A native of Chicago’s south side, Fr. Andrews is a graduate of Marist High School and DePaul University. After working in the business world for seven years, he entered the Society of Jesus in 1981 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1992. He taught Religious Studies at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, IL and was a prison chaplain in San Francisco, CA. He served for five years as the Novice Director for his province, guiding new Jesuit recruits in their first two years of formation. Following several years on the ministry staff at Bellarmine, Fr. Andrews went to Loyola University Chicago, where he supports Spiritual Ministries on campus.
Teaching undergraduates at Marquette University has been Fr. Ronald Bieganowski’s major work since 1976, and he states that “it's been a wonderful experience.” He’s regularly taught a two-semester survey of American Literature along with sections of the First Year Writing course and upper divisions courses such as "American Literature from 1798 - 1865," "The Poetry of Robert Frost," "Catholic Imagination in Recent American Writing," and "Recent Midwest Writings." Specific research has been on Robert Frost, Edgar Allan Poe, and James Baldwin.
Over the past several years, he has given retreats at the Jesuit Retreat Houses on the shores of Lake Winnebago and Lake Demontreville, near St. Paul. In 2007, he began to serve as Chaplain to the College of Business. In addition to offering invocations and reflections on various occasions, he is also on call for special needs. Fr. Bieganowski says that these many years have meant experiencing what the Frost poem describes as uniting "My avocation and my vocation/ as my two eyes make one in sight."
Fr. Michael Class, SJ is Bellarmine's Executive Director. A native Chicagoan, he is a graduate of St. Ignatius College Prep and Marquette University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He entered the Jesuits in 1979 and completed his Philosophy studies at Loyola University Chicago. He earned graduate degrees in Economics, Theology, and Higher Education Management. Fr. Class spent the past 20 years at Marquette University, where he served in administration and for the past ten years as a member of the faculty teaching Leadership Studies to adult learners.
Fr. Bob Dufford, SJ is a Jesuit priest and well-known composer of liturgical music. He has taught in high school and college, and given hundreds of workshops in liturgy and music. For nearly 20 years, he has offered retreats and spiritual direction at the Jesuit Retreat House in Oshkosh, Wisconsin and, since 2010, at Creighton University Retreat Center in Griswold, Iowa.
Sr. Linda Fischer is a member of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ from Columbia, PA. A teacher by profession, Sr. Linda left the classroom in 2005. Since then she has been involved in full-time 12 Step retreat ministry. Sr. Linda has been a grateful recovering alcoholic for the past 28 years and says she loves facilitating recovery retreats because “she receives every bit as much as she gives.” She calls her own journey in recovery one of the greatest blessings in her life.
Rachel Forton currently serves as Marketing and Retreat Coordinator for Bellarmine. She is a graduate of Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa and has a BA in Theology and Public Relations with a minor in Catholic Studies. Rachel's past ministry experience includes coordinating and facilitating Kairos high school retreats, Antioch college retreats, and leading small group Bible studies. In Dubuque, she coordinated a nondenominational faith-sharing ministry for a low-income senior citizens home. In addition to her retreat ministry, Rachel is a Young Professionals Board Member for Journeys: The Road Home, a nonprofit serving those experiencing or at risk for homelessness in the northwest suburbs of Chicago.
Fr. James Gschwend, SJ, PhD is a member of Bellarmine’s resident staff. His background includes administrative positions in Jesuit high schools, working at Community Mental Health in San Francisco, and serving as Director of Spirituality in the sabbatical program at the School of Applied Theology in Oakland and Berkeley. In Berkeley he also served as Assistant Rector for the Jesuit School of Theology. Following a fellowship year on the clinical staff at the Southdown Institute in Canada, Fr. Gschwend served the Chicago Jesuit Provincial as assistant for personnel, assisting men with healthcare needs and transitions in ministry.
Patricia Cooney Hathaway, PhD is Professor of Spiritual and Systematic Theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary. She received her doctorate from Catholic University of America, where she specialized in Systematic Theology, Spirituality, and Human and Spiritual Development. She has a certification in Spiritual Direction from the Shalem Institute of Spiritual Formation. In addition to teaching and committee work, Dr. Cooney Hathaway co-authored a grant proposal which was awarded by the Lilly Foundation for 1.5 million dollars for the education and formation of ecclesial lay ministers. She has been the Project Director for the implementation of this grant. She also received the Pope John Paul II Memorial, The Splendor of Truth Award, by the Catholic Lawyers Guild, Diocese of Lansing, Michigan.
Dr. Cooney Hathaway authored the book, Weaving Faith and Experience: A Woman’s Perspective as part of a Call to Holiness Series on Catholic Women’s Spirituality, published by St. Anthony Messenger Press. Dr. Cooney Hathaway has been involved in the ministry of spiritual direction for over twenty years. She has done extensive lecturing nation-wide in the areas of theology, spirituality, and the relationship between human and spiritual development, and has published articles in those areas. She is married to Thomas M.J. Hathaway and has a son, Thomas Jr., and a daughter,Victoria.
Molly Henry leads individuals and teams to learn, love, and live their strengths. Molly uses her talents (in the CliftonStrengths themes of Learner, Input, Achiever, Connectedness, Activator) to design and facilitate engaging, transformative learning experiences. She has guided hundreds of individuals to discover their God-given talents, build them into strengths, and intentionally use these strengths to fully become the person God created them to be. Molly holds an MSW from the University of Pennsylvania and a BA in Sociology from DePaul University. She is a Gallup-certified Strengths coach and Principal at Molly Henry Strengths Coaching and Consulting.
Bobby Karle is a Jesuit from the Midwest Province and the founder of Ignatian Yoga. He began practicing yoga in 2009, in between serving as a Jesuit Volunteer in Belize and entering the Jesuits in 2010. He is a 500-hour yoga teacher, has a Masters degree in Philosophy from Fordham University, and Bachelors degree in Anthropology from DePaul University.
Fr. Jeffrey LaBelle, SJ is currently an assistant professor at Marquette University’s College of Education. Prior to his assignment at Marquette, he served as assistant professor of education at the University of San Francisco. Fr. LaBelle holds a BA in InterAmerican Studies with an emphasis in Spanish and ESL from University of the Pacific, Master of Divinity and Master of Theology degrees from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, and an EdD in International and Multicultural Education from the University of San Francisco. From 1988-2000, Fr. LaBelle served in two Catholic parishes in San José, California, St. Joseph Cathedral and Most Holy Trinity, where he was involved in extensive pastoral work among immigrants from Latin America, Vietnam, and the Philippines. In collaboration with Frs. Gerald O’Collins, SJ and Daniel Kendall, SJ, he has co-edited Pope John Paul II: A Reader (Paulist, 2007) as well as Seek God Everywhere: Reflections on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius (Doubleday, 2010). He co-authored Being Catholic in a Changing World (Paulist, 2009) and Catholic Colleges in the 21st Century: A Road Map for Campus Ministry (Paulist, 2011) also with Daniel Kendall, SJ. Fr. LaBelle has directed recovery retreats at the Jesuit Retreat Center in Los Altos, California, and Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House in Barrington, Illinois, as well as eight-day silent retreats at both Los Altos and Oshkosh.
A native of Milwaukee, Fr. Leonhardt entered the Society of Jesus in 1956 and was ordained a priest in 1969. Since his ordination, he has served as the Principal and the President of Marquette University High School, as the Director of Novices and the Formation Director of the Wisconsin Province, and as the Pastor of Gesu Parish in Milwaukee. For a period of time during his 2003 sabbatical, Fr. Leonhardt directed retreats in Kenya and Uganda. He has extensive experience in directing the Spiritual Exercises and is presently working as Jesuit Superior for the St. Camillus assisted living community.
Fr. Matthew Linn, SJ (with Dennis and Sheila Linn) focuses on integrating physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. He has advanced graduate degrees in sociology, anthropology, spirituality, and theology. Since 1970 he has taught courses and given retreats on healing in every state and in over 60 countries. Ordained in 1973, he currently lives in a Jesuit community in Minneapolis where he trains spiritual directors at Sacred Ground and serves on the editorial board of Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction. Matt, Dennis, and Sheila have written 22 books translated in over 20 languages and with over a million copies in English.
Keith Maczkiewicz, SJ, a Long Island, New York native, joined the New England province of Jesuits in the summer of 2008. Keith graduated from Fairfield University in Connecticut, and did two years of service with the Providence Alliance for Catholic Teachers (PACT), serving as a campus minister at a diocesan high school in Springfield, Massachusetts and living in community with other volunteer teachers. After completing two years there and earning an M.Ed. from Providence College, Keith began working at The University of Scranton in Pennsylvania in the office of Campus Ministry doing primarily retreat and justice work while living in a freshmen residence hall. After taking vows in the Society in 2010, Keith completed his philosophy studies at Loyola University Chicago in 2013. From 2013-15, Keith worked in the chaplains’ office at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. In August 2015, he began his theology studies at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, CA.
Fr. Frank Majka, SJ was born in San Francisco, California and grew up in Omaha, Nebraska. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1963 and was ordained a priest in 1974. His main apostolic work has been split between teaching secondary education at Marquette High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and serving in campus ministry at Marquette University. Currently, Fr. Majka is engaged in Ignatian/Jesuit Spirituality formation and alumni outreach at Marquette High School. You can find Fr. Majka’s blog, “The Bridge: Joining Spirituality and Life,” at www.frankmajka.com/blog.
Fr. Richard G. Malloy, SJ, aka “Mugs,” was born at Temple University hospital in Philadelphia, the friendly city of brotherly shove. He earned a doctorate at Temple. So, he didn’t go very far in life! He graduated from St. Joe’s Prep, the Jesuit high school in Philadelphia. He attended Lafayette College in Easton, PA, where he played football, lacrosse, and rugby. He was a member of Delta Upsilon fraternity. He entered the Jesuit Novitiate in Wernersville, PA. While in Jesuit formation, he spent two years teaching high school in Osorno, Chile and one year in pastoral work in Santiago.
His book, A Faith That Frees: Catholic Matters for the 21st Century (Orbis Books, 2008), examines the relationships between the practices of faith and the cultural currents and changes so rapidly occurring in our global world. His second book is entitled Being On Fire: The Top Ten Essentials of Catholic Faith (Orbis Books 2014). Both books were recognized with awards by the Catholic Press Association in the category “Best Presentation of the Catholic Faith.” His new book, Spiritual Direction: A Beginner’s Guide was published in the fall of 2017.
He lived and worked as a member of the Jesuit Urban Service team at Holy Name Parish in Camden, NJ, from 1988 to 2003. While in Camden, he also served in various positions at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. At the University of Scranton, he is the University Chaplain and teaches courses in Anthropology, Sociology, and Theology. He lives in a first year dorm (anthropological fieldwork!). Fr. Malloy’s blog is found at www.jesuitjottings.blogspot.com. You can follow him on Twitter: @FrMalloy.
Fishing is his passion in life, and he prays for the day when he will catch a 10-lb trout or a 47-inch Muskie. He is convinced that such a catch, the Eagles winning the Super Bowl, or the Phillies beating the Yankees in the World Series, are all sure signs that the second coming of Jesus is imminent.
Maureen M. Martin, MDiv, LCPC, is a counselor and spiritual director. Previously, she worked as a hospice chaplain, pediatrician, and pediatric nurse. After many life transitions, Maureen has woven together her losses and shares her insights of hope, even in crisis, through writing, public speaking and spiritual direction. She lives in Evanston, Illinois.
Fr. Richard McGurn, SJ, M.A. Psych., M.Div, was ordained in 1975. He directed the internship for spiritual directors at the Jesuit retreat house in Cincinnati. He has served the major superior of the Chicago Jesuits as his executive assistant and as director of formation for young Jesuits preparing for ordination and ministry. Just prior to coming to Bellarmine, he was superior of the Jesuit community at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, IL.
Mary McKeon is a member of Bellarmine's ministry staff, a spiritual director, and coordinator of women's ministry. Mary is a graduate of Marquette University. She taught school in Milwaukee's inner city before moving to Washington, DC to work for the United States Senate. She and her late husband have a daughter, son-in-law and three grandsons who are the joy of her life. Mary received her training as a spiritual/retreat director at the Jesuits' Manresa Retreat House in Bloomfield Hills, MI, where she served on the ministry team and became their first Director of Women's Ministry. In 2014, Mary was the second person to be honored with Manresa's Lifetime Achievement Award.
Fr. David Vincent Meconi, SJ is an Associate Professor of Historical Theology as well as the Director of the new Catholic Studies Centre at Saint Louis University; he is also the editor of Homiletic and Pastoral Review. He holds the pontifical license in Early Church History from the University of Innsbruck in Austria, as well as a doctorate in Patristics from the University of Oxford. He has published numerous books and articles on the early Church, most recently is his 101 Surprising Facts About Church History (St. Benedict’s Press). Fr. Meconi is a Fellow of the Augustinian Institute at Villanova University; he serves on the boards of the St. Benedict Forum at Hope College in Holland, MI, as well as on the ecclesiastical board of Boston College.
Fr. Tim Meier, SJ was a Chaplain in the California National Guard (2006-2018) who deployed overseas four times. Fr. Meier holds a BA in Music and Biology from Kalamazoo College, an MA in Philosophy from Loyola University Chicago, an MS in Biology from Georgetown University, an MDiv and a ThM from Weston Jesuit School of Theology, as well as a PhD in Molecular Neurobiology from Stanford University where he served as the Undergraduate Research Coordinator and Director of the Honors Program in Biology. He has been clean and sober since September 1979.
Fr. Mueller attended the Jesuits’ St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati, OH. After earning a BA in Physics at Boston University, in 1982 he entered the Society of Jesus. While preparing for ordination, he taught physics and algebra for several years at St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago and also earned MA degrees in Philosophy, Theology, and Divinity. After being ordained a priest in 1993, he earned an MS in Physics and a PhD in History & Philosophy of Science at the University of Chicago. He served as professor of philosophy at Loyola University Chicago from 2004 to 2009, and at the same time served as Academic Dean for two programs of priestly formation at Loyola, the Jesuit First Studies Program and St. Joseph College Seminary. Since 2010 Fr. Mueller has lived and worked at the Vatican Observatory, the astronomical research institute of the Popes: initially just as religious Superior of the Observatory’s resident Jesuit community and as a member of the Observatory’s research staff, but since 2015 also as the Observatory’s Vice Director. Fr. Mueller also teaches philosophy part-time at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. For most of the year he can be found at the Vatican Observatory headquarters, located in the hills southeast of Rome at Castel Gandolfo. But he spends two or three months of the year at Tucson, where the Vatican Observatory maintains its own modern telescope in affiliation with the University of Arizona.
Catherine Palenik grew up in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, the only child of Mary and David McKeon. She attended an all-girls Catholic High School (Marian), then spent four wonderful years at Villanova University graduating with degrees in both sociology and history. Catherine's graduate work was done at the University of Michigan where she received a Masters of Social Work degree. This is where she met her husband, Christopher (now married for almost 8 years). Catherine did geriatric social work and then served as a school social worker for several years prior to deciding to stay home with their oldest son. Chris and Catherine now live in Geneva, IL and have three active little boys, John, Joseph and Michael.
Fr. Jeff Putthoff, SJ is a Jesuit priest. He is deeply interested in creating communities of healing, empowering young people, brain health, and finding God in all things. He has worked as a high school teacher, associate pastor, executive director and high school president, using his unique experience in organizational dynamics, leadership, brain health and Ignatian spirituality, applying it to youth education and organizational life. He is a retreat leader and a director of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola deeply desiring to help others connect to God. He is a gifted national speaker on trauma-informed care, organizational dynamics, youth formation, Ignatian spirituality and leadership.
In 2007, artist Holly Schapker made a pilgrimage to Spain and Rome to learn about St. Ignatius of Loyola. Through the 19th Annotation retreat, Holly integrated the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius into her daily life. These experiences changed her life and her art in a profound way. In keeping with St. Ignatius' devotion to Our Blessed Mother, Holly created a painting exhibition based on Mary for the Marian Library at the University of Dayton. She has traveled the nation presenting her evangelical paintings and continues to give lectures on the creative process and Ignatian Spirituality. Her works have been published and displayed worldwide. Even Pope Francis attained a portrait of the pope's mother that Holly painted which was presented to him in Vatican City. Holly resides and paints in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Fr. Schneider was born and raised just outside of Green Bay, Wisconsin and is the second eldest of six boys. He is a 1982 grad of Creighton University and was ordained a Roman Catholic Priest in 1994. He is a member of the Jesuit Community at Creighton Preparatory High School and is the director of spiritual programs for the adult community at Creighton Preparatory School. He has taught theology and is chaplain for many athletic teams. Fr. Schneider also offers retreats and days of recollection for schools and parish missions and has offered retreats at Jesuit Retreat Houses in the upper Midwest. He has found that offering retreats over the past few years has filled him with joy and hope. He is a life-long Packer fan and an avid fan of the Creighton Bluejays. Please know he is praying for you.
Fr. Shields entered the Society of Jesus in 1961. After finishing his theological studies in Toronto, he was ordained a priest in 1973. He served on the Pine Ridge Reservation among the Oglala Lakota (Sioux) from 1974 to 1989. From 1990 to 1995, he was Assistant Director of the Family Life Office for the Diocese of Rapid City, SD. In 1996, he began ministry among Milwaukee’s Latino population, where he currently serves as Executive Director of Casa Romero Renewal Center, an urban bilingual spirituality center.
Fr. J. Michael Sparough, SJ is a member of Bellarmine’s resident staff. He holds a Master of Fine Arts from the Yale School of Drama and a Doctor of Ministry degree from St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein, IL. He is the founder of Charis Ministries, the Jesuit retreat ministry for outreach to young adults in their twenties and thirties and has trained spiritual directors at Loyola University Chicago’s Institute of Pastoral Studies. A prolific writer and speaker, Fr. Michael has published books on prayer and the sacraments with Franciscan Media, Paulist Press, and Liturgical Training Publications. His latest book, What’s Your Decision? is published by Loyola Press.
Mrs. Lynn Sprehe, MA Psych, MPS, is a spiritual director trained in the Ignatian tradition and Coordinator of the Spiritual Direction Internship Program. She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor with graduate degrees in Pastoral Studies and Clinical Psychology. In addition, Lynn enjoys offering workshops based on Ignatian Spirituality and sharing Ignatian Spirituality to individuals and small groups. She is married and the mother of three sons.
Susan Stabile is a spiritual director and retreat leader trained in the Ignatian tradition. She has directed the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius in weekend retreats, extended Retreats in Daily Living and directed retreats, and she has taught a course in the Spiritual Exercises for St. Catherine University’s Masters in Theology Program. In addition to retreat house and parish work, Susan has spent many years offering retreats and other programs of spiritual formation for students, faculty, staff, and alumni of the University of St. Thomas and was the inaugural Director of Spirituality at that university. Susan now serves as a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the St. Thomas University School of Law and as an adjunct Instructor in Theology at St. Catherine University. Susan is the author of numerous publications, including Growing in Love and Wisdom (Oxford University Press 2013). She also authors a blog, Creo en Dios! (susanjoan.wordpress.com), on which she posts spiritual reflections and podcasts.
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Fr. Karl Voelker, SJ is a member of Bellarmine’s resident staff. He is an experienced retreat master and spiritual director, including years of service as retreat director and chaplain at the retreat house of the Cenacle Sisters in Wayzata, Minnesota. More recently, Fr. Karl was pastor of the Gesu, the university church of Marquette University, followed by an assignment caring for the needs of retired Jesuits residing at the St. Camillus healthcare facility in Milwaukee.
Fr. Tom Weston, SJ, entered the California Province of the Jesuit Order in 1965 and was ordained a priest in 1978. Currently based in Oakland, CA, he has devoted most of his priestly life to counseling and retreat work with alcoholics and other addicts. In addition to his Twelve Step work, he was part of a team that taught English to ministry students in Thailand and Vietnam each summer. “Wherever he is, Fr. Weston sees the power of God working in people’s lives, but perhaps most acutely in his recovery work: ‘People get well. People come back to life. Families come back together,” he says. ‘It’s the Resurrection—and you see it all the time.’ ” (Tyson, Gail. “Helping Others Find Sobriety.” Mission 2008 Summer: pg. 7. Print.)