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Retreat Masters

Meet the Retreat Masters

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Dr. Avis Clendenen

Avis Clendenen is professor emerita of religious studies from Saint Xavier University in Chicago. Among other publications, she is the coauthor with Troy Martin of Forgiveness: Finding Freedom through Reconciliation and author of Experiencing Hildegard: Jungian Perspectives. Currently, she offers retreats and days of reflection that integrate insights from depth psychology with spiritual life and growth.

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Fr. Al Johnson

Fr. Al Johnson is a native Chicagoan (South Side) and an Episcopal Priest.  Locally he most recently served as Rector of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Barrington.  Now he serves in the Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania on a part-time basis.  Al also serves as the volunteer chaplain for Barrington Countryside Fire District as well as participates regularly in the AA community in Barrington and in Erie, PA.  Fr. Al is also married to Vickie and together they have three children, two alive, Hannah and Zachary, and one that died in 1989, Nicholas.  They have been residents of the Barrington Community since 1990.

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Fr. Jim Kubicki, SJ

Fr. Jim Kubicki was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1971 and was ordained in 1983. From 1984-88 he served as the Vocation Director and from 1995-99 as the Director of Formation for the Jesuits of the Wisconsin Province.From 1989-95 he worked at the Sioux Spiritual Center, a retreat house for Native Americans in western South Dakota. During that time he was also the Assistant Director of the Diocese of Rapid City’s deacon and lay ministry formation program. He has given preached retreats around the country since 1986 and was on the staff of Demontreville, the Jesuit retreat house in Lake Elmo, MN from 2000-03. In 2003 he became the national director of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (Apostleship of Prayer), a position he held for fourteen years. In 2017 he moved to the Rosebud Reservation in western South Dakota, where he currently serves as the director of St. Francis Mission, which was founded in 1886.  

Fr. Kubicki appears regularly on Catholic radio shows around the country. His book A Heart on Fire: Rediscovering Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus was selected by the Catholic Book Publishers Association as among the three best spirituality books in 2012.  His latest book is A Year of Daily Offerings

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Fr. Doug Leonhardt, SJ

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.

Upcoming Retreats
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Fr. Paul Macke, SJ

Fr. Macke is the Jesuit Mission Coordinator at the Jesuit Spiritual Center in Milford, Ohio and Jesuit Liaison for Ignatius House in downtown Cincinnati (a young adult intentional community). The previous six years he was Executive Director of the Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat in Barrington, IL.

Previously, Fr. 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 Masters 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.

As the Secretary for Pastoral Ministries and Jesuit Life, Father Macke worked to promote the ministries involved with the over 100 Jesuit parishes and missions in the USA, plus 28 Jesuit retreat and spirituality centers throughout the United States, Christian Life Communities, and the Apostleship of Prayer. Likewise, he was involved with all areas concerning Jesuit community life, such as training for new Jesuit Superiors and the Health Care Coordinators for the Jesuit Provinces in the United States. He helped develop the Educational Component for Ethics in Ministry—a series of four video cases concerning boundaries with adults in ministry and the use and abuse of the Internet. This program is now being used for religious men in the USA and in other countries as well as a number of Catholic Dioceses in the USA. Fr. Macke has served in Jesuit formation as the vocation director for the Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus from 1989 until 1993.

Upcoming Retreats
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Fr. Richard Malloy, SJ

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.

Upcoming Retreats
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    Mrs. Mary McKeon

    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, granddaughter, 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.

    Upcoming Retreats
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    Fr. David Meconi, SJ

    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.

    Upcoming Retreats
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    Fr. Keith Muccino, SJ

    Dr. Muccino served as Associate Provost for Educational Resources at Loyola University Chicago’s Health Sciences Campus until May of 2019. In July 2019 he begins his new dual assignment as consultant to the Office of Medical Education at UMASS Medical School, and assistant to the Office of Health Professions Advising at The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.

    In addition to his administrative and educational responsibilities, Fr. Muccino has spent the past twenty five years pursuing his passion for giving preached weekend retreats, individually directed retreats, parish retreats, and days of recollection centered on adult faith-formation.

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    Fr. Michael Rossmann, SJ

    Fr. Michael Rossmann, SJ is a vocation promoter for the Jesuits. He works with young adults in discernment across the Midwest. Fr. Rossmann joined the Jesuits in 2007, just after graduating from the University of Notre Dame. He taught in Tanzania for two years and has graduate degrees from Loyola University Chicago and Boston College. He has been active in the use of new media, starting the "One-Minute Homily" and previously serving as the editor-in-chief of The Jesuit Post.

    Upcoming Retreats
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    Fr. Kevin Schneider, SJ

    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.

    Upcoming Retreats
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    Fr. David Shields, SJ

    Fr. David Shields, SJ is a Jesuit priest of the USA Midwest Province who has been involved in retreat ministry for over 40 years in many formats. In addition to this ministry, Fr. Shields has spent some 20 years with the Oglala Sioux on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota and, more recently, nearly 22 years in Hispanic ministry in Milwaukee, WI. Currently he is the Director of Spiritual Programs at Casa Romero Renewal Center in Milwaukee. Casa Romero is an urban bilingual spirituality center offering bilingual retreats and formation to 1st and 2nd generation Latinx in southeast Wisconsin.

    Upcoming Retreats
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    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.

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    Team of Veterans

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    Fr. Tom Weston, SJ

    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.)

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