Get Started

Retreat Leaders

Meet the Retreat Leaders

Patty Ballard

Patricia is a Benedictine Oblate of St. Scholastica Monastery in Chicago where she has been connected as an oblate for thirty years. She recently completed her Internship in Spiritual Direction here at Bellarmine. She has been teaching young children for many years and has also served as a high school teacher, college campus minister, DRE, retreat leader, and speaker on the Spiritual Life of Children. Patricia holds a BA and an MA in Religious Studies from Mundelein College and an MA in Reading/Literacy from Northeastern Illinois University.  Additionally, she has studied at Loyola University, the Catholic Theological Union, and the former Institute for Spiritual Leadership. Patricia is the mother of three grown children and the grandmother of twins.

Upcoming Retreats

Fr. Mark Carr, SJ

Fr. Mark Carr, SJ was raised in Wheaton, IL. He attended Marquette University before entering the Jesuits. Since ordination in 2005, he ministered mostly in Jesuit high schools: as teacher and director of campus ministry at Red Cloud High School in South Dakota; as an assistant principal at Marquette University High School in Wisconsin; and as the principal of Walsh Jesuit High School in Ohio. He also served in Jesuit governance with the former Wisconsin Province as the assistant provincial. Currently, he is the executive director of the Jesuit Retreat House on Lake Winnebago, in Oshkosh, WI.

Upcoming Retreats

Deborah Dellumo

Deborah Dellumo received her training in a 3-year Advanced Internship in the Ignatian Tradition from Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House in Barrington, IL., and in a two-year Spiritual Companioning Program from the Spiritual Life Center in Hammond, IN., directed by Fr. Bill Creed SJ. She currently practices Spiritual Direction at St. Paul Catholic Community in Valparaiso IN. and Directs the 19th Annotation of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius in a large group setting in the parish. She enjoys giving the Spiritual Exercises and providing spiritual formation and retreats within the parish. Debbie is a graduate of the Diocese of Gary Lay Ecclesial Ministry Formation Program. She has served as Coordinator of Liturgy and Spirituality, and Director of Religious Education for Children and Adults. She has been married for 44 years, has 4 children and five grandchildren.

Upcoming Retreats

Rachel Forton

Rachel Forton holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations and Religious Studies from Loras College (Dubuque, Iowa). She served as the Retreat and Communications Coordinator for Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House for six years and completed Ignatian Spiritual Direction Training there before stepping into the role of Women's Ministry Coordinator. She has a passion for helping others find God in all things through spiritual direction and retreat ministry, writing, and editing. Rachel serves on the "Prayer and Care" team of her MOPS Chapter (Mothers of Preschoolers) and finds it a great privilege to minister to women of all ages. Her most recent writings may be found at the Cora Evans website, promoting the cause for canonization of the mid-century mystic, wife, and mother ( Originally from Des Moines, Iowa, Rachel now lives with her husband and young daughter and son in Palatine, IL.

Upcoming Retreats

Maureen Garvey

Maureen Garvey holds an MA from the Institute of Pastoral Studies at Loyola University and a Certificate in Spiritual Direction from the Siena Retreat Center in Racine, Wisconsin. She and her husband, Kevin, completed the Diaconate Training Program in 2004 at the University of St. Mary of the Lake. Maureen completed a 30-week at home retreat of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius and volunteering twice a week as a member of the Ignatian Volunteer Corps. Maureen meets with people seeking spiritual direction in person at Holy Cross Church in Deerfield, IL and online.

Upcoming Retreats

Fr. Michael J. Graham, SJ

A native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Fr. Michael Graham, SJ holds degrees from Cornell College, the University of Michigan and the Weston School of Theology (now, the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry). He entered the Jesuits in 1978 and was ordained in 1988. 

Fr. Graham was Xavier University's President from January 1, 2001 to June 30, 2021. Fr. Graham’s passion for the specifically Jesuit mission of Xavier animated his presidency in multiple ways.  He collaborated with a variety of professionals in the area of Jesuit Mission and Identity to shape and support work to share Xavier’s Jesuit ethos and heart with faculty, staff and students in such a way that its approach to that work is generally regarded as best-in-class.  He helped found a campus center for dialogue that became a crucial hub for inter-religious conversation in the Cincinnati region, and whose work engaged a wide variety of constituencies and topics in areas of justice, sustainability, immigration and more. He likewise championed diversity, inclusion and equity efforts on and off the campus and helped recruit transformative leadership to embed that work firmly within the fabric of the University.  

In his retirement, Fr. Graham looks forward to expanded opportunities for pastoral ministry, especially through various retreats at the Midwest Jesuit Province network of retreat houses, and to assisting Jesuit university trustees and senior executives understand better the Jesuit mission and identity of their schools so as to lead them more effectively and in fidelity to their origins. And, of course, he’ll keep his eyes and ears open for whatever ideas for his future his Provincial Superior may suggest. 

Upcoming Retreats

Lori Jones

Lori Jones is a frequent retreatant at Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House where she recently completed their internship program in Spiritual Direction. She currently journeys with those seeking spiritual direction both in person and online. She is a parishioner at St. Mary in Des Plaines having served there in various ministries. Lori received a BA in Criminal Justice from the University of Illinois at Chicago and did her graduate work at Rosary College in River Forest. She worked for 36 years in customer service for FedEx and retired in 2020. Lori is thrilled and blessed to have recently been called to be part of the launch team for Ignatian Ministries, an online resource led by author, spiritual director and retreat facilitator Becky Eldredge. It is a place of accompaniment and support for those inspired by Ignatian spirituality in their ministry work and also a place to deepen their own faith. But according to Lori, her spiritual home will always be Bellarmine.

Upcoming Retreats

Paula Kowalkowski

Paula Kowalkowski has worked as a music educator on the high school and college level for over 30 years.  She currently is the Music Director at St. Thomas Becket Church in Mount Prospect.  Ms. Kowalkowski has a Master’s Degree in Contemporary Spirituality and a Certificate in Spiritual Direction from Loyola University Chicago/Institute of Pastoral Studies.  Most recently, she received a Certificate in Spiritual Direction with an emphasis on Ignatian Spirituality from the Midwest Jesuit Province.  She is humbled and honored to be a part of the Bellarmine team.

Upcoming Retreats

Fr. Jim Kubicki, SJ

Fr. Jim Kubicki was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He entered the Jesuits in 1971, was ordained in 1983, and has served his community as vocation director and assistant to the provincial for formation and Native American ministry. From 1989 to 1995 he worked at the Sioux Spiritual Center, a retreat house for Native people and the center for the Rapid City Diocese’s Deacon and Lay Ministry Formation program. From 2000-03 he was the Assistant Director of Demontreville, a Jesuit retreat house in Minnesota. He also served as Director of St. Francis Mission on the Rosebud Reservation in western South Dakota from 2017-2022.

In 2003 he became the national director of the Apostleship of Prayer, the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, and traveled around the country giving talks, parish missions, and retreats.  He is a regular contributor to the national Catholic media network, Relevant Radio, and appears regularly as well on Catholic radio stations in Nebraska, Oregon and Ohio.  His book “A Heart on Fire: Rediscovering Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus” was published by Ave Maria Press in 2012 and was awarded third place in the category of “Best Prayer and Spirituality Book of the Year” by the Association of Catholic Book Publishers. His second book, “A Year of Daily Offerings,” was published in October, 2016. 

Currently, Fr. Kubicki gives retreats around the country while serving as a spiritual director at the Milwaukee Archdiocesan Seminary. 

Listen to a talk by Fr. Kubicki.

Upcoming Retreats

Fr. Paul Macke, SJ

Since August of 2017, Fr. Macke has been the Jesuit Mission Coordinator at the Jesuit Spiritual Center in Milford, Ohio. He works on Conference Retreats, privately directed retreats, and coordinates the Spiritual Direction Internship to train spiritual directors. From 2011 until 2017 he was Executive Director of the Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House in Barrington, IL.

Previously, Father Macke had served as the Secretary for Pastoral Ministries and Jesuit Life for the Jesuit Conference of the United States in Washington, DC for six years. Prior to joining the Conference, Macke worked in Alaska for 17 years, devoting eight years to the Holy Spirit Center in Anchorage, Alaska, where he served as its executive director for six years.

Father Macke entered the Society of Jesus in 1963, earning a BA in classics and a Master of Divinity, both from Loyola University of Chicago. After his ordination in 1973, Macke went on to receive a MA in counseling psychology from Loyola, and a D. Min. in pastoral psychotherapy from the Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois.

Fr. Macke has also served in Jesuit formation as the vocation director for the Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus from 1989 until 1993.

Upcoming Retreats

Fr. Tim Meier, SJ

Fr. Tim Meier, SJ was a Chaplain at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (2019-2023) and in the California Army National Guard (2006-2018) who deployed overseas without a weapon four times. Fr. Meier earned an undergraduate degree in music and biology, master’s degrees in philosophy, immunology, divinity, and theology; as well as a doctorate 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 and has been leading recovery retreats since his apprenticeship under Fr. Tom Weston, SJ in 1990.

As a Jesuit Scholastic in 1982, Fr. Meier sang solo, a cappella, during a Mass for Canadian pilgrims at Castel Gandolfo, Vatican City State celebrated by His Holiness, Pope Saint John Paul II.

Upcoming Retreats

Rev Carol Ann Munro

Rev. Dr. Carol Ann Munro is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. She has served as a parish pastor, hospital chaplain, development officer, retreat leader and spiritual director. Primary areas of focus for her ministry have been 12-step spirituality, adult faith formation and biblical literacy. She is currently a volunteer with the Ignatian Spirituality Project, which provides spiritual companioning for people recovering from homelessness and addiction, and she serves as a spiritual resource for the Peace and Justice Ministry of St. Gertrude Roman Catholic Church in Chicago.

Upcoming Retreats

Fr. Roc O'Connor, SJ

Since 2018, and with his provincial’s direction, Roc O’Connor, SJ has been composing and writing nearly full-time. In June of 2020 OCP published his collection of eight new songs, All Shall Be Well: The Hand of God. During the lockdown from COVID he submitted a three year writing project on liturgical spirituality for publication. It twins with his article to be published in Worship magazine, July 2021. 

Listen to a talk by Fr. Roc

Upcoming Retreats

Fr. J. Michael Sparough, SJ

Fr. Michael Sparough, SJ is a retreat director and spiritual director at the Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House in Barrington.  He holds an MFA from the Yale School of Drama and a Doctor of Ministry from St Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, IL. He is the founder of Charis, a national Jesuit retreat ministry for young adults in their 20s and 30s, and has trained spiritual directors at Loyola University-Chicago.  

A prolific writer and speaker, Fr. Michael has published books, CDs, and DVDs on prayer, discernment, and the sacraments with Franciscan Media, Paulist Press, Liturgical Training Publications, Loyola Press, and Heart to Heart. He is seen regularly on Shalom World Catholic Television and is heard regularly on Sacred Heart radio in Cincinnati and WSFI Catholic Radio in greater Chicagoland. 

His latest co-authored book is What’s Your Decision?  An Ignatian Approach to Decision Making and is published by Loyola Press.  

Fr. Michael’s weekly video homilies can be seen online at www.HtoH.US.

Listen to a talk by Fr. Michael.

Upcoming Retreats

Bellarmine Jesuit Ministry Team and Additional Spiritual Directors

The ministry team and other trained Spiritual Directors lead the spiritual direction of retreats and programs at Bellarmine.  

Upcoming Retreats

A Jesuit and a Team of Veterans

No Biography Yet!

Upcoming Retreats

Return to top