If you would like to register for a Casa program or event, please call 480.948.7460 while our website credit card processing is being updated. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Program Leader Bios

Article Index
Program Leader Bios
A - B
C - D
E - G
H - J
K - L
M - O
P - R
S - U
V - Z
All Pages

Please use the list on the right to find Program Leaders alphabetically by last name, or you may click "All Pages" at the bottom of the list.


Adelman, Kate

Kate Adelman is a co-founder and President of Breakthrough! Inc., an Associate in Ministry in the Lutheran tradition, and currently serves as an Interim Pastor at Victory Lutheran Church in Mesa, Arizona. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Music degree in organ performance, and a Master of Theology degree from Seattle University Institute for Theological Studies.

Atkinson, Charles

Charles Atkinson, MA, MSW, LCSW is retired from Rutgers University in New Jersey where he was a professor for 30 years. He wrote and taught the first academic course "Principles of Stress Management" for higher education. He has a private psychotherapy practice in north central Phoenix. His areas of specialties include mood disorders, panic disorders, agoraphobia, chronic stress, and relationship building.

Bergan, Jacqueline

Jacqueline S. Bergan is coauthor of the highly acclaimed 5-volumne Take and Receive Series which guides readers through the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Her most recent book is Growing as a Stepmom-with God's Help!

Bever, Sr. Marilyn

Sr. Marilyn Bever , CSA a vowed member of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Agnes, is currently the Director of the Arizona Ecumenical Institute for Spiritual Directors in Phoenix. She received her formation as a spiritual director at the Hesychia School in Tucson and has a Masters degree in spirituality from Prescott College in conjunction with studies at the Interfaith Theological Seminary in Tucson. She is active in teaching spirituality and theology to various adult groups and has a small spiritual direction practice.

Borik, Dr. Anne

Dr. Anne Borik is an internal medicine physician who is also a third degree black belt. She is a graduate of Temple University in Exercise Physiology and Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Currently Dr. Borik is practicing as a hospitalist in Phoenix.

Bork, Pam

Pam Bork is a long time Casa member and has done a little bit of everything. She is currently the liturgical dance director at the Casa and is a member of the performing group "Sisters in Christ." Pam works full time as the recording studio director at Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic.

Bradshaw, John

For the past 4 decades, John Bradshaw has combined his exceptional skills as the role of counselor, author, management consultant, theologian, philosopher, and public speaker, becoming one of the leading figures in the fields of addiction/recovery, family systems, relationships, spiritual and emotional growth, and management training.

His educational background includes a BA from the University of Toronto, Canada and 2 Master's: one in Philosophy and an MSP (Masters in spiritual psychology) from the University of California, Santa Monica.

John is also the recipient of many awards: John MacDonald Scholarship in Philosophy; Trustees' Scholarship; Cardinal Mercier Gold Medal in Philosophy; and Trustees' Gold Medal for Academic Excellence.

Over the past 35 years, John has hosted, appeared on, been interviewed on over 800 television and radio shows. Appearances include: Oprah, Dr. Ruth, Tom Snyder, Good Morning America, and CNN News are among the many guest interviews.

John is the author or 5 books, 3 of which are on the New York best seller list. He has been honored by his peers and elected "One of the 100 Most Influential Writers on Emotional Health in the 20th Century."

Burgess, Paul

Bio currently unavailable.

Chaves, Sr. Mary Jo, OSF

Bio currently unavailable.

Cieslak, Fr. William (Bill), OFM, Cap

Fr. William (Bill) Cieslak OFM, CAP is a former President of the Franciscan School of Theology at Berkeley and a professor of Liturgical Theology. He is one of the founding advisors and ongoing advocate for The Franciscan Way programs here at the Casa.

Cirino, Fr. Andre, OFM

Fr. Andre Cirino, OFM is a contemporary Franciscan itinerant preacher. Author of many Franciscan books he jointly wrote Forty-Day Retreat with Bonaventure Francis and Clare and My Heart's Quest: Collected Writings of Eric Doyle Theologian with Josef Raischl. Andre` has conducted pilgrimages to Italy Prague & California Missions for Franciscan Pilgrimage Programs. He lectures at the Franciscan International Study Centre Canterbury England.

Coughlin, Br. Ed, OFM

Friar of Holy Name Province, holds a doctorate in Counseling from Catholic University and an M.A. in Pastoral Ministry. Ed served as Director of the Franciscan Institute at St. Bonaventure University in New York. Currently he serves on the OFM English-speaking Conference's Task Force on the Franciscan Intellectual Tradition and is a faculty member for The Franciscan Challenge Program in Rose, Italy and Kearney, New Jersey.

Creasy, Bill, Ph.D.

Bill  Creasy, Ph.D. is on the faculty of UCLA a published author, graduated Summa Cum Laude ASU and Ph.D. in Medieval Literature.

Crosby, Michael, OFM, Cap.

Bio currently unavailable.

Cuevas-Barnett, Gloria

Gloria Cuevas-Barnett is the Director of the Center for Development of Human Poential and has more than 20 years of experience coaching individuals and conducting workshops and retreats.

Cullen, Br. Kelly

Br. Kelly Cullen is a Franciscan currently living and working in retreat ministry at Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside. He received his Masters of Divinity from the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley, California, and worked for many years in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco. His extensive experience in nonprofit work gives him a unique perspective on the pressing social issues of today. Bro. Kelly is a gifted speaker and musician.

Cunningham, Shirley, MA, MSW, LCSW

Shirley Cunningham, MA, MSW, LCSW author of Chasing God & a counselor in private practice in Scottsdale AZ. Trained in spirituality at Shalem Institute an interfaith program at Washington Theological Union and a founding board member of the Arizona Ecumenical Institute for Spiritual Directors training program.

Cusack, Sr. Roberta

Sr. Roberta Cusack is a member of the Franciscan Sisters of Jesus. She began painting in 1944 and holds a Masters degree in Studio Painting from the University of Dallas. She has a lifetime of experience as a studio painter. Roberta's icons are found in churches monasteries convents hospitals and private homes in the US Ireland Scotland Italy and Kenya.

Dear, John, S.J

John Dear, S.J. internationally recognized voice for peace and nonviolence. A priest, pastor, peacemaker, retreat leader, and author, he served for years as the director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the largest interfaith peace organization in the U.S.

Dolan, Fr. Larry, OFM

A Franciscan friar and is currently the Guardian at Old Mission San Luis Rey. Previously, Fr. Larry was the Director of Pastoral Ministry at the Casa and Pastor of Sts. Simon and Jude Parish in Huntington Beach CA.

Dove, Christine, LCSW

Christine  Dove, LCSW began teaching "Heart to Heart Communication: The Basics of Nonviolent Communication" at the Franciscan Renewal Center about 4 years ago. In her 40 year career, she practiced and taught psychotherapy in mental health, child welfare and prevention programs.

Faiella, Fr. William, CSC

Priest and National Certified Counselor holds advanced degrees in education theology and pastoral counseling. Founded Emmanuel House in Palm Desert CA.He enjoys cooking and author of Sharing Meals Heals.

Fiand, Sr. Barbara, SND de N, Ph.D.

A Sister of Notre Dame de Namur. She is the author of seven books, including Releasement, Living the Vision, Where Two or Three are Gathered, Embraced by Compassion and her most recent publication In the Stillness You Will Know: Exploring the Paths of Our Ancient Belonging.

Fiore, Don

A certified T'ai Chi/Qigong instructor and Feng Shui consultant. He has taught at Scottsdale Healthcare, Thunderbird Samaritan Hospital and Phoenix City Hall.

Fiore, Victoria

A certified T'ai Chi/Qigong instructor. She facilitates journal writing classes and Story Circles. She also teaches at Washington Adult Center, SCC and Thunderbird Samaritan Hospital.

Fitzgerald, Fr. Bill

Fr. 'Fitz' continues to apply his Franciscan type Creation Spirituality to writing as well as to politics. He is "Author in Residence" at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, Scottsdale.

Godet-Calogeras, Jean Francois, OFM, Ph.D.

A Franciscan scholar who is internationally known for his publications on the early Franciscan documents in particular the writings of Francis and Clare of Assisi and for his lectures and workshops on early Franciscan history.

Godet-Calogeras, Athena

Bio currently unavailable.

Hammerschlag, Dr. Carl, MD

A psychiatrist who has spent more than 20 years working with Native Americans. His unique insights about the science and spirit of healing provide a framework for new discovery.

Hartman, Gail, MA, BBA

A teacher of Theology at Xavier College Preparatory and at Rio Salado Community College where she teaches Philosophy and World Religions. She is also a spiritual director at the Franciscan Renewal Center.

Hernandez, Wil, Ph.D.

A trained counselor and a certified spiritual director, maintains a private practice in an office in Pasadena, CA. All year round, he conducts all kinds of retreats, classes, workshops, and seminars all over the country focusing on the spirituality of Henri Nouwen. Wil also regularly teaches at Fuller Theological Seminary, Azusa Pacific University, and at the Center for Religion and Spirituality (Loyola Marymount University). He is the author of Henri Nouwen: A Spirituality of Imperfection and its sequel Henri Nouwen and Soul Care: A Ministry of Integration (Paulist Press).

Hershey, Terry

Terry Hershey has served as a Protestant minister and is now a writer and landscape designer on Vashon Island near Seattle, Washington.

Storyteller, philospher, and humorist, Terry speaks throughout the U.S. and Canada on relationships, spirituality and gardening. Terry writes and teaches about being intoxicated with this world, embracing the sacred present.

Kelly, Joe

Graduate of Fordham and New York University has background in sales and marketing with national radio/tv affiliate ABC. Completed a 2- year Ignatian Spirituality Internship at Manresa Jesuit Retreat House and became retreat leader and member of the Manresa Jesuit Retreat House.

Kirwin, Fr. Peter, OFM

Fr. Peter has been working in pastoral ministry for 28 years. He is currently the Rector of Our Lady of the Angels Conventual Church here at the Franciscan Renewal Center.

Lanser, Taffy

The founder of the International Labyrinth Society. Her knowledge and respect for this ancient form has led her into areas of lecturing, radio, TV appearances, experiential workshops and labyrinth construction around the country and abroad. Her home in Cave Creek is frequently the site of open houses, meditation practice and labyrinth rituals.

Laverone, Kenneth J., OFM, JCL

A Franciscan priest of the Province of Saint Barbara, has served as pastor of several churches in the Diocese of Monterey and the Diocese of Sacramento. He has served as Judicial Vicar of the Diocese of Monterey since 1983 and has served on many diocesan, provincial, and regional committees and offices. He is a professor of Canon Law at the Franciscan School of Theology and Director of Ongoing Formation for the Franciscan Friars of the Saint Barbara Province. He completed his Master of Divinity degree at St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park, California in 1978, a Master of Art in Theology at Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley in 1994 and a Licentiate in Canon Law at the University of St. Thomas in Rome in 2004.

Lawrence, Gabrielle, Ph.D.

A licensed psychologist and a certified counselor in the State of Arizona, a clinical member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, a registered Play Therapy Supervisor and a Certified Trauma and Loss Specialist. She is a recognized clinician working with children, adolescents, and adults in the areas of grief recovery and traumatic loss, abuse, bereavement and with complex in crisis.


Marchetta, Sheila, MA

An Arizona Certified Professional Counselor. Currently she is in private practice in Scottsdale and co-facilitates the Grief Retreat here at the Franciscan Renewal Center.

Martin, Bob

Bob Martin is a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor specialized in Relapse Prevention Therapy. Bob is a national and international lecturer who has led thousands of seminars, workshops and retreats for over 30 years.

Mayersohn, Rabbi Michael

Ordained Rabbi in 1979, Mayersohn is founding Rabbi of Temple Shir Tehva, Wayland, MA. He is a member of Reform Judaism's National Commission Outreach and Synagogue Community and a widely recognized teacher of Jewish History.

McHale, Judith, MA, LPC

Director of Counseling Ministry at the Franciscan Renewal Center. She is also in private practice specializing in individual/group therapy and family origin issues.

McLaughlin, Mary Jo

A longtime Casa community member, served one year as a Franciscan covenant worker before accepting a position on staff where she worked in Adult Education and Retreat ministries.

Mitchell, Tom, Ph.D.

Mitchell received his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Union Institute and his Master’s of Counseling from Arizona State University. He is a Certified Professional Counselor. For over 12 years he has volunteered here at the Casa.

Morgan Brooks, Renee

Bio currently unavailable.

O'Malley, Sr. Sarah, OSB

A Duluth, MN Benedictine, and is currently Director of Ministry of Care at Most Holy Trinity Parish in Phoenix. She is the author of twelve books on pastoral issues and has given numerous presentations and retreats based on her favorite spiritual writer, Father Henri Nouwen.

Osborne, Fr. Kenan, OFM

Emeritus Professor of Systematic Theology is a scholar and teacher of international repute.

With a remarkable sense of mission he is continually writing books and educating students and general readers about the spiritual life. He brings the words of the Gospel and St. Francis to an international audience. A spirited and animated teacher, students at FST have been crowding into his popular classes since 1967.

Pando, Mauro, MC, CMFT

Previously Director of the Counseling Ministry at the Franciscan Renewal Center. He recently retired as Director of the Wellness Center of Central Arizona. Currently he co-facilitates the Grief Retreats here at the Franciscan Renewal Center and does spiritual direction.

Pearson, Peter, M. Div.

Studied under Russian iconographer Dr. Nina Bouroff, Philip Zimmerman at the Damascus Academy of Sacred Arts, an Orthodox school of icon painting, Nicholas Papas and several other noted iconographers. He also graduated magna cum laude from St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, WI, where he earned a Master's of Divinity. Peter combines technical skills and spirituality in his teaching of the ancient art.

Petersen, Amanda, M.Div.

Has experience as a Pastor, Hospice Chaplain, Spiritual Director and Life Coach. She has led many workshops and retreats for both churches and other organizations. Amanda practices Spiritual Direction at the Franciscan Renewal Center. Her passion is connecting our creativity with our faith walk.

Riley, Fr. Dan, OFM

A founding member of Mt. Irenaeus Franciscan Mountain Retreat, he and his brothers live an open and gregarious contemplative life in the foothills of the Allegany Mountains. His ministry at St. Bonaventure's University is Campus Youth Ministry.

Ringgold, Tim

A Board-Certified Music Therapist from Orange, CA. Tim provides music therapy services to a wide range of populations, from special-needs children to mental health patients to the elderly. Tim received his Bachelors in Music Therapy from Chapman University in Orange, CA where he was the recipient of the 2007 Music Therapy Award, President of the Music Therapy Student Association, and winner of the 2005 Chapman Guitar Award. He lives with his wife, Angelique and their daughter, Alessandra.


Saunders, Kevin

Holds a Masters Degree in New Testament from the University of Notre Dame. He has lived and studied the Bible in Jerusalem, attending graduate courses at the acclaimed Ecole Biblique. Kevin is a frequent visitor to the Bible Lands and leads tours to Israel on an annual basis.

Schmidt, Brian, Ph.D.

An Associate Professor of Ancient West Asian Cultures Department of Near Eastern Studies at the University of Michigan.

Schwab, Fr. Joe, OFM

Executive Director of the Franciscan Renewal Center.

Schwartz, Susan, Ph.D.

Jungian analyst trained at the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich Switzerland with a doctorate in clinical psychology is a senior analyst teacher and former secretary of the New Mexico Society of Jungian Analysts. Along with her private practice in AZ she gives lectures and workshops on aspects of Jungian analytical psychology.

Shaughnessy, Fr. Rusty, OFM

Fr. Rusty attended St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore, MD where he earned his MA in Theology. Fr. Rusty facillatates retreats for married couples, young adults, men and women as well as workshops and parish missions. He currently resides at San Damiano Retreat in Danville, California.

Sills-Trausch, Patti

Director of the Social Action Ministry at the Franciscan Renewal Center, has her Masters in Pastoral Ministry from the Institute of Pastoral Studies at Loyola University of Chicago. She has spent over 25 years in ministry involved in youth, young adult, retreat and social justice ministries. She is married with two teenage boys.

Stewart, Esther, M.Ed.

An educator, an artist, a writer, a presenter, and a lover of St. Francis and his friends. She works as part of a retreat team that provides an eight-day retreat on The Soul's Journey into God by St. Bonaventure.

Taszarek, Sharon

Currently on staff at the Franciscan Renewal Center. She facilitates Spiritual Spa Days, co-teaches the Introduction to Contemplative Prayer and practices Spiritual Direction at the Casa.

Testa, Russ

Executive Director, Franciscan Action Network

Ursic, Elizabeth, M.Div

Holds an M.Div from Yale Divinity School and is a certified spiritual director. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Arizona Sexual Assault Network and is a Professor of Religious Studies at Mesa Community College.

Vames, John and Sherry

Are team-teachers. He is a Music Educator and professional player of woodwind instruments with over 30 years experience. He has performed in events throughout Arizona and at Grady Gammage and Celebrity Theatre. Sherry supports John and helps students in their learning process.

Wasniewski, Bonnie, BSEd., MAOM

BSEd., MAOM, is the Communications Director for the Franciscan Renewal Center. She has worked at the Center for 17 years. Previously, Bonnie has taught elementary school Language Arts in Chicago. She is a member of the NAWW, National Association of Women Writers, has written articles for Arizona Together Newspaper and is awaiting the release of her first published book in Spring, 2008.

Whittaker, Carole, Ph.D.

Earned a doctorate in chemistry from UCLA. She is a catechist with the RCIA team and serves as a program advisor for The Franciscan Way. She is an experienced educator currently specializing in adult spiritual formation.

Wiederkehr, Sr. Macrina, OSB

Instructor for Seven Sacred Pauses: The Medicine of Deep Listening A Silent Retreat. Macrina Wiederkehr is a Benedictine Sister for St. Scholastica Monastery in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Macrina is a published author of which include: "Seasons of Your Heart", A Tree Full of Angels", and several others. Her latest book, "The Circle of Life" is co-authored with Joyce Rupp.

Wrubel, Susan

An educator and Wellness instructor. In her thirty plus years of teaching Mind-Body-Spirit classes she has taught children and adults locally and throughout the United States and Mexico.

Zwickl, Norbert

Has served as Director of Music and Liturgy at the Casa for the past 18 years. He holds a Bachelor of Music from ASU School of Music and a Master of International Marketing Management from the American Graduate School of International Management.