|With the given name of Bless, it comes as no surprise that I spent a considerable amount of time as a spiritual seeker and was drawn to this work. My earlier career, spanning 25 years, as a corporate meeting planner and talent executive for high profile events; along with volunteering in my community was fundamental to developing the business and people skills I use in my celebrant practice today. In 1990 I co-founded Mothers Voices’, a national AIDS awareness and advocacy non-profit organization.
I earned a Bachelor of Arts from the State University of New York at Albany in Rhetoric and Communication in 1979. I graduated from the Celebrant Foundation and Institute (CF&I) in 2006 with a Funeral Certificate, in 2007 with a Wedding Certificate and in 2009 with a Families and Children Certificate. I have served on the faculty, the Board of Directors and as Alumni Director for Celebrant Foundation and Institute. I was awarded a Masters in Celebrancy in 2014 for my service to CF&I. I am also certified as an animal pet loss and bereavement counselor.
I live in an old stone farm house on the Musconetcong River (‘quiet waters’) in the Delaware River Valley with Howard, my husband of twenty seven years and our daughter, Orli, now away at college. A senior Labradoodle, DJ Shaman Jones, and a middle-aged English Springer Spaniel, Patsy O’Brien add to our family with their jaunty and jubilant canine ways. Occasionally, some wild turkeys, guinea hens and fox drop by. A few animals have actually shown up right at my office door — a Canadian goose, a snake and three cows. Not all at the same time. The purpose of their visit was never completely clear. Perhaps, they just wanted to see the girl (really a lady) who writes the ceremonies.
I confess that I’ve spent a lot of time looking for the meaning of life. Somewhere along the way my curiosity led me to celebrant ceremony. Here I discovered just how profound our personal stories really are. They connect us to our past, our present, our future and each other. Our stories help us understand who we are and why we’re here. Once I started to write and officiate ceremony – suddenly the search for existential meaning no longer seemed quite so urgent.