Experience Making a Difference

Experience Making a Difference

About IVC-Portland, Maine

Our Story

IVC-Portland, Maine, officially launched in 2019. IVC provides opportunities for men and women age fifty or better to touch the lives of people who are poor and disadvantaged, offering hope and human dignity.  The volunteers commit to 600 hours of service per year (normally 2 days per week for 10 months). Volunteers meet monthly with a trained Spiritual Reflector to reflect on the meaning of their service and attend a monthly meeting with the other Ignatian Volunteers.

Founded twenty-five years ago by two Jesuit priests, IVC is committed to making a difference in the lives of the poor, the capacity of organizations that serve the poor or address poverty-related issues and the spiritual lives of its volunteers.  Over 600 volunteers are serving in 21 metropolitan regions in the United States. 

The IVC Experience

IVC is a wonderful opportunity to make a significant difference in your local community. The men and women who serve as Ignatian Volunteers are people who are eagerly moving to a new phase of their lives. Their backgrounds are broad. Ignatian Volunteers are mature men and women, most age 50 or better, who either have retired from their primary careers or work fewer hours as they move towards retirement.

Endowed with a generosity of spirit, they desire to make use of their talents in service to others. Volunteers commit to work two days a week for ten months a year, and play critical roles for the partner nonprofit agencies and the clients they serve. IVC partner agencies work directly with people who are materially poor or address structures that affect people who are poor. Care is taken in matching a volunteer’s talents and passions to an organization’s needs. Some volunteers choose projects unrelated to their former job experience, and find this enriching, while others use their professional skills to serve the agency.

The Ignatian Volunteer Corps is unique in offering an integrated Jesuit spiritual program. Volunteers live the gospel in a new way at this time in their lives, and reflect personally and with others on this experience. They are open to deepening their understanding of and experience with those who are materially poor and marginalized. 

Mickie Abatemarco

Regional Director, IVC-Portland, Maine

Catherine Duclos is a born and raised Mainer.  She grew up on the west end of Portland with her parents, Gloria and Albert Duclos, both professors at the University of Southern Maine (her mother, a classicist and her father a theater professor), along with her younger sister, Rebecca.  She graduated valedictorian of her class at Portland High School in 1982 and went on to college, an archaeological dig in Israel, then living abroad in Malawi, Africa for two years, returning stateside to complete both her B.S. in Human Services at Springfield College and a M.S. in Adult & Higher Education at USM Portland.  She has worked locally in the professional fields of social services and education and training.  Her passion is to serve others and her community with a grounded and deep empathy and care. Her Catholic faith is crucially important to her and she is genuinely excited to be serving IVC in Maine!

Current Service Corps Members 

Christopher Hoppin

Barbara Hoppin
St. Brigid’s School, Portland, Maine

Born in Springfield, Massachusetts, Barbara and her husband, Chris, lived in Ohio, Turkey, New York, California, and New Jersey before settling in the early 1990’s on Peaks Island in Casco Bay.  Barbara served as the principal of the Peaks and Cliff Island School for six years after a long career as a teacher, including working with gifted and talented students. She has done extensive volunteer work serving as a Eucharistic Minister at Maine Med and as a docent at the Portland Museum of Art. She currently serves on the Pastoral Council for the Portland Peninsula and Island Parishes. She has an undergraduate degree from College of Our Lady of the Elms and a master’s degree from Columbia University, Teacher’s College. She and her husband are the parents of four children.

Christopher Hoppin

Christopher J. Hoppin
Catholic Charities Maine

Christopher Hoppin is a retired advertising, marketing and public relations executive with experience as an internal and public communicator in high technology business and non-profit organizations worldwide. He was born in The Bronx, NY, lived in the Midwest and Japan as an Air Force kid, graduated from College of the Holy Cross and later obtained a master’s degree in communications from Fordham University. He served in the US Air Force from 1964-1970 as a public affairs officer in the US and in Turkey. Since retiring from ITT Corporation, he has done extensive volunteer work with the Diocese of Portland, the Cancer Community Center, and Ingraham and Peaks Assisted Living Committee. He and his wife, Barbara, are the parents of four children and six grandchildren and live on Peaks Island.

Linda Kuniega
In 2021, Linda and her husband moved to Cape Elizabeth, Maine, after many years in the Midwest and was drawn to the spiritual component of IVC when she read about the organization in the St. John Paul II Parish (Scarborough, Cape Elizabeth, and South Portland) bulletin. Currently, she serves as a Eucharistic Minister and Lector at the parish. Her volunteer work, in both the Chicago, Illinois, and Cleveland, Ohio, areas focused on children, senior citizens, and those with limited literacy skills. Linda has a strong interest in music. She plays the piano, enjoys singing and listening to many types of music. Linda holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and finance from the University of Washington, Seattle, WA.

Maryann Murray
Portland Adult Education/Friends of Portland Adult Education

Maryann received a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts from the New School for Social Research in NY, an MBA from the University of Connecticut and an MPH in Health Communication from the Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, MA.  Immediately before moving to the Old Orchard Beach area, she served as the Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and held a similar position with Tufts University in Boston.  Her work experience includes non-profit fund-raising, marketing, communications and management.

Click here to watch a short video of Maryanne reflecting on her IVC experience.


Regional Advisory Council 

Alicia Danielson

Alicia grew up in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, and received her Bachelor of Science degree in marketing from Boston College. She has held sales and marketing positions with Keebler and Colgate Palmolive in the greater Boston area and in Westchester County, New York. In 1994, she returned to Cape Elizabeth with her husband, Robert, and their three children. She serves on the board of the Catholic Foundation of Maine and has done extensive volunteer work in the Cape Elizabeth school system, and with numerous church and social service organizations. She is a member of the Boston College Alumni Group of Maine and St. Bartholomew Catholic Church in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. She is also the owner of AliciaBars gourmet oatmeal bars.

Irene Drago

A graduate of College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, Irene Murtagh Drago worked for the National Security Agency as a Russian analyst. After marrying an Air Force lieutenant, she moved to Kansas where she enrolled in graduate school at Wichita State University and became certified to teach Russian and Spanish. In 1982, a career move brought her growing family to Illinois where Ms. Drago completed a Master of Arts degree in Spanish language and literature at Loyola University of Chicago. While in Illinois, she raised three children and enjoyed a thirty-year teaching career, the final nineteen at Fenwick High School in Oak Park. Irene also taught as an adjunct professor at Loyola University of Chicago before retiring in 2017.  Life has taken her from Brooklyn to Long Island, Worcester, Washington, D.C., Wichita, Chicago, and now to Bath, Maine, her city of choice. Ms. Drago is the author of a bilingual children’s book, Amigos, and a maritime novel, Daughters of Long Reach. Her second novel, The Maine Point, was published in February 2020. Ms. Drago is the recipient of the 2017 Spirit of Bath Award, and the 2018 Next Generation Indie Book Award for first novel. She serves on the board of Main Street Bath, Sagadahoc Preservation, Inc., and the Holy Cross Alumni Association.

Henry Frank

Henry is the Director of Communications and Advancement for the Office of Ignatian Spirituality, a ministry of the Jesuits on the East Coast. He is a parishioner at Sacred Heart/St. Dominic in Portland, and is also involved with the Ignatian Spirituality Partnership of Maine. He previously worked in fundraising at Duke Cancer Institute in Durham, North Carolina. He is an alum of St. Olaf College and Duke Divinity School. Henry lives in South Portland, Maine.

Chris Fuller

Chris joined Saint Joseph’s College in August 2019 as Vice President and Chief Sponsorship and Mission Integration Officer where he is responsible for promoting and integrating the mission and vision of the College, its identity, and Mercy heritage. Most recently, Dr. Fuller served for six years at Carroll College in Helena, Montana, as Dean of Mission Integration and Effectiveness, an associate professor of theology and Director of the Hunthausen Center for Peace and Justice. He also served as a campus minister for ten years at Saint Mary’s College of California. During his career, Dr. Fuller has published and presented papers in biblical studies, film studies, and mission integration.  Dr. Fuller is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature and the Catholic Biblical Association. He earned his bachelor’s degree in communications at UCLA, and his master’s degree in biblical studies and doctorate in interdisciplinary studies at the Graduate Theological Union.  Chris and his wife, Martha, reside in Portland, Maine, and have raised identical twin sons together.

Deb Silberstein

Deb is a Palliative Care Program Manager at Maine Health where she has worked for five years. Since serving in the US Air Force as a nurse, Deb has worked in a variety of settings promoting health and high-quality patient and family-centered care. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from the University of Southern Maine and a master’s degree from the Harvard School of Public Health. She is a communicant and lector at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. She and her husband, Jason, live in Portland. Her two stepsons are graduates of Cheverus High School and the College of the Holy Cross. She enjoys many outdoor activities including biking, skiing, and hiking. 

Michael Smith

Michael is the Chief Program Officer at Catholic Charities Maine (CCM). He received a B.A. in philosophy from Williams College and has worked at Catholic Charities agencies for the past thirteen years. Currently, he oversees several administrative functions at CCM, such as Catholic identity, volunteer services, and disaster services. He also oversees several programs including Parish Social Ministry, prison ministry, child nutrition services, senior companion services, and in-home services. Additionally, he serves on Catholic Charities USA’s Management and Administration Steering Committee. Michael is a parishioner at Parish of the Holy Eucharist and previously completed a year of service in an Ignatian-based program in Buffalo.

Fr. Paul Sullivan, SJ

Fr. Paul is a member of the USA East Province of the Society of Jesus and Pastor of Our Lady of Hope Parish, a Jesuit ministry in Portland, Maine. Currently, he serves as a member of the Ignatian Spirituality Partnership of Maine and an Associate Member of the Iona Community, an International Ecumenical Community based in Scotland. He was an active member of the working group that conducted a feasibility study in the greater Portland area to assess the possibility of establishing an Ignatian Volunteer Corps chapter. A graduate of the College of the Holy Cross, he likes to cook, eat, and listen to music.

Click here to watch a short video of Fr. Paul sharing about his IVC experience, along service corps member David Hilleary.

Meredith Tipton

Meredith retired from a rewarding career in public health including serving the U.S. Public Health Service as a commissioned officer. She has held numerous positions at the Colorado and Maine State Health Departments, health officer for the City of Portland and served as President of the Maine Center for Public Health. Additionally, she served as the Associate Dean of the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine and founded their Master’s in Public Health degree program before stepping out to build her consulting business. Currently she serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees of St. Joseph’s College in Standish, Maine, and was appointed by Governor Mills to chair the statewide DEP/PFAS Task Force in early 2019.  Meredith holds Bachelor’s degrees from the University of San Francisco, science and UNE/Westbrook College, business administration, a Master’s in Public Health from the University of Michigan and her Ph.D. from Lasalle University. She is an active volunteer for Partners for World Health and several other local charities.

Spiritual Reflectors

Sr. Ann Boyle, rsr

Sr. Ann is a Sister of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary. She received her certification in spiritual direction from Cardinal Stritch University, Milwaukee, WI. Her ministries are spiritual direction, retreat ministry, and the RSR Associate Ministry. Sr. Ann previously ministered at San Damiano House of Prayer in Lowell, Massachusetts. In Maine, she completed the Parish Ministry Development Program and has served several parishes as RCIA director, as eucharistic minister with ministry to the homebound, as Chairperson for Worship and Spirituality, and as a member of the Parish Council. Sr. Ann has a growing appreciation for Ignatian Spirituality. Presently, she is a member of the Ignatian Spirituality Partnership of Maine, she is involved as a spiritual director for the Ignatian Exercises in Everyday Life, and she is also a monthly group facilitator for the Ignatian Volunteer Corps.

Gary MacDonald
IVC-Portland Spiritual Assistant

Gary’s formal education spans studying classical music at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA, Electrical Engineering at MIT and Business at Stanford University.  His career has included senior executive management roles in global organizations as well as several high technology start-up companies.  During his 30-year career, he traveled to Asia, the Middle East and Europe, as well as throughout the US. Gary and his wife reside in Portland.

Sr. Diane Dube

Sr. Diane is a Sister of the Presentation of Mary. She holds bachelor’s degrees in Religious Studies and Sociology from Rivier University and a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Lesley University. Sr. Diane obtained her certificate in spiritual direction through Cardinal Stritch University. She has worked as a psychotherapist, in parish ministry, and in retreat centers throughout New England. Sr. Diane is currently a member of the ministry team at Marie-Joseph Spiritual Center in Biddeford Pool, Maine. Sr. Diane is also the Director of the Consecrated Laity of the Presentation of Mary; single or widowed persons who desire to consecrate themselves to God through a private vow of chastity in association with the spirituality and charism of Blessed Marie Rivier, the Foundress of the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary.

Sr. Janet Gagnon, CSJ

Sr. Gagnon is a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Lyon in Winslow, Maine. She trained in spiritual direction in a program with Sr. Kathleen Murphy, in Long Island, New York, as well as in a program facilitated by Sr. Joan McCarthy in Boston, Massachusetts. Janet has a background in teaching grade school with more than 20 years in religious education and parish ministry. She has served as Regional Director for the Office of Catechetics (five years), Diocese of Portland, and 20 years in Congregation Leadership as Provincial and general superior at the international level. Janet has been engaged in some retreat work and spiritual direction, in Winslow. She is particularly interested in bringing more awareness and increasing interest in Ignatian spirituality in Maine.

Fr. Paul Sullivan, SJ

Fr. Paul is a member of the USA East Province of the Society of Jesus and Pastor of Our Lady of Hope Parish, a Jesuit ministry in Portland, Maine. Currently, he serves as a member of the Ignatian Spirituality Partnership of Maine and an Associate Member of the Iona Community, an International Ecumenical Community based in Scotland. He was an active member of the working group that conducted a feasibility study in the greater Portland area to assess the possibility of establishing an Ignatian Volunteer Corps chapter. A graduate of the College of the Holy Cross, he likes to cook, eat, and listen to music.

Click here to watch a short video of Fr. Paul sharing about his IVC experience, along service corps member David Hilleary.

Ignatian Partners

Meet our Jesuit and Ignatian partners here in Maine!