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Retreat Masters

Meet the 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

Fr. Richard Baumann, SJ

Richard is a native of Cincinnati, entered the Society of Jesus in 1964, and was ordained in 1975.  He has served as vocation director, novice director, pastor, and provincial superior.  More recently he worked in Africa for fourteen years:  six years as director of Ignatian programming and faculty member at the Jesuit Arrupe University in Harare, Zimbabwe, and eight years as co-director of a renewal program for Jesuits before they pronounce final vows located in Cape Coast, Ghana, and in Nairobi, Kenya.  He’s currently based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and works as a regional vocation director for the Jesuits of the Midwest Province, and gives various talks and retreats related to Ignatian spirituality.  

Upcoming Retreats

Brother Guy Consolmagno, SJ

Brother Guy Consolmagno, SJ is a Jesuit brother, Director of the Vatican Observatory and the President of the Vatican Observatory Foundation whose research studies meteorites and asteroids. He is a native of Detroit, Michigan, received SB and SM degrees from MIT, and earned his PhD in Planetary Sciences from the University of Arizona in 1978. Along with more than 200 scientific publications, he is the author of six popular astronomy books. In 2014 he received the Carl Sagan Medal from the American Astronomical Society Division for Planetary Sciences for excellence in public communication in planetary sciences.

Please enjoy this interview with Brother Guy.

Upcoming Retreats

Phil Cooley, SJ

Phil Cooley, SJ, is a Jesuit scholastic pursuing an M.A. in Social Philosophy at Loyola University Chicago. He is a trained spiritual director and has facilitated retreats in Ignatian Spirituality for the past three years. After completing his undergrad degree in Economics at Xaiver University in Cincinnati, OH, Phil worked in the Financial Services industry before discerning a call to the Jesuits. Phil enjoys learning languages, making music, football and basketball, and spiritual reading.

Upcoming Retreats

Sr. Linda Fischer

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 29 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.


Upcoming Retreats

Ms. Jenene Francis

No Biography Yet!

Upcoming Retreats

Lauren Hackman-Brooks

Lauren Hackman-Brooks is trained as a spiritual director in the Ignatian tradition and has experience facilitating retreats particularly with young adults and women. Originally from Cincinnati, Lauren spent a decade working in ministry in Jesuit schools in Chicago. She currently serves as the Director of Mission Formation at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Lauren is a spouse and parent, a voracious reader, an enthusiastic home cook, and a lover of the outdoors.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

Upcoming Retreats

Justin Prom, SJ

Justin Prom, SJ is a Jesuit scholastic studying social philosophy at Loyola University Chicago. He is a trained spiritual director and has worked as a hospital chaplain. Formerly, he studied biomedical engineering at Marquette University and has worked as a biomed engineering technician in developing countries.

Upcoming Retreats

Fr. Jeff Putthoff, SJ

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, and educational consultant 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 has directed over 40 directed retreats and 120 preached retreats nationally. 

He is a gifted, national speaker on trauma-informed care, organizational dynamics, youth formation, Ignatian spirituality, and leadership. 

Besides his retreat work, Father Jeff currently works nationally with various diocese to raise over $7 million dollars annually to fund 1200 grade school and high school scholarships 

Upcoming Retreats

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 addition to this ministry, Fr. Shields has spent some 20 years with the Oglala Sioux on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. More recently, he has worked nearly 23 years in Hispanic ministry as Founder and Executive Director of Casa Romero Renewal Center  in Milwaukee, WI. Currently Fr Shields is Founder Emeritus of Casa Romero and remains active in Spiritual Direction, retreat director and other spiritual ministries. In September 2019, Fr. Shields spent a week in El Paso learning more a bout the US border and its issues with migrants and refugees.  In January, 2020, he had the privilege to make a Pilgrimage/Retreat to El Salvador and Guatemala where he visited many martyrdom sites pertaining to St Oscar Romero, the Four Churchwomen, Bishop Girardi and others. Fr Shields is a friend of Bill W.

Upcoming Retreats

Fr. Joseph Simmons, SJ

Fr. Joseph Simmons, SJ, a native of Milwaukee, is passionate about Catholic education and renewing the Christian imagination in light of God’s vision for humanity.  Fr. Joe has taught languages, theology, and philosophy at Jesuit schools around the Midwest, and has directed over 30 Ignatian retreats around the US and UK.  He is wrapping up his doctorate at Campion Hall in Oxford, England on atheist writers who remain “bothered by God.”  Fr. Joe looks forward to finishing studies and helping college students wrestle with the big questions in life.  He loves the priesthood, dry humor and Oxford commas.

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.

Upcoming Retreats

Bellarmine Jesuit Ministry Team and Additional Spiritual Directors

The ministry team leads the spiritual direction of retreats and programs at Bellarmine. 

Upcoming Retreats

Fr. Andrew Wawrzyn

Fr. Andrew Wawryzn was ordained in 2010 for the Archdiocese of Chicago. Prior to his ordination to the Archdiocese he was a member of the Jesuit order for 13 years. Fr. Wawryzn attended Marquette University for undergraduate studies graduating in 1994. He obtained one degree in philosophy (MA) and two degrees in theology (MDiv and ThM) while a Jesuit, and earned an STL degree in theology from Mundelein Seminary in 2011.

Fr. Wawryzn taught high school, directed retreats, offered spiritual direction and served parishes during his ministry. He has served in the Archdiocese of Chicago at St. Peter in Skokie, St. Alphonsus in Chicago, and Our Lady of the Woods in Orland Park. Fr. Wawryzn currently serves as chaplain and director for the University of Chicago Newman Center, Calvert House.

Upcoming Retreats

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.)

Upcoming Retreats

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