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Our Spiritual Directors

Barbara Leonard

A native of St. Paul, Barbara Leonard received a nursing degree from Gustavus Adolphus College before receiving her MS and PhD from the University of Minnesota in Public Health and Health Services Administration. A professor of nursing at the U of M until 2010, Barbara…

Carolyn Kolovitz

Carolyn’s life work is accompanying people through life transitions. Whether working with tween girls transitioning into womanhood, young adults embarking on new career or relationship paths, people at midlife feeling stuck on autopilot, or the dying as they review…

Dan Johnson

Dan has been listening to people’s spiritual stories for over twenty years. He sees this reflective listening and the prayer-filled dialogues that emerge from it as the central work of spiritual direction. Dan’s ecumenical sense and welcoming persona in direction have been well…

Joanne Dehmer, SSND

Joanne is a native Minnesotan, having grown up in St. Michael. She and her twin brother are the youngest in a family of six children. Her years with the School Sisters of Notre Dame have spanned a wide variety of activities and ministries. With extensive skills in teaching and training…

Karen Treat

Karen has been a spiritual director, trained at Christos Center for Spiritual Formation, for over fifteen years and joined the Loyola Spirituality Center community in 2015.   Prior to Loyola, Karen was a spiritual director at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, companioning students and spouses…

Kay Vander Vort

Kay is the first laywoman to have joined the staff of Loyola Spirituality Center in 1985.  Trained in spiritual direction at the Wayzata Cenacle, she earned her Masters Degree in Theology St. Catherine University.  From 1997 to 2012 Kay served as Director of the Graduate Certificate…

Linda Cherek

Linda’s work in bringing God’s presence to those she encounters is grounded in her understanding and commitment to notice the Holy in everyday life even in the significant challenges we experience.  She received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of…

Mary Noble Garcia

Mary’s ministry in spiritual direction is rooted in a desire to be active in creating a loving, compassionate world. She received her Spiritual Direction Certificate and Master of Arts in Theology from St. Catherine University and is trained as a supervisor for spiritual directors….

Melissa Borgmann-Kiemde

Melissa received her Certificate in Spiritual Direction from the Franciscan Spirituality Center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Before her formal training in redemptive listening, Melissa was formed by the sacred stories of her high school English students and spoken word poets…..

Reina Brekke

Reina has spent most of her childhood and adult life in Minnesota but has also lived in Japan, Florida, Illinois, and Alexandria, VA. Her journey into spiritual direction came out of a sense of missing something in her spiritual walk, and a longing for a deeper connection with God…

Susanna Bertelsen

A native of Ohio and descendant of Italian immigrants, Susanna, as a young adult, was inspired and challenged by teachings of Vatican II to respond to the Gospel as a Catholic lay woman through a strong “call” to the nursing profession.  She earned a BS in Nursing at University of…

Tom Allen

Tom Allen has a B.S in accounting and was certified as a CPA.  He received his spiritual direction training at Christos Center for Spiritual Formation.  He was raised Roman Catholic, but has been Lutheran (ELCA) most of his adult life.  Tom has been a corporate executive and…

Our Administrative Staff

Dan Johnson, Managing Director

Through the years, Dan’s practice as a spiritual director has been bi-vocational. Early on he worked in construction management during the week and would do direction in the evenings and on weekends. He also became an instructor and group facilitator for the spiritual direction training program at Christos Center for Spiritual Formation. Most recently, he completed four years as executive director at Christos.

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Kristen Kidder, Office Manager

Kristen brings a rich professional history with her into her administrative position with Loyola.  She has a B.A. from Brown University, and an M.S.W. from the University of Minnesota.    From working with families and children, to community engagement and empowerment work in her own neighborhood of Frogtown, to HR work with a growing business – Kristen truly enjoys the breadth of the human family.  She is gifted with the ability to be both detail-oriented and engaged in visioning and strategy work.  Faith has been transformational in her life; it keeps her grounded and open to new possibilities.