Grace Cheffers – Executive Director
Grace has a CPA background, with her BBA from the University of Massachusetts, and earned her J.D. from Ave Maria School of Law, Naples, Florida. She worked for three years as the first Director of “The Mother Teresa Project” at Ave Maria University, a program designed to help form students in the spirit of Mother Teresa through study and service. As a mother of eleven and grandmother of seven, Grace brings great passion and dedication to a mission that is very close to her heart. A cradle Catholic and native of Worcester, Grace, as a young mother of three, met Ruth Pakaluk – convert, mother, and founder of Visitation House in 1990. It was the beginning of a treasured friendship for Grace that had a long-lasting impact on her and her family. Ruth’s example of joyfully embracing motherhood, finding profound meaning in the apparently ordinary tasks of her vocation as wife and mother, inspired Grace to discover the source of Ruth’s peace and joy. Ruth’s faith and her courageous example of witnessing to the intrinsic value of every human life inspired many people who knew and loved her, and her legacy of faith and love continues in the faithful fulfillment of our mission.
Board of Directors
Joseph Williams – Board Chairman Emeritus and Founding Board Member
Joseph is a founding board member and Board Chairman Emeritus of Visitation House. He is a husband and father of 9 children. He also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of Holy Family Academy in Manchester, NH. Joseph has served as a member of the Audit Committee for The Diocese of Worcester as well as a member of the parish council and finance committee of St. Paul’s Cathedral in Worcester, MA. In addition he served as Chairman of the Board of Abby Kelley Foster Charter Public School in Worcester, MA. Joseph is an active member of St. Matthew’s Parish in Windham, NH, teaching in the religious education currently serves as a Vice President-Investments at UBS Financial Services in Boston, where, with over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry, Joseph specializes in providing consulting, investment, financial, and estate planning services to high net worth clients, corporations, nonprofit organizations. Joseph received his bachelor of science degree in managerial economics from Carnegie Mellon University and his M.B.A. from The University of Pittsburgh’s Katz Graduate School of Business.
Greg Morelli, Treasurer, Task Team Leader
Greg is a Third Degree Knight in the Knights of Columbus, Shrewsbury Adelphi Council #4181, and a parishioner at St. Mary Parish in Shrewsbury. He and his wife Tracey have been parishioners at St. Mary since they moved to Shrewsbury in 1996. During that time they have been active in many school and parish activities including chair positions on the Winter Ball, Golf Tournament, Holly Fair and Family Festival committees.
Greg was also the Director of the RCIA from 2002 through 2008, and has served on the Pastoral Council, Respect Life Committee and the Stewardship Committee. Greg also taught third-grade Religious Education for five years. He is currently a lector and Eucharistic Minister.
Tracey and Greg have been married since 1984 and have two adult daughters. Greg is a graduate of Thiel College in Greenville PA earning a BA in Actuarial Science and Business Administration. He is currently employed by Fidelity Investments as a Director, Health Solutions Product Development.
Jullian O’Connor, Clerk
Julie O’Connor, a resident of Worcester, Massachusetts, is a retired high school foreign language teacher. For over 35 years she taught French, Spanish, and Latin in public schools in Nebraska, Worcester, and Leicester Massachusetts. A native of Nebraska, she received degrees from Creighton University in Omaha and The University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.
She is married to a retired WPI professor and the mother of two adult children. She is a member of St. Paul’s Cathedral parish.
Donna Byrnes, Task Team Leader
Donna received her B.A. In Sociology and Psychology from Annhurst College, South Woodstock, CT. She worked for the Worcester Public Schools for 15 years and for the last 8 years as Office Manager in the Superintendent’s Office. Donna is a member of Christ the King Parish, serves as an Extraordinary Minister and sits on the Board of the Woman’s Guild. Over the years, she has taught Religious Education for K-8 students and the First Communion program. Donna serves as Vice President on the Board of The Guild if St Agnes. An active volunteer in the community, Donna volunteers at Hope Lodge, Pancreatic Cancer Alliance, Pink Revolution, as well as a Cuddler in the NICU at UMASS Memorial, Books for Babies Program (a literacy program) at UMASS Memorial, Ronald McDonald Family Room and Pediatric Unit at UMASS University Campus, and a Reader at Head Start. Donna and her husband Edd live in Worcester and have two daughters and five grandchildren.
Christine Farmer, Vice-Chair, Task Team Leader
Christine Farmer has 30 years of business and marketing expertise and, as a wife and mother of two children, has a deep devotion to the Catholic Church, traditional family values and to her community.
Christine began her career in high-tech finance, marketing and product management after receiving degrees in Finance (1985) and an M.B.A. (1992) from Boston University. In 1999, she founded and operates Resumes-for- Results, a small executive consulting service focused on personal branding and career transitions. She also provides executive coaching to various non-profits.
Christine is a member of St. Luke the Evangelist Church in Westborough currently serving as Lector, Extraordinary Minister and Catechist for K-8 religious education, RCIA and Baptism programs. She has served on the St. Luke’s Religious Education Board and Welcome Committee, and supports the Respect Life Ministry effort. She is a 15-year member of the Women of St. Luke’s Church (WOSL) organization. In 2004, Christine created and led for 12 years a Character Enrichment program for 12-18 year old girls at two Massachusetts juvenile facilities within the Department of Youth Services (DYS.) Christine is also a Board member of The Station of the Cross Radio Network – Boston (1060AM), an Associate of the Congregation of Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston, (CSJA), and supporter of 40 Days for Life.
Beyond her faith community, Christine has been an active volunteer for Dress for Success Worcester since 2010 and received the 2012 “Beyond the Suit” award for driving local awareness, strategic initiatives and resume development workshops. She has served Westborough Public Schools in classrooms, career forums, character initiatives, parent activities, and since 2006, served school and advisory councils at the elementary, upper elementary, middle and high school levels.
Christine and her husband, Dave, live in Westborough raising two daughters with particular emphasis on the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.
Callie received a B.A. in History from Worcester State University. She and her husband, Matthew, have two boys – one biological and one adopted from South Korea. She is a stay-at-home mom.
Callie is a Creighton Model Fertility Care Practitioner, teaching natural family planning at Immaculate Conception in Worcester, and she shares her expertise with the residents at Visitation House.
John W. Harding
John graduated from Archbishop Williams High School in Braintree, MA in 1955, Providence College, R.I. in 1959 with a B.A. in biology, UCC medical school, Cork, Ireland in 964 M.D. He completed his internship and 1st year medical residency at the Carney Hospital, Boston, MA in 1966. He completed his pediatric residency at St. Vincent Hospital, Worcester, MA in 1968. He had a private practice of pediatrics in Shrewsbury and Worcester, MA. from 1968 to 2007. He was Chief of Pediatrics at Hahnemann Hospital in Worcester from 1982 to 1988.
He and his wife, Grace, are married 49 years and have four children and seven grandchildren. He is the director of the Respect Life ministry at St. Mary’s Parish, Shrewsbury, MA. He is on the board of directors at Problem Pregnancy in Worcester.
He is a member of the Catholic Medical association, Mass. Citizens for Life, Mass. Medical Society, and the Worcester District medical society. His YouTube channel is “Raising kids with God”.
Kevin has twenty-eight years of business management, sales manage- ment, marketing management and construction management experience. He is currently Vice President and member of the Board of Directors of Brady-Built Sunrooms. In that capacity, he reviews and approves sales and marketing budgets, develops and oversees the marketing campaign including development of TV and radio ads, and hires and trains all sales and marketing personnel. As part of the 5-member board, he oversees and approves all major company decisions. Earlier in his career he
was an owner and President of K & M Construction, a full-scale home building company with 5 million in sales annually; Northeast Regional Sales Director for American Frozen Foods; and Co-founder and President of Inner Storm Inc., a manufacturer of interior storm windows. Kevin has a B.S. in Business Administration from Assumption College as well as an Associate’s Degree in Marketing and an Associate’s Degree in Sociology from Becker Junior College
Christopher graduated from Assumption College with a B.A. in Theology and English, and went on to complete his S.T.B., S.T.L., and S.T.D. in Moral Theology at the Catholic University of America, as well as a Certificate in Bioethics from the National Catholic Bioethics Center. He is presently Assistant Professor of Theology at Assumption College, specializing in the fields of marriage, family, and sexual ethics. He is also the author of Living the Love Story: Catholic Morality in the Modern World, published by Alba House. Christopher has lectured widely on John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, religious freedom, marriage, and Catholic apologetics.
Msgr. Michael Rose
Born and raised in Worcester. Graduated from St. John’s High School and Holy Cross College Attended St. Bernard’s Seminary in Rochester, NY Ordained in June, 1981 Served as Associate Pastor at Christ the King, Worcester and St. Joseph, Auburn. Served as Campus Minister at St. Peter-Marian Jr. – Sr. High School Served 12 years as pastor of St.James Church, South Grafton,
Pastor for the past 11 years at St.Mary Church, Shrewsbury.