Spiritual Direction Resources Spiritual direction is an opportunity to meet one-on-one with a professional minister to speak about your life, and your spiritual director is there to listen, to offer insight, and to help you discern where and how God is at work in your life. Below is a list of spiritual directors who are willing to meet with Fordham students (graduate or undergraduate) and some background information about them. Some of those listed here have received certification, others have not, but all are professional, trained ministers who have made themselves available to walk with you on your spiritual journey.Typically a formal spiritual direction relationship involves meeting with your director about once every 4-6 weeks for 45-90 minutes, though the exact frequency and duration will be determined by your director's preferences and your own availability. Below you will find brief biographies of Spiritual Directors who make their services available to students on campus.
Fr. Claudio Burgaleta, S.J.
Associate Professor for the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education Fr. Burgaleta is the associate professor and coordinator of Latino Studies at the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education of Fordham University. He is also a member of Fordham's Latin American and Latino Studies Institute and a trustee of Fordham Preparatory School and the Xavier Society for the Blind. He has served as a spiritual and retreat director, formator of lay ecclesial ministers, and as a weekend assistant for various Spanish-speaking parish communities.
Ms. Joan Cavanagh, M.A., M.S.
Director of Campus Ministry at Westchester and CLC Formation
One of the parts of her job that she enjoys most is being a spiritual companion to those wishing to deepen their relationship with God. Joan has been involved in spiritual direction and retreats throughout her 15 years at Fordham. She was trained in Ignatian Spirituality during her years in the Sisters of the Holy Child, making the full Spiritual Exercises and took part in training at the Jesuit Spiritual Center at Wernersville, Pennsylvania. In addition to annual Ignatian retreats and many opportunities to enhance her spiritual direction skills, she trained and spent five years as a hospital chaplain and has good pastoral counseling skills. She looks forward to working with members of our Fordham family who would like spiritual direction and a deeper grounding in their relationship with God. She has and has had many opportunities for continuing her training, through coursework, seminars and the Jesuit Collaborative.
Sr. Claire Dandeneau, RJM
Sr. Claire Dandeneau, RJM is a Religious of Jesus and Mary who has spent most of her years in education as both a teacher and administrator. Ignatian Spiritualiy has played a central role in her life over the past 50 years as a religious. Not only has it sustained her in daily living but has helped her in relating to those she has journeyed with in her ministries. Though not a native of NY, born in RI, she claims it as her home since she has lived here for more than 30 years.
Fr. William Cogan, S.J.
Fordham University Father Cogan has taught in Jesuit high schools in Buffalo, Rochester, and Puerto Rico. In Jesuit headquarters in Rome, Italy, he spent five years as an American sub secretary and a year as assistant director of the Secretariat for Ignatian Spirituality. Father has given group retreats to men and women and directed 30-day retreats for religious, including those he led as director of the Jesuit Retreat House in Auriesville, New York. He currently resides in Murray-Weigel Hall.
Fr. John J. Shea, SJ Director for Campus Ministry at Lincoln Center
Fr. Shea has many years of experience in spiritual direction and has a Masters of Divinity from both Boston College and the Woodstock Jesuit School of Theology, as well as a Doctorate from The Catholic University of America. Fr. Shea has spent the past 7 years in Asia, having spent 5 years in Thailand and the last 2 years teaching psychology at the Sophia, the Jesuit University of Tokyo, in Japan. Earlier in his career, Fr. Shea worked at Fordham University in Student Affairs from 1989-1996 and at Loyola University in Baltimore as Director of the Counseling Center. Fr. Shea also served as President at John Carroll University, and Vice-President for Mission and Ministry at the University of Scranton. Fr. Shea also holds the distinction of being an authorized Bi-ritual priest for nearly 32 years and has celebrated the Divine Liturgy in many Byzantine Catholic parishes in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.
Fr. Dan Fitzpatrick, SJ
Rev Daniel J. Fitzpatrick, S.J. has been a Spiritual Director for many years. He has given retreats in several retreat houses in the metropolitan area. Fr. Dan has also directed thirty day, eight day and 19 th Annotation individual retreats. He received his doctorate (Ed.D) from Teachers College, Columbia University with a focus onIgnatian Spirituality. Fr. Dan is the Moderator of Christian Life Community (CLC) for the New York Province, Society of Jesus.
Fr. Philip Florio, SJ
Assistant Vice President for Campus Ministry
Fordham University Fr. Phil is formally trained in the practice of Spiritual Direction with a focus on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits. He has been a Spiritual Director for 15 years having been trained at Fordham, Boston College, Loyola Retreat House in Southern Maryland, the Center for Religious Development and at the Jesuit Retreat House in Los Altos California. He also serves as a spiritual director to seminarians preparing for the Catholic priesthood. He is open to working with any one at Fordham who seeks to grow in their relationship with God and wants to explore the dynamics of the Ignatian Exercises.
Sr. Marylin Gramas S.U.
Sr. Marylin is an experienced spiritual director who accompanies people on their journey with God both with individual meetings and through directed retreats, both of 8 days as well as 19 experiences. Marylin prepared for this ministry with studies in spirituality in Fordham’s Graduate School. Previously, Marylin had served for many years as a clinical social worker in New York. And even before that, Marylin was a high school teacher of math and science.
Marylin has recently spent several months with her Congolese community members in the Democratic Republic of the Congo where she has assisted with the formation program of incoming members as well as ongoing formation for vowed members.
Accompanying members of the Fordham Community on their spiritual journeys feels like coming home, and is a joy.
Mrs. Carol Gibney, MSW
Associate Director at Lincoln Center, Campus Ministry & Director of Ignatian Programs
Carol is formally trained as a Spiritual Director, having been trained at the Center for Spirituality and Justice. She has been a Spiritual Director for the past ten years and has been facilitating the 19th Annotation of the Spiritual Exercises – The Retreat in Everyday Living – for the past five years, offering this retreat to students, faculty and staff at both the Lincoln Center and Rose Hill campuses. It is her desire to work with others to become more conscious of how truly active God is in one’slifeand how you might better cooperate with God’s gift of Grace. Shehopes to work with others to become radical agents of transformative love through the Spiritual Exercises and by meeting with people to explore their relationship with God. Her work is rooted in Ignatian spirituality, which strives to find God in all things.
Dr. Chad Thralls
Professor of Theology at the Graduate School of Religiona and Religious Education
Chad Thralls teaches Christian Spirituality in the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education. He has a Ph.D. in Spirituality from the Catholic University of America, has taught spiritual direction, and trained to be a spiritual director with the Jesuit Collaborative at the Loyola House of Retreats in Morristown, NJ. Chad compares spiritual direction to "panning for gold" in our lives to explore where God is present and active. He welcomes the opportunity to work with anyone in the community who wishes to deepen his or her relationship with God.
Mr. Conor O'Kane, M.A.
Associate Director of Campus Ministry,
Director of Interfaith Programs
Conor holds a Bachelors degree in Theology and a Masters degree in Pastoral Theology, both from Boston College. Conor has worked in Jesuit apostolates and Ignatian-informed works for the last 12 years, including Boston College Campus Ministry and the Center for Ignatian Spirituality at Boston College and Fairfield University Campus Ministry. Conor also spent two years in rural Belize with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps as a teacher and DRE. Currently, Conor works closely with the Jesuit Collaborative, an organization committed to providing opportunities to encounter the graces of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Steeped in the Ignatian tradition, much of Conor’s work has centered on the complex and rich connections between faith and lay vocational discernment (career and life choices) as well as the connection between faith and justice work. Conor is also available for students considering post-graduate service. As a frequent traveler, Conor has visited over 30 countries and 6 of the 7 continents where he has enjoyed learning about other cultures and traditions, and has developed a deep respect and affinity for interfaith dialogue.
Fr. Thomas R. Marciniak, S.J.
Administrator of the Loyola Hall Jesuit Community Fordham University
Fr. Tom or “FT” is a Jesuit priest ordained in 1976. He has served the People of God in the Micronesian islands of the Pacific, at the Jesuit Retreat House in New Jersey, as Director of Campus Ministry at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, and presently as Administrator of the Loyola Hall Jesuit Community here at Fordham. Throughout his ministry the focus has always been pastoral - helping others in the growth and development of their faith through spiritual conversation and direction. He has been here at Fordham since 2006 working primarily within the Jesuit Community, but also being available to assist pastorally in the programs of Fordham's Campus Ministry. He looks forward on tiptoe of expectation to engage in spiritual conversation / direction with any and all who seek the "something more" in their lives.
Fr. Francis X. McAloon, S.J.
Fordham University Fr. Francis X. McAloon, S.J., is professor of Christian spirituality in the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education. In addition to teaching courses in Ignatian spirituality, he has many years experience as a spiritual and retreat director for undergraduates, graduates, faculty, and staff. Most recently, Fr. Frank comes to us from the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, a graduate school of Santa ClaraUniversity (California). Since ordination in 1992, he's been involved in sacramental ministry in Richmond (Virginia), Miami (Florida), Washington, D.C., and the San Francisco Bay area. Fr. Frank offers individual spiritual direction, as well as group/individual directed retreats for lay and religious of all ages and backgrounds. He has extensive experience directing the Spiritual Exercises, both as a 30-day retreat and over the course of many months ("retreat in everyday life"). In addition to "traditional" retreats, Fr. Frank has journeyed with others during times of spiritual discernment about "what is God inviting me to do now (or next) in my lifeI -- marriage, religious life, career, service?" He also has experience journeying with those struggling with grief, loss, illness, doubt, and despair, as well as those celebrating God's goodness in family, friends, creation, and art.
Fr. Gerald Reedy, SJ
Fr. Gerry Reedy,SJ, has worked at Fordham for almost forty years. He taught English, worked as an administrator and lived in residence with students at both Queens Court and Walsh Hall. He now continues to write scholarly articles and provides pastoral ministry. He has done a great deal of parish work in New York and its suburbs, as well as in London, England. Fr. Reedy is open to meeting with persons for both spiritual conversations and spiritual direction.
Sister Mary Catherine Redmond, PBVM
Pastoral Minister CLC
Director of Vocations
Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Sister Mary Catherine received her MS in Counseling from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. She has worked for the past nine years as the Vocation Director for her congregation, the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, assisting women in discerning God’s call for them in their life. Sr. Mary Catherine presently ministers as a Physician Assistant in Emergency Medicine at North Central Bronx Hospital. She is a worshiping member of our Fordham Community, has lead the Women’s Spirituality Retreat for the past 5 years and can often be found at Praise and Worship on Wednesday nights.
Sister Mary Genevieve Ofori, Atta HDR Graduate School of Religion
Sr. Mary Genevieve Ofori, Atta HDR a current graduate student of Religion and Religious Education with a major in Spiritual Direction. She belongs to the congregation of the Handmaids of the Divine Redeemer of Accra. (ANCILLAE ACCRAENSES DIVINI REDEMPTORI) a diocesan congregation in Ghana-West-Africa.
She had her spiritual training at the Pontifical Urbaniana University Rome –Italy; with further spiritual training in Spiritual direction at the Center for Spiritual Renewal Kumasi and at the Institute for Continuing Formation Cape-Coast- Ghana. She sought spiritual growth in Ignatian Spirituality of thirty-day retreat; as well as following the Ignatian Spiritual Discernment, and Spiritual Direction program of studies in Fordham. She wishes to avail herself to others to deepen our relationship with God; identify, and trust our own experiences of God.
She worked in formation for twelve years: as she accompanied novices in my religious community for seven years as well as On–Going Formation program for Religious men and women from the Anglo-African countries at the Institute for Continuing Formation Cape-Coast in Ghana for a national appointment by the Conference of Major Superiors Ghana; also accompanied seminarians and religious women and men/lay in retreats.