• Barbara Hazzard

    Barbara entered the Sisters of the Holy Names in 1954. Over the next 25 years, she taught classrooms, music and was a Principal of an elementary school. Toward the end of those 25 years, Barbara was trained as a spiritual director and became aware of the hunger people had for a deeper spirituality--including her own. At that time, Barbara came across the book "Letters From the Heart," Fr. John Main's journey into Christian meditation. She contacted his community in Montreal and was invited to visit them. She spent a month learning about Christian meditation and returned to California to eventually leave the Holy Names Sisters, take vows as a Benedictine Sister and start Hesed Community in California. Hesed Community recently celebrated its 35th anniversary.


  • Mary Desmond

    Born and raised in Oakland, Mary joined the Holy Names Community, where she met Sr. Barbara early-on. They became good friends and shared 20 years in the Community. She started phase two of her life teaching at elementary schools in Pinole. In 1999, her husband Neil entered her life. They married, which gave her a quick family of two stepchildren and two step-grandchildren. She has been involved with Hesed Community for many years (and with Lions for all of her Neil years). She is now a Hesed Community's board member.


  • Elizabeth Schulz

    Elizabeth Schulz has been working with Hesed Community since 2008. She has an MBA with a focus on finance and accounting, and she has more than twenty years of experience working in that field. Elizabeth owns her own business and provides professional accounting services to individuals and small companies.


  • Marija Hillis

    Marija has been part of Hesed Community for 33 years, first by attending the Monday evening meditation events and eventually becoming an Oblate. She is a retired Resource Specialist and now spends her time teaching folk dance, practicing Tai Chi and leading groups of folk dancers on European riverboat cruises with her husband David. Besides being a Hesed Community board member, she also performs seasonally in the Christmas Revels, and enjoys gardening, hiking and ushering for local theater groups. Meditation helps her stay active without hurrying.


  • Donna Lack

    Donna joined the Hesed Board in January, 2017.  She has been associated with the community since 2007, becoming an Oblate in December of 2015.   She has had a variety of meditative practices since 1981.  Her experiences have brought her inner calmness; confidence; and a deepened Christian faith.  She is committed to the Rule of St. Benedict, its teaching and practice.   She is a retired business owner within the transportation industry and for several years taught business subjects as a California Adult Education Teacher.   Donna continues to run a small business, consulting in administrative operations, is active in her church, volunteers with the Northern California Scholarship Foundation, and loves spending time with her family.