Conference Director: P.J. McGowan

P.J. McGowan, Director of the Conference

P.J. McGowan is a Marist Brother and a member of the Provincial Council of West Central Europe. He is a former Provincial of the Province of Ireland and has been involved in education in many roles all his life including ten years as Principal of Moyle Park College.

He holds strongly the view that Marist leadership is facilitative and collaborative and recognises the value of bringing together the different strengths of all in education. Marists also bring a very distinctive Marian faith perspective to education. It is his hope that this conference will help to develop a shared understanding of what it means to engage in Marist leadership and begin to grow a network between Marist educators to continue the dialogue.

Keynote Speaker: Brother Michael Green

Brother Michael Green, Keynote Speaker

Brother Michael Green FMS is currently the National Director of Marist Schools Australia and Executive Director of Marist Ministries in the Province of Australia. He has been involved in Marist education for thirty-five years as a teacher, school principal, administrator, author, and course presenter.

Brother Michael’s studies have been in the disciplines of history, theology, scripture, and education. His doctorate, which explored the charismic culture of Australian Marist schools, brought together the sociological concept of culture and the theological dynamic of charism.

Since 2003, he has been a member of the International Commission for Marist History and Spirituality. As well as his expertise in Marist history, he has a particular interest in the ways in which the spiritual families of the Church can contribute to its vitality and renewal.

Keynote Speaker: Tony Clarke

Tony Clarke, Keynote Speaker

Tony Clarke is currently the Director of Formation in Marist Mission and Life in the Province of Australia. The role has responsibility for supporting and empowering people for Marist mission through providing spiritual formation for teachers and leaders in Marist schools, and for encouraging the growth of a deeper expression of vocational Marist life throughout the Province.

Tony also holds the role of Co-director of the Secretariat of Laity working for the General Administration of the Institute in its promotion of lay Marist life, and of encouraging the exploration of new forms of living Marist mission and spirituality. He has been connected with Marists through his primary and secondary education and in his previous role as Director of Spiritual Formation at a Marist secondary boys' college. Tony holds post-graduate studies in Theology and Educational Leadership.

Workshop Facilitator: Joao Carlos do Prado

Joao Carlos do Prado, Workshop Facilitator

Born January 15, 1971 in the city of Jaborá, State of Santa Catarina (SC), in Brazil, Joao Carlos do Prado belongs to the Marist Province of Brasil Centro-Sul. He is a graduate in Religious Sciences and has a licentiate in Letters. Post-graduated in Education at the Catholic Pontifical University of Paraná, in the city of Curitiba, on the theme: “The pedagogy imbued with love of Paulo Freire in the practice of teaching". In 1995 and 1996, he taught religious education classes and was co-ordinator of the religious orientation service at the Marist school Frei Rogerio, in Joacaba, SC. From 1997 to 2002, he was coordinator of the Frei Rogerio Marist Center of Formation, a center for vocation and youth ministry in the same city.

In 2003 he took over the coordination of the Ministry Sector of the Marist Province of Brasil Centro-Sul, a position he holds today. In addition, from July 2002 he’s been a member of the Provincial Council. In May of 2006 he took charge of the coordination of Mission Area of the Marist Union of Brazil, 'Umbrasil', which is responsible for the direction of the interprovincial processes and projects of basic and higher education, of solidarity and evangelization on a national level. He was member of the Preparatory Commission of the XXI General Chapter, and since early 2010 has been the Director of the Secretariat of Mission. In January 2011, he was asked to lead the Secretariat for Mission. With Brother Miguel Angel Espinosa Barrera, from Mexico, he's responsible for Marist mission around the world. He's connected with the Secretariat for Mission and all the Marist Works (Schools, Social Projects, Universities, Publishing Houses). The areas under responsibility of the Secretariat are: education, evangelization, and solidarity.

Workshop Facilitator: Brother Ernesto Sanchez

Ernesto Sanchez, Workshop Facilitator

Ernesto Sanchez was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, on 21st February 1961. A Marist student from Primary to High school, he joined the Marist Brothers at the age of 17. He followed the Basic Teaching course, and then the Licentiate in Religious Sciences and Mathematics. Ernesto studied in Rome for his Master’s degree in Education and Vocation Ministry. He took part in the two years’ International Marist course for Formators in Lyon, France. Ernesto has taught in Primary, Secondary and High schools.

Ernesto worked for Vocation and Youth ministry at the Provincial level, and was also director of the Postulancy (Marist Seminary). In 2002, he was called to the General Administration in Rome to be Secretary to Religious Life and Vocations Ministry for 6 years. In December 2008 he started as Provincial of Mexico Occidental – his own Province, and in October 2009 he was elected General Counsellor for 8 years. Brother Ernesto and Brothers Antonio Ramalho are the liaison-persons from Rome with the Province of West Central Europe, as they are also for the other Marist Provinces of Europe and Africa.

Workshop Facilitator: Brother Richard Van Houten

Richard Van Houten, Workshop Facilitator

Richard Van Houten has been the Director of Marist Education since 2009, supervising Marist schools in the United States. In that role, he has helped organize the Marist Leadership Institute, providing bi-annual four-day workshops for US Marist school leaders.

He previously served as the president and the principal of three schools and as a teacher of mathematics, computer programming, chemistry, and European history. He holds advanced degrees in numerical analysis, software engineering, and school administration.


Workshop Facilitator: Bernice Reintkens

Bernice Reintkens, Workshop Facilitator

Bernice Reintjens is 42 years old and married to Ragnar. They have two sons, Bas and Xam, 6 and 4 years old.

Bernice gained a Masters Degree in Mediterranean Studies at the University in Nijmegen with a thesis on the pedagogy of the Marist Brothers in Spain, and a Bachelors Degree in Theology at the Tilburg School of Catholic Theology.

Lay Marist since 1997, and from 1995 involved in refugee and spirituality groups in Nijmegen.

History with the Marist Brothers: Member of the International Spirituality Commission in Rome, member of the provincial Partnership commission West Central Europe, member of the Dutch Marist committee (of which 6 years as chairperson, present at various Provincial Chapters, conference on lay leadership and pastoral care in 2011 in Habay-la-Vieille.

Working experience from 1998 until 2006 as recruiter at Start People and HR consultant at Maersk. From 2006, working as an assistant to the Superior of the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary ( in the Netherlands, performing all delegated tasks. Conferences on lay leadership and pastoral care in 2012 in Marseille for the Sisters of Notre Dame de Sion. In 2013 in Paris for the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Apparition.

Workshop Facilitator: Liesbeth van Gool (Elizabeth)

Liesbeth van Gool, Workshop Facilitator

For the last two and a half years, Liesbeth van Gool has worked for the Dutch Bishops Lenten campaign as Programme Manager Education. In this capacity, she is assigned with the responsibility for the organisation and the content of the campaign on behalf of the primary schools in the Netherlands. She provides teachers and volunteers in the parishes with Catholic educational material in order to assist them to teach religion as well as do the fundraising. She also coaches a Catholic secondary school in the Netherlands on Catholic identity.

Liesbeth has studied Pedagogical and Andragogical Science and later also became a Bachelor in Theology.

She started her career as a coach on Catholic identity for the primary schools in the Netherlands. In that capacity she attended a congress organised by the European organisation for Catholic Education. There the initiative was born for a Seminar on Leadership in Catholic School Organisations. She was asked to organise this and was responsible for content and choice of speakers. This took place in Dublin and over seven nationalities participated. She was asked to repeat this seminar for German school organisations.

In 2007, she was asked to work at the Sanctuary of Mary of Intercession in the north of the Netherlands. There she developed and gave workshops for teachers and pupils on Catholic Faith and tradition.

She was born in Rotterdam on Christmas Day 1959. She lives in Alkmaar, is married and has three adult children.

Liturgy Facilitator: Aiveen Mullally

Aiveen Mullally, Workshop Facilitator

Aiveen Mullally began her career as a teacher of Religious Education in Dublin and is currently working in the area of curriculum planning for a multi-belief Religious Education programme for a new model of national schools in Ireland.

Her research interests and teaching areas are in Spirituality and Leadership, Religious Diversity in Education and Nurturing Spirituality in Diverse School Contexts.




Conference Facilitator: Brother Ronnie McEwan

Ronnie McEwan, Workshop Facilitator

Ronnie McEwan is a Marist Brother and member of the Kinharvie Team based in Glasgow. He has over 25 years of facilitating groups, workshops and conferences. He will co-facilitate the Marist Education Conference having been involved in the design and planning of the event. He is a certified professional facilitator and coach with extensive experience working with various church, not-for-profit organisations and Public Sector Organisations.




Conference Facilitator: Paul Cummings

Paul Cummings, Conference Facilitator

Paul Cummings is a member of the Kinharvie Team and has extensive experience facilitating conferences, workshops and events. He joined the Kinharvie Team over 20 years ago. He has lived in a mixed community of Marist Brothers, Marist Sisters and Marist Fathers. This gives him a deep understanding of Marist Life and Spirituality. Kinharvie Institute is a Marist Project based in Glasgow. As well as being a professionally certified facilitator and coach, Paul has studied marketing and applied psychology. He will co-facilitate the Marist Education Conference having been involved in the planning and design of the event.




Creative Advisor / Conference Receptionist: Petrina Shortt

Petrina Shortt, Creative Advisor / Conference Receptionist

Petrina Shortt is an art teacher and programme co-coordinator at Moyle Park College in Ireland. For the past seven years she has witnessed the Marist spirit in the school. Petrina previously worked as a multimedia designer. She has been part of the conference planning team.