BIDDEFORD—The Sisters of the Presentation of Mary are pleased to announce that Deacon Francis Burke has been named the new director of the Marie Joseph Spiritual Center, located at 10 Evans Road in Biddeford Pool.

In his role as director, Burke will oversee the center’s staff, programs, and facility; provide prayerful, compassionate leadership; and promote a culture of hospitality and welcome for visitors. He will work closely with Sister Sue Bourret, development director at the center, in building community relationships to further the center’s mission.

He was ordained to the permanent diaconate on Sept. 20, 2014, by Cardinal Seán OMalley, the archbishop of Boston, and was assigned initially to St. Mary Parish in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, which became part of the Chelmsford Catholic Collaborative nine months later. His secondary assignment was as a teacher and retreat leader for the archdiocese’s diaconate formation program.

Burke earned a master’s degree in Christian spirituality from Creighton University in Nebraska, where he also earned certification in spiritual direction and Ignatian retreat leadership. In addition, Deacon Fran holds a master’s degree in theological studies from Saint John’s Seminary in Brighton, Massachusetts. Over the years, Deacon Fran has received numerous awards for his charitable endeavors, community service, teaching, and performance excellence.

Situated by two small ponds and sided by the Atlantic Ocean, the Marie Joseph Spiritual Center is owned and operated by the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary and provides a prayerful atmosphere for those seeking renewal in spirit. Previously a hotel and a boarding school for young women, the house became a retreat center in 1978, and continues to offer presentations, workshops, days of recollection, directed and private retreats, and other events. The center has the capacity to house up to 70 guests.

For more information about the Marie Joseph Spiritual Center, visit