people who are bereaved and those living with any kind of loss. An Associate Member of The Iona Community, her faith, creativity and life are grounded in Celtic spirituality. She also gives retreats on the Celtic way and offers spiritual companionship as a soul friend.

Laetitia Puthenpadath

Laetitia is a member of Anashim Community, a group of vowed women in the Catholic Diocese of Auckland.  She has a Master’s Degree in Science which she taught at tertiary level. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Religious Education. She is trained to give the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius Loyola.  Laetitia accompanies others as a spiritual director and retreat facilitator. Her special focus is Ignatian spirituality.

Kathleen Rushton rsm

Kathleen Rushton is a Sister of Mercy and lives in Otautahi Christchurch where she delights in her vegetable garden and in making sound biblical scholarship accessible and linked to everyday faith and spirituality. Her research and publications in the gospel according to John include the cosmology of the prologue, water, birth, harvest imagery and the implications for ecological and social justice today. She writes a monthly gospel reflection for Tui Motu. 

Kay Ryan

Kay Ryan MHSc NZAP is a registered psychotherapist with over 30 years’ experience working in private practice and related health agencies. She has worked at Mercy Hospice for 8 years and is currently on the Te Waka Tiaki Mercy Mission team. Kay has co-authored the book Doorways into Dying: Innovative Teachings for End of Life (2016).

Julie Saraswati

Julie Saraswati lives in Nelson. She emigrated from England to Australia and then to Aotearoa New Zealand in 2008. She worked as a teacher for many years and then as a children’s librarian. An accomplished singer and harpist, Julie offers music for healing and well- being. She plays at Nelson Hospice, in local hospitals, care and rest homes and to community groups. She also offers her ministry of music at retreats with The Rev. Dr. Hilary Oxford Smith.

Stuart Sellar

Fr Stuart Sellar is a priest of Dunedin diocese, now retired. He worked for many years in Catholic Social Services and then as a parish priest before taking up full-time seminary teaching in 1985 when the seminary was located at Mosgiel, and subsequently when it relocated to Auckland.  Fr Stuart is especially interested in the relationship between human and spiritual growth.

Chris Skinner

Fr Chris Skinner is a Marist priest, singer/songwriter and recording artist. He is involved with formation work at Marist Seminary and continues to share his music throughout Aotearoa/New Zealand. He began recording his songs in 1990 and has 20 albums to his credit. Fr Chris has recently returned from a pilgrimage to Jordan and The Holy Land.

Paula Simpson

Paula Simpson is a Sanctified healer and Therapeutician™ through the Sacred Medical Order, Church of Hope branch of the Eastern Church. She specialises in botanicals for health and wellbeing.

Alice Sinnott rsm

Alice M Sinnott, DPhil (Oxon), MA (Auckland), MTS (Chicago), Dip Tchg (NZ) is a native of Wexford, Ireland and a member of Nga Whaea Atawhai o Aotearoa Sisters of Mercy New Zealand. Alice lectures in biblical studies and at present is writing a book on the Book of Ruth for Sheffield/Phoenix Press. She specialises in biblical Wisdom literature, art and film.

Elizabeth Snedden rscj

Elizabeth Snedden is a Religious of the Sacred Heart, currently teaching Theology and Spirituality at Good Shepherd College in Ponsonby.  She received her Doctorate in Theology in Melbourne in 2012, and has recently published a study of the way human beings can come to understand and live out of their own desire for God, for total goodness, truth and love, called The Eros of the Human Spirit: The Writings of Bernard Lonergan, Paulist Press, 2017.

Kris has a nursing vocation and works at Starship Children’s hospital in Auckland, New Zealand.  She is involved in The Walk to Emmaus spiritual renewal ministry in New Zealand and also Faith Community nurses.  She prepares and leads retreats with Fran with a special emphasis on poetry and creating engaging prayer activities.  When she’s not doing these things, she’s taking photos, going for walks and thinking things up with Fran.

Kevin Waldie sm

Fr Kevin Waldie is a Marist priest who has worked for three decades in the field of tertiary theological education. Currently he lectures in Biblical Studies at Good Shepherd College, Ponsonby. He also works as an external examiner and moderator for other tertiary institutes. He has a particular interest in modern ways of communicating the message of Holy Scripture. Fr Kevin, as a keen film-goer, finds that many a movie draws upon themes from the Bible.

Anne Warren chf

Anne Warren is a Sister of the Holy Faith.  She is a spiritual director, and she has studied and practised counselling in Auckland.  Anne has conducted workshops on Transition for many different groups of people, both overseas and in New Zealand and is experienced in accompanying people on the Retreat in Daily Life.

Jocelyn Watkin

Jocelyn Watkin is a qualified, premier instructor for the Tai Chi for Health Institute. She has been approved by Age Concern as a Community Group Strength & Balance Exercise provider.  She is qualified for teaching tai chi to seated students as well as those who prefer to stand. This programme is an initiative from the Accident Compensation Commission under their policy of “Live Stronger for Longer” and “Stay Stronger for Longer”

Cathryn Wiles-Pickard rsm

Cathryn Wiles-Pickard, a Sister of Mercy, is Kaiawhina at Mercy Spirituality Centre.  Cathryn taught for 20 years in Catholic Primary Schools; Religious Education Advisor for the Auckland Diocese; Sixteen years -Tribunal Office Catholic Church NZ. She has a Religious Education Diploma through the Australian Catholic University; Clinical Pastoral Education; Diploma of Tribunal Practice-Canon Law Society of Australia and NZ.  Cathryn is also a trained Spiritual Director. She facilitates days teaching the understanding and practice of Christian Meditation and leads the weekly Meditation Groups as well as retreats throughout the year.

David Crawley has offered spiritual direction and supervision for around 20 years. He engages in this work at Te Ngakau Waiora most Fridays, and for the rest of the week teaches spiritual formation and pastoral care at Laidlaw College.  David is an ordained priest in his local Anglican church in Titirangi, is married to Sarah, and has three adult

children. He enjoys involvement with Spiritual Growth Ministries (, walking, music (especially jazz!) and good movies.

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Celebrating Mercy


Christian Meditation


Cultural Diversity




Ecumenism & Interfaith

Evening events

Intergenerational Forum
International Day of the Older Person
Ignatian Spirituality

Lectio Divina


Meditation - 45 mins


Muffin Meetings 2019


Muffin Meetings / Morning Events


Afternoon Retreat

One Day Retreats / Reflection Days

Weekend Retreat


Four Day Retreats

Six Day Individually Guided Retreats


Spiritual Direction / Companioning


Tikanga Maori



Music Workshop

Weekend & Two day Workshops


Lectio Divina  2pm Thursdays


Te Ngakau Waiora Mercy Spirituality Centre is a work of Nga Whaea Atawhai Sisters of Mercy Aotearoa New Zealand.

Te Ngakau Waiora Mercy Spirituality Centre
104 The Drive, Epsom, Auckland, New Zealand
00 64 (0) 9 638 6238