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Who We Are

Our Mission and Hope

We are Mary and Elizabeth, an apostolate under the St. Paul Institute, a 501c3 in Memphis, Tennessee. We exist to serve to make Christ known and loved through direct, relational spiritual care and accompaniment. We have a house and offices in Memphis called the Mary and Elizabeth House of Prayer and Formation. The Most Rev. Bishop David Talley encouraged the work in July of 2022. Mary and Elizabeth began apostolate in the Fall of 2022.

We are staffed with full-time, trained missionaries with extensive experience in serving women through direction and accompaniment.

The apostolate provides spiritual direction, formation, outreach (vocational formation), and retreats in order to foster opportunities for women to encounter Jesus and through that encounter come to better know themselves, Him, and their role in the Church and the world.

We partner with various organizations and ministries faithful to the Catholic Church to provide resources and spiritual care to women. It is our joy to also partner with the Office of Vocations of the Diocese of Memphis to serve women in education and promotion of female consecrated life.

It is our hope that God will be glorified through the interior renewal of woman and thus the renewal of the world.

Visitatio

An Intentional Community

We are made for communion: with God and with one another. Flowing from this conviction, community is at the heart of Mary and Elizabeth and the other apostolates associated with St. Paul Institute. It is both the source and the fruit of our mission.

Our missionaries have formed an intentional community known as “Visitatio.” It is a community of intentionally chaste women who are sacrificially committed to one another and a common way of life, witnessing to Christ.

They endeavour to create an immersive culture of Christian sisterhood which rejoices in the salvific mystery the Lord is working in each woman’s life, as witnessed in Luke 1:39-56.

Centered around prayer and the communal life which seeks to emulate the gift of the Blessed Virgin and St. Elizabeth to each other for God’s glory, this culture forms a potent environment that awakens faith in Christ, brings it to maturity, and hopefully fosters in every woman a proclamation of her Magnificat for the glory of God and the salvation of souls.

Our Missionaries

Heather

Heather Voccola

Devanie

Devanie Cooper

Theresa

Theresa Brown

Our Partners

Come journey with us toward the lord.

Heather Voccola

Executive Director of Programming

Director of Mary and Elizabeth

Heather Vacca Voccola is the founding Director of the Mary and Elizabeth House of Prayer and Formation. Heather is an adjunct professor of Church History at Holy Apostles College and Seminary. She is a certified Spiritual Director and will also be teaching with the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation in the Fall of 2022. Heather has experience running small groups, providing spiritual direction and formation activities for young adults, and organising events of all sizes for people of all ages. She has worked in Catholic apostolates for over 15 years. Currently she serves as the Vice-President of St. Paul Institute.

Devanie Cooper

Executive Director of Apostolate

Director of St. Paul Bookstore

Devanie Marie is a privately dedicated woman living in the world and serving our Lord in her native Memphis. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Entrepreneurial Business and has begun both a Masters in Biblical Theology and Spiritual Theology. The ministries she has been involved in have been diverse in her decades of service in Memphis, but they have always come back to the “one thing necessary,” which is Jesus Christ. For the past eight years she has given herself to the call of the “New Evangelization,” as she sees in this the call of Christ to modern man to know that He is Love. She has felt called to live this Gospel through the work of St. Paul’s Institute, a 501c3 she founded to support and further this mission of presenting Christ to modern man with new method, ardour, and expression through two singular apostolates (the St. Paul’s Bookstore and the Mary and Elizabeth House).

Day-to-day she manages the bookstore and serves the Diocese of Memphis by offering presence and resources. For Mary and Elizabeth she serves women through the vocational outreaches and in her role with Visitatio, an intentional community of celibate, missionary women who are sacrifically committed to one another and a common way of life for the glory of God. She currently serves as President of St. Paul Institute.

Theresa Brown

Accounting & Bookeeper, St. Paul Institute

Theresa is a missionary with a professional background in full-charge bookkeeping and administration. She has degrees in Business and Accounting, and for the past five years has used her talents to serve Catholic apostolates in the Diocese of Birmingham, Alabama, where she lived for almost 20 years. She has a wealth of practical experience in serving to further the mission and work of Mary and Elizabeth.

She has attended the Avila Institute Spiritual Formation Program, and has received formation from Apostoli Viae in spiritual theology since its beginnings, being one of the first members of the ecclesial movement. Using her charism of teaching, she has facilitated and accompanied countless small-groups of women through bible-study and small-group faith studies. She is parishioner of Holy Rosary Catholic Church.

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