Spiritual Direction

What is Spiritual Direction?

Spiritual direction has had a long and esteemed history within Christianity. Despite its name, it is not one person telling another what to do. Rather, it is a dialogue through which we discover and discuss with a director the action of God’s Spirit in our life. The director is only a facilitator in the process, or as Thomas Merton aptly says,
The director is merely ‘God’s usher,’ confirming and validating where God is calling me.

Mayslake Ministries is a leader in the field of Spiritual Direction, with twenty-five certified spiritual directors on staff, each skilled in a wide variety of areas including: grief, addiction, adoption and infertility, elder issues, military, oncology issues, Women’s and Men’s Spirituality. A suggested donation of $50 is accepted for each session and $75 suggested donation to meet with one of our pastoral counselors.

Call Dr. Mary Amore at 630-852-9000 to schedule an appointment. All calls are held in the strictest of confidence. Dr. Amore will talk with you to help you find the right spiritual director or counselor for your needs.

For more information on Spiritual Direction please see the interviews with our spiritual directors on our Media Page


Dr. Jill Bates, D. Min

Dr. Jill Bates, D. Min. is an experienced presenter in the areas of Women’s Spirituality and Lay Ministry. Jill earned her Doctor of Ministry degree in ecumenical studies from the Graduate Theological Foundation and a Master of Pastoral Studies degree in spirituality from Loyola University. Her goal as a Spiritual director is to companion others on their journey towards a life lived peacefully and abundantly in body, mind, soul and spirit. She believes that we connect with God when we are open and receptive, and Spiritual direction affords us that opportunity. During her career she has been a director of adult faith formation, a Chaplain and a coordinator of hospital Catholic ministries. Jill has worked extensively in ministries for caregivers, women’s retreats and companioning clergy of many denominations on their pastoral journeys.

Fr. Kurt D. Boras

Fr. Kurt D. Boras is a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago, ordained at the Holy Name Cathedral, by the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin on May 24, 1986. Fr. Kurt has done graduate studies in the fields of theology, clinical psychology, and spiritual direction. He has been a parish priest, a Mission speaker, retreat director, instructor in the area of counseling psychology, a therapist, and a Spiritual Director. While on the faculty of the University of St. Mary of the Lake Seminary Mundelein, Illinois, from 1991-1997, Fr. Kurt was the Director of Psychological Services and a Spiritual Director. From 1998-2001, he was an elected member of the Priests Personnel Board of the Archdiocese of Chicago. His own spiritual journey and interests include Ignatian spirituality, 12-step work, and sports and spirituality. From 2010 until the present, Fr. Kurt has been the Pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Lemont, Illinois, serving and offering his guidance to over 800 families.

Fr. Tom Borkowski

Fr. Tom Borkowski is a priest of the Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph, Missouri and is involved in spiritual direction, retreat work, adult religious education and faith formation. His training in spiritual guidance was at the Shalem Institute of Spiritual Formation. He has a Master of Education in Special Education from the University of Missouri – Columbia, a Master of Divinity from the Pontifical College Josephinum, and post graduate studies in Carmelite spirituality and contemplative prayer.

Linda Brinkman

Linda Brinkman has a Masters in Social Worker, and is completing her doctoral Studies in Adult Education. Linda has over 30 years ministry and counseling experience through churches and social service agencies. Linda said, “My passion is helping you find the full life that God has intended for you through spiritual direction.”
~ Compassionate Listening to the Divine in everyday life ~

Matthew Brophy

Matthew Brophy has served in Hispanic Ministry for the last thirty years. He holds a B.A. in Spanish from Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee and a Master’s of Divinity from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago Matthew has done spiritual direction in Spanish for more than twenty five years. He is currently Director of Pastoral Care at MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn.

Eugenia Callison

Eugenia Callison holds a Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies from Catholic Theological Union and a Certificate in Spiritual Direction from the Claret Center. She is an accomplished music therapist who works with the emotional and social needs of an individual. Eugenia has done extensive work in the area of bereavement, and joins our staff as a spiritual director specializing in the spiritual needs of military families.

Betty Crane

Betty Crane is a Spiritual Director and Psychotherapist. Betty received her Certificate in Spiritual Direction from the Christos Center for Spiritual Direction and is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Associate in Marital and Family Therapy. She received her MA in Clinical Psychology from Wheaton College, a JD from Valparaiso University, and her BA in English Literature from Loyola University of Chicago. Betty provides individual, marital, and family counseling and is passionate about enhancing spirituality, relationships and satisfaction in all areas of life. Betty has experience in working with addictions, abuse, co-dependency, trauma, depression, and anxiety.

Sheila Cusack

Sheila Cusack is a nurse and a gifted spiritual director. A graduate of the Claret Center for Spiritual Formation, Sheila considers it a sacred gift and blessing to be present with another as they prepare to enter eternal life. Sheila recognizes that there is a holiness about death and this phase of our life cycle that is driven by God. We are honored to have Sheila direct you as you prepare your loved ones to walk their journey home to God.

Mary Beth Desmond

Mary Beth Desmond is a registered nurse at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital providing highly personalized compassionate care for her patients. She holds a Master’s Degree in Spirituality from Loyola University, and is in the process of completing her Master’s in Nursing from Lewis University. Mary Beth has a passion for tending to the human spirit, both the patient’s and the caregiver’s. She is the co-facilitator of our new ministry program exclusively for home caregivers.

Becky Granat

Becky Granat holds a degree in elementary education, and a Certificate in Ministry from the Archdiocese of Chicago Called and Gifted Program. A graduate of the Claret Spiritual Direction Center in Chicago, Becky’s area of interest is in helping cancer patients and cancer survivors on their spiritual journey, as well as marital issues and women’s spirituality.

Christine Grano

Christine Grano received her Spiritual Direction Certificate from the Christos Center for Spiritual Formation. Trained in Christian Lay Counseling & Inner Healing Prayer, Chris is also an accomplished musician and singer. Chris co-presents retreats with Fr. Jonathan, facilitates women’s retreats & offers a variety of programs in the area of spirituality. Married and the mother of two adult children, Chris holds a B.S. from the University of Illinois. Chris’ faith life and ministry is deeply rooted in 12 Step Spirituality.

Chris Hannigan-Wiehn

Chris Hannigan-Wiehn is a Lay Franciscan Associate who holds a certificate in spiritual direction from the Claret Center, and Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University. A graduate of the Diocese of Joliet New Wine Program, Chris is currently attending Catholic Theological Union. An experienced spiritual director, Chris specializes in women’s spirituality and issues of grief and addiction.

Lois Hodgson

Lois Hodgson completed a two-year spiritual direction training program at the Institute of Spiritual Companionship and has a Master of Arts degree in Spirituality from Loyola University. Lois is on staff at Epiphany Lutheran Church, ELCA, as the Director of Spirituality and Discipleship. At Epiphany she off ers spiritual direction, leads small groups, leads retreats, teaches classes focused on spiritual growth and helps to coordinate and teach a discipleship program. She loves canoeing, kayaking, cycling, hiking and camping. Lois works full time in a corporate setting. Married and the mother of 4 adult children, Lois is the facilitator of our Wilderness Retreats.

John Holmes

John Holmes holds a Certificate in Spiritual Direction from the Hesychia School of Spiritual Direction in Tucson, AZ. John also holds a certificate from the Called and Gifted Lay Ministry Program of the Archdiocese of Chicago. He specializes in contemplative prayer practices that foster healing and spiritual wholeness. John’s life experience as husband of 44 years, father of 3 boys, and grandfather of 5, as well as a Viet Nam Veteran, and Leukemia Survivor, has drawn him into service as an Extraordinary Minister of The Eucharist at Northwest Community Hospital, and involvement in The Cursillo and Christ Renews His Parish movements.

Christine Hopkins

Christine Hopkins received her B.S. in Nursing from the College of St. Teresa, Winona, Minn., a Master of Divinity from the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago and has a certificate in Spiritual Direction. Married for 35 years Chris has worked as a Pastoral Associate for 5 years and as the Director of the Emmaus Formation for Ministry at CTU for 3 years. Christine works exclusively in the far southern suburbs.

Dr. Barbara Jarvis-Pauls

Dr. Barbara Jarvis-Pauls is a Pastoral Counselor and Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, received her Master in Counseling Psychology from Lewis University and her Doctorate of Ministry in Pastoral Counseling from Graduate Theological Foundation. Barb has extensive experience in grief counseling and bereavement. She is also experienced in working with individuals in transition who are coping with issues of death, divorce, single parenting, remarriage, stepfamilies and annulment advocacy. Dr. Jarvis-Pauls is a member of the National Association of Catholic Family Life Ministers, Illinois Counseling Association, and the American Association of Pastoral Counselors. Dr. Pauls also offers Marriage Preparation and Marriage Enrichment Programs. Trained in FOCCUS and PREPARE/ENRICH marriage inventories, Dr. Pauls administers assessment to identify areas of strengths and stressors in the couple relationship. Integrating faith and spirituality with a person’s social, emotional and relational experience is central to Dr. Paul’s approach with consulting, counseling and spiritual direction.

Marilyn Kortendick

Marilyn Kortendick received her spiritual direction training through the Institute of Spiritual Leadership (ISL) which was part of her Masters degree from Loyola University – Chicago. Marilyn’s undergraduate degree is in Pastoral Studies from Dominican University, and she also received her certification in Pastoral Life and Admin. through Loyola University – New Orleans. In spiritual direction, some of the specialized tools Marilyn offers to help you discover and listen to your inner wisdom, God, speaking to you are Focusing Work and Dreamwork. Marilyn has volunteered and/or worked in a church setting for over 20 years. She is also an approved and trained Eponaquest Instructor, working with horses (her second love) to help you learn more about yourself, as they are true mirrors of us, the human. Marilyn specializes in assisting you in both spiritual and personal development. “My purpose as a spiritual director is to provide a safe and holy place to listen to you and your story. I would be honored to walk with you on your life journey in helping you to discover and explore where Gods’ hand may be working through the various times of transitions, challenges, and joys.”

Gail Krema

Gail Krema holds a Master of Arts in Spirituality from Loyola University, a Certificate in Spiritual Direction from The Institute for Spiritual Leadership, and a BS in Nursing from the College of St. Teresa, Winona, MN. Gail has passion for Ignatian Spirituality/The Spiritual Exercises, and works with The Ignatian Volunteer Corps and the Ignatian Spirituality Project. She considers it a privilege to hold the sacred story of another in spiritual direction, and feels called to contribute to the healing of those returning from military service (especially those with the hidden wounds of Mild-Traumatic Brain Injury and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder).

Sr. Valerie Kulbacki, SSJ-TOSF

Sr. Valerie Kulbacki, SSJ-TOSF is a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Third Order of St. Francis. She received her Certificate in Spiritual Companioning from the Diocese of Joliet, and her Master’s degree in Pastoral Counseling. She has specialized in grief work surrounding death, divorce and other life-changing events, also serving those struggling with issues of co-dependency, addiction, and life situations which compromise one’s spiritual and emotional well-being.

JoAnne McElroy

JoAnne McElroy is a spiritual director who enters the personal encounter of spiritual direction with earnest care, intention and deep listening. JoAnne holds a Master of Arts in Spirituality from the Institute of Pastoral Studies at Loyola University along with a postgraduate Certificate in Spiritual Direction. She came to spiritual direction through the questions that rose within and her desire to listen more deeply to God’s actions in the stories of her life. Her life experiences as mother, grandmother, life coach, teacher and leader allow her to walk with those seeking to make connections in their lives. She feels alive and delights with her grandchildren, in nature and exploring the arts and dreams. JoAnne is an imaginative retreat leader and presenter. She is currently on the Board of the Chicago Area Spiritual Directors.

Margaret Pinas

Margaret Pinas is a Secular Franciscan who holds a Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministries from St. Mary’s University of Winona, a Certificate in Spiritual Direction from the Claret Center and a BA in Communications. Margaret has been actively involved in parish ministry for over twenty years; serving as Director of Adult Faith Formation at a large parish in the diocese of Joliet for the past ten years. Her passion is companioning people as they explore and grow in faith. Margaret is married to Walter and they are the parents of four young adult daughters.

Rob Ryndak

Rob Ryndak is a Certified Spiritual Director a former Franciscan Friar, poet, and composer who has studied Franciscan Spirituality at St. Bonaventure University in Olean, New York. Skilled in Cistercian and Franciscan spirituality, Rob encourages his directees to journal and use prayerful meditation as part of their spiritual direction journey.

Dr. Tricia Treft

Dr. Tricia Treft is an experienced chaplain and spiritual director. Tricia holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from McCormick Theological Seminary, and a Master of Divinity from Andrews University. She is currently completing a Master of Arts degree in Community Counseling from Concordia University. Tricia also holds a Certificate in Spiritual Direction from the Institute of Spiritual Companioning. She specializes in adoption and infertility issues with men and women, and counsels oncology patients. Dr. Treft is married and works at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital as Pastoral Care Manager and Special Projects Director.

Jane Zimmerman, RN, MSN

Jane Zimmerman, RN, MSN, has a Certificate in Spiritual Direction from Claret Center. She is enrolled in a Master of Arts for Spiritual Direction at Loyola University. She is certified to provide training and assessment related to intercultural competency. She has also had training in various approaches to meditation and healing. Jane has worked with young adults and parents of young children, although she feels called to be with anyone who desires to grow spiritually.

Kristy DeSanti

Kristy DeSanti is a Certified Spiritual Director from Moody Bible Institute. She also holds an Advanced Spiritual Formation Certificate from Moody Bible Institute and a B.A. in Psychology from Northwestern University.  She has served on a church staff as the Director of Recovery, Care and Prayer, training lay leaders in a broad range of areas such as: sexual abuse recovery, boundaries, and spiritual wholeness. She enjoys creating a safe and non-judgmental space for people to share their stories, struggles, and questions .

Mary Lally

Mary Lally received her training through The Christos Center “Tending the Holy” program. A registered nurse with a Masters of Public Health Degree in Health Education, Mary is a married mother of three grown children. As a spiritual director, Mary believes that everyone has a unique spiritual journey and story to unravel. She has a serious commitment to her own spiritual growth and considers it an honor to be a guide and witness for others. Mary has worked with families with young children who had health challenges, senior citizens, and people facing life crisis of many sorts (such as disease diagnosis, anxiety, or addictions.

Christian Life and Career Coaching

Joe Abel

Joe Abel holds a PhD in Educational Psychology from Walden University, a MA in Systematics from University of Notre Dame, a Master of Pastoral Studies from Loyola, and a Master of Divinity from University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Mn. Joe has served as an adjunct professor of humanities at the College of DuPage and Benedictine University. He is certified as a professional life coach by both the International Coaching Federation and the Coaches Training Institute.

Gina Sannasardo

Gina Sannasardo M.Ed., CPC, ELI-MP is a Christian Life Coach who supports women of faith in their life pursuits and career plans. Gina is married and the mother of two children. She is also a junior high teacher and catechist. She looks forward to travelling with you on your path to discovering your purpose.