Cheryl Cutrona retires from Good Shepherd

Cheryl Cutrona started with the Good Shepherd Mediation Program (GSMP) 32 years ago as a volunteer. She became Executive Director four years later. It is with deep gratitude and a great deal of sadness that we say goodbye to Cheryl. She began her new life as a private consultant in Philadelphia on August 30.

Cheryl said her 32-year history with GSMP, from volunteer to board member to executive director, has been a rewarding journey.

“GSMP has provided me with memories that I will cherish forever. My horizons were expanded beyond what I expected as the director of a small community mediation center,” Cheryl said.

As Cheryl stepped out onto her new path, she reflected on her years with Good Shepherd Mediation Program and said, “I have had the blessing of working with the kindest employers in the world: the Sisters of the Good Shepherd.”

Cheryl’s commitment to constructive conflict management is steadfast. Her plans for the future include embarking on a new journey into an encore career in alternative dispute resolution.

Neighborhood justice center 

Good Shepherd Mediation Program is Philadelphia’s only neighborhood justice center. The year 2019 has marked the 35th anniversary of the program. Sister Brigid Lawlor founded the program in 1984 to empower Philadelphia community residents. Sr Brigid saw conflict as an opportunity for growth, understanding and transformation. Cheryl Cutrona appeared not long after to help Sr. Brigid solidify the program.

People in conflict come to Good Shepherd Mediation Program voluntarily to resolve their disputes through mediation. The program has received awards for its creative approaches to helping people find meaningful and lasting solutions to their conflicts without resorting to crime or violence.

Each year for the past 13 years, Cheryl has managed GSMP’s “Shepherds of Peace” award. The award goes to leaders in the community who are working to build a more peaceful Philadelphia and make lives better.

Each nominee must have a history of promoting peace and social justice in Philadelphia and demonstrated dedicated and compassionate service ensuring the health, safety and welfare of Philadelphia’s children, youth and families. This year’s Shepherds of Peace Dinner and Awards Ceremony will take place on October 18.

Cheryl expresses gratitude

Cheryl said her time with GSMP has given her much for which to be grateful:

  • attending law school with the inspiration, encouragement and support of Sr. Brigid
  • being on the cutting edge of new areas of practice: pre-hearing conferences for dependency matters, conflict coaching and restorative justice
  • curriculum development, training and consulting for individuals and organizations across the United States as well as in South Africa shortly after apartheid ended; “Just Listening” on both sides of the Green Line in Israel; and with Inafá Maolek in Guam; and walking in the footsteps of Saint Mary Euphrasia in Angers, France
  • Working with and learning from some of the world’s finest dispute resolution practitioners: Tricia S. Jones, Doug Frenkel, Bernie Mayer, Zena Zumeta, Joe Folger, Kay Pranis, Susan Raines, Tim Hedeen, Ed Blumstein and Jim Rosenstein
  • working with great staff, volunteers and other people who have contributed to the support of GSMP.

Learn more about Good Shepherd ministries.

Jeanette McDermott

Jeanette McDermott

Jeanette is the Communications Coordinator for Sisters of the Good Shepherd Province of Mid-North America. She is a career photojournalist who has served in various capacities of print, broadcast, and corporate communications. Jeanette is devoted to creation and is particularly focused on saving pollinators and other wildlife species and their habitat. She is an ethical vegan and created the website