About Me

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I work as a teacher, poet and spiritual director at a number of institutions in the DC area. My teaching focuses in various ways on writing, poetry, Spirituality and Christian vocation and ministry - especially from the point of view of the laity. I also offer classes and retreats encouraging people to explore their inner lives, engage their creativity and reflect on their beliefs about God, vocation, and how we can discern and pursue new ways to transform our broken world. I enjoy speaking of faith in the secular academy as well as reminding those preparing for ministry in the Church that our primary purpose is to love and serve the world beyond the church's doors. I love helping people to grow in faith and to find their own voices, and I also love encouraging them to use their minds. I see no contradiction between these impulses, believing as I do that faith, reason and creativity work together.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

At the beach this week - the Outer Banks of North Carolina, where we've been coming for years, ever since our children (now young adults) were small. It is where I draw energy for the rest of the year. This year I'm reading the mystic writer Thomas Traherne, who speaks of knowing, in early childhood, that the world is alive with mystery and the presence of God, and then losing that as he is educated in the ways of the world, with its focus on things and status. What I read in him reminds me of William Wordsworth, whose "Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Early Youth" sounds the same theme -- at perhaps excessive length. But always at the beach I find myself reciting by heart a passage that comes toward the end of the Immortality Ode. It's great poetry --and speaks to what I carry with me, year to year, from this week of walking along the waves, and just being on vacation in a beautiful place.

Hence, in a season of calm weather
Though inland far we be,
Our souls have sight of that immortal sea
Which brought us hither.
Can in a moment travel thither,
And see the children sport upon the shore,
And hear the mighty waters rolling ever more.


  1. Every time I kneel down to give a young child a piece of the body of Christ I see it. I know that they've got something inside that has been lost in me.

    Paul's call to leave milk behind and eat solid food is well and good, but Jesus asked for faith like a child.

    Thanks for the beautiful picture, it is a reminder of God's creative love as I track Dean across the Atlantic.

  2. Steve just clued me in that you've been blogging...! GREAT. Your experience of the Outer Banks as "where I draw energy for the rest of the year" really resonates with me and my experience with Cape Cod, where I have been going since I was very young (1 year old, I think) and now I bring my young boys ... Thank you for your words here!

    Peace Be With You!


    [I'm blogging also, at http://santospopsicles.blogspot.com]