Agape Founders



Agape was co-founded in 1982 with Fr. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy. Agape’s first home was in Brockton, MA. Suzanne, Brayton and Teresa Shanley moved to Hardwick in 1987, to begin the building project which was to become Francis House, with architect Robert Wegener and carpenter, Daniel Lawrence, along with hundreds of volunteers.  Suzanne and Brayton have lived in community as a marriage vow, committing themselves to a simple lifestyle, including living under taxable income threshold, with their daughter, Teresa, who grew up at the community, bonding with children from the Catholic Worker and other faith-based nonviolent families in the area.

Suzanne Belote Shanley

suzanne & braytonSuzanne Belote Shanley completed her MA in English at the State University of New York at Buffalo and a post-Masters Degree (MPhil) in English at Simmons College in Boston, MA.

Brayton Shanley

Brayton Shanley earned his BA from St. Anselm’s College in New Hampshire and an MA in Pastoral Ministry from Boston College. Brayton has taught college courses on the Philosophy of Nonviolence at Worcester State and as an adjunct professor at Anna Maria College in Paxton, MA& and has been leading workshops, retreats and seminars on Prophecy and Peace, Gospel Nonviolence and Sustainability, simplicity and Resistance since the early 80′s.