Bethany Retreat Center

About Us

Doug and Mary Kay Laplante
Doug is our Executive Director and Mary Kay is our Iconographer in Residence. On a daily basis they work together to “build the kingdom” here on the mountain by visiting with guests, leading retreats, and going out into the community to help a neighbor. Doug and Mary Kay have been married for 32 years and have 4 children.

Sr. Ruth Ann Madera, CA is a Retreat Director and Spiritual Director. She does spiritual direction during retreats, as well as on an on-going basis. Sr. Ruth Ann has her degree in Religious Studies from St. Francis University. She is also a graduate of Shalem’s Spiritual Guidance Program.

Diane Balliet
is Bethany’s Office Manager. Diane keeps the retreat center’s office and books organized and up to date, registers and welcomes retreat guests, and assists with retreats in any way needed. Diane participates with our Board and helps keep that running smoothly too.

Deborah Harzinski is the Program Director and Volunteer Coordinator at Bethany Retreat Center.  Deborah is a graduate of Geneva College and holds a B.A. Degree in Biblical Studies with an emphasis in Youth Ministry.  She is responsible for all aspects of retreats & events on campus as well as growth of the Volunteer Program in spiritual alignment with our core values & building God’s Kingdom. 

Nikki English
is our primary Housekeeper and Caretaker of Bethany’s Retreat Centers. She keeps the entire campus clean & organized, and is a visionary for future improvements and renovations. Nikki plans all of the meals and is the head cook for retreats and on-campus events.

Tyler Meersand is the Maintenance Manager for Bethany. He is responsible for maintenance of our 10 buildings as well as supervising volunteers that are working on the grounds of Bethany. Tyler also assists with retreats whenever called upon.


Sr. Suzanne is the director of the Bethany YOUTH Center at Young People Who Care. She is a sister of the Anawim Community of Frenchville, PA and has worked in youth ministry and with rural poverty for more than 30 years.

Father Phillip Billotte
is a retired priest from the Diocese of Rochester. He lives in his homestead next door to the Retreat Center. He has been on the staff at Bethany for 10 years.

Sr. Rita Panciera
, R.S.M.

is one of our frequent visiting Retreat Directors.

In Loving Memory of Sr. Therese Dush, C.A.
1931 – 2015

Sr. Therese’s legacy can be found in the thousands of lives touched and changed – the children she taught in her many years of teaching, the young people and volunteers she inspired to live out the Gospel challenge of service to others in her years of Mission work at Young People Who Care, the poor whose lives were made better, the prisoners to whom she taught prayer and brought the Gospel, and the adults for whom she served as Spiritual Director and Retreat Director through Bethany Retreat Center. She truly lived out her motto:
‘Love can do all things.’


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