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.
Sr. Wendy Cotter, CSJ, PhD is a Sister of St. Joseph from London, Ontario, Canada and has been a full professor of New Testament in the Theology Department of Loyola University, and is now Emerita since her retirement last summer. After her undergraduate degree in Religious Studies, she was invited to serve on her Community’s Peruvian mission for two terms (four years). Upon her return, she began her graduate studies and received her PhD in New Testament from the University of St. Michael’s College in Toronto, with a specialty in Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke), particularly the Gospel of Mark and pre-gospel material with a focus on miracle stories. Besides her articles and papers, she has published two books, The Miracles in Greco Roman Antiquity (1999), and The Christ of the Miracle Stories: Portrait Through Encounter (2010). Throughout these years, Sister has been invited to offer Scripture workshops and parish missions as well as weekend and longer retreats. She considers these the greatest source of joy and grace.
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.
Rachel Forton currently serves as Communications Coordinator for Bellarmine. She is a graduate of Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa and holds a BA in Public Relations and Theology with a concentration in Catholic Studies. Rachel's ministry experience includes coordinating and facilitating Kairos high school retreats, Antioch college retreats, and leading small group Bible studies. She is currently an intern in Bellarmine's Spiritual Direction Training Program. Rachel lives in Palatine, Illinois with her husband and young daughter.
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.
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.
Bobby Karle 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 is currently partinging in the Masters of Divinity program at 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.
Fr. Jim Kubicki was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He entered the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) 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 upper Midwest. 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 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.”
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 (as a team with Dennis and Sheila Linn) has focused 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 more than 60 countries. Ordained in l973, 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. Fr. Linn, Dennis, and Sheila have written 22 books translated in more than 20 languages, (all in Spanish) and with more than a million copies in English.
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.
Rev. Keith Maczkiewicz, S.J. a native of Long Island, New York, joined the Northeast Province Jesuits in the summer of 2008. A graduate of Fairfield University and Providence College, after entering the Society of Jesus Keith did his philosophy studies at Loyola University Chicago and his theology studies at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, CA. His ministry has been mainly in campus ministry at the college and high school level, in retreat work, and in faith formation, where he served as the DRE at a diverse parish in Oakland, CA. Keith was ordained a priest in June 2018 and serves as Assistant Chaplain at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
Jayme Stayer holds degrees in music, literature, and theology. Currently Associate Professor of English at Loyola University Chicago, he has written numerous articles and books on modernist literature. He is also the president of the International T. S. Eliot Society and an award-winning editor of Eliot's Complete Prose, Volume 5.
The Veterans Ministry Team are dedicated to helping veterans from all ages in their path to spiritual healing.
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.)