M.Div., M.A. in Systematic Theology, Washington Theological Union, Washington DC
Ph.D. in Spirituality, The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC
M.S. Mathematics, University of Maryland Graduate & Professional School, Baltimore, MD
B.S. Mathematical Sciences and B.A. Physics, John Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Michael began his position as Director of the Faber Center for Ignatian Spirituality on August 1, 2012, coming to us from his recent position at Fordham University in the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education. As Director, he is responsible for the promotion of Ignatian spirituality on campus and the development of programs in that can contribute to the spiritual and intellectual growth and ongoing formation of all faculty and staff. Additionally, as Director, Michael works collaboratively with others in promoting Marquette’s role in Catholic Jesuit Higher Education and integrating Ignatian spirituality at all levels of the University.
Ignatian spirituality has been tremendously influential in Michael's life. Undergoing the Spiritual Exercises led him to a career change, leaving mathematics for ministry. Similarly, it offered him a deeper inner vision in contrast to his poor eyesight. This inner sight offers him a certain sensitivity in seeing the graced reality and immanence of God in his life and the lives of others. His own faith journey forms the backdrop for how he approaches ministry and accompanies others as they strive to experience God and respond to God’s loving call.
Grounded in Ignatian spirituality, Michael brings over 15 years of experience to the Faber Center. He directs the 19th Annotation, five and eight-day retreats, Prayer in Daily Life retreats, weekend Ignatian retreats, preached retreats, offers days of reflection, and facilitates evenings of prayer. While companioning others in spiritual direction, he also facilitates workshops and seminars on Ignatian spirituality and spiritual direction. Likewise, he has trained people in the dynamics of the Spiritual Exercises, Discernment of Spirits, Ignatian Contemplation, and contemplative presence. He also has experience working in an ecumenical and interfaith environment.
Michael’s knowledge of Ignatian spirituality and the human condition is rooted in his education. His Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America focused on Spirituality. It prepared him to know the richness of Ignatian spirituality, read the signs of our contemporary times, and integrate this knowledge into faithful living today. Also, he has earned a Masters of Divinity and Masters of Arts in Systematic Theology from the Washington Theological Union. These degrees provided him knowledge in Scripture, preaching, human development, liturgy, and systematic theology. The breadth and rigor of all his studies and internships has prepared him to understand the wisdom of Ignatian spirituality and apply it in pastorally relevant ways. In doing so, he enhances other’s personal and intellectual growth and spiritual conversion.
Michael is delighted to be at Marquette as the Director of the Faber Center. Encouraging others’ faith journeys and intellectual growth is a process he finds life giving and one to which he wants to dedicate himself.
Fr. J.J. O’Leary joined the Faber Center in a part-time capacity during the summer of 2008. He has been a welcome addition, packing a lot of work into his part time hours and while sharing his talents and gifts. J.J. has been in retreat work over 40 years and has given directed and group retreats in most of the Jesuit retreat houses in the States and in Canada and Kenya. He has been a spiritual director to Jesuits and lay people since his studies in Rome. J.J. taught the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament at Marquette University, Creighton University and the University of San Diego. Currently he also serves as the Chaplain to the School of Dentistry.
Ellen joined the staff of the Faber Center as their Administrative Assistant in January, 2009. She comes to the Center after having worked in a similar position in the office of Campus Ministry. In her 25+ years at the university, Ellen has served on numerous committees and been active in promoting the mission of the university. Her responsibilities in the Faber Center include providing assistance to the Director and Associate Directors, managing the day-to-day activities of the office, helping to plan and coordinate office events and welcoming its many visitors.