Syracuse, New York
Sister Marise May entered the Sisters of St. Francis in Syracuse, New York from Baltimore, Maryland, where she worked as a medical laboratory technician in charge of the blood bank at St. Joesph's Hospital in Baltimore.
As a religious, Sister ministered in education for 25 years, teaching at all levels and in elementary school administration.
At the encouragement of the late Sr. John Olivia, then Director of Stella Maris Retreat Center and of her spiritual director, Sister Marise began a retreat and spiritual direction ministry and was gifted with wonderful education and training opportunities. She holds a Master's degree in Psychology and a Doctor of Ministry degree in Spiritual Direction, as well as certificates in Pastoral Counseling and Retreat and Spiritual Direction ministries.
In 1987, when the loss of her "good" eye necessitated leaving her teaching ministry, Sister moved full time into spirituality work. She spent a year at the Franciscan Retreat Center, run by the Conventual Franciscan Friars in Renssalaer, NY, and then returned to Syracuse to do spiritual care with the senior and infirm sisters at the Motherhouse, while working part time at the Spiritual Renewal Center.
Today, Sister Marise is engaged full time in the ministry of spirituality at the Spiritual Renewal Center of the Diocese of Syracuse, which is housed in the former Maria Regina College Library on the grounds of St. Anthony Convent. There she ministers as a spiritual director, trainer and supervisor for other spiritual directors and a facilitator of groups. She also does free lance work at parishes and retreat centers.
One of the great joys of Sister Marise's life is that of working with the Associates of the Sisters of St. Francis in the Central New York Region as co-director with Marge Gorman, Associate. Being directly involved with the initial formation of Pre-Associates and developing programs for on-going formation for the Associates helps to keep Sister Marise "on fire" with Franciscan Spirituality!