FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Beaver Falls, PA (December 20, 2023) – The Felician Sisters of North America are excited to announce new leadership at their flagship spiritual retreat center, Maryville, with a vision to expand programming and improving amenities in the upcoming year and beyond. The Felician Sisters invite you to participate in monthly programs designed to inspire both women and men and welcomes the opportunity to host a corporate retreat or meetings in its numerous spacious conference rooms.
Leading the way, Sr. Noel Marie Gabriel serves as Executive Director, and Deborah Masse, takes on the role of Director, overseeing Maryville. Sr. Judy Blizzard will contribute her expertise in programming, spiritual direction and retreat and vocation work, while Sr. Jane Gawlik focuses on vocation, retreat and ongoing support. Your participation and support in these exciting developments are warmly welcomed.
Sr. Noel Marie Gabriel, Executive Director, has been a Felician Sister for over 50 years. She comes to Maryville with a passion for promoting the spiritual, physical, emotional health and well-being of others. Sister Noel has focused in her past ministries primarily on the care of elders in a variety of senior living environments. She has served as a registered nurse, in management positions of director of nursing as well as nursing home administrator. She currently ministers to the Felician Sisters of North American Province as the director of clinical health services, a position she will retain along with serving as executive director at Maryville Retreat Center.
Deborah Masse, Director, comes to Maryville with over 20 of experience in human resources and operational planning. Previously, she served as the senior vice president of human resources & operations at CICOD, Inc. in Ann Arbor, MI. Prior to that, Ms. Masse held the position of director of sales and marketing at the Resorts of Tullymore & St. Ives in Canadian Lakes, MI. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources Management from Madonna University, Livonia, MI, a Felician-sponsored ministry.
Sr. Judith Marie Blizzard is dedicated to the Maryville ministry of programming and spiritual direction. She will continue serving as the vocation director for the Felician Sisters of North America. In addition to her role as a spiritual director in the Pittsburgh area, she actively participated in evangelization, retreat ministry, and parish missions. Sister Judy earned her Bachelor’s degree in Education and Religious Studies at Felician University, Lodi, NJ and her Masters in Spirituality at Creighton University, Omaha, NE. Throughout her varied career, she has engaged in ministries encompassing education, leadership, vocation ministry, formation, retreat ministry, spiritual direction, and served as a mission leader for Mooncrest Neighborhood Programs.
Sr. Jane Mary Gawlik will continue vocation work building upon her prior role as co-vocation director, where she assisted young women in discerning their call to religious life. Sister Jane Mary is a native Texan and joined the Felician Sisters immediately after high school. She holds a BA in Elementary Education with a minor in Art, a MA in Pastoral Ministry and certificates in Youth Ministry and Spiritual Direction. Recently she successfully completed a program for Initial Formation. Sister Jane has dedicated her ministry to education in California, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas including service in the public school system.
To learn more about the Maryville Retreat Center, its numerous programs and amenities, visit: maryvilleretreatcenter.org
Felician Sisters of North America
Maryville Retreat Center is proudly sponsored and managed by the Felician Sisters of North America, a joy-filled congregation of women religious inspired by the spiritual ideals of their Foundress, Blessed Mary Angela Truszkowski, and Saint Francis of Assisi.
As a Franciscan community, the Felician Sisters are consecrated to God through the vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience. Devoted to the Blessed Mother and their focus on the Eucharist shape their contemplative-active community. This unique blend of prayer and action empowers them to serve the diverse and wide-spread needs of all God’s people through a variety of ministries.
Rooted in Franciscan Spirituality, the Sisters embody the humble call of Saint Francis of Assisi to live in simplicity, humility, service and reverence for all God’s creation. Their commitment revolves around four fundamental Franciscan values: minority – standing in solidarity with the poor and oppressed; prayer – the source from which all service flows; poverty – embracing simplicity, humility, and self-denial; and conversion – a continuous turning to God in heart, mind, and spirit. St. Francis called upon his followers to live the Gospel message, compassionately care for the poor and marginalized, and remain perpetually open to a life of continual conversion.