Conference Retreat Directors

Sr. Linda Sevcik, SM,is a Marist Sister born and raised in Wheeling, West Virginia. She entered the community in Detroit, Michigan following high school and attended Marygrove College and the University of Detroit, earning a Master’s in Education. She taught at St. Albert the Great elementary school in Dearborn Heights and served as Principal there before earning a Licentiate at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome at its Institute of Psychology. She ministered in formation work for her community in Hull, Quebec, and Chicago, IL, where she also served as Pastoral Associate and Music Director at Our Lady of the Snows Parish and maintained a private practice in counseling and spiritual direction. She was a founding member and chair of the board of the Marist Volunteer Program, which placed college graduates in local communities of all branches of the Marist family for one year of community experience and ministry. She was named to the faculty of Mundelein Seminary in the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1996, where she taught pastoral counseling and served as Field Education Director and Formator for 12 years. Returning to her hometown, she ministered as Director of the Catholic Charities Neighborhood Center, which serves the poor and homeless of the area. She relocated back to this area in 2011, to Roseville, to serve as regional leader with the Marist Sisters of Ireland, Canada, Mexico, Venezuela and Brazil, in addition to the US. In the past several years she has been ministering in counseling and spiritual direction as well as directing occasional weekend retreats at Manresa. For the past 20 years, she taught seminarians from all over the US about human and spiritual foundations of sexuality and celibacy with the Institute for Priestly Formation at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. In 2021 she became the Executive Director of Manresa Jesuit Retreat House.

Fr. Fran Daly, SJ, grew up in Chicago and entered the Society of Jesus at Milford, Ohio in 1959. He taught Latin and History at St. Xavier High School from 1966-69 and worked with the Sodality and Xavier’s Summer Enrichment Program mostly for African-American students. In June, 1972, after his theological studies in Chicago he was ordained and was missioned to the Jesuit novitiate in Berkley, Michigan as minister of the community. He worked closely with Frs. Howard Gray and Frank Houdek studying and directing the Spiritual Exercises, and also teaching Jesuit History. He served as Novice Director from 1977-1983 and during that time directed the 30-day Spiritual Exercise two or three times a year. He returned to Chicago in 1984 as rector of his alma mater, St. Ignatius College Prep, teaching Religious Studies to Juniors and doing Adult Faith Development with the faculty and staff. In 1990, he became Formation Director for the Chicago Province and in 1991 executive director to the Provincial. During those years he traveled around the United States and Europe visiting Jesuits in formation. In 1997, the Jesuit province began to sponsor an Ignatian Pilgrimage to Spain and Rome every other year for high school faculties and staff, and Fran was the docent for the first three trips which deepened his appreciation of the Ignatian heritage. From 1988-1991 and 2000-2011, he served as Tertian Director for the Chicago Province Two Summer Program in which he worked with Jesuits from Asia, Africa, Europe, and the United States. In 1998, he returned to Cincinnati and served at St. Xavier High School as rector until August of 2005. In 2000, he became Director of Ignatian Formation for the Adult Community at St. Xavier High School, where he worked with Adult Faith programs and introduced new teachers for their first five years to the person and vision of St. Ignatius. In the summer of 2014, he became the Executive Director of Manresa Jesuit Retreat House.

Sr. 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.

Fr. Leo Cachat, SJ, was assigned to the Jesuit Province of Patna, India and began teaching in Nepal in 1961. He was ordained in 1966 and became principal of a K-12 school in Katmandu. He later studied with Anthony de Mello, SJ, and Bede Griffiths, OSB. In 1978 he founded Godavari Ashram (Center for Spiritual Development), and directed retreats there and elsewhere in Southeast Asia. In 1985 he set up a Jesuit formation house in Nepal and later became the regional superior. After several years in Myanmar, he returned to the USA and established the office of chaplain to the faculty and staff at University of Detroit High School. He has been at Manresa since 2007.

Dcn. Brian Carroll, is currently the parish deacon at St. Mark Catholic Church in Warren, MI and an adjunct spirituality instructor at Guest House, a residential Catholic addiction treatment center in Lake Orion, MI. He was born in Dublin, Ireland and raised in Glasgow, Scotland before coming to the US in 1967. He studied at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit before being ordained to the permanent diaconate in 1979. Dcn. Carroll has served as pastoral associate at St. Regis in Bloomfield Hills and Our Lady of LaSalette in Berkley. In addition to preaching at daily and weekend liturgies, his ministries have included: adult religious education (RCIA director); the Stephen Ministry program (director); pastoral counseling; ministry to the sick and shut-ins; marriage preparation; bereavement support and funeral services; and spiritual direction. Dcn. Carroll graduated from Manresa’s Internship in Ignatian Spirituality in 2007.

Fr. John Esper has served as a priest in the Archdiocese of Detroit since 1983. He holds a Master’s degree in Spirituality from Creighton University and has worked in the healing and deliverance ministry for nearly 20 years. For ten years he was spiritual director for college students at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, where he gained experience in the healing, inner healing and deliverance ministry. He has been pastor of St. Vincent Ferrer parish for the past 13 years, during which time he has offered Inner Healing retreats and workshops and continues to celebrate healing Masses.

Fr. Patrick Fairbanks, SJ, of the Midwest Jesuit Province, is pastor of St Francis Xavier Church in Cincinnati, OH. After graduating from Miami University in 1976, he taught high school and served in parish youth ministry for 12 years. He entered the Jesuits in 1989 and continued philosophy, classical language and theology studies at Jesuit universities in the US. Ordained in 2000, Fr. Pat worked for 13 years in Chicago at St. Ignatius College Prep, serving six years as Vocations Director for the Jesuits. Fr. Pat plays piano and guitar by ear and is an avid fan of the Beatles, John Denver and astronomy. His motto in life: “A splendid time is guaranteed for all.”

Fr. Peter Fennessy, SJ, comes from Boston, and is now a member of the Midwest Jesuit Province. After missionary work in Jamaica, theological studies at Oxford University, and 26 years at John Carroll University in Cleveland as campus minister, vice president, and rector of the Jesuit community, he is serving his second term as superior of the Jesuit Community at Manresa. He gives individually directed and preached retreats at Manresa and elsewhere, is Coordinator of Individually Directed Retreats, and among other duties manages our book store. Since studying Theology and Art and Buddhist Aesthetics during a sabbatical year at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, he uses fine arts to illustrate his preached retreats.

Fr. Robert Flack, SJ, was born in 1948 in Chicago. He attended the seminary system in the Chicago Archdiocese and was ordained at Mundelein Seminary in 1974, serving at several parishes of the Archdiocese before entering the Society of Jesus in 1983. He has a PhD from the University of Washington (Seattle). He taught sociology for two years at Xavier University in Cincinnati and urban studies for seven years in St. Louis University’s Department of Public Policy Studies. Fr. Flack has been trained as a spiritual director at the Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth in Wernersville, PA. He served on the staff of the Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House in Illinois, including several months as administrator. He has preached retreats at the Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House, the Jesuit Spirituality Center in Milford, OH, Manresa Jesuit Retreat House, and the Cenacle in Chicago. Before joining Manresa’s staff in 2019, he served as Director of Spiritual Life at St. Joseph College Seminary in Chicago.

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 led faculty, administrators, and staff through Ignatius Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises at both universities. He has also worked with the Jesuit Volunteers Corps for almost three decades, directing a regional office, presenting workshops and retreats, and serving on its board of directors. He has a special interest in the connections between spirituality and social justice and in the societal dimensions of religious faith.

Fr. Steve Hurd, SJ, a Jesuit of the Chicago-Detroit Jesuit Province, came to Manresa to help out during Fr. Chamberlain’s recuperation, and since then is a full-time member of the staff. He had most recently been pastor of St. Agnes, St. Bridget, and St. Charles parishes on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. Steve has been retreat master at the Jesuit Spiritual Center at Milford, Ohio and at Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House in Barrington, IL, of which he was also director.


Rosemary Insley has Master’s degrees in Pastoral Studies and Social Work, is a certified chaplain (retired) and served as hospice chaplain and bereavement coordinator for the past ten years. A spiritual director since 2004, she guides others in the Spiritual Exercises and in retreats.

Sr. Karen Jackson, CSC.“Through God’s grace via an Intervention orchestrated by my local religion community,” Sr. Karen wrote, “I have enjoyed continuous sobriety for over half of my life. This includes a minimum of two closed AA meetings per week and an identified sponsor and home group.” Sr. Karen’s recovery retreat ministry started in 1987 at a retreat center located on the grounds of the Holy Cross Motherhouse in South Bend, Indiana. For these 30-plus years, she has presented both men-only and women-only retreats, and co-ed retreats. She has developed a one-day retreat for women in AA/AL Anon over the past five years, which are held twice a year in Northbrook, Illinois, as well as in South Bend, Indiana. Her conferences are based on the Twelve Steps and are presented utilizing her personal experience, strength, and hope, and delivered with a lively sense of humor.

Her ministry experience has been teaching in elementary schools, addiction counseling and supervision responsibilities and, last, but by no means least, 13 years as an early childhood educator.

Fr. Jeff Putthoff, SJ, is a retreat leader and director of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius and desires to help others connect to God. He is a gifted national speaker on trauma-informed care, organizational dynamics, youth formation, Ignatian spirituality and leadership. Currently he serves as the President of Trinity Catholic High School in St. Louis, MO. Fr. Jeff has led over 30 directed retreats and 40 preached retreats nationally. He is interested in creating communities of healing, empowering young people, promoting brain health and finding God in all things. As a high school teacher, associate pastor, executive director and high school president, he has applied his unique experience in organizational dynamics, leadership, brain health and Ignatian spirituality to youth education and organizational life. Visit him on Facebook at fatherjeffputthoffsj.

DiAnne Patterson Schultz, a life-long Detroiter, is a 2003 graduate of Manresa’s Internship Program, a trained spiritual director, and has led people through the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. She has experience in retreat facilitation and presenting spiritual workshops and days of reflection. DiAnne has degrees in Public Administration and Pastoral Ministry and is a trained mediator. She retired from the City of Detroit after 34 years and spent another nine years working in a Detroit non-profit mediation agency. DiAnne is currently an ESL tutor and board member at All Saints Literacy Center in Southwest Detroit. She is part of the Manresa Internship Supervision team, a member of Manresa’s Board and an active parishioner of Gesu Catholic Church in Detroit. DiAnne is widowed with three adult children and four adult stepchildren and is blessed with 12 grandchildren.

Mr. Terry Sullivan is on a Guest House outreach team that visits dioceses to educate Church leaders about chemical dependency.

Fr. Tom Sweetser, SJ is the founder and current director of the Parish Evaluation Project, established in 1973. He works with pastors, staffs and lay leaders through the Parish Leadership Retreat experience of spiritual growth, community-building and outreach. His most recent book, published in May, 2019, is called Can Francis Change the Church? How American Catholics Are Responding to His Leadership (Crossroad Publishing). He is a Jesuit priest of the Upper Midwest Province. His original home is Minneapolis, Minnesota, but he has spent 31 years in Chicago, where he became a diehard Cubs fan. He now resides at the Arrupe Jesuit Community near Marquette University in Milwaukee.

Debbie Tourville graduated from Manresa’s Internship in Ignatian Spirituality as a spiritual director in 2008 and guides the Spiritual Exercises. Debbie studied Psychology through California Southern University School of Behavioral Science and continues her studies in Pastoral Counseling. She is the Business Manager and Pastoral Minister at St. Vincent Ferrer parish and lives in the Metro Detroit area with her husband Greg. She has been giving healing retreats with Fr. John Esper since 2009.

Fr. Joe Wagner, SJ, was born and raised in Erie, Pennsylvania, an only child and a spoiled only grandchild. He graduated with a degree in Mathematics from MIT. Following a Master’s in Mathematics at the University of Wisconsin—Madison, he entered the Society of Jesus in 1988. Always a bit slow, he needed more schooling, so he completed his theology studies at the Jesuit School of Theology Berkeley, and remained in the Bay Area to complete a Ph.D. in Mathematics Education at the University of California, Berkeley.

In the middle of those years, he was ordained a priest in 1998. After thirteen years on the Mathematics faculty at Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH, he decided he had his fill of academia and wanted pastoral ministry to be a bigger part of his life. In 2016 he arrived at St. Mary Student Parish where he has happily found a new home.

Fr. Bob Ytsen, SJ, has spent most of his apostolic career in secondary education, having taught English at three of the high schools in the Chicago Province: Saint Ignatius, Brebeuf, and Loyola Academy. Fr. Ytsen has directed various summer and student retreats and led summer service programs to Appalachia. British literature is his first love. He participated in the Oxbridge Program which provided the opportunity to study three summers at Cambridge and Oxford in England and at Trinity College in Dublin. Fr. Ytsen says he is excited to begin this new ministry at Manresa, confident that his background in Ignatian spirituality and history of the Jesuits, particularly in England, will enhance and support his commitment to retreat and spiritual direction.

Scroll to Top