Mary Groves is the co-founder of the Sacred Art of Living Center. Born in Pendleton Oregon, Mary trained as a professional artist and dedicated twenty five years of her career as a director of religious education in her home community. Together with her husband, Richard, Mary helped to create several video education programs linking issues of health, spirituality, aging and professional development including the De Sales and Inner Action series with over one hundred hours of original film and teaching. Her inspiring and down-to-earth teaching style was a remarkable gift for professional and lay audiences.
Mary also spent ten years as bereavement educator for hospice. During this time, she helped to create a number of educational initiatives in end-of-life care including a Children’s Bereavement Camp and a variety of training resources. In 1997 Mary and Richard co-founded the Sacred Art of Living Center whose programs have now trained more than fifteen thousand professional and lay caregivers internationally.
Mary died on February 2, 2009 after nearly a decade of living with cancer. Everyone who knew Mary remarked that they rarely met someone who lived with such grace and strength throughout her terminal illness. Her mantra during those years was a quote from Mary Oliver: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Mary made a conscious and daily choice ‘to live with’ rather than die from cancer. Mary’s legacy will continue through her remarkable sense of creative ritual and sacred space which is a hallmark of all SALC programs. She was the very proud mother of four children, three sons and a daughter and four grandchildren. Mary and Richard were blessed to have travelled throughout the world as spiritual seekers and teachers. Her final words to Richard moments before she died were, “I am so grateful… no regrets!”.