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Welcome to Sacred Journey!

Welcome to Sacred Journey

Sacred Journey is a foundational course in contemplative spirituality. Together we will explore contemplative listening, prayer, vocation, discernment of call,social inclusion, and personal maturity.

Meet the Sacred Circle Facilitators!

Barbara Howing

Barbara Howing

My name is Barbara Howing and I am one of your Sacred Journey facilitators. I live in San Mateo, CA with my husband of 32 years. I spent 25 years in the commercial insurance industry, but stepped away from the corporate world in 2007 to be home with our twin daughters. It was during this time that I felt a tug at my heart and sensed a real yearning to go deeper with God, and that is when I discovered Mercy Center.

It wasn’t long until I was fully immersed in the Mercy Center programs, starting with the 19th Annotation of the Spiritual Exercises led by Sr. Lorita Moffatt, RSM. I then continued on with Sacred Journey and Art and Practice of Spiritual Direction, where I received my certification of be a spiritual director. I was also involved with the Academy for Spiritual Formation, an Upper Room ministry, as a part of the leadership team for their 2 year formation program. I do individual and group spiritual direction and also some retreat work. I consider it such a gift to be able to walk with others on their journey.

In my spare time, I enjoy being in God’s creation, reading spiritual books, learning the piano and doing yoga.

Head shot Lisa Wagner Carollo

Lisa Wagner-Carollo

Lisa Wagner-Carollo is the Founder (1993) of Still Point Theatre Collective and currently serves as the theater’s artistic director. For over two decades, she has toured the country and overseas with the one-woman play Haunted by God: The Life of Dorothy Day. She has been a retreat leader for over twelve years and a spiritual director for eleven years. Her training was received from Siena Center in Racine, Wisconsin.  Lisa began Still Point’s theater program for women who are incarcerated in 1998, and has facilitated circles with women in jails and prisons ever since.  Recently, she published Above, Along, Inside, and Through, a book of poems, prayers, and reflections.


Colette Lafia

Colette Lafia is a San Francisco-based writer, spiritual director, and international retreat leader. She received her spiritual direction certification from Mercy Center, Burlingame, and is a graduate of the Center for Action and Contemplation’s Living School. Colette has a passion for the Christian contemplative and mystical traditions, and for inviting people  to see themselves as a manifestation of Divine Love. Her most recent book is The Divine Heart: Seven Ways to Live In God’s Love. Colette blogs and offers free resources at www.colettelafia.com.


Erin Matteson

Erin Matteson is ordained in the Church of the Brethren and spent nearly twenty-five years in pastoral ministry. She then transitioned to focus specifically on spiritual formation work as a spiritual director, retreat facilitator, writer and speaker. Erin has a passion for creating safe space for deep listening and compassionate companionship with individuals and groups of various sizes. She received a B.M. from Millikin University, an M.Div. from Bethany Theological Seminary, certification as a spiritual director from Mercy Center in Burlingame, California, and supervision training from Lucy Abbott Tucker also at Mercy Center. Erin has also attended numerous events with Joyce Rupp, including the four-day Boundless Compassion Retreat, and a facilitator training
where she became a certified teacher of the Boundless Compassion program. She currently serves as a member of Joyce’s Boundless Compassion Facilitator Core Team and as staff with the Art & Practice of Spiritual Direction and Sacred Journey programs of Mercy Center. Erin has two adult daughters and lives in Modesto, CA with her life partner of nearly 33 years, Russ. She loves making music, spending time with creation gardening, at the ocean or in the woods, walking or running, and watching the Chicago Cubs play baseball whenever she can.

Dale Webb-Photo

Dale Webb

I am Dale Webb and currently serve as one of the facilitators in the Sacred Journey program.  My background includes congregational ministry in California, Missouri, and New York, followed by healthcare/hospice chaplaincy in New Mexico and California.  After retiring from these endeavors, I received spiritual director formation training and now offer individual and group spiritual direction as well as offering supervision for other spiritual directors.  I consider it a privilege and blessing to hold sacred space and to witness spiritual deepening and transformation in the lives of others.


Will Simpson

Will was formed as a Benedictine monk and also at the Mercy Institute of Spiritual Formation in Burlingame, CA. He is a mentor/facilitator for both of our Sacred Journey Program and The Art and Practice of Spiritual Direction programs. He integrates primarily Benedictine, Celtic and Ignatian Spirituality and is also very familiar with non denominational practices. In his own words, I have a love for people, their stories and journeys from every walk of life. My direction is one of deep listening with the heart to the heart and create a safe and open spacious environment.