Spiritual Direction at Glastonbury Abbey

Spiritual Direction is a centuries old ministry that has seen a resurgence in recent years as people from all faith traditions struggle to find the presence of the Divine amid the busyness and chaos of their lives.

The role of the spiritual director is to direct one’s heart and mind to God. The director listens with the ear of her/his heart and, through gentle questioning or suggesting, helps you find where or how God is working in your life.

Conversations are completely confidential and usually last about an hour.  An introductory, exploratory meeting is held, and both parties decide whether or not to proceed.  A fee based on a sliding scale is then established.

The Spiritual Direction team at Glastonbury Abbey consists of both lay women and monks.  The lay women spiritual directors’ biographies are below. To learn more about the spiritual direction ministry offered by the Abbey, or to arrange a meeting with a director, contact: Mayre Hammond at spiritualdirection@glastonburyabbey.org 

Meet the Spiritual Direction Team

Ellen (Lyn) Ferrara: Lyn is a graduate of The Center for Religious Development in Cambridge, MA, where she received a Certificate in Spiritual Direction. She holds a Masters in Clinical Pastoral Counseling from Emmanuel College. She has been active in retreat work and Cursillo leadership since 1972 and received CPE training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.  

Lyn has been a hospice volunteer and is currently a Eucharistic Minister at St. Anthony’s Parish in Cohasset, MA, South Shore Hospital and Plymouth House of Correction and provides Spiritual Direction at Glastonbury Abbey for retreatants upon request.

Lyn is the mother of five daughters and one son, a widow, and Nana to thirteen grandchildren.

Mary Gallagher: Mary has been serving as Spiritual Director/Companion for individuals throughout the Boston, Metro and South Shore area since 2006, following completion of the Spiritual Direction Internship Initiative sponsored by the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph.

Throughout the years, she has been grateful to participate on retreat teams at St. Joseph Retreat Center in Cohasset, MA, and currently at Eastern Point Retreat House in Gloucester, MA. From the mid-1990’s until 2014, Mary also served as Pastoral Associate in parishes of the Archdiocese of Boston and as visiting facilitator of parish/staff days of prayer/reflection.

Through these aspects of her life and especially in her roles as married laywoman, mother of four children, and grandmother of three, Mary continues to be grateful for the presence and activity of God in her life.

Mayre Hammond: After being widowed with two grown daughters, Mayre sought spiritual direction to help her discern where her spiritual path would lead her. While in Direction, she pursued a Masters in Ministry, yet the desire to go deeper along her own spiritual path and to find a way to share with others the fruits of Spiritual Direction lead her to complete the certificate program in Spiritual Direction at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston.

Mayre is an active member of the lay community of Glastonbury Abbey and has facilitated retreats and days of reflection for the extended community and beyond. Although shaped by her own faith tradition, Mayre remains open to seeking out practices and beliefs in other faiths that support her spiritual growth.

In direction one finds a Spiritual Companion who will help her recognize God’s presence and grace in her life. Recognizing these will bring her into a closer relationship with God and can open up new paths well beyond one’s expectations. Mayre would be honored to share this journey with you.

Carol O'Brien: Carol received her training with the Franciscan Spiritual Direction program at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston, and practices in Boston and on the South Shore. Previously a 20-year stay-at-home Mom, she participated in many parish ministries and school activities before obtaining her Master's Degree in Lay Pastoral Ministry from the Athenaeum of Ohio, at Mount St. Mary Seminary in Cincinnati. After receiving her degree, she taught theology in Catholic Schools and served as a high school campus minister.

Now retired, Carol presently facilitates the Women's Spiritual Reflection group at St. Anthony Shrine and volunteers with Hospice of the South Shore. Carol is very blessed to have known several faith-filled people over the years who have walked with her on her spiritual journey, and hopes to offer the same companionship she has known to others who seek a deeper relationship with God.