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Retreat Masters

Carol Atwell Ackels

Carol is Director of the Ignatian Spirituality Institute in Dallas, Texas. There she offers spiritual direction in the Ignatian tradition, teaches classes in Ignatian spirituality, and forms persons moving into the ministry of spiritual companioning. Carol launched and continues to give formation workshops to shape Jesuits and lay who are moving into retreat ministry and spiritual companioning in the Ignatian tradition. She guides others through the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius in various formats at Jesuit retreat houses across the United States including weekend retreats, the Exercises in Everyday Life, and one-to-one directed retreats.

Carol is co-author with Fr Joe Tetlow, SJ of Finding Christ in the World, a 12-week Ignatian retreat. In collaboration with Fr Anthony Borrow, SJ, she developed the Toward Greater Freedom retreat for students and parents at Jesuit high schools.

Carol holds a J.D. from Southern Methodist University (SMU) Dedman School of Law, Dallas as well as a Master of Art in Theology and Leadership from Gonzaga University, Spokane. She and her husband reside in Dallas and are the parents of five adult children, and grandparents to four – all of whom are the light and love of life.

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. She has a passion for helping others find God in all things through spiritual direction and retreat ministry, writing, and editing. Her most recent writings may be found at www.coraevans.com/blog/author/102. Originally from Des Moines, Iowa, Rachel now lives with her husband and young daughter and son in Palatine, IL.  

    Upcoming Retreats

    Fr. Jim Flaherty, SJ

    Fr. Jim Flaherty, SJ, is currently the Director of First Studies and Associate Professor of Philosophy at Loyola University in Chicago. Prior to coming to Loyola University, he served a term as Pastor of Gesu Parish in Milwaukee, WI after teaching philosophy at Marquette University. He has preached retreats in the Ignatian tradition for many years, mostly at the Jesuit Retreat House at Oshkosh and Demontreville Retreat House in St. Paul, MN.

    Upcoming Retreats

    Ms. Jenene Francis

    Jenéne Francis is an aspiring contemplative in action who enjoys adapting and offering the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius for days of reflection and retreats. She finds writing creative non-fiction and short fiction a fruitful spiritual practice. Jenéne recently retired from the Midwest Province of the Society of Jesus after many years supporting Jesuits and lay colleagues who serve retreat houses, spirituality programs, parishes, and as hospital chaplains and other pastoral ministers. Having spent her first career at Procter & Gamble in Product Development and Manufacturing, followed by more than 20 years in Jesuit ministry, Jenéne gets great satisfaction offering her engineer’s head and poet’s heart for “the greater glory of God.”

    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

      Fr. Dan Hartnett, SJ

      Fr. Dan worked in Latin America (Peru) for over 20 years. He then returned to Chicago to assist with Jesuits in formation at Loyola University. After working at Loyola for ten years, he was asked to be pastor at Most Blessed Trinity Parish in Waukegan and, then subsequently, pastor of Robert Bellarmine Parish at Xavier University in Cincinnati. Once completed those assignments, Dan returned to Chicago where he serves as spiritual director, instructor and associate pastor at St. Ignatius Parish in Rogers Park.

      Este día estará guiado por P. Daniel Hartnett, S.J. - un jesuita quien trabaja en la Universidad de Loyola de Chicago y también en diversas parroquias de nuestra arquidiócesis. ¡Vengan a compartir este día con nosotros!

      Listen to a sample of Fr. Hartnett's retreat talks below (English only)

      Upcoming Retreats

      Terri Davis Hayden

      Terri Davis Hayden is a classically trained and a member of the American Guild of Musical Artists.  She began her career singing with Cincinnati Opera and Washington Opera at Kennedy Center. Her career quickly expanded into performing musical theater, jazz, pop, liturgical and spiritual repertoire. She and Fr Michael have been friends and collaborators for over 30 years.

      Upcoming Retreats

      Fr. Brad Held, SJ

      Brad Held entered the Society of Jesus in 2006 and ordained to the priesthood in June 2017. He was born and raised just outside of Milwaukee, WI. He attended Marquette University in Milwaukee, which is where he discerned a call to priesthood and came to see the Jesuits as the path through which he was to answer that call. Since entering the Jesuits he has studied at Fordham University and Boston College. He has taught at Red Cloud High School on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and Marquette University High School in Milwaukee. Since June 2019, he has served as Pastor of Holy Rosary Mission, which encompasses the nine Catholic Churches on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

      Listen to a sample of Fr. Held's retreat talks below:

      Upcoming Retreats

      Nancy Hulsebosch

      Nancy Hulsebosch is a Spiritual Director grounded in the principles of Ignatian Spirituality, having completed a three-year spiritual direction internship at Bellarmine. Nancy’s roots in the Jesuit tradition trace back to Marquette University, where she earned her undergraduate degree in 1986. She later received a Master’s degree from National-Louis University. In addition to providing spiritual direction and leading individuals in the Spiritual Exercises, Nancy is active in various ministries in her parish, particularly Scripture study. Nancy is married and the mother of four children.

      Upcoming Retreats

      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.

      Upcoming Retreats

      Fr. Bobby Karle, SJ

      Fr. Bobby Karle, SJ is a Jesuit from the Midwest Province and co-founder of Ignatian Yoga. He began practicing yoga in 2009, between serving as a Jesuit Volunteer in Belize and entering the Jesuit order in 2010. During Jesuit formation, he has completed a 500-hour yoga teacher training, a Masters degree in Philosophy from Fordham University, and a Masters of Divinity from the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, CA in preparation for priestly ordination. Bobby’s spiritual practice and teaching is deeply informed by both the East and West and uses the body and breath to realize Christ’s presence.

      Upcoming Retreats

      Fr. Jim Kubicki, SJ

      Fr. Kubicki entered the Jesuits in 1971 and was ordained in 1983.  He has worked among the Lakota Sioux three different times.  He taught at Red Cloud Indian school for three years and was a spiritual director at the Sioux Spiritual Center for six years.  Since 2017 he has been the director of St. Francis Mission on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota.

      Listen to a talk by Fr. Kubicki.

      Upcoming Retreats

      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

      Fr. Christopher Manahan, SJ

      Father Chris Manahan entered the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1993 at the age of 37 after a 15-year career as a newspaper reporter and editor in Minnesota and Iowa. After ordination in 2003 he served two years as a parish priest on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota; spent a year working with Jesuits in the Philippines and northeast India; served eight years on the staff of the Jesuit Novitiate where men discern whether to profess vows; and, for seven years was director of the Jesuit Retreat House on Lake Winnebago at Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Father Manahan currently assists the provincial in caring for Jesuits in the Midwest Province awaiting final vows and for the province’s senior Jesuits who are 70 and older. He lives in the Taylor Street Jesuit Community in Chicago.  

      Upcoming Retreats

      Fr. Keith Muccino, SJ

      After years as a practicing physician, medical educator, and administrator, Fr. Muccino, now serves as Associate Director of Pre-Health Professions Advising at the College of the Holy Cross and is a Course Director at UMASS Chan School of Medicine.

      Throughout his Jesuit life he has also allotted time to pursue his passion for giving preached conference retreats, workshops, and days of recollection to all seeking to grow in their relationship with God.

      Upcoming Retreats

      Elizabeth Neubauer

      With more than 30 years of daily spiritual practice, Elizabeth understands the gifts of a contemplative journey. She has given presentations on personal growth and the desire for a deeper understanding of God to a wide range of groups. Elizabeth has served as retreat leader and provided spiritual direction at the Jesuit Retreat House in Oshkosh. In addition, she has lead groups at First Fruits – Women Growing in Faith on topics including prayer and meditation and the spirituality of the 12 Steps. Her goal as a retreat leader is to provide food for thought that encourages individuals to go deeper into self-knowledge and to explore their experience of a Higher Power, God or Deep Self however they define this journey for themselves. 

      Elizabeth has degrees in Art and Business and is a graduate of the Spiritual Guidance Training Program at the Siena Retreat Center in Racine, Wisconsin. She believes spiritual direction provides a dedicated time and place to explore the movement of Spirit in an environment of openness and respect. Her practice is inclusive of all faith traditions as well as individuals who do not ascribe to any organized religion.

      Past careers have included Development Director, Photographer, Employee Assistance Program Coordinator and Funeral Director. She is a member of Spiritual Directors International.

      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. Mitch Pacwa, SJ

      Father Pacwa received his B.A. in Philosophy and Theology from the University of Detroit, summa cum laude. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 1976 with the Society of Jesus, as a Master of Divinity and S.T.B. from the Jesuit School of Theology of Loyola University, magna cum laude. At Vanderbilt University, he received his Master of Arts as well as his Ph.D. in Old Testament. He is best known for his appearances on EWTN for over the last thirty years. Fr. Pacwa is a best-selling Catholic author and has written numerous books on a variety of topics about the Scripture and our Catholic Faith to continue to teach us and generations to come. To leave a Legacy means to: bequest, give an inheritance or endowment. That is the singular driving motivation for Father Pacwa‘s fervent desire to reach out and speak to groups of young Catholic adults. Father Pacwa’s vision is to create a “Legacy of Faith” for the next generation of Catholics who strive to grow and mature in their faith and become the future leaders of our Church. Father Pacwa ardently believes that personally reaching out to young adults in an intimate setting where he can connect and answer questions is the most effective way to reach across generational gaps. He reminds us all that through our Baptism we are called to be sharers of the Church’s mission which is to continue the works of Jesus Christ and to make His name known and loved. For more information visit: http://kingsservants.org/legacy-of-faithinitiative.

      Listen to a talk by Fr. Pacwa.

      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 for our IDRs.  Please see full list here.

      Upcoming Retreats

      Team of Veterans

      The Veterans Ministry Team are dedicated to helping veterans from all ages in their path to spiritual healing.

      Upcoming Retreats

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