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Manresa Jesuit Retreat House

Jesuits & Ministerial Staff, Support Staff, Board


Fr. Timothy Babcock is a priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit who serves as an adjunct member of the Manresa Retreat Team. He attended U. of D. Jesuit High School, Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, and St. John Provincial Seminary in Plymouth. He was ordained a priest in 1968, and holds a BA from Sacred Heart Major Seminary, an MA from University of Detroit, and a MDiv from St. John Provincial Seminary. Fr. Babcock served as Pastor of St. Eugene Parish, Detroit, St. Mary Parish, Royal Oak, St. Andrew Parish, Rochester, and St. Mary Parish, Monroe. He currently serves as Chaplain for the Felician Sisters of Livonia, Michigan and a part-time member of the Clergy Life and Ministry Office for the Archdiocese. He also assists as a part-time Judge of the Metropolitan Tribunal for the Archdiocese.
Fr. Stephen Bonian, SJ is an Eastern Rite Jesuit priest who has worked with Chaldean, Maronite, Coptic and Byzantine Churches and communities in the United States, the Holy Land and the Near East. Born in Iran and raised in Iraq, he lived his youth in both countries. He joined the Jesuits after graduation from Bagdad College a year before they were ousted from that country in 1969. Father Bonian holds a Masters of Divinity from Weston School of Theology, a Licentiate in Sacred Theology in Eastern Liturgy and Patristics from the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome, and an APD in Religions and Religious Education from Fordham University. He has worked with Maronite Catholic parishes in Oklahoma, Minnesota and Ohio. Over the years he has worked to integrate Eastern and Ignatian Spirituality. These adaptations of the Spiritual Exercises—in conjunction with Eastern Spirituality and the use of Icons in meditation and contemplation—have been useful in his retreat work for both groups and individuals both in the Middle East, including the Holy Land, and in the United States.Fr. Bonian is also available to speak on the Eastern Christian Churches, Liturgies, and the Fathers of the Church (e.g., St. Ephrem, St. John Chrysostom, and St. Issac of Nineveh) and their unique spiritual heritage.
Hope Ulch Brown, Speaker, Therapist and Author, has been a member of a 12 Step program for families and friends of alcoholics for over thirty years. She is a former teacher, coach, and was an elected member of the Oxford Board of Education along with co-founding the Clear Lake Parent's Association and the Oxford Girls' Little League. For over twenty years, she has been a therapist in private practice after spending several years working in residential treatment. She speaks at Maplegrove HFHS and Brighton Hospital monthly and for numerous churches, schools, conferences, and organizations over the years. Her BS in Physical Education and Health is from the University of Detroit and her MA in Counseling is from Oakland University. She has authored four books of inspirational messages, the most recent being 232 Messages of Hope.... Lessons Learned. Visit www.dailymessagesofhope.com.
Kathleen Budesky, IHM was graduated from Mundelein College with a Master's Degree in Religious Studies and Spirituality. Kathie has served in secondary schools both in religious studies departments and administration, most recently at Marian High School. She is currently a presenter and facilitator at Visitation North Spirituality Center in Bloomfield Hills, of which she is also the director.
Nada Conic has been leading 12-Step retreats at Manresa Jesuit Renewal Centre, Pickering, ON, Canada, since 2003. She has also done so in various places in Northern Ontario and the Maritime provinces. She has taught Ancient Greek philosophy, language and literature, as well as world mythology, at the University of Toronto and the University of Victoria, B.C. And after studies in theology at Regis College, Toronto, she has taught the Christian mystics, Ignatian spirituality, Jung, and related topics. Nada has done the 30-day Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius and led others through them. She is familiar with various modalities of psychotherapy and psychic healing, and has a private practice in spiritual counselling. For some years now she has been studying - and experiencing - the role of trauma in spirituality (and vice versa) and considering that in relation to Saint John of the Cross's "Dark Night". In her practice (which attracts mostly people in recovery) she has found herself dealing principally with: understanding the Twelve Steps from a woman's perspective; healing from trauma (especially sexual trauma) in a Twelve-Step context; the effect of trauma on spirituality; God as "sane authority"; the spiritual meaning of anxiety; desolation in recovery; and the healing of our relationship to our inner child in recovery.
Fr. Norm Dickson, SJ , a Jesuit priest of the Chicago-Detroit Province, a former teacher and president of Walsh Jesuit High School in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, pastor of Gesu Church in Detroit, Michigan and missionary in the Sudan and Kenya, is presently working with the diocese of Gaylord at Saint Mary of the Woods Church in Kalkaska, Michigan.
Sr. Linda Fischer, ASC, is a member of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, in which she made her final profession in 1994. She worked for 15 years as a fourth-grade teacher at an inner-city Catholic school in Lancaster, PA. And while happy there she wanted to do something in the field of alcoholism and recovery, particular giving to others by going into retreat work. Overcoming great fear of public speaking she gave her first 12-step retreat in November 2005. By 2007 she had led 25 retreats and booked 22 more for 2008. "Being an Adorer, and reaching out to people who are really hurting or who have lost everything because of their addiction and letting them know that God loves them, that there is hope for them and that they are good enough, that God does walk with them on their own journey no matter how difficult it is—for me, that's what it's all about."
Sr. Mary Ann Flanagan, IHM, PhD is a theological educator and retreat presenter now living in the Rochester Hills, MI area. She is a consultative member of the Visitation North Spirituality Center in Bloomfield Hills, and is responsible for their wonderful website www.visitationnorth.org. Her interests are varied and creative; prayerful presentations are her joy to provide.
Mildred Frank has a background is in education. She was involved in the Secondary School System for 37 years. Mildred is a spiritual director and has been a speaker at international conferences and seminars for many years. Mildred is a beloved presence and an inspiring voice in the recovery community. She gives back tirelessly and selflessly to the community that helped her. Mildred is a towering example of embracing and living recovery. For decades Mildred has spent 30 – 40 weekends a year sharing her message throughout Canada, the US and beyond. In her decades of speaking many tens of thousands have benefited from her message.
Fr. Benjamin Hawley, SJ, a Chicago-Detroit Province Jesuit, originally from Brookline, MA, has a BA in British literature from Tufts and an MA in regional planning from Cornell. He had taught at the University of Detroit Mercy and worked with homeless teens in both Chicago and Portland, Oregon. An accomplished singer, he has performed lead roles in some of Gilbert & Sullivan's operettas. Ben was ordained in 2000 and in August of that year became president of Brebeuf Jesuit Prep in Indianapolis. After being stationed at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, IL, Ben is now the pastor of St. Mary Student Church in Ann Arbor and Director of Campus Ministry for the University of Michigan.
Fr. Si Hendry, SJ teaches religious studies and philosophy, directs the Catholic Studies Program, and is the superior of the Jesuit Community at the University of Detroit Mercy. At Loyola University New Orleans he directed the university's office of Mission and Identity. He holds a doctorate in Christian Spirituality and has lead faculty, administrators, and staff through Ignatius Loyola's Spiritual Exercises at both universities. He has also worked with the Jesuit Volunteers Corps for almost 3 decades, directing a regional office, presenting workshops and retreats, and serving on their board of directors. He has a special interest in the connections between spirituality and social justice and in the societal dimensions of religious faith.
Katherine Hill, RSM received her Doctor of Ministry from Chicago Theological Seminary in Spirituality. She has an MA in Theology from the University of St. Michael's College in Toronto. Sr. Hill received her training in the Enneagram from the Institute of Spiritual Leadership in Chicago. She was a teacher for most of her professional career at the secondary level where she taught Religious Studies. Presently, she serves as a Campus Minister at the University of Detroit Mercy and does Vocation ministry part-time. She offers individual and group Spiritual Direction, and is Companioning a Class through the Grand Rapids Dominicans Program and giving classes in Dream work.
Fr. Gregory Hyde, SJ, Former Director of Manresa Jesuit Retreat House, a native of Detroit, entered the Society of Jesus in 1990. He has degrees in German, Communications and Theology from Wayne State, Indiana University Bloomington, Michigan State Lansing, and Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, California. Between 1975 and 1994 he taught extensively in Taiwan, Beijing, Malaysia and Nepal. He had been doing Retreat and Pastoral Ministry in Detroit from 2003 and worked with us at Manresa from the summer of 2004 to the beginning of 2005. Since then he has worked at our retreat house in Hong Kong. After finishing a three year commitment there, he became available to be elected by our Board in June 2008 as Director of Manresa Jesuit Retreat House. He now works as rector of the Jesuit Novitiate in st. Paul. E-mail
Therese Marie, Coach, Speaker and Author, is an executive coach for professionals who are committed to ongoing development of themselves and their leadership teams or who are experiencing transition. She is an executive recovery coact) for professionals rebuilding careers impacted by alcoholism or addiction. Prior to becoming a coach, Therese owned a successful recruiting practice, and in 2009, she wrote, "Yes! You Can Land a Job Even in a Crummy Economy," a book focused on building self-awareness and job search capability. Therese's BA in Business Administration is from Wayne State University, and she received her coaching certification from Leadership University: B-Coach. As a person in long-term recovery, she actively connects executives and professionals with resources that promote sobriety and recovery, for themselves and their employees. Her personal recovery began in a 12 Step group for friends and families of alcoholics, and today, she facilitates a recovery group for teens whose lives have been impacted by alcoholism. Visit her at www.meettherese.com
Mary McKeon, originally from Quincy, IL, is a 1969 graduate of Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI. She taught school in the inner city there and then moved to Washington, DC, where she worked for the United States Senate. Mary and her late husband, David, have a daughter, Catherine, and a grandson who is the joy of her life. Mary has spent over 20 years as a family caregiver as well as school, parish, and community volunteer. She served on the staff at Holy Name Church in Birmingham, and worked in adult and religious education, youth ministry, sacrament preparation, and the training of Eucharistic ministers. Mary is a commissioned intern of Manresa's Ignatian Spirituality Program and a trained spiritual director. She is on the staff of Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House in Barrington, Illinois. E-mail
Eugene F. Merz, SJ, has offered spiritual direction and retreats based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius and has given Ignatian Spirituality workshops around the world for laity, priests and religious men and women. His years of ministry within the Society of Jesus, in the diocese of Des Moines, Iowa, and at the Center for Ignatian Spirituality, Marquette University, have focused upon the spiritual renewal that was encouraged by Vatican Council II. Gene holds graduate degrees from St. Louis University. He is the coauthor, with Carol Ann Smith, SHCJ, of the widely acclaimed Moment by Moment: A Retreat in Everyday Life (2000), which makes the retreat process of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius available to a wide audience for use in homes, parishes and many others, and Finding God in Each Moment (2006).
Denis Naeger spent 26 years as a counselor at U of D Jesuit High School in Detroit, and over the same period, he was Family Minister and Marriage Prep Coordinator at Our Lady of Refuge Parish in Orchard Lake. He received his Master's Degree in Counseling from St. Louis University, he is a Licensed Professional Counselor, and currently has his own private practice in West Bloomfield. Denis and his wife have four adult sons.

Diane Neville was commissioned as a Spiritual Director in 2005 after completing Manresa’s Internship in Ignatian Spirituality. She is also trained in guiding others in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, is an experienced retreat presenter, and has a guided meditation website - Seeking His Face. Diane was the Director of Women's Ministry at Manresa in 2013 and 2014. Diane is married to Philip and has two adult children, Brian and Shannon. Diane brings to her ministry a deep love for the Lord and a desire to love and serve Him in everyone she meets.
Joe Olesnavage is a graduate of the Internship in Ignation Spirituality and was commissioned as a Spiritual Director and is licensed as a Counselor. He has taught religious education in multiple parishes and is active with Christian men fellowships as well as healing ministry. Joe is a spiritual and retreat director and guides individuals through the Spiritual Exercises. He has degrees in psychology, education and counseling from Wayne State University and was an educator and counselor in the Detroit Public Schools for over 25 years. Joe is married to Sue and they have two adult children, Jason and Katy.

Fr. Bernard Owens, SJ, was ordained in 1972, earned his doctorate in Christian Spirituality at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA in 1983, taught at the University of Detroit Mercy from 1981 to 1994. Working at Manresa from 1994 until 2013, he directed the Internship in Ignatian Spirituality, led the annual seminar in Christian Spiritual Classics, and guided retreatants through the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola. On August 22, 2013 he moved to the Mwangaza Jesuit Retreat Centre.

Fr. Bernie Owens, SJ
Pedro Arrupe Community
P.O.Box 978
Karen 00502
Nairobi, KENYA EAST AFRICA      EMAIL: nairobi2014@gmail.com        BLOG:

Joe Redican is a priest and a member of the Congregation of St. Basil. While in the seminary he received treatment in Guest House in Lake Orion Michigan in 1980. After ordination in 1983 he worked primarily as a secondary school teacher and principal. He has lead dozens of 12 Step retreats throughout Canada and the Midwestern United States. Fr. Joe currently lives part time in Toronto and part time in Detroit where he is chaplain of Detroit Cristo Rey High School.
Fr. Jim Serrick, SJ, is now a former Director of Manresa Jesuit Retreat House for 14 years, but he graces from time to time his old haunts to help us with retreats.
Sr. Linda Sevcik, SM, is a Marist Sister originally from Wheeling, West Virginia. She began her studies at Marygrove College and received her M.A.in Education from the University of Detroit Mercy. She has a Licentiate in Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome where she studied at the Institute of Psychology. Her ministerial experience is in teaching, counseling and spiritual direction. Presently she serves in leadership in her community, while maintaining a commitment to teach seminarians at the Institute for Priestly Formation one month a year at Creighton University in Omaha, NE. She is a licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, and her particular interest is formational: how best to help people in ongoing spiritual and human growth, and the integral connections between them.
Fr. Tim Shepard, SJ, a former director of Jesuit novices of the Detroit and Chicago Provinces, has a Master of Divinity from Loyola University and a Master of Sacred Theology/Spirituality from the Jesuit School of Theology. He is currently involved in spiritual ministry at the Colombiere Center in Clarkston, MI.

Joe Shoots is a Certified Advanced Addiction Counselor with more than 20 years experience in the drug and alcohol addiction field. He has been assisting people who love people with addiction problems in many types of clinical settings. He has worked as a therapist in rehabilitation centers for over 20 years and now works as an out-patient therapist in a private practice. He has a firm understanding of the hold that addictions can have on a person because he is a recovering person himself for over 25 years. Along with his vast experience in the addiction field, his passion is to help others who have addictions the same way he was helped 25 years ago. Joe has a Master's Degree in Humanistic and Clinical Psychology.
Sr. Sally Smolen, RSM, MSN, PhD, Transformative Grief Specialist, Liturgist & Cantor. Her professional life has been dedicated to the health care of others, initially in varied roles in the field of nursing for 30 years and more recently for 15 years in the field of clinical psychology. For more information see Sister's web site
Terry Sullivan is on a Guest House outreach team that visits dioceses to educate Church leaders about chemical dependency.
Fr. Sylvester Taube, born in Detroit, attended Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit, and St. John’s Provincial Seminary, Plymouth Township. Fr. Taube served as associate pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish, Lapeer (1964-70), and Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, Detroit (1970-71. He was pastor of St. Joseph Parish, Monroe (1971-80). In 1975-76, he served as vicar of the Monroe Vicariate. From 1980-86, Fr. Taube received a special assignment as the archbishop’s representative in Marriage Encounter Ministry. He was chaplain at Gabriel Richard High School from 1981-82. He then became pastor of Holy Ghost Parish from 1982-89. From 1986-2000, he served as associate director of the archdiocesan Office of Youth, Family and Faith Support. Fr. Taube was pastor of St. Columban Parish, Birmingham, from 2000-08, when he was granted senior status.