Therese Lisieux

Patricia Cooney Hathaway, PhD
Saturday, September 30

Suggested Offering: $25


It takes many contemporary women a long time to truly appreciate Thérèse.  She has often been overly sentimentalized, "sugarized", cast in a certain icon of Catholic womanhood--sweet, childlike, passive, a victim.  That is not the real Therese!  Join us for an exploration of the human and spiritual journey that took her from a spoiled, pampered child to a young woman whose ardent love of God and insights into the spiritual life earned her the title of "Doctor of the Church." You may be surprised how much the challenges and victories of her journey will bring insight and guidance to your own.


Patricia Cooney HathawayPatricia Cooney Hathaway is professor of Spirituality and Systematic Theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary. She is a nationally renowned speaker on theology, spirituality, human and spiritual development and the author of Weaving Faith and Experience, A Woman's Perspective, and a number of articles dealing with the spiritual life.


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Theresa Avila on Prayer 

Sunday, Oct. 15
9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

THE INAUGURAL EVENT OF THE Margaret Brennan IHM Institute for Spirituality, Church and Culture
Presenter: Gillian T.W. Ahlgren, PhD

Marygrove College
8425 W. McNichols Rd.
Detroit, MI 48221


This event celebrates the IHM heritage and Sister Margaret’s legacy and will explore current areas of spirituality, Church and culture, as well as personal and societal transformation.

The inaugural event will feature presentations by Gillian T.W. Ahlgren, PhD, on “Unfolding Teresa of Avila’s Understanding of Prayer,” and “Infusing Prayer in Critical Issues of our Time.” Panel and audience responses will be included.


Margaret Brennan, IHM
Margaret Brennan, IHM, was one of the first female theologians in the country. She served as professor, president of the IHM Sisters and president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. She died in 2016.


Gillian Ahlgre, PdD
Gillian T. W. Ahlgren, PhD, is professor of theology at Xavier University and the founding director of its Institute for Spirituality and Social Justice. Dr. Ahlgren is the author of six books and is particularly known for her pathfinding work on Teresa of Avila and the Spanish mystical tradition.


The cost of the event is $50 and includes a boxed lunch.


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The registration deadline is Sept. 15.


Sponsored by:

IHM Sisters      Marygrove College

Julian of NorwichPatty Merlo, MPM 
Saturday, October 28
9:30am – 12:30pm

Suggested Offering: $25



In 1372, Julian received sixteen revelations centered on the Passion of Jesus.  These visions led her to a radical decision: to live her life as a hermit enclosed in a cell attached to a church in Norwich, England.  Then during twenty years of prayer and reflection, God revealed the meaning of the sixteen revelations, and she came to see that they were intended not for her alone, but for all Christians.  Today, as we face the pain and divisions of our own times, her insights can provide us with the strength, wisdom, comfort, and healing that we seek. During this reflective morning, participants will explore Julian’s life and message by means of presentation, personal reflection, and conversation.


Patty Merlo
Patty Merlo, has a Masters degree in Pastoral Ministry from Madonna College, trained as a hospital chaplain, and has completed the Internship in Spiritual Direction and Ignatian Spirituality at Manresa Jesuit Retreat Center.  She has taught on the high school and college level, served as a DRE, and currently ministers as a spiritual director and retreat leader.


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Jewish Roots

Annemarie S. Kidder, PhD
Saturday, November 11

Suggested Offering: $25


The early Christians had as their only Scriptures the Old Testament.  With that only Jewish images and theological concepts were used and appropriated so as to explain the incarnation, the mystery of God becoming human, and the notion of God forming a chosen people and a new creation.  This session will explore several key concepts of the Jewish faith tradition as it existed in Jesus' day.  Such key concepts include creation, covenant, redemption, sacrifice, atonement, along with the Law and key leaders of the Jewish people, such as Abraham, Moses, and David.  These concepts are largely lost to us today, but they are crucial in order to better understand the metaphors and symbolism used by the Apostle Paul and found throughout the majority of the New Testament.


Annemarie Kidder
Annemarie S. Kidder, PhD, IHM Associate,
is an ordained Presbyterian pastor and has taught courses in philosophy, ethics, and Sacred Scripture on the university level.  She is the author and translator of several books on the New Testament, historical theology, and the spiritual disciplines.



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Advent Lessons

Kathie Budesky, IHM, MA
Saturday, December 9


Suggested Offering: $25


The season of Advent calls us to reflect on the coming of Christ—in history, in our daily lives, and in the end times.  We need not be alone in this task.  The Old Testament is replete with stories of strong and valiant women whose wisdom and vision can serve as a sure guide during this time of faith-filled waiting.  In a retreat-like setting, we will focus on women from Hebrew Scripture, who they were, what they did, and how their lives and examples can enrich our observance of the season.  The morning’s process will include input, time for personal reflection, and conversation.


Kathie Budesky, IHM, the director of Visitation North Spirituality Center, has many years of experience in secondary education, both in the religious studies classroom and the principal’s office.  She was a staff associate in the Ignatian Program in Spiritual Direction and Retreat Ministry at Guelph, Ontario.



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New Year's Retreat

Francis J. Daly, SJ, M Div
Kathie Budesky, IHM, MA
Sunday, December 31



New Year’s Eve is the perfect time to look back with new eyes on the old year that is setting and to look ahead to what the Spirit invites us to in the year that is about to dawn.  Join us for a day that includes input, time for personal prayer and reflection, conversation, an opportunity for the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and lunch.  The day will end with the celebration of the liturgy for the feast of the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God.


Francis DalyFrancis J. Daly, SJ, is executive director of Manresa Jesuit Retreat House in Bloomfield Hills, MI.  He was master of novices for the Detroit and Chicago Provinces of the Society of Jesus and Tertian Director for Jesuits from four continents.


Kathie Budesky, IHM, the director of Visitation North Spirituality Center, has many years of experience in secondary education, both in the religious studies classroom and the principal’s office.  She was a staff associate in the Ignatian Program in Spiritual Direction and Retreat Ministry at Guelph, Ontario


Suggested offering of $40 includes lunch.  Registration deadline is Wednesday, December 20.


Program Brochure/Registration Form