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Father Thomas M. Santa, C.Ss.R.

A native of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Father Thomas M. Santa, C.Ss.R. was professed as a Redemptorist in 1973 and ordained a priest in June of 1978.   A graduate of Holy Redeemer College (Waterford, Wisconsin) and the State University of New York (Mount Saint Alphonsus).

Pastoral Assignments include:   Theology teacher at St. Joseph’s Preparatory College, Edgerton, Wisconsin (1979-1980), and at St. Henry’s Seminary, Belleville, Illinois (1980-1983); Associate Director/Director of Villa Christi Retreat Center, Wichita, Kansas (1983-1990), Founder/Director of the Spiritual Life Center, Wichita, Kansas (1990-1992);  President/Publisher of Liguori Publications, Liguori, Missouri (1992-1999);  Director of the Redemptorist Renewal Center in Tucson, Arizona positioning the Center as an acknowledged leader in the ministry of spiritual renewal (1999-2011);  Pastor/Rector at St. Michael in Old Town, Chicago (2011-2015).  Director of the New Evangelization Initiative, Redemptorists of the Denver Province residing in Minneapolis, MN at St. Alphonsus Parish (2015-2019). His present assignment is Director of Continuing Learning, Denver Province of the Redemptorists.  Superior of Redemptorist community.

Spiritual Direction is the desire to be attentive to God’s movement in one’s life, and to the inner motivations which lead one closer to or further from Truth.  The experience of spiritual direction provides a respite from the demands of modern culture, and restoration of the life of prayer. It seeks to recover the freedom and peace of the Desert Elders. Spiritual direction is a path that leads to a kind of liberation, a permanent vacation in the original sense of emptying, in which we discard the useless and tedious baggage of vain concerns and devote ourselves to the one thing really necessary: the quest for meaning and for love, the quest for our own identity.

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Father Eugene Batungbacal, C.Ss.R.

ACERCAMIENTO A LA DIRECCIÓN ESPIRITUAL/Approach to Spiritual Direction:

Mi nombre es Padre Eugene Batungbacal, sacerdote misionero redentorista. Nací y crecí en Filipinas. Actualmente, vivo en la comunidad redentorista de Grand Rapids mientras trabajo como Subdirector del Ministerio Hispano para Jóvenes Adolescentes y Adultos de la Diócesis de Grand Rapids.

Mi enfoque de la dirección espiritual es el acompañamiento, la escucha atenta y la aceptación de su camino espiritual. Recibí mi certificación la escuela de “Hesychia School of Spiritual Direction” ubicada en Tucson, Arizona.

El acompañamiento para mí es caminar al lado de la persona, conocerla y asegurarme de que estoy presente para ella. Esto se hace efectivamente en conexión con la escucha atenta. En dirección espiritual, estoy aquí para escuchar y prestar atención a tu historia y a lo que te gustaría compartir. En una palabra, la persona es el autor de la conversación. Comparte tu historia conmigo. Las historias espirituales y las experiencias que me compartes son santas. Y estoy agradecido y honrado por la oportunidad de escucharlos y tener la seguridad de que será bien atendido. Recibo y Acepto el camino espiritual que emprenderemos juntos. A la manera de Jesucristo, sigo Su ejemplo de la forma en que Él viaja con nosotros y se encuentra con nosotros en la vida, al igual que lo hizo con la mujer en el pozo (Juan 4: 4-42) y con los discípulos en su camino a Emaús. (Lucas 24: 13-35).

Puedo realizar la dirección espiritual en 3 idiomas de su preferencia: en Filipino (Tagalog), en Inglés o en Español.

My name is Father Eugene Batungbacal, a Redemptorists missionary priest. I was born and raised in the Philippines. Currently, I live in the Grand Rapids Redemptorist community while I work as Assistant Director of Hispanic Ministry for Youth and Young Adults for the Diocese of Grand Rapids.

My approach to Spiritual Direction is that of accompaniment, attentive listening, and acceptance of your spiritual journey.  I received my certification for Spiritual Direction from the Hesychia School of Spiritual Direction located in Tucson, Arizona.

Accompaniment to me is walking side by side with the person, getting to know the person and assurance that I am present for them. This is effectively done in connection with Attentive Listening. In spiritual direction, I am here to listen and pay attention to your story and what you would like to share. In a word, the person is the author of the conversation. You share your story with me. The spiritual stories, and experiences you share to me is holy. And I am grateful and humbled for the opportunity to listen to them and be assured that it will be well cared for.  I receive and Accept the spiritual journey that we will take together. In the manner of Jesus Christ, I follow His example of the way He journeys with us and meets us in life much like He did with the woman at the well (John 4: 4-42) and with the disciples on their way to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35).

I can conduct Spiritual Direction in 3 languages of your preference: Filipino (Tagalog), English and Spanish.

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Father Paul Coury, C.Ss.R.

Father Paul Coury was ordained a Priest of the Redemptorist order in 1972. He has ministered in various parts of the United States as a Teacher, Retreat Director, Formation Director, and Theological Editor at Liguori Publications.  For the last 12 Years, Father Paul was Director of the Redemptorist Retreat Center in Tucson, Arizona. Father Paul now resides at Saint Mary’s Parish in Whittier, CA. Father Paul has degrees in Divinity, Religious Education, Fine Arts, and Adlerian Psychology.

I have studied and ministered in spiritual direction for all of my life. It is an honor to journey with those who are trying to understand the mysterious workings of God in their lives. Nothing is really solved in spiritual direction. We share together to see how you are experiencing the presence or absence of God in your daily life. We attempt together to unfold the past with gratitude rather than regret and look to the future with trust rather than anxiety. At times we might just need to sit in quiet and listen. The Psalmist tell us: “To be patient and wait on the Lord!” (Psalm 37:7). It will be my privilege to accompany you as you walk with the Lord.

Father Paul

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Lm. Chung Tran, C.Ss.R

Cha Chung là linh mục của Dòng Chúa Cứu Thế, tỉnh dòng Denver. Trong những năm mục vụ, Cha Chung làm việc ở nhiều tiểu bang khác nhau. Cha có kinh nghiệm trong mục vụ nhiều tầng lớp khác nhau trong xã hội, từ gia đình cho đến giớ trẻ.

Trong những năm mục vụ, Cha Chung đã hướng dẫn nhiều giáo dân về giáo huấn của Giáo Hội, đặc biệt hướng dẫn những cá nhân lo ngại, phân vân, phân định về lương tâm, tín lý, và giáo huấn của Giáo Hội. Đối với những trường hợp trên, Cha Chung tiếp xúc, nói chuyện và lắng nghe để giúp họ đi sâu vào vẫn đề cá nhân để giải đáp những thắc mắc trong cuộc sống. Cha luôn đồng hành để giúp họ sống bình an và hạnh phúc trong Chúa.

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Dr. Nicki Verploegen

Dr. NickiVerploegen comes from a Montana farming-ranching family and has traveled extensively worldwide, exploring many spiritual traditions. She is Co-Founder of TATENDA International, a nonprofit which provides retreats for caregivers in difficult international environments. For eight years she served as Director of Spiritual and Ministerial Development and Visiting Professor at Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts and she has served as a visiting professor at graduate schools of theology in the United States. She presently teaches in the Diaconate Formation Program for the Archdiocese of Boston in addition to being on the faculty of the Redemptorist Renewal Center’s Sabbatical in the Desert in Tucson, Arizona.

She holds a Ph.D. and M.A. Formative Spirituality from Duquesne University, and M..A. Spiritual Theology from Gonzaga University. Her four books include From Monks to Missionaries; Planning and Implementing Retreats: A Parish Handbook; Organic Spirituality: A Sixfold Path for Contemplative Living, and Meditations With Merton.

Dr. Verploegen has been involved in spirituality work for over 30 years. She has provided support to religious communities like the Jesuits, the Franciscans, the Redemptorists, and Maryknoll Missionaries. In addition, she spent time in the Philippines with the Christian Brothers de la Salle in 2016 and 2018, working with laity and brothers on spiritual companionship. She has been conducting retreats for over 25 years and giving spiritual direction since 1983, as well as being involved in liturgical ministries as a dancer, cantor, and planner in her parish. She participates in social outreach programs and youth work in her local parish. Her books can be obtained by contacting Wipf and Stock, Eugene, OR @ 541-344-1528

Spiritual Direction

“For me spiritual direction is a sacred companionship with the directee, myself, and God. I see my eyes and ears as a another set of those listening to the Spirit along with the directee’s. Anything in life is welcome in the session, but it is my job to ask the question, “What might God be saying in this?” Key to this process is noticing the movements of God within the whole context of the person’s life. I believe God acts within the full spectrum of human experience. For me as director it is important to offer support, safety, and questions on which to reflect to assist the directee in discovering their own answers to God’s invitations.” – Nicki Verploegen, Ph.D.

Charles Schraub
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Charles W. Schraub

Prior to retirement, Charles W Schraub held licenses in professional counseling, marriage and family therapy and clinical social work.  He holds graduate degrees in Divinity, Religious Education, Christian Spirituality and Social Work.

He served on the staff of the Consultation Center and the Counseling and Testing Center of St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas as well as directing St. Mary’s Employee Assistance Program.  He has facilitated numerous trainings for professional staff while establishing EAPs for coalitions of small businesses.  He was a spiritual director for individuals and groups at the Oblate School of Theology’s Ministry to Ministers sabbatical program while serving as a presenter for MTM in multiple areas of mental health and spirituality.  In private practice he specialized in adult mood disorders, personality disorders and had a special affinity for marriage and family therapy.

He and his wife, an artist, live in San Antonio, Texas.

Spiritual Direction

Spiritual direction, as I understand it, is a humble quest for liberation from blocks in my relationship with God and others.  It seeks to gradually unbind me from the limits of my ego, my fears, the weightiness of unnecessary expectations so that I can see, maybe for the first time, the broader, deeper, unrelenting world of God’s mercy and grace.  In spiritual direction we will not “figure things out” but rather learn to appreciate my place, my partnership, with God.