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. 

Regional Director, IVC-Portland, Maine

Katherine Crosson retired from the United States Department of Health and Human Services in 2012, after 29 years of Federal service with the National Cancer Institute and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in Bethesda, Maryland.  Prior to her Federal work, she directed Patient Education Programs at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas and the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, PA. From 1970-1972, she served a Peace Corps Health Education Volunteer in Togo, West Africa.

In 2012, she joined the Ignatian Volunteer Corps-Metro DC/MD and volunteered for 5 years in Washington, DC prior to moving to Cape Elizabeth, Maine, with her husband in 2017. She led the Feasibility Committee to establish a chapter of the Ignatian Volunteer Corps in the greater Portland, Maine, area and is currently serving as the IVC-Portland Volunteer Regional Director. She also served on the Ignatian Volunteer Corps National Board of Directors from 2017-2021.

She received her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Syracuse University in Syracuse, NY and her Master’s in Public Health from the University Of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. 

Current Service Corps Members 

Charles Flynn

A native of Long Island, New York, Charles Flynn moved to Brunswick, Maine, after a long (50 + years) career in business, recently retired after serving as the President of the CRCC Fund, which manages funds for the maritime industry worldwide. Prior, he was in the merger and acquisition field, Purolator , Republic Aviation, Penn-Central RR and the Harness Racing Association of America.

Upon graduation from Fordham University with a bachelor’s degree in marketing, he served as an FBI agent and later received an MBA in management from New York University.

His late brother, Rev. D. Michael Flynn, SJ, was a Jesuit for 50 years and remembered for his work at Xavier High School in New York City. Charles’ daughter is an IVC Service Corps Member in the IVC New England Region (Boston).  

Martha Gonzalez

In 2019, Martha and her husband moved to Portland from Helena, Montana.  With a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from UCLA and Master’s in Theological Studies from the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley, CA, Martha has served as a high school teacher, an adjunct instructor in Theology at Carroll College in Montana, and a Claims Examiner for the Montana State Fund. She has been an active member of many ministries within her parish and is a fluent Spanish speaker.

David Hilleary
STRIVE, South Portland, Maine

After a 40-year career in commercial banking, David retired and he and his wife moved from California to South Portland, Maine, to be closer to their children and grandchildren. He volunteers once a month at Preble Street, has served as a volunteer referee for youth soccer and treasurer for a YMCA Indian Guide Program. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from UCLA.

Click here to watch a short video of David sharing about his IVC experience, along with Fr. Paul Sullivan, SJ.

 

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.

JoAnn Lemire

JoAnn recently retired from a 34-year career as a high school teacher. For the past 22 years, she was on staff at Messalonskee High School in Oakland, Maine, and held high school teaching positions in East Millinocket, Maine, and Dover, New Hampshire.  She served two, six-year terms on the Board of Directors for the Waterville Women’s Association, founded in the late 19th Century to serve the needs of the poor, immigrants and women in the Waterville area. She holds a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in History, both from Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island.

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.

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.

 

Raymond Myers

In 2014, Ray Myers retired from the United States Department of Education in Washington, DC, after a long career with the Office of Special Education Programs and the Office of Educational Technology. He participated in numerous inter-governmental collaborations and served on multi-lateral and bi-lateral international missions. Following his graduation from Rockhurst University in St. Louis, MO, with a bachelor’s degree, Ray served as a Peace Corps Volunteer at the Teacher Training Institute in Dharwar, Karnataka, India. He holds a master’s degree in education from Rowan University and a doctoral degree from George Washington University School of Education and Human Development. Ray and his wife reside in Cape Elizabeth close to their daughter and grandchildren.

Larry Reilly

A semi-retired marketing and communications professional, Larry received his Jesuit education at Fairfield Prep in Connecticut and Georgetown University in Washington, DC. He has led Ignatian college discussions and retreats and currently provides pro bono communications assistance to non-profit organizations. He loves to sing and was a member of the Mendelssohn Choir of Connecticut, the Georgetown Chimes a cappella group, and the Georgetown Dahlgren Chapel Choir (2013-2018).

 

Regional Advisory Council 

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.

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.

Jennifer Hansen

Chris Jennifer Hansen

Jennifer grew up in the Midwest and attended Catholics schools, run by the Sisters of Mercy and later the Dominicans, all the way through college. Over the years, she has volunteered with the Girl Scouts, her children’s schools, the South Portland Food Cupboard, and St. Bartholomew Church, which has helped her grow both personally and spiritually. Her participation in a Walking With Purpose Bible study led to 10 years of active service in women’s ministry as a volunteer program coordinator and small group leader. She enjoys the opportunity to grow in faith through the many programs, conferences and retreats offered in Maine, and she recently made the “Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life” with the Ignatian Spirituality Partnership of Maine.

Tom Meuser

Tom is a product of 8 years of Jesuit education — Fairfield Prep and College of the Holy Cross. He served from 1986-1988 in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps (JVC) working at Bread for the City in Washington, DC. He met and married his wife, Christy, during his volunteer period (she was in the Lutheran Volunteer Corps) and they lived for 25 years in St. Louis. Tom completed his PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and has enjoyed a twenty-plus year career in academic gerontology. In 2018, Tom moved to Portland, Maine, to become the Founding Director for the new Center for Excellence in Aging and Health at the University of New England. He has three sons — one a student at Casco Bay High School in Portland, one a student at Kenyon College in Ohio, and one launched and working for Google in Manhattan, NYC. In his spare time, Tom enjoys reading, carpentry projects, playing tennis, and walking his dogs. Tom is thrilled to be getting back to his volunteer roots with IVC.

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.

Martha Conroy

Martha is a Spiritual Director and a consultant for Ministry Formation in Catholic Healthcare systems. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Education from St. Joseph’s College in North Windham, Maine, and her master’s degree in Liturgical Studies from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. In 2007 she received a post-master’s Certificate in the Practice of Spirituality from Boston College and has studied spiritual direction at the Ignatius Center in Guelph, Ontario. Martha was an educator at Catherine McAuley High School, the first director of the Diocese of Portland’s Office of Worship, and an actuarial analyst at UNUM Life Insurance Company. She was a member of the Mission Integration departments of Catholic Health East and Trinity Health. serving as director of Ministry Formation for those systems.

Martha’s other activities include facilitation of support groups at the Dempsey Center in South Portland and training parish liturgical ministers. She is a member of the Ignatian Spirituality Partnership and has served as a retreat director with that group.

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. Vince Curtin, SJ

Fr. Curtin was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and has been a member of the Society of Jesus for 64 years. His ministries have included teaching for 20 years in Jesuit schools, working in a low-income housing development and for the last 30 years doing pastoral work in hospitals, parishes and retreat centers. In 2017, he arrived at Our Lady of Hope Parish in Portland after serving for 12 years in Mooresville, North Carolina.

Fr. Jack D’Anjou, SJ

Fr. D’Anjou is a native of Biddeford, Maine, the Parochial Vicar of Our Lady of Hope Parish in Portland, and has been a Jesuit for 58 years. He holds a Master’s degree in broadcasting and spent many years doing video work, as well as teaching French, Russian, and religion. 

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!