Spiritual Direction. Directory of Spiritual Directors

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Directory of Spiritual Directors

University of Notre Dame

2013 - 2014


Spiritual Direction

What is Spiritual Direction?

Spiritual direction is time that is set aside to become

aware of and to reflect upon God’s presence in your

life. This is done with the help of a trained minister

who listens to others and enables them to discover

how and where God is already working in their lives

while encouraging them to be open to where God

might be calling them in the future. One’s prayer life,

relationships and vocational discernment are the kinds

of topics that may be regularly addressed in spiritual

direction, but the experience is greatly defined by the

relationship shared between the individual and the

director. You and your director can determine when

to meet and for how long, but typically sessions will

last for about an hour and occur every two or three

weeks. Many students from various backgrounds have

benefited from having a spiritual director throughout

their time at Notre Dame. We invite you to explore

spiritual direction as a way to listen to God’s voice

in your own daily life, to grow in faith and to

understand yourself and your relationships more



Finding the “right” Spiritual Director for you is an important part of the Spiritual Direction process. Here are some suggestions to help you with your search:

1. First, ask yourself “what” needs the most attention in your spiritual life right now. Prayer life? Vocational discernment?

Relationship or family issues? Integrating faith into your daily life? These are just some of the more common areas that are focused on during spiritual direction.

2. Next, WHO do you need right now? A priest? A sister? A layperson?

3. Once you have narrowed that down, look over our list of

spiritual directors. Read through their biographies and see who is a potential good “fit” for you.

4. After you have chosen one or two (or maybe more) directors, email them directly to set up an initial meeting. If they are on our list, they will not be surprised to receive your email! And just because you reach out to them does not mean you have to choose them. When you meet them, ask them about their approach to spiritual direction (each director brings his or her own unique style and method to direction). They will also ask you questions about what you are looking for and get to know you better as well. 5. GO FOR IT! After you meet the directors, choose one and set up your first OFFICIAL spiritual direction meeting. Sometimes it takes a little while to feel totally comfortable with one another. Good relationships take time and the building of trust so be patient. It will be worth it!

6. If you need any further assistance in finding a spiritual director, please contact Ed Mack at emack1@nd.edu.

Spiritual Direction is one of the most important things you can do for yourself! Paying attention to God with the help of a spiritual companion can make an important difference in all areas of your life!


Spiritual Directors at the

University of Notre Dame

Rev. Thomas Blantz, C.S.C.

Rev. Joseph Carey, C.S.C.

Sr. Christine Connolly, OP

Rev. Michael Connors, C.S.C.

Rev. Lou DelFra, C.S.C.

Rev. Paul Doyle, C.S.C.

Mary Gallagher

Sr. Mary Jane Hahner, CSFN

Sr. Mary Lynch, SSJ

Sr. Denise Lyon, IHM

Ed Mack

Darrell Paulsen

Tami Schmitz

Megan Shepherd


Rev. Thomas Blantz, C.S.C. tblantz@nd.edu (574) 631-5066

Fr. Tom took final vows with the

Congregation of Holy Cross in 1956 and has been a professor in the Department of History since 1968. Fr. Tom has also served at Notre Dame as rector, assistant rector, confessor at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart and priest in residence. He greatly enjoys sports, especially football and baseball, as well as stamp collecting. Originally from Massillon, Ohio, he comes from a family of three children, and his brother, James, is also a Holy Cross priest. Fr. Tom is available for one time or ongoing direction.

Rev. Joseph Carey, C.S.C. jcarey@nd.edu (574) 631-5200

Fr. Joe holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Notre Dame and a master’s degree in theology from the Washington, D.C. Theology Union. He received his Spiritual Direction Certification from the Institute for Spirituality in Chicago. Fr. Joe serves as the Chaplain for the Alliance for Catholic Education and resides in Pasquerilla West Hall. Fr. Joe has been a priest for 38 years and enjoys having conversations with others on campus, working out at Rolfs, and eating Rocco’s pizza. Fr. Joe is available for one time or ongoing direction.


Rev. Michael Connors, C.S.C. mconnors@nd.edu (574) 631-3006 Sr. Christine Connolly, OP cconnoll@nd.edu (574) 631-8655

Sr. Chris has served as a Spiritual Director at Claret Center in Chicago, conducting retreats for college students, seminarians and young adults, while concurrently serving as Spiritual Director at the Loyola University Institute for Pastoral Studies. She is a member of the Dominican Sisters of Peace where she has served as Vocation Minister for her community. Sister Chris holds a bachelor’s degree from Cardinal Cushing College. She has a master’s degree in pastoral ministry from Boston College and a master’s degree in pastoral studies from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. Sr. Chris is the rector of Welsh Family Hall and serves as one of the retreat directors for the silent retreats sponsored by Campus Ministry. Sr. Chris is available for ongoing direction.

Fr. Mike holds a Master of Divinity from Notre Dame, and a Th.D. from Regis College, Toronto, in the area of pastoral theology with emphasis on spirituality and inculturation. He is the former director of the M.Div program at Notre Dame, and currently serves as the director of the Marten Program in Homiletics in the Department of Theology. Fr. Mike resides in Carroll Hall and is available for occasional pastoral counseling or ongoing spiritual direction.


Rev. Lou DelFra, C.S.C. delfra.2@nd.edu (574) 631-1798

Fr. Lou is a Holy Cross priest who works in Campus Ministry and also serves as a faculty member and chaplain for Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education. Fr. Lou, a ’92 graduate of Notre Dame, is originally from Philadelphia and has also served as an Associate Pastor at Holy Redeemer Parish in Portland, Oreg.

Rev. Paul Doyle, C.S.C. pdoyle@nd.edu (574) 631-7427

Fr. Paul holds a degree in economics as well as a Master of Divinity from Notre Dame. He was ordained a Holy Cross priest in 1977 and has since served in nine parishes in the South Bend area. Fr. Paul has served as the religious superior of Corby Hall and is currently the rector of Dillon Hall. He has done formation work with seminarians in the past. Fr. Paul is originally from Virginia and is one of seven children. He is available for one time or ongoing direction.


Mary C. Gallagher


(574) 220-0726

Mary Gallagher earned her master’s degree in systematic theology at Notre Dame and her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Barry University in North Miami, Fl. Mary is a certified chaplain with the National Association of Catholic Chaplains and a trained spiritual director. Besides her experience as a nurse and chaplain in the hospital and in home health care, she brings the experience of being a wife and mother of seven adult children to the practice of spiritual direction. Since Mary lives within walking distance of campus, she is easily accessible to those who would prefer someone off campus. Mary is available for one time or ongoing direction.

Sr. Mary Jane Hahner, CSFN

mhahner@nd.edu (574) 631-5740

Sr. MJ is a Sister of the Holy Family of Nazareth. She has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Holy Family University in Philadelphia, a master’s degree in administration from Villanova University and a master’s degree in divinity from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. Sr. MJ completed a one-year Spiritual Direction Internship at Claret Center in Chicago. Sister was also an elementary school teacher and principal, community treasurer, graduate student and rector at Notre Dame. Sr. MJ enjoys reading, football, riding ATV’s in the woods especially in the rain or snow, movies, dining with family and friends and catching up with friends through letter writing. Sr. MJ is available for one time or ongoing direction.


Sr. Mary Lynch, SSJ mlynch5@nd.edu (574) 631-8316

Sr. Mary has a master’s degree in holistic spirituality and spiritual direction from Chestnut Hill College in Pennsylvania as well as a master’s degree in liturgical studies from Notre Dame. Before coming to Notre Dame, she worked in campus ministry at North Carolina State University, the University of North Carolina and Princeton University. She has also worked in formation of new sisters in her community, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Philadelpia. Sr. Mary currently serves as rector of McGlinn Hall, offers spiritual direction and directs summer retreats at her community’s retreat center in New Jersey. Sr. Mary enjoys playing the piano, Sudoku puzzles and reading a good book. Sr. Mary is available for ongoing spiritual direction.

Sr. Denise Lyon, IHM dlyon@nd.edu (574) 631-3780

Sr. Denise holds a master’s degree in pastoral care and counseling as well as Spiritual Direction Certification from Neumann University in Aston. She also holds a master’s degree in theology/spirituality/ monastic studies from St. Johns University in Collegeville, Minn. She is the rector of Badin Hall. Sr. Denise is available for ongoing spiritual direction.


Ed Mack

emack1@nd.edu (574) 631-3761

Ed comes to Campus Ministry after being the rector of O’Neill Family Hall from 2002 to 2013. There he not only performed the administrative work of running a large building, but also ministered to nearly 280 young men each year. Before coming to Notre Dame, Ed spent 33 years in Catholic secondary education in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, teaching English and being a school administrator. Ed earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in english from the University of Louisville and a Master of Arts in education from Baldwin-Wallace University. Not surprising considering his English teacher background, Ed’s favorite down-time activity is getting lost in a good book! He currently works in Campus Ministry as the Pastoral Care and Outreach Coordinator, and is happy to meet for one-time or ongoing spiritual direction.

Darrell Paulsen

dpaulse1@nd.edu (574) 631-2543

Darrell works in the Office of Development at the University of Notre Dame. Formerly, he was the Assistant Director for the Office of Campus Ministry where he worked primarily in the areas of retreats, national programming, pastoral counseling and marriage preparation. Darrell is originally from Massachusetts where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in psychology and religious studies in 1987 and his Master of Arts in rehabilitation counseling in 1991 from Assumption College. He then went on to receive his Master of Divinity degree in1994 from Notre Dame. Darrell has also completed his candidacy for his doctorate in ministry from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. He and his wife Melissa have been married for 25 years, have four children and live in Granger, Ind. Darrell is available for one time or ongoing direction.


Tami Schmitz

schmitz.8@nd.edu (574) 631-3016

Tami Schmitz migrated south to Notre Dame from Green Bay, Wis. 15 years ago. She received her bachelor’s degree in sociology from St. Norbert College and her master’s in pastoral studies from Loyola University in Chicago. She completed her certification in Spiritual Direction from Creighton University in 2007. Tami is an Associate Director within Campus Ministry and oversees the area of Undergraduate Ministry. She also coordinates grief support groups and serves as a spiritual director. Although you can take the girl out of Green Bay, you can’t take Green Bay out of the girl. Tami is an avid Packer fan and also enjoys running, biking, Ireland and hanging out in Shipshewana with the Amish. Tami is available for one time or ongoing direction.

Megan Shepherd

mshephe2@nd.edu (574) 631-8290

Originally from Pittsburgh, Megan received a Bachelors of Science in pre-professional studies and theology, and a Master of Divinity degree from Notre Dame. She has spent 15 years working with young people in parish, high school and national settings. While working at a Jesuit high school she discovered the richness of Ignatian Spirituality and completed the “Thirty Day Spiritual Exercises” and an internship in spiritual direction in the Ignatian Tradition. She currently serves as the Associate Director of Notre Dame Vision in the Institute for Church Life at Notre Dame, coordinating the summer conferences for campus and youth ministers and working with the formation of undergraduate mentors. Megan is available for one time or ongoing direction.


Pastoral Support & Guidance

Need to Talk?

There may be times when you need guidance or support

in dealing with a specific pastoral issue or concern.

Some of these may include relationships, sexual

identity, grief and loss, and vocational discernment.

You may want to meet with someone just once or a few

times to discuss the issue. Ed Mack is happy to assist

you in finding the appropriate person. Please email him

at emack1@nd.edu.


Walk with me, good and loving God,

as I journey through life.

May I take your hand

and be led by your Holy Spirit.

Fill me, inspire me, free me

to respond generously to your call.

For I believe you desire my deepest joy,

and it is only in your company that my

soul will be satisfied and my life will

find its meaning and purpose.






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