The Sisters of Belle Coeur are women of wisdom.
We are a global community with sisters living in the United States, United Kingdom, South Korea, New Zealand and Canada.
This page represents a few of our of our sisters and is a work in progress, as are we.
As explained by our Foundress, Sibyl Dana Reynolds, in her book The Way of Belle Coeur: A Woman's Vade Mecum, the concept of Sisterhood has remained a constant theme in women's lives for centuries. An intentional and co-creative community circle provides a sacred container for women to gather, share, and curate our stories. Together we support one another as we develop our crafts and spirituality. In this way, we create our personal and collective legacies for future generations.
Sister Sibyl Dana Reynolds – California
In my heart of hearts, I'm a monastic and contemplative. The home I share with my husband is my sanctuary. Flickering candles, the smoky scent of incense, and the sound of Gregorian chant quicken my senses. Nostalgia and melancholia feed my writer's spirit. I put pen to paper and await the story. Prayer is a river running through each day. I dwell in the Mystery while I ache to inhabit and know the ancient time and place that lives within a memory, hidden deep inside my bones.
As the founder of the Sisters of Belle Coeur, I am inspired by the sacred wisdom within women's stories and the blessings of sisterhood. Christ, the Beloved, is at the center of my life, my compass, and True North. Sacrament and Scripture feed my soul. I draw sustenance from the writings of the early feminine saints and mystics such as; St. Hildegard of Bingen, St. Teresa of Avila, and the Beguine, Mechtild of Magdeburg. My family is my wellspring of joy. My beloved, my children and granddaughter are life's greatest teachers. I believe the times we are living in are calling forth the return of the Divine Feminine. The Spirit invites us to create a living legacy of women's stories expressed through the sacred life-arts. My intention through my work is to serve as a midwife for our planet's rebirthing. I can imagine no greater privilege.
Sister Juanita Cordero
Sister Juanita Cordero has an MA in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College, a Masters in Theology and a Doctor of Ministry with an emphasis in Feminist Pastoral Studies from Global Ministries University. She retired from teaching at De Anza College in Cupertino, California in the Child Development/Education Department, and served as a nurse for the Children’s Center. Her present ministries include teaching, Serving the homeless, visiting the sick, and elderly and attending conferences as the outreach person representing RCWP. She presently works with the new applicants for the organization. She pastors a house church, The Magdala Catholic Community, in Los Gatos, CA. She and her husband Don (a former Jesuit, and a married priest who passed away in 2007) raised five children and were involved in liturgy and music planning for more than 30 years at the University of Santa Clara Mission Church.
Sister Mary Anne Dorner - Florida
Throughout my life, I have been amazed at how God has led me and guided me on my spiritual journey. As a young girl growing up in the Roman Catholic Church, I could have never imagined that after being married and raising a family, I would finally be able to embrace God's calling on my life to be a priest after I joined the Episcopal Church. The road wasn't easy, and I had many stumbles, but by the Grace of God I was ordained just before my 45th birthday.
As I have learned, vocations are constantly changing and evolving. During years of active service, I have served as a parish priest, church planter, chaplain (hospice, nursing home and hospital) and as an Adjunct Professor of Theology and Church History at a Catholic University! Since "retirement," I have continued to preach and celebrate as well as lead retreats (the latest via Zoom during the pandemic).
I have been blessed with a supportive husband, four children and eight grandchildren...who all enrich my life in so many ways. I have been nurtured over the years with spiritual directors and mentors, who have helped me discern next steps on my journey.
In 2014 I was fortunate to be introduced to Sister Sibyl Dana Reynolds, and to attend the Denver Belle Coeur Spiritual Formation Retreat where I embraced the Way of Belle Coeur. My Belle Coeur sisters have helped me to expand my vision of what it means to be a sacred life artisan which is especially meaningful for me as I live into my seventies in this ever-changing world. Onward we go.
Sister Anne Fuquay – Florida
Be Still. Behold. Bear witness. This is my wisdom. I am a lover of silence and solitude, of poustinia. I belong to hushed woodlands, deserted seashores, enclosed home space, cloistered office, and still sanctuaries beyond Sundays. I dwell in the spacious cave of my heart. Within these sacred places, I pray. Gaze. Study. And wonder. I long for the Divine Feminine and for women’s wholeness. I yearn for Creation’s wellbeing. My great love flowers in altars and worship, in communion with saints. Liturgy, proclamation, and celebration, writing with word and image, and the tending of souls and shrines—these are my offerings. Cooking satisfies me. I revel in shared tables and feasting. I’m a baker of Mass bread and Keeper of my Sisters’ relics. Mysteries taking flesh consume me. With thankful joy, I create home with spouse and son, along with two cats. I serve in The United Methodist Church and possess a Franciscan spirit. I am devoted to Mary Theotokos and her mother, St. Anne. I hope to live the meaning of my name, to be grace and light. My invitation is to abide in the poustinia of your heart and be still. Simply behold the wonders all around you. Bear witness to these Mysteries through whichever forms your artistry of devotion manifests.
Sister Elinor Galbraith - New Zealand
I'm Elinor Galbraith. My friends call me Elly. I live in New Zealand , so I often have to flip a lot of the seasonal calender here to adjust to the southern hemisphere. I am a mother, friend, spiritual director, spa therapist and retreat facilitator. I became a Belle Coeur sister in 2019. I love all things centred in the Divine, that are simple, nourishing and inclusive.
Some of the "FLAVOURS" that influence my work and my spiritual journey (and my human journey) include: Progressive Christianity -Contemplative Spirituality - Celtic Christianity -Benedictine Spirituality -Natural mothering -Christian - LGBTQ+ -Quakers -Waldorf education -Belle coeur spirituality -Hygee - Taize -Pilgrimage -Spa wellness -Beauty.
Being a Belle Coeur sister has been a beautiful journey, a true blessing. For over twenty years, I have felt a stirring and movement of all the "wisdom paths and alchemy chambers" without a clear map. Finding the Template of Belle Coeur spirituality was a gift. I hope to share this soon here New Zealand.
Sister Millie Mellgren – Michigan
I am retired from a 34-year career in education spanning working in schools and universities from Pre-School to Ph.D. students. I have lived throughout the Midwest in 6 different states but am now settled in the woods of Michigan. While Second Languages and Cultures was my educational passion, and mostly working with students in Spanish, I am now discovering new life as a Sacred Artisan. I am working on the completion of two new books, one a children’s book about the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage in Spain and the other a parent’s guide to language immersion learning. I also continue to develop my art passion through painting, art journaling and the creation of medicine spirit dolls.
While Second Languages and Cultures was my educational passion, and mostly working with students in Spanish, I am now discovering new life as a Sacred Artisan. I am working on the completion of two new books, one a children’s book about the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage in Spain and the other a parent’s guide to language immersion learning. I also continue to develop my art passion through painting, art journaling and the creation of medicine spirit dolls.
My wisdom comes from a belief in lifelong learning and I immerse myself in reading and courses on a regular basis. For enjoyment, I help lead the Wisdom of Women group which draws women from all over northern Michigan into a circle for continual development of holistic health and spirituality.
I am also part of the Albeniz Circle of Sisters who identify with the Feast of San Pantaleón and continual study of Spanish cultural influences. I value the Wisdom of Women circle, the Albeniz Sister Circle, and the Belle Coeur Sisterhood as the three most significant influences on my post-retirement life.
Sister Barbara (Barb) Prince - Virginia
I am Barb Prince, a retired UCC clergy and spiritual director, transplanted from my native New Jersey to Williamsburg, Virginia where I'm surrounded by woods and water. At heart, I am a pilgrim, loving both the inward and outwards quests. My 8 pilgrimages to Chartres, France instilled within me a deep connection with the labyrinth. In my church in Montclair, NJ we stained a labyrinth into the chancel floor and I became a labyrinth keeper, inviting people to make whatever journeys were calling them. Circles of all kinds keep me nourished and I belong to a Wise Women Circle, a Women With HeART circle, drumming, dream and book study circles. It is within the circles of women that I hear Jean Shinoda Bolen, MD's call, "Urgent Message From Mother: Gather the Women, Save the World." I love to build energy altars. The Way of Belle Coeur and it's gift of formation, connection and intention continues to be a blessing in my life.
Sister Pamela Sampel – Washington
I’m a writer, leadership coach, and spiritual director with an irreverent sense of humor who loves to laugh out loud. Others often describe me as “an innovative thinker and a visionary individual who readily sees a bigger and more complex picture in people, work, and the world around her.” With over 20+ years of experience in collaborative leadership, emotional intelligence coaching, and retreat design and facilitation experience, clients and friends describe me as a clear and direct communicator and a highly intuitive observer with a proven ability to inspire, motivate, write and lead.
Currently, I write, coach, study, research and explore, and create restorative retreat experiences that nurture souls and provide sustenance for life’s journey. A Belle Coeur Sister from the initial formation program in 2013, I’m a passionate believer in the Belle Coeur path for women from all walks of life. I hold Bachelor and Master's degrees in business and non-profit management; certificates in coaching, Myers-Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI) interpretation and use, spiritual direction, gemstone and flower essence therapies; and I’m an Oblate of St. Benedict at St. Placid Priory in Lacey, Washington. I have keen interests in self-healing and self-discovery practices, and as a result, I have extensive personal experience with gemstones, chanting and sound practices, and flower essences. I currently reside in Port Townsend, Washington on the edge of the Salish Sea. You can visit my website at www.pamelasampel.com
Sister Sheryll Shepard - Washington
Became a Sister of Belle Coeur in the second formation group in 2014. She is an Episcopal lay woman, spiritual director, widowed clergy spouse and recently retired Hospice Chaplain.
Sheryll enjoys all things related to hearth and home. Decorating, creating seasonal altars, entertaining friends. She has two beloved feline companions and her favorite place to travel is Ireland.
Sister Ester Tarui - California
My name is Ester Tarui. I retired from teaching in 2018 and have been enjoying my well-deserved freedom and focusing on my spiritual development. I’ve discovered that art is an important medium that expresses my inner visions and wisdom. A daily art journaling, collaging or intuitive painting is a way of quietening my mind, so that I can hear the quiet voice of my Beloved, Christ Jesus.
Reading Ink and Honey (2018) and meeting Sibyl were one of the cornerstones in my spiritual journey where a door to the world of Sisterhood, the Divine Feminine, Wisdom Sophia and Art-Making were unveiled and continue to enliven and inspire my ever-widening rings of spiritual growth.