Susanna Bertelsen

A native of Ohio and third generation descendant of Italian immigrants, Susanna earned a Master of Arts in Theology with Spiritual Direction Certificate at St. Catherine University in 2017; completed the Master of Science in Community Health at Mankato State University in 1998, and earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from University of Cincinnati in 1968.

During her decades as a Registered Nurse and Public Health Nurse, Susanna served in children’s hospitals in Ohio, clinics in Tanzania, and school and parish nursing in Minnesota.  Susanna’s approach to nursing is holistic care of the mind, body and spirit in all ages and stages of life.  With years of listening to sacred life stories from others, she appreciates the healing presence of the Divine in them, and in herself.

Susanna, an active Catholic laywoman, and husband, Poul, a Danish Lutheran Architect, have been married 49+ years, are the parents of one daughter and two sons, and enjoy grandparenting their five granddaughters and two grandsons.  The multifaceted threads of ecumenism and cross-cultural experiences are woven into their everyday lives.   Needlework, cooking, gardening, walking in nature, music and art connect her to creativity and the earth.

From her professional and volunteer commitments, and through advocating and caring for a family member with schizophrenia, she has learned the importance of finding God’s compassionate presence in both the difficult and joyful experiences that one naturally encounters along life’s journey.  Her relationships with people of a wide variety of backgrounds has taught her to respect different faith perspectives and life paths.  A life-long-learner, she is inspired by listening to the life stories of others as they seek hope and resiliency amid the challenges living presents.  By learning to listen deeply to our life stories, we discover and claim the gifts and graces from God, who is with each one of us, daily, on our life’s journey.

                “For me, the personal practice of Spiritual Direction has provided a safe, sacred space for exploring my own life story… my own journey toward inner peace and wholeness…developing with God’s mercy and grace into the full human being God has created me to become.  It is a dynamic process that empowers me to unravel the threads of my past, make sense of my present circumstances and approach the future with hope.  With God’s grace moving me forward, I continue as a pilgrim on the spiritual path, grateful and willing to share wisdom, guidance and companionship to fellow-travelers.”

Susanna invites seekers who are ready to explore life issues, nurture resiliency and rediscover hope…amid loss, grief, transitions or mental and physical illness, to individual or group Spiritual Direction.