Board of Directors


“Let me be aware of the power of my words to shape my thoughts, to give voice to my desire to connect with others, to be an instrument which serves all creation.   Let me recognize how I am influenced by the words of others and how in turn, I use my words to influence them.   May I receive the words of others as a gift and at the same time realize how I am called to use my words to build up and not to tear down all of creation.”

Since 2003, MCEJ has been faithfully responding to the needs of justice and ecology.   The current members of our Board continue this mission:

Sandy Gibbons, Co-Chairperson –  Sandy Gibbons has been a practicing architect for almost forty years and believes in the integration of all life’s experiences through an understanding of his sense of place, community involvement and his spirituality. Within the past two years, to supplement his professional experiences and volunteer activities, Sandy has travelled to the Philippines to meet Development and Peace partners, hiked in the Antarctic to explorer the extents of nature and is actively training to complete a half-marathon race to understand his capabilities and his limitations. To supplement these experiences Sandy reads and writes extensively on the interconnectivity of all. As a volunteer with the Mercy Centre for Ecology and Justice (MCEJ), Sandy can attest that his desire to experience the integration and interconnectivity of the divine is being nurtured through his involvement in the MCEJ and  his life’s experiences.


Rita Janes,  Chair –  Rita graduated high school from St. Bride’s College, Littledale, received degrees in mathematics, mathematics education and curriculum development from Memorial University and continued her post graduate studies at the University of Alberta and Western Illinois University. She taught mathematics at all levels from grade school to university and enjoys very much her varied professional development experiences across Canada and the United States. In recognition and appreciation of this work, she was the first recipient of the NLTA Barnes Award for outstanding contribution to the professional development of teachers.

Over the years Rita has been involved in a wide variety of professional and volunteer groups, locally and nationally. She was elected as president and editor for the NLTA Mathematics Council for several years; the Board of Directors of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics(NCTM); Canadian representative to the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics Board of Directors; Chair of NCTM Professional Development Services Committee and Affiliated Services Committee. Rita served on the National Board of the Catholic Women’s League of Canada and presently is a member of the Board of Directors of the Catholic Women’s Leadership Foundation.

Rita was an active member of the Parent –Teacher Associations while her children were in school; chaired the St. Patrick’s Mercy Home Foundation, and presently serves as Chair of the Board for the Mercy Centre for Ecology and Justice. She received the Queen Elizabeth Golden Jubilee Medal in 2013 for her work as a community volunteer and her contribution to mathematics education.

Rita and her husband Jack have three adult children: Robert and wife Joanne, Victoria, BC; David and wife Joanne, Toronto; and Jacqui in St. John’s. She is a proud grandmother to Emma and Trinity Anne.

Rita is an avid cook and gardener and loves to read, hike and travel.


Ann McCarthy – With a strong interest in the environment and belief that we are all called to be stewards of our common home, Ann has been involved with the Mercy Centre for Ecology and Justice (MCEJ) since 2014; first with the Programming Committee and then joining the Board of Directors in 2016.  She is excited about the mission and work of MCEJ.

A desire to make a difference in the lives of others led Ann to a career in social work.  She earned a Bachelor’s and later a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Memorial University of Newfoundland.  Her 37 year career saw her work in the children’s mental health, health, child welfare and youth justice sectors.  Ann’s concern and passion for social justice expressed itself also in volunteer work over the years.  This included advocacy for poverty reduction as a Board member with a social planning council in Northern Ontario; addressing social issues through active participation in her professional association, facilitating suicide bereavement support groups and working at the Board and community level in responding to violence against women.  She has been the recipient of a community based award in recognition of outstanding contribution to improve the quality of life for those affected by mental illness (in the District of Nipissing, Ontario, 2013).


 Diane Smyth, RSM – Diane Smyth is a Sister of Mercy and is currently a member of the Leadership Team.   She is the Manager of Pastoral Care and Ethics (St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital site).   She was appointed to the Board in September 2015 and serves as Chair of the Garden Committee.


Mary Tee, RSM, Director MCEJ, Ex-officio member – a member of the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy of Newfoundland, is the founder and director of the Mercy Centre for Ecology and Justice. She is currently  member of the Executive Committee for the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP); member of the Sub-Committee on Cosmology and Eco justice of the Sisters of Mercy International; and the representative of the Sisters of Mercy of Newfoundland on the Canadian Religious Conference – Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (CRC-JPIC) for the Atlantic Region of Canada.