Capuchin Retreat is blessed with many talented and dedicated people who work to serve the spiritual needs of all who come through our front doors. We have a preaching staff of two full time Capuchin friars, and four part-time lay women. We have Ovations Dining Service with Chef Razan and the faithful kitchen staff as your dining room hosts. We are blessed with many volunteers who enhance our charism of Franciscan hospitality.
Fr. Binoy Augustine, Capuchin, has assumed the responsibility as Director of Capuchin Retreat. He became part of our staff on November 6th, 2017 from Kerala, India. He joined the Capuchin Province of Krist Jyoti, North-West India in 1994 and was ordained to priesthood on 6th January 2007
Fr. Tom Zelinski is a native of Menasha, WI. Fr. Tom was on staff here in 1989-1991, and returned in 2014. In addition to being in Retreat Center Ministry for a total of 29 years, he also spent 7 years in a Parish.
Fr. Jim Andres, Capuchin, returned to Capuchin Retreat in 2010 from St. Ronald's Parish in Clinton Twp. He is also on the Preaching Staff for the Weekend retreats and Days of Reflection.
Br. Joe Howe, Capuchin, a member of the St. Crispin Friary for more than ten years, is the person always available to assist you during your visit. Brother Joe often leads retreats and other groups in Morning and Evening prayer.
Fr. Biju Chacko Parakkalayil, Capuchin, joined our staff in the Fall of 2017 from Saint Conrad Friary in Milwaukee from the formation team for postulancy. Prior to that he was involved in formation of the seminarians and parish work in Punjab, India. Fr. Biju made perpetual profession of vows in the Capuchin Province of Krist Jyoti in 1998. Upon completing his theological studies, he was ordained a priest in 2000. He studied in Rome from 2003-05 and received his Masters in Franciscan Spirituality.
Fr. Jim Hast, Capuchin, entered the order in 1970, where he has been a Capuchin for 48 years and a priest for 41 years. He has worked as a hospital chaplain, pastor of a parish, spiritual director, worked in evangelization and in retreats, and as the Director of the Solanus Casey Center. Fr. Jim has come back to us in June of this year and is happy to be here.
Fr. Tom Nguyen, Capuchin, is in charge of programing for the center. He entered postulancy in 2006 with the Capuchins and was ordained to the priesthood in April 2016. He graduated with an M. Div from Catholic Theological Union and a Master's in Church Music from Concordia University. Fr. Tom brings his invigorating energy and enthusiasm into his preaching. He utilizes the human experience to look at how God’s grace is all around us. His message is of joy and hope grounded in the Franciscan perspective.
Kathy Beutel and James Balistreri are our musicians for weekend retreats and other programs. Jim and Kathy come with experience and enthusiasm and always enrich our liturgies.
Judy Hendershott, Licensed Massage Therapist, and her staff at Moonbeam Massage are available for massage therapy at the retreat center. Click here to see the brochure.
Michael Apigo joined us in May of 2019 as the Maintenance Supervisor for the entire facility. He coordinates the day to day upkeep of the center and helps with long range preventative maintenance. He is ecstatic to be part of a wonderful facility and a very caring staff.
Steve Endres, has worked in our maintenance department for the past12 years and coordinates with the Maintenance Supervisor for the smooth running of the facility and grounds on a daily basis.
Lesley Healy, joined the staff in July 2017 as a part time administrative assistant. Her desire to joyfully serve others leads her here to assist in the hospitality and office work at Capuchin Retreat.
Christine Pilzninski, came on board in March of 2019 as the housekeeper. Christine loves how peaceful the Retreat Center is and enjoys the people, the atmosphere, and her job of service.
Our Extended Preaching Staff
Diane McDonald is a member of the extended preaching staff. She works for Angela Hospice as Director of Spiritual Care, and has served as staff chaplain for oncology and hospice units. Ms McDonald is a certified thanatologist and an advanced bereavement facilitator. She is currently a canon law procurator advocate for the Archdiocese of Detroit Marriage Tribunal, and returns to Capuchin Retreat having been on the extended preaching staff several years ago. Diane is active in the community and has worked extensively with the homeless.
Sally McCuen guides others to enter into the Mystery of God’s love through scripture studies, spiritual direction, and retreats. She works full time at the Solanus Casey Center in Detroit, MI. Her background spans high school religion teacher, college adjunct professor, campus minister, RCIA coordinator, and spiritual director. Sally holds a Master of Arts Degree in Theology from the University of Notre Dame. She is happily married to Patrick since 1986 and is raising two young adult daughters.
Nancy Clancy is retired after ministering for 30 years within the Archdiocese of Detroit. She has served as a Youth Minister, Director of Faith Formation and Adult Formation Coordinator at various parishes and completed her ministry as Director of the office of Family Ministry at Christ the Redeemer in Lake Orion. Nancy has a Master's Degree in Religious Studies and numerous post graduate classes in spirituality and prayer. She has published several articles in the Religion Teachers' Journal and co-authored a program for Lay Ministry Training, titled "ACTS, A Call to Serve." On a personal level, Nancy has been married for 38 years to Richard, and is the proud parent of two young adults.
Patty Merlo is a spiritual director who leads retreats and workshops on prayer, spirituality, and forgiveness. She trained as a hospital chaplain and received a Master's Degree in Pastoral Ministry from Madonna University with a focus on hospice and bereavement. Additionally, she has taken many post-graduate classes in Sacred Scripture at Ss. Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Orchard Lake. She and her husband, Tony, love to travel and spend a great deal of time with their four children and seven grandchildren.