Franciscan Spiritual Companions

Fr. Richard C. Flaherty, OFM
Fr. Richard was ordained in 1982 and did his theological and pastoral studies at Blessed Pope John XXIII Seminary. Ministry experiences include prison ministry during the Vietnam War, working with special needs children and adults, campus ministry at St. Bonaventure University, counseling, retreat work and parish ministry. Fr. Richard received his certification as a Spiritual Companion from Cardinal Stritch University, Wisc.

Carol O’Brien
Carol O’Brien 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 Atheneum of Ohio, at Mount St Mary Seminary in Cincinnati in 1993. After receiving her degree, she taught theology in Catholic Schools and served as a high school Campus minister.  Now retired, she presently facilitates the Women’s Spiritual Reflection group at St Anthony Shrine and volunteers with Hospice of the South Shore. Carol feels 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.

Br. John Maganzini, OFM 
Br. John is originally from Somerville, Ma. He served in the US Army and is a Veteran of the Vietnam War. He holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in Education, Religious Education and Religious Studies. He has completed post-Masters studies in school administration, church leadership, adult faith formation and pastoral counseling. He graduated from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT with a certification in Spiritual Companioning. His background includes teaching, Catholic school administration, counseling, adult faith formation, retreat work, workshops, in-service programs for faculty and staff development, spiritual direction (companionship) ministry to women and men in Twelve Step Recovery Programs, formation for candidates entering Religious life, friary leadership as Vicar of the Friar community. He is presently a member of Friary leadership team and serves as one of the Vicars, a member of the Friary Worship Team, a Spiritual Director (Companion) in the Franciscan Spiritual Companionship Ministry, and a member of the Shrine’s Pieta Ministry Team.

Br. Daniel F. Murray, OFM
Br. Daniel has been a Franciscan Friar since 1973. In his time as a friar, he has served in various parishes as a teacher, religious education coordinator, and youth minister. He has served as a formatter for candidates to Holy Name Province both in the U.S. and in Peru. He received his certification as a spiritual director from Cardinal Stritch University, Wisc. He works in the Development Office and is available to hear 5th Steps for those in recovery. His cell phone is 617-717-9705.

Mrs. Nancy Nichols Kearns
Nancy Nichols Kearns is a recently retired school administrator. She is married with children and grandchildren. She is experienced in curricula for youth faith formation and for adults as coordinator of the ARISE program for her parish. She leads a centering prayer group and is the coordinator for Contemplative Outreach of New England. She is an active member of the Cursillo community and has participated in the Mychal Judge ministry. She is a certified spiritual director through Cardinal Stritch University. Nancy directs the Women’s Spirituality Reflection Group at the Shrine.

Carol Mitchell
Carol Mitchell is a married laywoman who has served as a spiritual director for 25 years. She has been privileged to work with a variety of people individually as well as on retreats and during the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Her first career was as a clinical psychologist. She is part of the team teaching in the Shrine’s Spiritual Direction Certification Program. She and her husband have three grown children and five grandchildren, two of whom live across the hall from them. Together she and her husband maintain a blog about this experience.

Fr. Gene B. Pistacchio, OFM
Professed as a Friar Minor in 1984 and Ordained to the priesthood in 1989, Gene was an Assistant Pastor in New Jersey and Virginia, a total of 15 years in parish ministry. He was for 10 years an Ecclesiastical Assistant for the Missionaries of the Kingship of Christ, a Franciscan Secular Institute founded in Assisi. Fr. Gene offered retreats, formation to franciscan life and spiritual direction to these Franciscan Missionaries. He is presently Provincial Spiritual Assistant for the Secular Franciscans on the East Coast of the US. Fr. Gene is Director of the Spiritual Direction/Companioning Ministry at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston where he presently resides. He participates in The Damietta Project, an inter-religious effort between Catholics and Muslims to address social issues for the common good. Fr. Gene is the contact person for the Peace, Justice, and Integrity of Creation Ministry for Holy Name Province as well as the Liaison representative between The Franciscan Federation and Holy Name Province. He celebrates both Eucharist and Reconciliation at South County Prison and ministers with Retrouvaille of New England, a peer ministry to save troubled marriages.  Fr. Gene holds a Master of Divinity Degree from the Washington Theological Union. He received his certification in Spiritual Direction/Companionship from the Shalem Institute of Spiritual Formation in Washington, DC.

Clara Wood
Clara has developed a program for men and women to explore their spiritual lives and sacred practices through prayer, storytelling, the creative arts, and the gifts of the natural world. She had played a leadership role in pastoral ministry at St. Stephen Priory for fifteen years and has had an active voice in helping to broaden public and institutional understanding of disabilities. Clara has a special interest in exploring spirituality through storytelling and the expressive arts. She received a Certificate in Pastoral Ministry from the School of Theology and Ministry at Boston College, and her Certificate in Spiritual Direction from the San Damiano House of Prayer in Lowell. Clara is a widow, delighting in her children and grandchildren.