Associated Faculty

Rev. Teresa Blythe

Rev. Blythe is an ordained United Church of Christ (UCC) minister who works full time as a spiritual director.  Her ministry assists individuals and groups in discovering where God is active in their daily lives and the world in which we live. She is a graduate of San Francisco Theological Seminary and holds an M.Div. and diploma in the Art of Spiritual Direction from there. Teresa currently serves as program director of the Hesychia School of Spiritual Direction and has taught spiritual direction at SFTS.  She has authored three books including “50 Ways to Pray: Practices from Many Traditions and Times” (Abingdon Press, 2006) and “Meeting God in Virtual Reality: Using Spiritual Practices with Media” (Abingdon Press, 2004). Her website on spiritual direction is at

Jane Waldron Bearce, BS

Jane Waldron Bearce received Spiritual Direction formation through Kino Institute and Arizona Ecumenical Institute for Spiritual Direction in Phoenix. Certified presenter for Centering Prayer, graduate of The Living School through The Center for Action and Contemplation, and coordinator of Wisdom School Southwest,
an adult learning opportunity with The Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault. Retired from a career in horticulture, married with one adult daughter, and devoted to a Franciscan worldview of harmony with nature and contemplation. Spiritual direction appointments on-line or in person at the Redemptorist Renewal Center in Tucson.

Brother Guy Consolmagno, SJ

Br. Guy Consolmagno, SJ was born in 1952 in Detroit, Michigan. He is director of the Vatican Observatory Foundation. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in 1974 and Master of Science in 1975 in Earth and Planetary Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his PhD in Planetary Science from the University of Arizona in 1978. He was a postdoctoral fellow and lecturer at the Harvard College Observatory from 1978 to 1980, and continued as postdoc and lecturer at MIT till 1983. He was in Kenya as a Peace Corps volunteer in 1983-1985. Upon his return to the U.S. he taught physics at Lafayette College until his entry into the Jesuit order in 1989. He took vows as Jesuit brother in 1991, and in 1993 he was assigned to the Vatican Observatory. He has served on the governing boards of the Meteoritical Society, the International Astronomical Union’s Division III, Planetary Systems Science, and Commission 16, Moons and Planets, and the American Astronomical Society Division for Planetary Sciences.

Rev. Paul Coury, C.Ss.R.

Rev. Coury is Director of the Redemptorist Renewal Center. A former member of the Provincial leadership team of the Denver Province of Redemptorists, his ministerial experience includes Redemptorist formation communities, the retreat apostolate, and Liguori Publications. Father Paul holds Masters degrees in theology, religious education, art, and psychology.

Rev. Peter Connolly, C.Ss.R

Rev. Peter Connolly, C.Ss.R is a Redemptorist from Boston. A former Provincial Vicar of the Denver Province of Redemptorists, he conducts retreats, parish missions and lectures on Celtic spirituality whenever the opportunity presents itself. Father Peter leads the retreat in traditional forms of Celtic Prayer.

Allen Dart

Mr. Dart received his Bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of New Mexico in 1973 and his Master’s degree in anthropology from the University of Arizona in 1983. He has worked and volunteered as a professional archaeologist in New Mexico and Arizona since 1975 for government, private companies and non profit organizations. His studies have focused on southern Arizona’s prehistoric Hohokam culture, but he also has participated in archaeological research on other prehistoric and historical Native American cultures of the Southwest. Allen is currently the Executive Director of Tucson’s nonprofit Old Pueblo Archaeology Center, which he founded in 1993 to provide educational and scientific programs in archaeology and culture. A Registered Professional Archaeologist, he has been a recipient of the Arizona Governor’s Award in Public Archaeology for his efforts to bring archaeology and history to the public.

Rev. Paul Gabor, SJ

Rev. Paul Gabor was born in Slovakia. A Jesuit, he was ordained a priest in 2004. He earned a PhD in astrophysics in 2009 in Paris. Father Gabor joined the Vatican Observatory in September 2010 and was assigned to the Vatican Observatory Research Group in Tucson, AZ. He became its vice director in September 2012.

Rev. Gary Lauenstein, C.Ss.R.

Rev. Gary Lauenstein, C.Ss.R., was born in St.Louis, MO, in 1945. He was professed as a Redemptorist in 1966 and ordained to the priesthood in 1971. His assignments have included teaching Spanish in the high school seminary, pastoral work in predominantly Hispanic parishes, vocation ministry and Novice Director for the North American Redemptorists. He has certification as a Spiritual Director. His current work is as a full-time Mission preacher, traveling across the country to bring the Good News of Christ to as many as possible.

Rev. David Louch, C.Ss.R.

Rev. Louch is a Canadian Redemptorist priest. He was ordained in 1972 and earned a Doctor of Theology (ThD) degree from the University of Toronto and the Toronto School of Theology in 1979. His ministry has included many years of formation work in his Congregation, preaching parish missions, pastoring parishes, spiritual direction and offering courses, workshops, seminars and retreats. For two years, he was Co-Director of Education and Outreach at the Southdown Institute in Ontario, Canada. He also served a good number of years on the Redemptorist leadership team for English-speaking Canada. Since September 2013, he has been Associate Director of the Desert House of Prayer — across the road from the Redemptorist Renewal Center.

Brother Danyel Korn, C.Ss.R.

Brother Korn is an experienced spiritual director and retreat director. Currently on the staff of the Redemptorist Retreat Center in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, he is a best selling published author; his works include contributions in the field of prayer and liturgical spirituality. Ministerial experience includes parish ministry and work at Liguori Publications where he served as the Director for Mission Effectiveness.

Rev. Greg May, C.Ss.R.

Rev. Greg May was raised in a farming community west of Wichita, Kansas. He professed vows as a Redemptorist on July 24, 1983 and was ordained in Wichita on September 10, 1988. He has been active in parish ministry for more than 25 years. His primary focus has been with the Spanish-speaking community. He has run programs for lay leadership and Redemptorist spirituality. He is a graduate of the Hesychia Program for Spiritual Direction. He has an interest in history, especially in those areas that pertain to the Sacred Scriptures.

Sanjay Manchanda, Ph.D

Sanjay Manchanda has been a meditation teacher and spiritually-oriented therapist in Tucson for 20 years. He has a Ph.D. in Computer Science and a Master’s in Psychology. He is a former University of Arizona professor who changed careers in response to an inner calling. He co-leads the Clear Sky Sangha and has a private practice in Transpersonal, Jungian, and Body-Centered Therapy. Sanjay’s teaching draws from several traditions including Advaita, yoga, Sufism, Buddhism, Western psychology, and neuroscience. His background reflects the confluence of a wide range of psychological and spiritual wisdom traditions. He emphasizes the process of awakening to our True Nature and its embodied expression as love and wisdom.

Rev. Gregory Mayers, C.Ss.R

Rev. Mayers is a Journal Consultant for the Progoff Intensive Journal program, a Contemplation and Zen Teacher under the tutelage of Willigis Jaeger, OSB, and an Assistant Teacher in the Sanbo-Kyodan Zen lineage. He is the award winning author of “Listen to the Desert: The Secrets of Spiritual Maturity in the Desert Fathers and Mothers”.

Kenneth J. McNealy

Mr. McNealy is a permanent Deacon of the Diocese of Tucson, serving both the parish community of St. Thomas the Apostle and the community of the Redemptorist Renewal Center. He is a graduate of Loyola University of Chicago with a Masters Degree in Pastoral Studies. His professional work experience was as a commodity trader at the Chicago Board of Trade. Ken’s ministerial experience includes Eucharist Adoration, Lectio Divina, Voice of Faithful, S.N.A.P., Worldwide Marriage Encounter & parish R.C.I.A. programs. A graduate of the Hesychia School of Spiritual Direction, he has been appointed the Episcopal liaison for Catholics Against Capital Punishment.

Aneesah Nadir, MSW, Ph.D

Dr. Aneesah Nadir is the founder and CEO of Dr. Aneesah Nadir & Associates. A social worker, she is also author, speaker, consultant and marriage and family life educator. She also founded Al-Mu’minah, the Young Muslim Women’s Association in 1995 to provide social support, recreational and leadership opportunities for youth and young adult Muslim women. She has been a regular faculty member of Hesychia School of Spiritual Direction at the Redemptorist Renewal Center.

Rev. Jeff Wocken, SDS

Father Wocken’s background is in music and liturgy, receiving both his M.Div. and M.A. from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA. He professed vows as a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians) in 1994 and was ordained to the ministerial priesthood in 1999. Since then, he has served in parish ministry, province administration, and formation ministry. He now serves as director of the Jordan Ministry Team in Tucson, AZ, a Salvatorian ministry for the formation of lay leaders in the Church and promotion of adult faith formation

Lhasha Tizer, M.S.

Lhasha Tizer has been practicing and teaching formal meditation techniques well over 30 years. She began practicing Buddhism in the Vpassana tradition 19 years ago. She teaches mindfulness, meditation classes and Buddhist teachings at Tucson Community Meditation Center. She is a Community Dharma Leader graduate from Spirit Rock Meditation Center.

Rev. Thomas Picton, C.Ss.R.

Rev. Picton is a licensed marriage and family therapist. A former provincial of the Redemptorist Denver Province, he belongs to the American Association of Pastoral Counselors and the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. He has been a clinical pastoral therapist in private and community practice for twenty-four years.

Jeanette Renouf, Ph.D., D. Min.

Jeanette has practiced and taught Psychology and Spiritual Direction in Central America, Europe, and Asia, and has been teaching and practicing for eight years in Tucson. Jeanette oversees the Adult Ministry program at St. Philips in the Hills Episcopal Church. She is also the director of Tacheria Spirituality Center, and the New School for Spiritual Direction. Most recently she was head of the Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross, a lay order of Episcopal women who own and run a conference and retreat center in Massachusetts. Jeanette lives in Tucson, AZ.

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

Rev. Santa, a former pastor of St. Michael’s Church, a Redemptorist parish in Chicago. A former director of the Redemptorist Renewal Center, he is also the former President and Publisher of Liguori Publications (1992-1999). In addition to his role and expertise in Catholic Publishing, he is also a published author whose works include “Marian Shrines of the United States”, “Dear Padre: I Have A Question”, “Understanding Scrupulosity”, and four contributions to “The Essential Catholic Handbook” series published by Liguori Publications. These include Handbooks on the Sacraments, the Bible, and the Liturgical seasons of Advent and Lent. His recent book is “Retreats, Exploring A Great Religious Tradition” (Ave Maria Press). In recent years, Father Santa has contributed to the process of nurturing and encouraging authors through his leadership in the formation of the Catholic Writers Retreat and Workshop annually sponsored by the Redemptorist Renewal Center. He currently serves as Theological Editor and Consultant for the E. T. Nedder Publishing Company, Tucson, Arizona.

Peter Tran

Peter Tran is assistant director of the Redemptorist Renewal Center. He is a former editor of the Union of Catholic Asian News (UCANews), the largest Asian Catholic Church news agency. Peter’s past writings include articles in World Migration Magazine, L’Osservatore Romano, Liguorian Magazine, Asian SUNEWS. He is co-editor of A Catholic Response to the Asian Presence (National Catholic Educational Association, publisher).

Monica (Nicki) Verploegen, Ph.D.

Originally from Montana, Nicky Verplogegen holds a doctorate in Formative Spirituality and is a Visiting Professor at the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati. For eight years she served as Director of the Spiritual and Ministerial Development at Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, MA. She now teachs in graduate programs throughout the U.S.A., including Saint Michael’s College in Burlington, VT, University of Dayton, University of the Incarnate Word, and the Deaconal Formation program for Boston Archdiocese.

Rev. Charlie Wehrley, C.Ss.R.

Father Charles Wehrley is currently a retreat director of RRC specializing 12 Step spirituality and Serenity Retreats. He also founded Soulshine, a support group for persons suffering from codependency and other addictive behaviors. He also starts retreats based on 12 Step spirituality. His popular retreats include The Addictive Personality, The Surrender Box, Shame and the Addictive Trap, Boundaries for Better Relationships, 12 Steps to Inner-Peace, The Nightmare Before Forgiveness and The Perfectly Imperfect ParentFather Charlie also serves as spiritual director, gives parish missions, teaches in our sabbatical program and coordinates the RRC bookstore.

Rev. Greg Wiest, C.Ss.R.

Father Greg Wiest received his Master of Divinity from Catholic Theological Union and was ordained a Redemptorist priest in 1989.  He has been a retreat director at the Redemptorist Renewal Center since 2008.  He co-ordinates the Heschia Spiritual Direction Program at the Center and has been developing the Center’s contemplative retreats.  His main area of concern lies in the intersection of painting, writing, and meditation.   He is also concerned with how to help GLBTQ people benefit spiritually from the Catholic Tradition.