Sacred Art of Living Center Team

The Sacred Art of Living Team is a special group of professionals dedicated to the mission and vision of the center’s work for individuals and families world-wide, offering spiritually based education programs in palliative and end-of-life care. We consider every program participant– past and present– a real member of our extended international family. Each member of our team is dedicated to providing hospitality, compassion, and excellence in service ‘beyond the call of duty.” We consider our work much more than a job– but a contribution to the spiritual transformation of ourselves and everyone we serve.

Richard Groves, Founder and Executive Director, Sacred Art of Living Center

Richard Groves – Founding Director

Richard and his late wife Mary co-developed and founded the Sacred Art of Living
Community in 1996. Richard is an internationally popular teacher and author who
continues to present educational and spiritual development programs for health care
institutions, faith communities of all traditions all over the world. Richard worked for
more than 25 years as a chaplain in health care and hospice. He was also an executive
director for hospice organizations and an ethics consultant for national health care
organizations. A professor of world religions, Richard was ordained a Catholic priest in
1977 and earned graduate degrees in theology, ethics, pastoral counseling and law. His
doctoral research focuses on cultural and inter-faith perspectives of the Sacred Art of
Living and Dying. Richard is the co-author of The American Book of Living & Dying:
Lessons in Healing Spiritual Pain which is now in its tenth printing and has also been
translated into several languages including Japanese, French and Spanish. Most of all
Richard is proud of his family that includes three sons, four grandchildren, and seven

Joe Richter – Production Manager

Joe has spent the last 22 working for the Sacred Art of Living. Over those years Joe has taken on many different roles. Among those are managing the Tree of Life Resource Store & handling the IT needs of the center.  In addition, Joe directs all video editing and production projects for Sacred Art programs.  He also travels with Richard to assist with the technical aspects of virtual and live workshops. Joe’s background includes a BA in Liberal Arts from Mt. Angel Seminary with an emphasis in behavioral sciences.  Joe is a dedicated and fun-loving husband and father, and is now a proud father-in-law to his son Zach’s new wife Genna. Joe and Kristi love to travel and see new places.  They are both native Oregonians for 60 years.

Fiona Williams – Chief Financial Officer

Fiona has worked with Sacred Art of Living since 2013 and is currently its Chief Financial Officer. Her responsibilities at SALC include budgeting, financial reporting, program financial analysis, cash flow management, human resources, employee benefits and payroll. She has over 20 years of experience as a Human Resources Director, Payroll and Accounting Manager. Fiona has also spent some time handling complex contracts and technical reviews for corporate accounts as a Renewable Energy Administrator, as well as prior non-profit experience as a Program Manager.  Fiona relocated to Bend in 2013 with her husband and two children and was drawn to the center for its mission and values.

Maryhelen Zabas – Anamcara Coordinator

Maryhelen has come out of retirement to resume responsibilities as Program Manager and Anamcara Coordinator for the Sacred Art of Living Community. A former high school English teacher, she also brings to the Center over twenty years of Nursing Home Ministry with experience in Fund Development, Public Relations, Program Development and Pastoral Care, particularly work with the dying and their families.  Her passion for the work of SALC and for spiritual transformation are a gift in her supervision of the Anamcara Apprentices and in animator training for Circle of Trust study groups.  She is a trained facilitator for the Art of Living and Dying Modules and serves on the Leadership Team for the Anamcara Apprenticeship.  She is a mentor for the Art of Spiritual Eldering Track, Year Two of the Apprenticeship.  Maryhelen lives on the campus of the Jennings Center in Cleveland, Ohio, with her super dog, Bella.

Maryhelen Cropped

Tammie Veal Profession – Administrative Assistant SALC

Tammie recently moved to Bend and joined the SALC team.  She has two Sons and two Grandchildren.  As a business owner, she has spent 35 years working with people in the telecommunications field.  She has worked as an Instructor, Project Manager, and Software Designer on commercial telephone systems.  For the last 5 years, Tammie served as an Office Administrator for a Car Audio business. Tammie is looking forward to learning more about SALC and all their Caregiver Programs.  Looking forward to the journey and a new beginning!  Tammie says it would have been amazing to have discovered Sacred Art of Living long ago.  It would have been so helpful to have the knowledge and support SALC provides when caring for  parents and other family members who were ill and have since passed.