Sister Elizabeth Amman, OP – Director

Sister Elizabeth Amman is a Grand Rapids Dominican Sister with a background of leadership positions in health care, development, and education. Along with masters degrees in Health Care Administration and Religious Education, she is a certified Spiritual Director. She is also experienced in development, financial management and facilities planning.

Sister Elizabeth grew up in a small rural German community in the Saginaw, Michigan area (Chesaning), and she welcomes the tranquil and serene work setting of Marywood. In addition to management, she offers spiritual companioning.


Sister Anita Beskar, FSPA

Sister Anita Beskar, joins the Marywood community after nearly 60 years of active ministry in her Franciscan community. She brings a broad experience, including developing a Global Education program at Viterbo University, and, most recently, companioning women in their early years of incorporation into the life of a Franciscan Sister. The contemplative atmosphere of Marywood draws her to offer hospitality and presence in this sacred space.


Sister Karen Kappell, FSPA

Karen Kappell, a member of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, is an artist and teacher who has used these skills in combination with spiritual direction training to create programs and opportunities that develop the creative potential in those who attend Marywood. She believes that the quiet and beauty of Marywood surroundings contribute to bringing forth the creativity that lies within each person. Sister Karen has a studio in her residence where she produces art in a variety of media, in addition to coming to Marywood to share her talents. She is also available as a certified spiritual director.


Sister Marla Lang, FSPA

Marla Lang, joined the Marywood Spirituality Center staff as Outreach Coordinator July 2003. She brings to Marywood her rural family background from Central Wisconsin, the tradition of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, and an array of educational and spiritual experiences. Her previous ministries as teacher, principal, director of religious education, parish director and religious community leader have enriched her life and the offerings she shares at Marywood and in outreach programs. Sr. Marla savors the exchange of gifts that happen whenever two or more people meet. She is also available as a certified spiritual director.


Sister Julia Walsh, FSPA

Julia Walsh grew up in a small farming community in Northeast Iowa with her parents and three siblings. Since graduating from Loras College, Julia has interned with the Iowa Catholic Conference, served in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, and taught high school theology and social studies in Chicago and La Crosse. She is a part-time student at Catholic Theological Union and an award-winning writer found at


Susan Fredenhagen – Office Manager

Susan Fredenhagen is the office manager at Marywood. She loves the energy and spirit that is found here and the beauty and serene setting makes it a wonderful environment in which to work. Susan has lived in the Northwoods since 1974, owning and operating a local business for 17 years with her husband and three children. She is an avid outdoor person, especially enjoying horseback riding, canoeing and cross-country skiing.


Grant Van Lishout

Pastor Grant is a a spiritual director and program and retreat facilitator. He is serving at Marywood after thirteen years in parish ministry. A pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), Grant has served in Hot Springs, SD, La Crosse, WI, and Atlantic, IA. He seeks to walk alongside others in their faith by listening and encouraging in order to help nurture relationships as well as care of one’s self spiritually, physically, emotionally, and financially. Grant is a family man who loves to spend time with his wife, Sherry, and two daughters, Lily (8) and Hope (5). As a lifeguard and YMCA Swim Coach, he also enjoys personal fitness, reading, and walking his two dogs. Born and raised in Valders, WI, Grant has studied at UW-Green Bay, and St. Olaf College in Minnesota and earned a Masters of Divinity from Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, IL. In 2017 he completed the Spiritual Directors Preparation Program at Franciscan Spirituality Centerin La Crosse, WI. He is also an Affiliate with the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. As a Marywood staff member, he is especially interested in broadening Marywood’s Ecumenical partnerships and companioning men and married couples as they explore their spiritual journeys.  He looks forward to meeting you!


Pat Pintens

Pat Pintens is a native of northern Wisconsin. She and her many siblings were raised on a small dairy farm. She credits this for her love of both vegetable and flower gardening, walks in the woods, berry picking and silent sports. Pat has served parishes as a catechist, Director of Religious Education, Campus Minister, Parish Director and choir member. She holds a B.S. in Home Economics Education, Masters in Theology and Masters in Christian Spirituality. Pat will dedicate half-time to Marywood as a presenter and doing outreach. She is also available as a certified spiritual director.


Philip Theiler – Buildings/Grounds Supervisor

Phil Theiler grew up in northern Wisconsin in the small town of Tomahawk, where he developed his love for the outdoors. He attended the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, and graduated with a degree in Forestry. He worked for 34 years with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources as a Forester and Wildland Firefighter. He and his wife, D’Arcy, have three grown daughters and a golden retriever, Gracie. Phil is the new Marywood Buildings/Grounds Supervisor.

Philip Theiler