I have always wanted to see, in Wordsworth’s phrase, “into the life of things.” This spiritual search has yielded abundant riches. With time, of course — if we do not avert our gaze — we will also see into the depths of many wounds: “Human existence is so fragile a thing,” wrote Simone Weil, “that I cannot love without trembling.” Fidelity to this trembling love has led me to faith, understood not as credulity but as creativity and courage; for to have faith is to insist that the human spirit never give up on the dream of an infinite love.
Before I became interested in theology or religion, my spirituality was formed by the arts: literature, cinema, painting, music. It was after studying film and literature at Yale University and at the University of Paris that I felt drawn to ministry in the Ignatian (Jesuit) tradition, a tradition that emphasizes the discovery of God “in all things”: in all human activities, faiths, and cultures.
In addition to spending three years as a Jesuit, I earned a Master’s of Divinity from the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry and trained as a spiritual director at the Jesuit Collaborative in Watertown, MA. I completed my Clinical Pastoral Education as an interfaith chaplain at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia. I have worked in California state prisons, at a L’Arche community, and on several college campuses, and I am now a palliative care chaplain in Philadelphia and a visiting retreat director at St. Raphaela Center in Haverford. I am a member of the Association of Professional Chaplains and of Spiritual Directors International and have contributed in the past to The Huffington Post Live, NPR’s All Things Considered, and The National Catholic Reporter.